The Largest Black-Owned Businesses In Atlanta

The Largest Black-Owned Businesses In Atlanta

AFRICANGLOBE – The prophetic words uttered by Booker T. Washington just before the dawn of the 20th century have not been muted by the passage of time.

Washington, who was born on a Virginia slave plantation and went on to found the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, famously declared that a man’s level of success is measured by “the obstacles which he has overcome.”

And, as the only Black man permitted to address the 1895 Atlanta Cotton States and International Exposition at Piedmont Park, Washington repeatedly urged freed Blacks to “cast down your bucket where you are,” rather than migrate north with hopes of escaping the discrimination that dampened their entrepreneurial dreams.

Twelve decades later, Washington’s words still resonate around town.

Unless a drastic shift in Census Bureau studies occurs, metro Atlanta will remain a locus for Black business ownership in 2015 and beyond.

The most recent Census “Survey of Business Owners” (SBO) found that the number of Black-owned businesses increased by triple the rate of the national average among all races. The survey ranked Georgia second only to New York among U.S. states with the most Black-owned businesses.

Every five years, Black Enterprise magazine ranks America’s 100 most successful black-owned businesses. Based on the magazine’s research for 2014, metro Atlanta placed eight firms on the list.

Most of those companies are rooted in the construction, contracting and hospitality industries and headquartered in Atlanta. But enterprises based in the suburbs and focused on high-tech innovation figured prominently as well.

Here are the “Elite Eight” Atlanta-area businesses named in Black Enterprise magazine’s list of the 100 largest Black-owned businesses in the US. (In reverse order.)

86) MEM Enterprises 1, Ltd., Smyrna

Founded by intellectual property rights attorney Michael E. Melton, MEM Enterprises owns and manages 20 Taco Bell restaurants and five Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchises.

CEO: Michael E. Melton

Industry: Quick service restaurants

Staff size: 677

Reported Revenue (in millions): $31.212

83) Engineering Design Technologies Inc., Marietta

Founded in 1993, EDT specializes in the comprehensive design and construction of roads and bridges, military facilities, airport infrastructure, collegiate centers, clinics and commercial projects.

CEO: Dr. Anthony Taylor

Industry: Construction, energy, health care, transportation/warehousing

Staff size: 110

Reported Revenue (in millions): $34.000

72) B & S Electric Supply Co., Inc. Atlanta

Founded in 1977, B & S sells, distributes and installs electrical products utilized by Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, MARTA, General Motors Corp., Toyota and Proctor & Gamble.

CEO: Clarence W. Robie

Industry: Electrical equipment supplier

Staff size: 24

Reported Revenue (in millions): $39.107

57) C.D. Moody Construction Co., Inc., Lithonia

Founded in 1988, C.D. Moody has excelled in the construction and contracted facilitation of building and restoring projects including: Underground Atlanta, Turner Field, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and Phillips Arena.

CEO: C. David Moody Jr.

Industry: Contracting and construction management

Staff size: 45

Reported Revenue (in millions): $58.000

36) Jackmont Hospitality, Atlanta

Rooted in the Depression Era food service businesses run by the family of former Atlanta Mayor Maynard H. Jackson Jr., Jackmont provides meals at airports, hospitals, colleges and school systems nationwide. In addition, Jackmont is one of America’s fastest growing TGI Friday’s restaurant franchisees.

CEO: Daniel J. Halpern

Industry: Quick service restaurants, food services

Staff size: 2,100

Reported Revenue (in millions): $94.000

27) Benton – Georgia L.L.C., Douglasville

Founded in 1914, Benton specializes in the installation of liquid, gas and oil pipelines as well as construction of processing stations nationwide. Benton serves industry leaders including: Piedmont Natural Gas, Energen, Markwest and AGL Resources.

CEO: Dale LeFebvre

Industry: Construction materials, equipment supplier

Staff size: 825

Reported Revenue (in millions): $131.000

24) The Gourmet Cos., Atlanta

Founded originally in Charlotte, N.C. in 1975, Gourmet Services partners with major fast food franchises (Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, Planet Smoothie) to source ingredients and provides meals at a growing string of hospitals, municipalities, correctional facilities and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

CEO: Nathaniel R. Goldston lll

Industry: Food services, facilities management, concessions

Staff size: 1,050

Reported Revenue (in millions): $138.000

13) H.J. Russell & Co., Atlanta

Founded in 1952, H.J. Russell is a world-renowned standard bearer for commercial and residential real estate development, general construction and property management. Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, Woodruff Library, History Center, Symphony Hall, Georgia Aquarium and 12 area Target stores bear the marks of H.J. Russell’s expertise.

CEO: Michael B. Russell

Industry: Construction, real estate, and food concessions

Staff size: 1,344

Reported Revenue (in millions): $269.271


By: A. Scott Walton