JOPLIN, Mo. — Joplin is getting recognition for its high percentage of minority owned businesses.
“Nothing like owning your own business, nothing like that,” says Melodee Colbert-Kean, Co-Owner, Me’s Place Soul Food Café

According to the website SmartestDollar.com, Joplin has the 2nd highest ratio of minority owned businesses to minority population share out of all small metro areas in the United States.
Members of the Colbert family in Joplin alone own and operate seven businesses, including Me’s Place Soul Food Cafe on east Broadway.

“To know you have your own source of income, um you’re thankful for all the support you get and the people that come and visit, but there’s nothing like, you know, self ownership, entrepreneurship,” says Colbert-Kean.

Another minority owned business in Joplin is M&M Bistro on Main Street.

Minoo Alvandi owns the restaurant with her husband and says, if you’re going to put in long hours, you might as well be there for your own benefit.

Both are from the middle east and bought their restaurant’s first location from the former owner of Arde’s Villa, himself a minority businessman.

“They have people that are working so hard, working from early morning until the end of the day with my server,” says Alvandi.

“I encourage not only minorities, not only African Americans, I encourage anybody to at least look into entrepreneurship,” says Colbert-Kean.