The New Jersey Devils announced today that the team has announced the winners of the Devils Buy Black Program that initially launched on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Flows Tasty Treats and Newark Paper Company have been awarded as the inaugural recipients of the program, which is in continuance of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment's action plan and 20 million-dollar commitment to racial equity. The Devils Buy Black Program was developed to promote local, Black-owned businesses and provide them with expert marketing consultation, advertising value, educational programs and additional tools to succeed.
The winning businesses become Devils Official Partners, starting today through the 2021-2022 season, and receive valuable marketing assets across Devils and Prudential Center platforms. The exclusive resources include industry guidance, advertising and public relations expertise and amplification across Devils platforms including social media marketing, custom content produced by the Devils Graphics team, professionally-designed email marketing, NewJerseyDevils.com website presence, in-game exposure at Devils home games, radio and broadcast advertisements and more.
Both companies will work alongside the Devils Partnership Activation Team and have access to the Brand and Creative team, Content Team and the Devils Digital, Research and Analytics Teams. The Devils Front Office will build a customized strategy, brand analysis and marketing plan to be executed utilizing Devils platforms and resources to help grow and sustain the local businesses while identifying targeted marketing needs. They will participate in networking events and speaker series with top industry executives.
In addition to the two winners, the Devils will assist six more businesses that applied for Buy Black by highlighting them for the Atlantic Tomorrow's Office's Black Business Spotlight. This program offers $1,000 grants, and each will be featured in a video on Devils channels highlighting its business.
Over 100 New Jersey-based companies applied to the Buy Black Program inspired by a partnership with Invest Newark, a local community nonprofit focused on supporting minority businesses and entrepreneurs, which will offer support applying for grant opportunities and accessing Payroll Protection Program loans.
Flows Tasty Treats has brought visibility to African cuisine through the universal act of snacking. Whether it's nuts or corn, she knows you're going to be eating something familiar in a new way. Flows Tasty Treats began selling their flagship snack "Toasted Corn and Peanut Mix," that was inspired by a popular snack in Ghana, in a handful of African grocery stores in 2017 with a goal of expanding into ethnic and mainstream markets in America. And they succeeded in that goal, as their product is now sold in a wide range of stores and supermarkets as they seek to make the product a sensation across the country. Most importantly, with each jar you purchase, you provide the gift of education to a student in Ghana and beyond. You can find them at https://flowstastytreats.com/.
"At Flows, we believe our story is one of hope, perseverance and a lot of hard work," said Florence "Flow" Dennis, Founder of Flows Tasty Treats. "Thank you to the New Jersey Devils for selecting us as a partner. We are so thankful for this opportunity!"
Newark Paper Company is an office supplies and janitorial supplies distribution company, and represents the city's first employee ownership program business under the guidance of Invest Newark. Newark Paper Company intends to not only succeed in the marketplace, but also hopes that their story can inspire others and catalyze community-led economic development in Newark. Not only are they a Black-owned business but also committed to economic equality and supporting Newark's small business ecosystem. They believe that their status as a City-backed business services provider leaves them uniquely situated to showcase the community benefit of public - private partnerships. You can find them on Instagram and Facebook and at https://newarkpapercompany.com/
"This partnership and support from the New Jersey Devils means so much to me, personally, and to all of the employees in our cooperative," said Lloyd Wilson, Co-Founder of Newark Paper Company. "This opportunity is the first step to give Newark Paper Company equality amongst the giants in the paper industry. I'm excited to start working with their staff and take the next steps toward success."
"Flows Tasty Treats and Newark Paper Company are perfect representatives to be the inaugural winners of the Devils Buy Black Program," said David Gould, New Jersey Devils and Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment's Chief Diversity and Impact Officer. "The passion and dedication that Flo and Lloyd exude for their companies, employees, customers and just as importantly, their communities is an inspiration to us all. We look forward to using the power of the Devils brand to elevate these Newark-based Black entrepreneurs. We all look forward to helping them contribute to the local economy and giving them the access to investments and customer base that they may not have traditionally had to help them grow and succeed. While these two businesses will receive the influence and guidance we can provide, we will continue to help support Black-owned businesses throughout the state."
This announcement coincides with the team's dedication to Black Hockey History Month, including support of the NHL's "Hockey is For Everyone" initiative, virtual in-arena musical performances (anthem singer Arlette Roxburgh, Newark Boys Chorus School and a Grammy Museum Content special from Naughty by Nature), promoting the organization's Black Hockey History (with Claude Vilgrain and his daughter Cassandra, Mark Fraser, Kevin Weekes, and Bryce Salvador), as well as Diversity and Inclusion programs (Hockey in New Jersey) and a celebration of Willie O'Ree.
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