A Gift From The Hart: Kevin Hart Gives $10K Grants To Two Vegan Businesses
Comedian Kevin Hart is always finding ways to lift as he climbs.
With his latest venture into vegan dining, he’s proving that once again. The box office titan and comedic rockstar, through his tequila brand Gran Coramino Tequila, has gifted two vegan business owners $10K each. Through The Coramino Fund, a partnership between Gran Coramino Tequila and national nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Hart will join in to uplift Black and Latinx -owned businesses that often find it hard to access capital and lack the resources necessary for growth.
With grants totaling $500,000, the fund equally allocates funds among 50 winners. This year’s list includes two plant-based businesses: Black Leaf Vegan, a plant-based café located in Indianapolis, and Mama Roots, a vegan food truck based in Duluth, Minnesota. Both businesses focus on bringing healthy, vegan options to their communities while educating residents about the benefits of plant-based eating.
“[Beckmann] and I always knew we wanted Gran Coramino to have a give-back component that focused on providing Black and Latinx entrepreneurs with resources to pursue their small business dreams,” Hart said. “Teaming up with LISC last year to launch The Coramino Fund in the US was the start of that journey.” Of the 50 winning businesses, 50% are Black-owned, 36% are Latinx-owned, and 14% are Black- and Latinx-owned. Women-owned businesses make up a large majority of the grant recipients, with 68% of the funding.
Black Leaf Vegan is one of two vegan food award recipients and the only one from Indiana. Its owner, Derrick Slack, believes their message sets them apart. “We’re in a space where we can really encourage a lot of people to change their DNA, literally change the trajectory of their family’s health consciousness, and in the process, expand our brand,” Slack told VegNews. Slack, who co-owns the business with his wife, Taria, says long before the restaurant opened its doors in 2022, they were both already committed to making healthier food options more accessible for members of their community. “We started to look at our food choices, and [asked], ‘How can we be more healthy? How can we raise our three children to be more healthy,’” he said.
Last year, Hart opened two locations of Hart House, a rapidly growing vegan fast-food chain that serves burgers, salads, nuggets, and chicken sandwiches. “The goal is to see Hart Houses right smack dab in the middle of where you would see a McDonald’s, a Burger King, a Chick-Fil-A, [and] a Wendy’s [so] people can have the option for a plant-based taste, as well,” Hart said at the time.