Black Business Owners Expand Grocery Empire with $13.5M investment

Black Business Owners Expand Grocery Empire with $13.5M investment

2 minute read

By: Staff

Three African American entrepreneurs who met at Yale Law School have founded Yellow Banana, a retail company based in Cleveland, Ohio. Yellow Banana owns and operates 38 Black-owned grocery stores with annual revenues exceeding $130 million. Recently, Chicago's City Council's Finance Committee granted them a $13.5 million subsidy to buy and transform six more stores.


Yellow Banana was only established in 2021, but it has already been successful, with over 400 store employees and stores in Cleveland, Chicago, Milwaukee, Jacksonville, and Dallas. The company's mission is to provide essential nutrition to working families in underserved communities at affordable prices.


All of Yellow Banana's stores are independent Save A Lot franchises, and the company is Save A Lot's third-largest retail partner in the country. Most of the stores are located in food deserts, areas with limited access to affordable, quality food.


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The founders, Michael Nance, Ademola Adewale-Sadik, and Walker Brumskin, commented on their company's mission: "We recognize the impact that the non-availability of nutrition has on individuals, families, and communities... In addition to our daily work, we are also committed to donating a percentage of our annual profits to non-profit organizations that address food equity issues in the United States."


In addition to earning a law degree from Yale, Walker and Ademola have also earned MBAs from Harvard Business School. They are joined in running Yellow Banana by Joseph Canfield, who has experience in operating businesses and is also a co-founder of their venture capital firm, 127 Wall.


The $13.5 million investment from Mayor Lightfoot and the City of Chicago will be used to purchase the real estate for six new locations in the South and West sides of Chicago. The funds will also be used to complete full internal and external renovations, including new flooring, lighting, HVAC, dairy and meat cases, painting, décor, and signage.

More information about Yellow Banana's stores can be found at, and information about their venture capital firm can be found at

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