Building a business is bearing the risks and enjoying the rewards. It is constantly adapting to changes and learning from mistakes to create a focused mindset. Monique Rose, the founder of Milk and Cookies, The Bodega on Main, and The Collab ATL, used this mindset to find her edge in the culinary and content creation industries, and opened all three businesses on Sept. 10, 2022.
Historic Main Street in College Park, Georgia, is home to Rose’s approach to economic development. Her membership-only content creation studio, The Collab ATL, is equipped with the resources an artist needs to create quality content. She contributes to residents’ cultural well-being through her New York-style bodega, offering specialty food, drinks, and vibes at The Bodega. Milk and Cookies is also a one-stop shop for rare, limited-edition snacks.
How did you become an entrepreneur?
I opened my first bar in Milwaukee, [at age] 21-22. I was a bartender by trade and saw how much money is in the industry. I always had a great work ethic and wasn’t shy about working a job and owning a business. When you work hard, there are good consequences to it. I didn’t know this was where I would end up, but when you make other people a lot of money, you realize you can do it for yourself, so that is what happened with me.
Does your background in hospitality contribute to the businesses you run now?
Yes, I believe this. My purpose here is service; whether in a restaurant, retail setting, or business consulting, it is all serving someone. It is not an easy industry to be in because restaurants are not what it looks like. It’s why banks don’t fund it much, and most restaurants fail within the first few months. I tell people all the time to experience being a server. You can do anything if you can conquer that role. Handling money, memorizing the menu, and having personable skills make it the perfect first job for someone entering any industry. So I know it has a lot to do with how I handle my business.
What is the most rewarding part of owning three brick-and-mortar businesses simultaneously?
What I did in College Park is unique. I can impact one community; there are a lot of women-owned businesses in that area and so many Black people on the block. It is an excellent place to be. There is no competition for me; it is more so collaboration. When I’m busy, it’s suitable for the block in case someone has a wait [at one business], they visit the other places. I did the grand opening for these businesses on the same day to see if I could do it. I’ve gotten great feedback and support from everyone. I also employ those in the community in hopes they can use this job as a steppingstone toward their career.