Former music executive opens bodega in the Bronx

For some in the South Bronx, Lenny Jones was not expected to return to the neighborhood. A former music executive who once collaborated on records with names like 50 Cent to Puff Daddy, Tyrese, and the late DMX may not have seemed like the kind of person who would return to his community to open his own business.

But for Jones, it was something he always knew he wanted to do.

"It was an idea that me and my brothers were kicking around for a while and we just decided there’s no time like the present," says Jones, who grew up just a few blocks from his new business, Black Bodega, located at 231 E. 167th Street.

When Jones was younger, he used to frequent a local bodega owned by a woman named "Miss Patricia." He would watch as she gave away free food to people who couldn't afford it and extend credit lines for those needing to buy essential goods. Jones says he was inspired to do the same thing, on the same streets, for the same people.

"Sometimes you get to see the effects in real-time of the people that you help," Jones said. "They can come back and say 'Man you’ve done something to change my life.' We’re here and born and raised in this community."

Black Bodega opened its doors in February. It sits in the middle of the South Bronx. Lenny is now here every day serving up food and helping out longtime friends.

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