Grant, who attended the Culinary Institute of America and the American Institute of Baking, is the extension of an overly successful trend. On Tuesday, the U.S. Census Bureau released figures that showed black-owned businesses in metro Atlanta grew 99 percent between 2002 and 2007.
The numbers were taken from the "Survey of Business Owners: Black-Owned Businesses: 2007," which is compiled every five years, and found metro Atlanta recorded more than 127,000 black-owned businesses in 2007, up from 64,000 in 2002.
That exceeded national figures that showed a 60.5-percent increase for black business ownership over the same period. Georgia had the second-highest number of black-owned businesses among states, trailing only New York, with more than 183,000 black-owned businesses, or 9.6 percent of the national total.
Local leaders said black business people come to Atlanta because of the city's strong black middle class, support among other black entrepreneurs and black colleges and universities.
"There are really a lot of proactive efforts to engage small businesses and entrepreneurship here," said Nancy Flake Johnson, president and chief executive officer of the Atlanta Urban League. "The political climate is supportive."
Groups such as the Urban League, the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council, Atlanta Metro Black Chamber of Commerce and Atlanta Business League have assisted these efforts.
Randy Hazelton, co-owner of Cafe Circa and The Reserve on Edgewood Avenue, said practical reasons might be at work in black business owners favoring Atlanta. He moved from Philadelphia, where a liquor license could cost $250,000; in Atlanta, it's between $8,000 and $15,000.
"You can come down here and do a lot more with a lot less," Hazelton said.