by Alexander Cain
A recent New York Times article did a profile on a local Atlanta business known as Ann’s Snack Bar. Known for its delicious burgers named the ‘Ghetto Burgers, the restaurant is a local favorite of consumers and food critics. The owner of the restaurant, a 67-year old African American woman named Ann Price, has been preparing each burger herself for almost forty years and is looking to retire.
Rather than keeping the business within the family, she aimed to sell her company on the open market in 2009. However, she couldn’t sell her business at the starting selling price of $1.5 million in 2009, and has since reduced it to its current selling price of $450,000. While the economy has experienced its fair share of turmoil, it seems a little off for a business that’s a cult favorite of Atlanta natives to go unsold.
For Price’s business to see a reduction in selling price of over 50 percent while sales and buzz for the Ghetto Burger remains high is disappointing. Many African-American businesses are facing a tough time dealing with investors. This “selling at a discount” is frequently experienced by black-owned businesses whose main audience is the black community. The African-American market is still an under-researched consumer base. Oftentimes, serving a majority of African-American consumers is considered a risk, and businesses catered to African-Americans are forced to sell below their actual market value. It could be pure economics or it could not but one thing’s for sure: it’s a trend worth tracking.