About Our Founder

Shantelle Patton: The Visionary Behind That Brown Bag Minority Business Directory

Shantelle Patton is a dynamic leader and advocate for minority-owned businesses in Western New York. As the co-founder of The Dopeness Project, an artist development company, she has proven herself to be a passionate entrepreneur and changemaker. Shantelle's commitment to empowering others is evident through her involvement in various organizations and programs.

A graduate of the 2017 Open Buffalo Emerging Leaders program and the 2018 UB Citizens Planning School, Shantelle has continually sought to expand her knowledge and skills. She is a member of the Summer 2022 Healing Cohort of the IC Success Business Accelerator, the EForever Entrepreneurship program, and the UB Cultivator program demonstrating her dedication to personal growth and development.

Shantelle's influence extends beyond her own business endeavors. She proudly serves on the boards of the WNY Urban Arts Collective and The Foundry Buffalo, organizations that promote creativity and innovation in the community. Additionally, she holds the esteemed position of president of the Urban Chamber of Commerce (Buffalo), where she effectively advocates for the needs and interests of minority-owned businesses.

In 2018, Shantelle penned Buffalo's Minority Business Directory, known as 'That Brown Bag.' As the founder and CEO of this impactful resource, she has tirelessly worked to connect minority business owners with the tools and resources they need to succeed. Her directory serves as a valuable asset for consumers looking to support Black-owned businesses and has significantly increased visibility for these enterprises in Western New York.

Shantelle's remarkable efforts have not gone unnoticed. She has been recognized as a 2022 and 2023 Buffalo Business First 100 Power Business Leader of Color, highlighting her influential role in the business community. In addition, she has been nominated for a 2023 Athena Award and received a 2023 IDEA Award, solidifying her position as an exceptional leader and innovator.

Beyond her involvement in the business world, Shantelle's advocacy work extends to various community initiatives focused on promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is a repeat panelist for the Success + Me Youth Summit and serves as a teaching artist in the Say Yes Community Schools Saturday Academy, actively contributing to the education and empowerment of young people.

Overall, Shantelle Patton is an inspirational force for change and progress. Through her dedication and passion, she has created a more equitable and inclusive business community in Western New York. Her unwavering commitment to minority-owned businesses and her invaluable contributions to the Buffalo community make her an exceptional leader and advocate.