We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Gates and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nicole, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My business partner Chef Karim Bryant and I live in the Historic community of Overtown in Downtown Miami. One night, wanted to go out for dinner, have drinks and listen to live music. It hit us like a ton of brick that there was no where in our community where we could do that. And it made absolutely no sense at all. So we started creating what is now known as “The GreenHouse.” Lil GreenHouse Grill is a comfy, hip neo-soul restaurant that offers a carefully curated Soul Food menu offering a healthy version of this delicous cuisine without sacrificing tradition or taste.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Nicole Gates has earned ample industry respect as an ethical, hardworking and effective broadcast media specialist, with the unique ability to successfully market to the masses. With over 20 years in broadcast media marketing, the industry has seen Nicole grow from an overnight board operator in her hometown of Columbus, Georgia, to an influential woman making great strides in creating award winning events and concepts that generate revenue for advertisers and now, Ms. Gates adds restaurateur to her list of achievements. Her southern charm and enticing voice earned her on-air shifts from Mornings in Columbus, GA., to News and Public Affairs Director in Charlotte, NC. ; multi-market Middays in Tampa, FL., and Jacksonville, FL and various personality duties in Savannah, GA before finding her passion for consumer marketing, crafting her creative and organizational skills as the Promotions and Marketing Director for radio formats including Rhythmic, Urban AC, and Adult Contemporary, in which she served South Florida for six years as Promotions Director of Miami powerhouse 101.5 LITE FM. Nicole received her education at Columbus State University, majoring in Communications with an emphasis in Marketing. Her passion for the industry allowed her to dive into the river of TV hosting, broadcast and print journalism, and motivational speaking, focusing on the ever assuming power of the Young Professional Female. Nicole achieved South Florida success as the Director of Business Development at Circle of One Marketing under the direction of marketing trend-setter Suzan McDowell, and as Regional Branch Manager for European wine distributor PRP Wine International, and is currently President of the effective and successful Overtown Media, an integrated media marketing agency. In 2017, Nicole and business partner Chef Karim Bryant launched Lil Greenhouse Grill in Downtown Miami, a hip, neo-soul, healthier alternative for soul food that has drawn global recognition and promotional partnerships with brands like Weight Watchers and Special Olympics. With coverage in national media like Ebony.com and CBS This Morning, Chef Bryant’s carefully cultured and curated soul inspired menu has drawn in celebrities from all platforms including Michael Eric Dyson, Congressman John Lewis, and most recently Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey. Nicole and her partner Chef Karim Bryant were also recognized by ESPN and The Undefeated as a RISE Champion Black Business to represent Miami alongside The Miami Heat during the 2020 NBA Finals. Nicole is an active member of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce and a proud member of the Miami-Dade Women’s Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Gates was nominated as a 2010 Outstanding Volunteer for Miami-Dade County Public Schools, in 2011 selected as one of Legacy Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 South Florida Leaders of Today and Tomorrow, and in 2016 was chosen again by Legacy Magazine and the Miami Herald as one of South Florida’s 25 Most Influential in Business and Industry. Her 2019 affiliation with FABULOUS PRO’S earned her Congressional Recognition from Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, and in 2020 selected by the Miami-Dade Black Affairs Advisory Board as a “Woman of Substance” celebrating South Florida Black Excellence. Nicole was named one of South Florida’s 50 Most Powerful in Business and Industry by Legacy / MIA Magazine, and most recently honored by the Miami Dade Women’s Chamber of Commerce with the 2020 Thelma Gibson Award. Her proudest accomplishment: being Mom to 7 year old Karter.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For sure!!!! We would first coffee at Groovin Bean, have a delicious brunch of Chicken and Waffles and Shrimp and Grits, with unlimited Grapefruit Mimosas at Lil GreenHouse Grill. Followed by dinner at the sexy Bar One on Miami Beach. The nitcap…a fresh air party Miami style at The Urban in Overtown, before laying our heads down in the homey comfort of The Copper Door B &B!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Lil GreenHouse Grill CEO and Executive Chef, Chef Karim Bryant! My partner in everything faqbulous and successful. Chef Karim Bryant is a 25 year culinary professional who used his upbringing in the Historic Overtown Community as motivation to craft his skills in the restaurant industry. Under the direction of legendary restaurateurs such as Ralph Pagano, Chef Bryant has held long term engagements at 5-star favorites such as Capital Grill, Prime 112, and STK. Chef Bryant has served as Executive Chef for luxury brands The Butcher Shop and BLT Trump Doral.

Website: www. LilGreenHouseGrill.com

Instagram: Lil GreenHouse Grill

Facebook: Lil GreenHouse Grill

Yelp: Lil GreenHouse Grill

Image Credits
Photo Credit: Winshell Gabriel wings photo credit :The Hungry Black Man

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