Sherman Phoenix

Face of Community Economic Impact

Sherman Phoenix; (Left to right) Rashidah Butler-Jackson, Engagement Coordinator; Romero McCants, Director of Operations and Engagement; Kayla Lewis Allen, Director of Programs and Outreach; Dr. Stacia Thompson, Executive Director; Photo by Linda Smallpage, Boutique Photographer

Five years ago, Sherman Phoenix opened as a new kind of entrepreneurial hub in Sherman Park. The building, housing Black-owned businesses, has become more than just a place for vendors to sell goods – it’s now a community resource. More than 25 businesses offer retail, diverse foods, wellness services and cultural activities. By providing mentorship and coaching, Sherman Phoenix supports entrepreneurs of color to help them grow their businesses, generate jobs and contribute to the local economy.

“We’re now recognized as a national model,” says Dr. Stacia Thompson, the executive director of Sherman Phoenix Foundation. “A high percentage of our businesses survived the pandemic because our community supports them.”

Through the Phoenix Rising program, Sherman Phoenix’s support of Black businesses extends beyond its walls. The program offers workshops and technical assistance for entrepreneurs around the city. And in the past year, Sherman Phoenix has expanded, adding a new director of operations and engagement and a new director of programs and outreach to continue growing its footprint.

“We refer to the ‘Sherman Phoenix effect,’” Thompson says. “It’s the energy and the positivity and the warmth you feel here. The Sherman Phoenix is a welcoming, supportive environment, and you feel it as soon as you step through the door.”

3635 W. FOND DU LAC AVE. | 414-436-6087