Until the end of March at Eat off Art.com you will find special branded merchandise supporting local small businesses. Husband and wife team Alexa Joan and Edrys Wajed are the co-founders of Eat Off Art, a family-owned art space creative solution finding solutions. As Western New York rises out of what was 2020, the decision to support local black-owned businesses through Eat off Art, came easy to the Wajed’s, and celebrating these businesses beyond Black History Month was also important. Alexa Joan Wajed says it’s so important because just looking at this next generation, looking at the youth, looking how we grew up and how February was “the month we can celebrate,” eat the food we are used to or talk about the stories and the inventors, but there is more than 28 days to talk about the greatness and the impact and the contribution that blacks had on America alone. She says it is more than just February and it’s almost disappointing to think we have to roll everything that’s happening, everything that has happened in the past and future historians all into 28 days.
Edrys Wajed says being entrepreneurs and having entrepreneurs in our family we grew up seeing some our elders doing an entrepreneurship which has influenced us however, one of the things we don’t see often is those businesses being highlighted. He goes on to say we are talking about Zawadi Books, The Challenger, Doris Records which started in the 60’s. Alexa Joan Wajed says everyone should know Doris Records which is the oldest black-owned record company; everyone should know about The Challenger whose symbol is the artful exchange of information. These blacked owned businesses have altogether accumulated over 100 years of success serving Western New York.
One of the initiatives Eat off Art is doing is now is they are collaborating with them by using merchandise to raise funds and to raise awareness for how they contributed and impacted the community for decades now says Edrys Wajed.