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Soul food Wednesdays are back at Hotel Congress.

Posted at 12:25 AM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-25 02:25:11-05

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN9) — Soul food Wednesdays are back at Hotel Congress.

They initially started during the Summer, but the pandemic put things on hold.

On Wednesday Black-owned businesses got the opportunity to showcase their products.

When you walked in, the smell of food inside Dre’s Seafood & BBQ was the first thing that hits you.

“It’s been a dream forever. I went to culinary school and I always wanted to open my own food truck so I opened up my own food trailer,” said Andre Jefferson.

Jefferson says it’s his goal to put good bbq and seafood on the Arizona map.

“I feel proud to be able to come here and share my food and share my talents….and work with great people and great vendors. You know, and bring out Black excellence in Tucson,” he added.

Just down the way was Dondi’s Sweet Treats, founded by Charmaine Lewis during the pandemic.

“It’s our debut tonight so we’re really excited. We want to put our name out there. Expand the brand. Tonight we have mango-- massive mango. We have coconut caramel crunch. We have deep chocolate peppermint and vanilla,” she told KGUN9.

Lewis and her sister Donna are immigrants from Jamaica. They run the business together.

Charmaine’s sister creates the recipes that are behind the epic exotic desserts.

Davia Illetschko and her brother Shaman Brown are the co-owner Ankh Couture.

They hand-make jewelry and source stones locally. They also make masks.

Here’s what their business means to them.

“Well, it’s everything. It’s creativity. It’s life. It’s family bonding. You know, it’s everything. We work with other jewelers here,” Illetschko said.

If you kept walking you would have smelled the aroma of Crystal Wheeler’s candles.

“I actually started in the pandemic. I’m a personal trainer by trade, but that kinda slowed down when coronavirus kind of popped on us. So I wanted to find a different way to be creative and find a new trade and this kind of surfaced,” Wheeler told KGUN9.

It’s safe to say Soul Food Wednesdays will be back every last Wednesday of the month from here on out, as long as it is safe.

Folks need to wear masks and social distancing is a must.