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Black-Owned Businesses in Greater Rochester: Morgan’s Cereal Bar

Q&A with Cheria Anderson, owner of Morgan’s Cereal Bar

February 2021

Cheria Anderson is the owner of Morgan’s Cereal Bar, located at 320 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14604. The restaurant opened in 2019 and serves hot and cold cereals with various toppings, along with other breakfast items. For more information, please visit the Morgan’s Cereal Bar website. To stay connected with Morgan’s Cereal Bar about all their new and upcoming events, you can text “Add me to the community” to 585.380.3627.

A cereal bar is such a unique and fun idea for a restaurant. How did you come up with the concept?

As a young child I watched my mother as she was the owner of a very successful daycare center in the City of Rochester. I always knew I wanted to be a business owner, but at the time I did not know what my business would be until while traveling to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. I stumbled upon a cereal bar, and I thought the concept was so amazing due to the fact I love cereal. At that moment I knew I wanted to bring this concept to my community. I just did not know how or when. After hours of research and years of saving and planning, I decided to open Morgan’s Cereal Bar in 2019.

What’s the most important lesson you have learned as a business owner?

The most important lesson I have learned as a business owner is that having excellent credit is very important in being successful in business. Many people support and encourage you to open a business, but they do not inform you that good credit will get you far.

What hurdles (including/aside from the pandemic) have you faced and how did you overcome them?

The biggest hurdle I experienced were the racist and intimidation comments sent to me on the business’s Facebook page. At one point my mother told me to stop looking at the direct messages and not respond to the comments. The other major hurdle I have encountered was that after being in business for six months, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. I had to quickly pivot to create new menu items, delivery platforms, furlough staff, reduce purchases, and restructure the business.

Do you have any mentors or sources of inspiration and guidance that have helped along the way?

Business owners have provided essential guidance and knowledge during this entrepreneurial journey. They include Arlene Adams, William Judge, and Jarrett Felton. My sources of inspiration for my business are my grandmother, Annie Morgan; my mother, Dr. Gloria Morgan; and my goddaughter, Morgan Campbell.

What one piece of advice you’d like to share with other business owners or aspiring business owners, particularly Black people and/or women looking to start their own businesses?

The one piece of advice I share is, “If God gave you a vision or an idea, do not allow anyone to change, hinder, or shift that idea; pursue and fulfill the idea or vision that was given to you by God.“