Meet Conroy Blake, serial entrepreneur and owner of New Orleans latest culinary flair 14 Parishes. Born in Spanish town, Jamaica and having just moved to the city just over a year ago, Conroy is already making an impact. One of the city's best places to eat, Conroy also offers his expertise and advice to young black entrepreneurs in NOLA. 14 Parishes has some of the best jerk chicken in the Creole Rich City as well as a new venue space for events that attracts different demographics.
BMWB: Why did you decided to let the beard grow?
Conroy: I have always had a goatee, but about 3 years ago I wanted to see what I would look like with a full beard. I let it grow in and have not shaved it since.
BMWB: What is your beard care regime?
Conroy: None really! It's mostly natural. I have never had to do much as I always had a full beard. I comb it daily, and lately I started to shave my head which has cause me to focus more on the only place I seem to grow hair and enjoy it. I trim my beard once a week and line it. I don't like my beard to be bushy, so I put a bit of grooming time in to making sure it's always 100.
BMWB: What are your hobbies?
Conroy: I love to create with my hands or repair. To see something broken and to be able to use my hands to bring it back to life brings me a level of completeness words can't explain. I love the rumble of a well tune car and the speed of it. "I LOVE CARS!"
BMWB: What organizations are you a part of?
Conroy: Reach Out NOLA and Free Verse are both very dear to me. I remember when I first started out as a young entrepreneur. I didn't have a lot of options to achieve the goals set and I remember thinking that I should just quit or give up. But for me, quitting was not even an option. Jamaica is a tough place and Jamaicans are very strong and prideful people, with a strong focus on only survival. So I push on and I created "Free Verse," which is a platform for young entrepreneurs to come and get resources, information and guidance on their next step. After moving to New Orleans a year ago, I met these two amazing young ladies with Reach Out NOLA. The have similar desires to help our community. I've also partnered up with them and we have been working with to help guide more or our young black youth to becoming strong well rounded entrepreneurs.
BMWB: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Conroy: I am a simple person, very down to earth and open. I don't require much nor do I want for much besides good health, happiness, and security. My need to be a better father to my kids, a better man, and a better leader are some of the things that drive me forward daily.
BMWB: What are you most proud of?
Conroy: I am most proud of my two boys and my baby girl.
BMWB: What do you feel about the social climate of black men in America?
Conroy: We don't own enough. We have been programmed by our parents and grandparents to be good workers but not owners. There is not enough of us doing our part to be business owners, property owners - and we have to change that. It's a must.
BMWB: What is your greatest strength?
Conroy: My ability to never accept failure.
BMWB: Tell us your top 5 things on your bucket list
- Help my kids achieve their goals
- Take a trip around the world
- Buy an old fire house
- Be able to one day give my mom and pops a trip around the world
- I would like to build a small community of container homes
- I know you said 5 BUT I have to add buying a black Porsche (side bucket list LOL)