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Greenwood’s Bread and Butter Shoppe Receives $25,000 Enhancement Grant 

Bread and Butter Shoppe owner Valour Cobbins has seen notable improvements in her business since she received a $5,000 grant and coaching from Optimum and Coalition to Back Black Businesses. The grant money includes resources and mentorship opportunities, which she and 51 other small, Black-owned businesses across the country received in February.

“It’s helped me grow as a business owner,” she said. “There are several businesses that opened around the same time that I did, and we’re all women of color. So, I’m looking at their business like, ‘Have you thought about this?’”

The Greenwood, Miss., resident has made some major changes to her website, which has increased online orders. She is also working on her “customer persona,” learning who her customers are and how best to get their attention.

“Some information I got, I felt like I wasn’t ready for it,” Cobbins told the Mississippi Free Press. “Some changes I didn’t know if I was ready to do in business and wasn’t quite convinced. And I can tell you in the last two months of watching my traffic, it’s like I had to circle back to that advice and say, ‘That’s exactly what I need to do.’”

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Instead of serving lunch, Bread and Butter Shoppe will now switch to serving wood-fire pizzas for dinner to attract out-of-towners visiting downtown Greenwood. Photo courtesy Valour Cobbins

The business owner learned that half of her customer base was visiting from out of town due to her downtown location. Greenwood has offerings that attract people from outside its borders such as a hotel, an award-winning spa and two restaurants—one of which has been open for almost 100 years, Cobbins explained.

“(The woman advising me) said you need to follow their lead and market to their customers. You want the out-of-towner if they’re making up that much of your business,” Cobbins recalled. “That’s one of our goals … to be a destination spot. When they come to Greenwood—to stay at the hotel, to go to the spa—they also want to come eat at the Bread and Butter Shoppe.”

Starting this week, Cobbins will be

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