Serving others is part of Pastor Nicholas Grice’s life.
He says following in his grandmother’s footsteps and becoming a church musician put him on the community service path.
“I didn’t really know anything about music. Sometimes I just played the piano,” Grice said.
“I took a few lessons and then my pastor asked me to play the organ. Next thing I know I became a musician and I play every Sunday.”
He became a pastor at 21 and is currently co-pastor of the Greater Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church. He is also a licensed funeral director.
Every Saturday, Grice and members of his congregation distribute food and clothing to those in need.
“It’s what we’re doing for the community, it’s improving what we’re trying to do as far as reaching out and helping others,” he said.
Grice also supports his community as the owner of the Jade Event Center, a place he describes as “a premier upscale venue.”
Located at 3411 North Lindbergh Blvd in St. Ann, the center celebrated its grand opening on Tuesday evening, January 17, 2023. Its features include a 4K TV wall, LED lighting, smoke machines and a fireplace.
Guests have the option of booking The Emerald Room or The Onyx Room for their event.
The Emerald Room accommodates up to 40 guests and rates start at $100 per hour. This includes setting up tables and chairs. Discount for professional custom decor when using the room.
The Onyx Room is a formal room accommodating 60 to 110 guests. The space is adorned with “contemporary and modern flair,” according to Grice. Room rates start at $150 per hour Monday through Friday, including setting up tables and chairs. Professional catering is also available.
All kinds of occasions are welcome at the center, and birthday parties can include a red carpet.
The Emerald Room is often used for weddings and the Onyx Room is set up for a reception. Next month, the center will introduce a $5,500 wedding package that includes the venue, decorations and catering for up to 100 guests.
It provides families planning memorial meals and celebrations of life events with affordable prices to help in times of grief.
“We’re in a great location and a great, safe neighborhood,” he said. “We love the fact that we’ve had so much support [other] Black-owned businesses.”
According to Census Bureau estimates in 2021 Annual company survey (ABS), released in November 2022 and covering the reference year 2020, there were approximately 1.15 million or 19.9% of the employer companies in minority ownership in 2020.
St. Louis, Fayetteville, Georgia, and Albany, New York are the top metropolitan areas for black business, accounting for 10.8 percent, 7.8 percent, and 6.8 percent of all black-owned businesses in the United States, respectively .
In addition, there were an estimated 140,918 Black or African American-owned businesses with $141.1 billion in annual revenues, 1.3 million employees, and approximately $42.2 billion in annual payrolls. About 27.5% or 38,819 of these companies were involved in health and social care.
“The cultural impact is that you find less crime, greater synergy, and all the good things that come when businesses grow and give back to their communities,” said Larry Ivory, President and CEO of the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce. versus bank rate. com
“Unfortunately, there are too many communities, especially black communities, where everyone but black people owns a business,” he adds. This, in turn, contributes to widening existing disparities between white and colored communities.”
The Jade Center is open daily from 2pm to 6pm. To schedule an event or for more information, call (314) 250-9701.