We had the good fortune of connecting with Raphael Wright and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Raphael, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
The most important lesson my career has taught me is that money is cool, but change/impact is much better. My business has a triple bottom-line – people, planet, and then profit. Making my community a better place has always generated a financial profit for me which is reinvested in the community to make more profit. Today’s entrepreneurs, especially from the inner city, are being forced to chase impact over profit, and thats definitely a good thing.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Urban Plug L3C is a social conglomerate dedicated to rebuilding inner city neighborhoods in Detroit. Urban Plug’s first subsidiary is Neighborhood Grocery, an equity crowdfunded fresh, tech-driven, community-owned grocery store opening in June 2021. I’m using this company to create opportunity for people in the hood. As we unite our dollars, we are able to create our own opportunities to build what we want, how we want. We will be building anchor businesses in every neighborhood, then whatever luxury business, school, hospital, or whatever we want. A company that includes the people it wants to help.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Due to the pandemic, there’s only a few places to vibe which are restaurants. Right now, my favorite restaurant is Baobab Fare, an East African food experience located right outside downtown Detroit. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shoutout my two partners Ederique Goudia, and Jermond Booze. We started a project named Taste The Diaspora Detroit which celebrated Black food and our legacy in American cuisine. Through this project, we recreated and sold over 400 shoebox lunches and donated 100% of the proceeds to black owned restaurants, chefs, food processors, and farms in Detroit. Ederique and Jermond are the quintessential entrepreneurs with heart.