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On Tompkins Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, you can find a vibrant stretch of predominantly Black-woman-owned businesses from shops to cafes. In fact, the area has been endearingly nicknamed “Black Girl Magic Street.” One of the more recent installments to the block is Brown Butter Craft Bar & Kitchen, owned by Myriam Nicolas.
Brown Butter is an extension of Nicolas’ first business, Brooklyn Baby Cakes, and gave Nicolas the opportunity to venture in the world of coffee – something she’d always wanted to do. But Nicolas didn’t want to have any average coffee shop.
“I wanted a coffee shop with an edge,” she says. And she decided to do that by creating a one-of-a-kind biscuit that would get people talking.
Nicolas spent months perfecting the recipe for her biscuit with her sons stepping in for the important job of taste testers. While the biscuits were originally supposed to serve as something that complimented the coffee, Nicolas says they’ve really become a star item at Brown Butter. In fact, she admits her establishment is more known for its biscuits than its coffee.
That being said, the coffee is something else. Nicolas is of Haitian descent and she serves up delicious Haitian coffee. If you want a perfect pick me up, pair one of her roasts with Brown Butter’s avocado toast on biscuit flatbread with homemade tomato jam.
Nicolas didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur. “I like to tell people it found me,” she explains. Nicolas always knew she wanted to do her own thing, but wasn’t clear on what that would be. So, she started with what she loved, and she loved to bake. She’d make items for family and friends, and suddenly, complete strangers were requesting orders for her creations and it built from there.
Nicolas accredits her support system for keeping her going. In addition to friends and family who give her positive reinforcement, she says that the community of Black business owners on Tompkins Ave is very powerful. They bounce ideas off of each other and help each other through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship.