SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) – From a concession trailer to a brick and mortar store, Margaret Taylor and her husband Jerome bring comfort food to the table.
Their business and hospitality turns their customers into family. Fridays are usually busy at their restaurant, MJ’s Fish & Chicken Express. In Taylor’s establishment, the surge of customers is more like a family reunion.
“They [customers] have a genuine love for our food,” Taylor said. “A lot of people in the community, they’re coming out to support us based on Juneteenth.”
Juneteenth is the first enacted federal holiday in 40 years. Central Illinoisans are encouraged to celebrate by supporting 12 Black owned businesses. It is part of the 217 Black Restaurant Weekend. Springfield’s Black Chamber of Commerce said there are five ways one can get involved.
- Buy a gift card
- Order a meal
- Dine in or Take out
- Leave a positive review
- Follow the restaurant’s social media pages
It is estimated 12% of businesses in Illinois are Black owned.
“Our community is a strong, loving community,” Taylor said. “The people that come here. You can feel it, they have a genuine love for us.”
217 Black Restaurant Weekend will last until Sunday.