I had to do some homework to find the best of Bed-Stuy. I have my favorites, but I am biased. I patronize the places I’ve been going to for years and I am very loyal to them.
I have my favorite bodega owned by the Rodriquez family (290 Malcolm X Blvd) who over the years, have become an extended part of the family; Bed-Vyne Wine because when I was first put on to their shop through Ken Mbonu (of Bridge Street) before we finished construction on our wine bar, I fell in love with their clean aesthetic and set up (of their wine).
There is also Ricky’s the Jamaican place that my sister-in-law introduced me to on Fulton (near Kingston/Throop), but too often while I was pregnant they never had my favorite macaroni salad – because people, it was that (in the words of YK) AWESOME.
However, the truth is I’ve not tried every place, and when I did an Internet search for “the Best of BedStuy” Yelp came up with a list that showed places with great reviews but many were closed. Others had negative comments. Before I became a business owner, whenever I wrote a letter or gave a review it was to express something negative. Very seldom did I spread a good word.
As business owners, we never want for you to think of us negatively. We do not set out to upset the consumer, but it happens. We are human. What gets me is that many consumers only review businesses after a bad time, even if they’ve patronized previously and things went well.
I wonder though, how things would be if we could “check in” on a person with a bad attitude, detail their faults and recommend people not talk to them, or be their friend as the public does to businesses.
Businesses are the brain child of their owners; we nurture the business, lose sleep over it, and often we have to strip it down to figure it out and make it better.
How would the consumer feel, if business owners negatively reviewed them or their children? I bet things would be very different. With that being said, I can’t rate or leave out fellow business owners because I know what it is to do it every day, despite the weather, despite everything, to deal with the public even when you don’t feel your best.
It’s hard. For me, being a business owner has proven to be harder than giving birth to a baby with no drugs (and things ripping), it’s a sacrifice of my time, time with my husband, our son and our loved ones. Above all that, no one deserves a negative review or to be left off a list.
The reality is that my best and your best are very different because we are different. I think that we should celebrate all that we have in Bed-Stuy, celebrate our options and perhaps encourage others to do more in the neighborhood.
Every one of us had options, but nothing felt better than Bed-Stuy!
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