Black Houston Entrepreneurs iS One of Three Winners of $150,000 in Grants from the Famous Amos ‘Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative’

Three promising business owners chosen from over 3,200 submissions win business coaching from the National Black Chamber of Commerce and a $50,000 investment each

Famous Amos, in partnership with the National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), announced the awardees of its second annual Ingredients for Success Entrepreneurs Initiative, a program that helps promising Black business owners thrive with capital and coaching resources.

Over 3,200 business owners participated in a pitch contest to receive $50,000 in unrestricted capital from the Ingredients for Success initiative and comprehensive mentoring, coaching, resources and tools from The National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC). Of the thousands of applications, three recipients were chosen:

Liz Abunaw, Owner and Operator of Forty Acres Fresh Market, a startup grocery store in Chicago, IL that specializes in selling high-quality fresh produce at affordable prices in primarily underserved, food desert regions of the city

Aaron Woods, CEO of Podpal, a tech company based out of Alpharetta, GA that has simplified the podcast production process into an innovative all-in-one platform to help storytellers drive the future of the podcast industry

Staci Childs, CEO of Sunnyside Legal Clinic, a legal services business in Houston, TX that offers creative litigation approaches and exceptional comprehensive results in the Sunnyside, Houston area

“This is the second year of the Ingredients for Success initiative and I’m thrilled to be able to leverage our platform to shine a light on these three companies and their amazing owners, as well as give back to their respective communities,” said Rachna Patel, Senior Director of Distinctive Brands at Ferrero. “Famous Amos has now been able to invest $150,000 annually since 2021 directly to Black business owners who make a difference daily to the people they serve.”

According to Business News Daily, a common barrier to small business owners’ financial success includes limited or inconsistent cash flow – without proper strategies to manage the fiscal component of running a business, owners may struggle to sustain their key parts of their operations. Famous Amos believes that by pairing dynamic, driven entrepreneurs with resources and mentorship from NBCC early on will help steer their business acumen in a positive direction for years to come. Lack of resources or access to them has historically plagued Black communities in their quests for economic and social mobility, underscoring even more the importance of Famous Amos’ partnership with the nonprofit.

“The National Black Chamber of Commerce is proud to be working with Famous Amos again to support the selected grant recipients and to help usher funds and mentorship to business owners who really need it,” said Charles H. DeBow, III, Executive Director, National Black Chamber of Commerce. “Our mission is to economically empower and sustain African American communities through entrepreneurship and one of the keyways of enacting our ongoing vision of Black business growth and development is achieved through programs like the Ingredients for Success initiative. This program removes challenging barriers, and its timing couldn’t have been better since the economy of our country is still stabilizing after an unprecedented past few years.”

The grant applications were judged by some of the nation’s foremost Black business leaders including Roby Mercharles, Vice President of Partnerships at The American Dream Fund & Marketplace; Mandy Bowman, CEO of Black Wall Street; Nancey Harris & Tracy Green, CEOs of Vontelle, LLC; and Steve Canal, CEO of Flourish.

Eligible businesses had to be at a minimum 90% Black-owned and in operation for five years or less at the time of application. For more information on the program, please visit

About Famous Amos

The Famous Amos story began in 1975 at a bakery on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Inspired by a family recipe, the founder Wally Amos perfected the ultimate chocolate chip cookie. He used only the best ingredients to make his bite-size cookies. This delicious homemade signature helped them gain fame just by word of mouth. From there, the Famous Amos story becomes a Hollywood success story. Iconic musicians and other Hollywood celebrities began singing the praises of delicious tiny cookies from the small bakery on Sunset.

This was just the beginning of the Famous Amos story. It was always a core belief of Wally Amos that you make a tastier cookie if you use high-quality ingredients. While this has never changed, what customers looked for in a cookie did. They wanted fewer ingredients and internationally inspired recipes. So, we set out to find the ingredients from the most renowned places in the world and bring the bite-size cookies back to once again being Famous. That brings us to today, and we hope you enjoy our new Famous Amos Wonder From The World™.

About Ferrero

The Ferrero Group brings joy to people around the world with beloved treats including Kinder, Nutella, Ferrero Rocher and Tic Tac. Ferrero Group is one of the world’s largest sweet-packaged food companies, with over 35 iconic brands sold in more than 170 countries. More than 35,000 “Ferrerians” are committed to helping people celebrate life's special moments with high-quality products. Commitment to the planet and communities in which we operate are at the heart of Ferrero Group’s family culture. Our programs and partnerships ensure our work is environmentally sustainable and beneficial to local communities.

Ferrero entered the North American market in 1969 and has grown to more than 4,400 employees in 12 plants and warehouses, and eight offices in North America across the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. It has expanded its presence and portfolio with the addition of iconic brands such as Butterfinger®, CRUNCH®, Keebler®, Famous Amos®, Mother’s Cookies, and other distinctive cookie and chocolate brands. Follow @FerreroNACorp on Twitter and Instagram.

National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC):

The NBCC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of African American communities. 140 affiliated chapters are locally based throughout the nation as well as international affiliate chapters based in Bahamas, Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, France, Botswana, Cameroon, and Jamaica and businesses as well as individuals who may have chosen to be direct members with the national office. In essence, the NBCC is on the leading edge of educating and training Black communities on the need to participate vigorously in this great capitalistic society known as America.

The NBCC reaches 100,000 Black-owned businesses. There are 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in the United States. Black businesses account for over $138 billion in revenue each year, according to the US Bureau of Census. The National Black Chamber of Commerce® is dedicated to economically empowering and sustaining African American communities through entrepreneurship and capitalistic activity within the United States.