A sign perched on a shelf at Valour Cobbins’ Bread and Butter Shoppe reads, “If you cook, they will come.” 

How else to explain a booming business in the center of downtown Greenwood, a business that was supposed to be the resurrection of a winery that had closed?

“God had other plans … a different route for me,” said Cobbins, as she prepared a chicken salad sandwich for a customer. “This used to be The Winery at Williams Landing. I saw this wonderful space and that a kitchen had been added. However, seeing as how the whole wine making process takes quite a bit of time, I thought, you know I really love cooking. Why not make good, nutritional food and make money too while I get this winery going?”

Plot twist. 

Her love for cooking – gourmet cooking at that – and unexpected financial support started Cobbins on a path that would spotlight her culinary talents. 

“If you cook, they will come.”

And come they do.

On a whim, Cobbins says she applied for a grant she spotted while surfing Facebook. 

“I thought, why not? The process was simple enough.” 

Her whim turned into reality when Cobbins learned she had been chosen to receive a $5,000 Coalition to Back Black Businesses (CBBB) grant, along with a business coach. Optimum, along with parent company Altice USA, broadband communications and video services providers, in partnership with CBBB, also awarded Cobbins a $25,000 enhancement grant that “provides the Black business community with resources, funds, and mentorship opportunities.” 

“I’m telling you; it was a blessing. The grants were amazing, something we desperately needed. The pandemic almost put us under.”

“I officially opened in April of 2021. By September, the business was so busy, the winery was put on the back burner. It’s still on the back burner, but not out of the picture,” she said, heading outside to the rear of her shop with a few customers in tow to show off her garden.

“I love gardening too. And a lot of what I cook with, I grow right here in my little garden,” she says, while tending to her tomato plants. 

Located at intersection of Howard Street and Wright Place, the Bread and Butter Shoppe offers a variety of gourmet sandwiches, salads, wraps, specialty teas and smoothies, and fresh juices.

“I’m doing this. Me. And I love it … this … cooking for people,” Cobbins said, adding, “I call myself a ‘solopreneur.'” 

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