Mamacita Comida, a family-owned Bedford-Stuyvesant restaurant, is being recognized for its impact on the community, and was among 14 Black-owned businesses to receive GoFundMe’s Black Business Month grant.
The Nostrand Avenue eatery — Brooklyn’s first Spanish-Asian fusion restaurant — was selected as one of the crowdfunding website’s big winners earlier this month, after submitting their fundraiser for consideration in August. Since 2004, August has been recognized as Black Business Month — a time to acknowledge and appreciate black-owned businesses across the country.
Nina Madera, the owner of Mamacita Comida, was awarded the $2,000 grant because her application reflected “how her business is impacting the community,” according to GoFundMe spokesperson Madison Jones.
Madera has experience at several high-profile restaurants in New York City, and has been a professional chef for more than 15 years. Now, she shares her restaurant and skills with her daughter and two sons.
Through her unique dishes and inclusion of cultural traditions, values, and passions, Madera has made an impression on her customers and community.
“I opened Mamacita Comida to not only be a restaurant but a platform for many different things, for our youth, elders, our communities,” she said. “I have so many things that I have to do with my community, in my community for the community and I’m just starting. I am born and raised in the community that I have my restaurant in and it’s even encouraging to our patrons when they see me one of there own people having a beautiful restaurant. They get inspired and it means a lot to me.”
Mamacita Comida has been involved in the community on multiple levels: they’ve collaborated with local organizations to provide free food for community-building events, and have allowed local artists space in the restaurant to exhibit artwork.
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In the words of Madera on their fundraiser application, Mamacita Comida strives to support the belief, “that working together helps grow all organizations and businesses in our area.”
The Black Business Month grant comes at a crucial time for Mamacita Comida, Madera said, as the entire restaurant industry continues to recover from the blows dealt to business during the coronavirus pandemic — and as the family is seeking assistance from the same community they’ve poured so much into. So far, Mamacita Comida has raised $2,925 toward a goal of $10,000 to help keep the restaurant open.
The grant has also served as a boost of confidence, said Madera.
“When I found out that we where chosen to receive this grant it was so encouraging. Many times as business owners we get discouraged and thoughts of giving up and just turning it all in and saying forget it comes in our head but that’s the easy part to give up,” she said. “This grant was a reminder of the reason why I opened this restaurant and my dream is here.”
Mamacita Comida represents the many small Brooklyn businesses in need of financial support — and while 13 other businesses received Black Business Month grants from GoFundMe, even more restaurants and shops are in need of support across the Big Apple and beyond.
Jones told Brooklyn Paper that one of GoFundMe’s goals for grant programs like this is to “further unlock this power of community by helping people help each other, and to remind us all that there’s power and strength in asking for help.”
Mamacita Comida is located at 345 Nostrand Ave.