This Saturday and Sunday, July 11–12, Gold Star Chili will partner with Over-the-Rhine–based minority-owned business incubator MORTAR to raise funds for local small businesses, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit organizations impacted by COVID-19. All the chili chain’s 75-plus tristate locations will donate 20 percent of proceeds from sales of Coney Crates to MORTAR’s relief efforts.
The partnership with MORTAR marks the conclusion of Gold Star’s participation in #GivingTuesdayNow, which began in early May. Since joining the global initiative at the local level, the company has partnered with and raised nearly $32,500 for eight Greater Cincinnati organizations, including Sew Masks 4 Cincy, Freestore Foodbank, Athens County Food Pantry, Bethany House Services, Urban League of Greater Southwest Ohio, and the OTR Chamber.
MORTAR fosters entrepreneurial skills for marginalized groups through a 15-week course that teaches the nuances of business management and ultimately creates jobs and positively impacts the local economy. Within its offerings, MORTAR provides access to on-site legal support and opportunities to pitch to potential investors, community leaders, and customers. Once mentees have completed the program, they are able to connect with the group’s alumni and mentorship network of business leaders.
“MORTAR is an inspiring organization that works hard to provide a great variety of resources to historically marginalized entrepreneurs,” says Gold Star CEO Roger David. “My father and uncles, immigrants from Jordan in the early 1960s, were entrepreneurs in their own right. When they came to Cincinnati, they were looking for an opportunity to provide for their families. They built a great business that has sustained our family and allowed us to add many small business owners and entrepreneurs to our Gold Star family over the years, so I understand well the drive it takes to have a dream and get it off the ground. Gold Star is proud to support MORTAR and their goal of building booming businesses locally in the neighborhoods their program participants live in.”
Coney Crates sell for $19.99 and include 10 of Gold Star’s signature cheese coneys, with hot dogs smothered in Gold Star chili and topped with mustard, onions, and shredded cheddar cheese.