Barbara Devan is striving to turn her restaurant into a soul food landmark.
As the owner of Tasties, Devan has been serving up Southern-style soul food from her West Philadelphia-based restaurant. Now she’s gearing to launch her second restaurant in the city’s Germantown section in February.
The restaurant, located at 5241 Germantown Ave. will feature the fare Tasties is known for — chicken wings, turkey chops, ribs, salmon, baked macaroni and cheese, candied yams, collard greens, rice and gravy, pasta alfredo and grilled tilapia. The new restaurant will offer lunch and dinner and seat up to 24 diners.
As a youth, Devan learned to cook by helping her grandmother prepare meals for their tight-knit family.
Devan said that her unique flavor helps Tasties stand out from other soul food establishments.
“My slogan is ‘Flavor for Your Soul’ because we leave an impact on your soul. It’s just that Southern taste. We’re going to bring customers back or gain customers because of the taste — the flavor in the food,” said Devan, who is a native of Southwest Philadelphia.
She’s received feedback from customers who claim her food tastes like it came from their grandmother’s kitchen.
Devan said she has drawn a lot of customers to her 52nd Street location from the Germantown area, so it was an ideal area for her expansion plans.
“I’m just trying to put Tasties in a couple of different places in Philadelphia,” said Devan, who is 32.
Devan juggles running her thriving business with raising her two children.
She initially established the Tasties brand in 2007 at 21st and Berks streets in North Philadelphia. After a year in business, she later reestablished the brand in 2012 by moving it to West Philadelphia, where she operated out of the kitchen of Jollies West on 38th Street and Lancaster Avenue. From there she opened her first location at 1214 N. 52nd St. last August. In January, she launched a food truck in the 3900 block of Market Street in University City.
“My business went from zero to 100,” Devan said. “We’re a small business that is growing pretty fast. I’m here to provide good food and leave my impact on the community.”
Devan has been using her business as a tool for philanthropy and community support. Last Thanksgiving she closed her restaurant and prepared free meals for more than 300 people.
During the summer, she provided free platters for more than 500 people at Sister Clara Muhammad’s during the month of Ramadan.
Devan is already laying the groundwork for a third restaurant. She has ambitious goals to bring the Tasties brand to the Philadelphia International Airport.
“That’s a goal that I am trying to accomplish. That would make us a landmark because so many people from all over the world that are traveling would be able to experience Tasties,” she said.
A new initiative aims to help women-owned businesses gain access to capital and mentorship.
Entrepreneur Works, an organization that provides loans and support services to local entrepreneurs, was selected as the Philadelphia loan partner for Elizabeth Street Capital — a Tory Burch Foundation and Bank of America initiative.
The Elizabeth Street Capital initiative aims to foster economic independence and strengthen local economies through job creation and community revitalization. The initiative is designed to provide early-stage women entrepreneurs in the United States with access to low-cost capital, mentoring support and networking opportunities to grow their businesses, creating communities of women entrepreneurs.
“When we started our foundation, we understood that women entrepreneurs need access to capital as well as access to business networks, and by partnering with Bank of America, we are thrilled to be providing help to women across the United States. The combination of loans, mentoring support and peer networking expertise opens up new opportunities for women looking to build and grow their businesses,” said Tory Burch, founder of TBF.
Launching with an investment of $10 million in capital from Bank of America and funding for operating expenses, the Elizabeth Street Capital initiative will initially support women entrepreneurs in Philadelphia, Boston, Charlotte, Las Vegas, New York and San Francisco, but will expand to additional markets over the next two years. The program will work with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) such as Entrepreneur Works in these six cities.
“We are thrilled to be the Philadelphia partner for this exciting new initiative supporting women entrepreneurs,” said Leslie Benoliel, executive director of Entrepreneur Works.
“The Elizabeth Street Capital initiative aligns strongly with Entrepreneur Works’ mission of connecting disadvantaged entrepreneurs with capital and guidance to help them meet their business goals, create jobs for themselves and their neighbors, and jump-start our local economy. We look forward to working with the Tory Burch Foundation and Bank of America as we provide women entrepreneurs in the Philadelphia area with the resources they need to help grow their businesses.”
Entrepreneur Works will receive $500,000 over a two year period from the Elizabeth Street Capital initiative.
Entrepreneurs who have been in business for at least two years can apply for loans of up to $50,000 through Entrepreneur Works.
The initiative is being launched at a time when women-owned businesses are a crucial part of the U.S. economy, generating trillions of dollars in economic activity and creating tens of millions of jobs. However they continue to be underrepresented among the ranks of business owners, and women-owned businesses are typically smaller and employ fewer people than businesses owned by men.
“Bank of America and the Tory Burch Foundation recognize a huge opportunity to support women-owned businesses. Research has shown that women entrepreneurs need better access to capital and more opportunities to build strategic business relationships. The Elizabeth Street Capital initiative will help address these issues and provide loans and mentoring to women ready to take their businesses to the next level,” Thomas K. Montag, co-chief operating officer of Bank of America said in a press release.
Carol B. Giles was a former educator and financial advisor.
Giles died on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 after battling leukemia. She was 67.
She was born Jan. 30, 1946 to William and Elsie V. Bowie in Lansing, Mich.
Giles was a graduate of Southern Connecticut State College.
She was the wife of retired Judge James T. Giles. They were married on June 17, 1966 and enjoyed 47 years of marriage.
Giles was an educator and taught fifth grade students in the New Haven, Conn. and Philadelphia public school systems, before taking a position as teacher assistant at Germantown Friends School, a Quaker school.
Giles later changed her career path and became recognized as an excellent financial advisor with two firms in the Philadelphia area, first with Merrill Lynch and then Pryor and Associates. Her strong competitive drive and work ethic helped make her an early pioneer for minority women in the financial investment world until she retired in 1990.
She dedicated herself to making a warm and loving home for her family and friends. Her family said she enjoyed being a gracious and attentive hostess, gourmet cooking, dressmaking and knitting. She loved travel, theater and the arts, fashion design and architecture and launched an interior decorating consultancy, “Carol Giles Designs.”
Giles was diligent in carrying out the duties of trustee/guardian for her quadriplegic nephew, whom she helped to live independently in a private residence rather than in a hospital for the severely physically impaired.
Her family said she had a daring, feisty spirit and was a lifelong learner, quick-witted and curious about any new and challenging endeavor.
“She will be remembered for her spontaneity, her sense of humor, her nurturing gentleness, her kind and generous spirit, and her impeccable signature style,” her family said.
She was a member of the Mount Airy Presbyterian Church where she served as an elder, deacon, choir member and chaired various committees.
When Giles received her diagnosis of leukemia, she was given only weeks to live if she had no treatment. She lived a year and eight months after her diagnosis and her family said she was cheerful throughout even though her treatments did not achieve remission.
Giles was preceded in death by her father and younger brother Alan Bowie.
In addition to her husband and mother, she is survived by her brother William Bowie; son James Garland Giles (Nicole); daughter Nneka Giles Reynolds (Gerard); grandchildren Mariah Culpepper, Amenta Giles and Xavier Giles; and other relatives and friends.
A memorial service will be held on Feb. 15 at Oxford Presbyterian Church, 8501 Stenton Ave. Friends may call from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Breathing Room Foundation, Inc., 720 Greenwood Ave., Jenkintown, Pa., 19046
Beckett-Brown and Hodges Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
The Rev. Martha A. Lang served as the pastor of Mt. Tabor African Methodist Episcopal Church for more than 31 years.
Lang died on Jan. 30, 2014. She was 71.
She was born on Aug. 15, 1942 to the late Jose LaDuna and Elizabeth DuBose. She graduated from high school in Mobile, Ala. and was listed in “Who’s Who in Schools of America.” Lang attended Alabama State Teachers College and Temple University. She is a graduate of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Ministerial Institute, Community College of Philadelphia and The Center for Urban Theological Studies at Geneva College.
She was an itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
In 1983, Lang was appointed the pastor of Mt. Tabor AME Church with a membership of six children and nine adults on 22nd and Master streets. In 1988, they purchased the historical Ukrainian Baptist Church at Seventh and Girard Ave., under her leadership and with the help of Bishop Frank Curtis Cummings.
Through Lang’s vision and leadership their membership has grown from 15 to more than 600 members. She led the church with more than a million dollars of improvements. In January 2008, Mt. Tabor burned the mortgage of the church with Bishop Richard F. Norris and with retired Bishop Frank Curtis Cummings officiating.
She and her late husband E. Larry Lang cofounded the City Wide Interdenominational Christian Training Institute (CWICTI) Together they helped to establish a spirit of excellence in training Christian educators. Many pastors, leaders and lay people have come through the halls of CWICTI since its inception in 1967 at St. Matthews African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Lang’s vision of building senior housing came to fruition on Jan. 10, 2009 when the Mt. Tabor Cyber Village Senior Housing was dedicated. Lang in collaboration with State Representative Curtis Thomas and her team, built what was referred to as a “miracle on 7th Street,” a $14 million dollar 56-unit wireless housing complex with a green roof.
She was the director of stewardship for the First Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and president of the Mother District of African Methodism.
Lang was the first woman to serve the same church for more than 30 years in the entire African Methodist Episcopal Connection. She was elected as the first woman ministerial delegate from Philadelphia to the General Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1992. She was the first female pastor to host the 180th Session of the Philadelphia Annual Conference in 1996. She was secretary of the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity and a member of the search committee to find a new president for the Center for Urban Theological Studies.
In addition to her husband, Lang was preceded in death by her brother Jerome.
Lang is survived by her daughters Yetta (John) and Carolyn (William); sons Lehron (the Rev. Dr. A’Shellarien), Nathaniel (Cheryl) and Larrion (Janice); sister, Alice Bradley (Larry): brothers, Joseph LaDuna (Mattie), Victor LaDuna (Gloria), Percy LaDuna (Shirley); niece Queene Mays and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held on Feb. 9 at Mt. Tabor AME Church, 961 N. 7th St. Viewing will be held at 1 p.m. Services will follow at 5 p.m. Burial will be held on Feb. 10 at 11 a.m. at West Laurel Hill Cemetery.
Gladys E. Rainney survived breast cancer for more than 50 years.
Rainney died on Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. She was 96.
She was born on April 9, 1917 to Julia McIver and raised with the help of her stepfather Abraham Mclver.
Affectionately known as “Mom-Mom,” Rainney was educated in the School District of Philadelphia. She also attended tech school for welding. She became a wet nurse for mothers who could not feed their children during World War II. Rainney retired as a cashier from the Philadelphia Airport, however less than a month later she came out of retirement. She began working for DLC Management Group where she ended her work career in November 2013.
She joined Union Baptist Church at an early age.
In times of need she was the family’s go-to person. Her family said she was a virtuous woman who was confident, strong, witty and loving.
Rainney loved to be in the presence of her family and friends and started a tradition of hosting “Open House” every New Year’s day for 57 years. She enjoyed playing pinochle, pokeno and solitaire.
In addition to her mother and stepfather, she was preceded in death by her late husbands William Martin and Frank Rainney, Sr.; lifelong partner, Lorenzo “LoLo” Sparrow and sons Walter Martin and Frank Rainney Jr.
She is survived by her son William L. Simms, daughters-in-law Andora Simms, and Ruth Martin, Jessie and Faye who were like daughters; grandchildren Crystal (Kenneth), Eric, Germaine (Ralph), Debbie, Billy (Freda), Dwayne, Damar, LaToya, LaTasha, Damon and Shantelle; step-grandchildren Beverly, Frank III and Freddie; stepsons Marvin and Mark(Toni); great-grandchildren Larry, Sicily, Charles, Janeen, Angel, Naya, Basil, Mariah, Freddie Jr., Lil Dwayne, Ariannah, Anniyah, Quadir and Ciana; 13 great-great grandchildren and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held on Feb. 7 at Vine Memorial Baptist Church, 5600 W. Girard Ave. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m.