Small business helps community during coronavirus quarantine

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IRVINGTON, NJ — The unsung heroes of Irvington are finding various ways of helping others in this time of need. The deadly coronavirus outbreak has left more than 10,000 Essex County residents jobless and struggling to make ends meet while still under strict quarantine orders. Luckily, one couple has chosen to help through their catering business.

Fatinah Coleman and her husband, chef Roscoe Coleman, own Chef Roscoe’s RMT Buffet Catering, located at 1379 Springfield Ave. in Irvington. Fatinah Coleman called her husband an unsung hero throughout this whole ordeal.

“During the pandemic, chef Roscoe has used his resources to offer free meals to Irvington’s senior citizens, police officers and firefighters,” Fatinah Coleman said on May 3. “He has worked with foundations to provide safe, individually packaged meals for hospital front-line workers.

“I believe there are many black small business owners doing everything they can with limited resources to help during this pandemic,” she continued. “Roscoe is humble and doesn’t want to be singled out, but, as his wife, I believe it is admirable that he has taken the initiative to provide support for the community during a time when his business has also been impacted by COVID-19.”

The Colemans established their business in 2008 and obtained an SBA loan in 2014 to open up a commercial kitchen and event space, specializing in off-premise catering for government and business entities, as well as individuals hosting parties and events.

Fatinah Coleman reflected upon the ups and downs of owning a small, black-owned business.

“In starting any business, there is sacrifice and challenges and we are no different as we faced many challenges in starting a new business,” she said. “Fortunately for us, prior to getting this location in Irvington, we grew a client base that helped propel and sustain our business. We were blessed to receive a small business loan, which was highlighted in 2018 by Congressman Donald Payne and the Small Business Association. Each day, we wake up with our goals in mind. Those goals are providing clients with the highest level of service and great tasting food, supporting the community we do business in and offering job opportunities for Irvington residents.”

Humbled to be placed in the position of helping the community during the coronavirus pandemic, the Colemans continue to service the community through their catering business.

“Chef Roscoe’s RMT Buffet Catering is always helping the community, from providing free impromptu sidewalk barbeques, or giving food for National Night Out, or participating in school career days, hosting demos for the seniors at the Irvington Library and being an active member of the Irvington Chamber of Commerce and ISABID,” Fatinah Coleman said. “So, when the pandemic crisis hit, we reacted very much in line with our company’s philosophy of serving the community in which we do business.”

Photos Courtesy of Fatinah Coleman