Editor’s note: Our Posts from the Community feature is a platform for community announcements and event postings. If you have a post to be considered, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or submit it directly.
The Sherman Phoenix will celebrate its 1st anniversary all day on November 30th with Small Business Saturday from 10am-3pm and its Still Rising Anniversary Celebration from 5-7pm. The popular community market in the Sherman Park neighborhood is home to 27 businesses offering a wide variety of prepared foods, arts & culture, retail and wellness services.
Rising from the ashes of a fire-damaged bank building after civil unrest in 2016, the Sherman Phoenix is now widely seen as a popular place to eat, shop, come for self-care, or attend an arts event. Food offerings range from spring rolls, pizza, chicken wings and vegan meals on the savory side to bakery, juices, artisan popcorn, and ice cream on the sweeter side. The lunchtime crowd and event catering opportunities have helped boost sales. Funky Fresh Spring Rolls now serves 10,000 springs rolls a month, and Confectionately Yours bakery has sold 40,000 cookies in its first year with a retail location.
Visitors can also find a wide range of personal care services at the Sherman Phoenix’s barbershop, hair salon, nail and make up studios and clothing boutique. Hidden gems include a beautiful yoga studio tucked away on the third floor, an art gallery and massage spa in the lower level, and a wellness apothecary located in the former bank vault.
Far more than a gathering spot, the Sherman Phoenix has also proven to be a powerful economic hub that lifts Black leadership and embraces talent and innovation. In the first year, the Sherman Phoenix businesses provided 110 jobs. Ninety-nine percent of the tenant businesses are owned by African American entrepreneurs, who have become inspiring role models and leaders in the community. Hundreds of young people who have visited come away seeing that Milwaukee is a place where they too can succeed.
The inclusive spirit of the Sherman Phoenix has brought folks of all walks of life together. The number of events held in the space has far exceeded expectations. The first year brought Cory Booker’s Presidential Campaign and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to the space. Smaller community gatherings like baby showers and professional networking meet-ups fill the space weekly. Perhaps most powerful have been the informal exchanges between District 7 police officers who stop in for lunch and community residents who dine side by side. Conversations like these at the Sherman Phoenix are slowly helping change the narrative of what’s possible in Milwaukee.
But there is much more work to be done. “We are in the space of being very thankful,” says Co-Developer JoAnne Sabir reflecting on the anniversary, “However, there is so much to be done. We have to go deeper in our commitment to our Central City neighborhoods. For those that are able, we need to continue to connect our communities to greater possibilities. Hopefully, the Sherman Phoenix serves as a road map of how we can use our time and talents to open greater possibilities in community.”
Embracing this spirit, the November 30th Anniversary Celebration will celebrate successes and announce new improvements and initiatives coming in 2020. The event is located at 3536 W. Fond Du Lac Avenue in Milwaukee. For more event details, visit: www.shermanphoenix.com.