In 2016, David Cabello took a huge risk. An undergrad student at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania at the time, he left school and decided to bet on himself. “I just knew I wanted to help my people,” Cabello tells EBONY. “My desire wasn’t geared towards restaurants. It wasn’t geared towards any specific type of business. I just wanted to help the Black community.”
That help started with a bookstore in Philadelphia. Cabello noticed that the Black-owned business needed an improvement on its website and technology, so the Philadelphia native learned to build a website through Shopify. “But I had to make some more money,” Cabello says of that transitional period, “So I took the advice of someone who suggested I earn extra income through food delivery.”
Quickly Cabello learned that he could make a considerable amount of money by liaising with these food delivery apps, but it got him questioning how much he could make if he owned his own business. “I was making so much money but I knew with my own company I could create jobs and help other people make this much money.” Cabello knew how to create the platform because of what he created for the bookstore. And he had first-hand experience as a driver, so he was comfortable with the ins-and-outs of the delivery app business. “I knew this could be a huge opportunity,” Cabello asserts. “And when I googled ‘Black-owned food delivery services’, nothing popped up.” For two years Cabello’s idea was in its discovery phase. And in 2019, just months before the COVID-19 pandemic, Black and Mobile was born in The City of Brotherly Love .
“Philadelphia is our number one city and has always been the backbone of our company,” Cabello says. “It’s where we started. It’s how we became successful.” Although Cabello notes that Philadelphia has gotten “a bad reputation by people,” he says Black and Mobile is committed to making sure that people know just how important it is to inspire and connect the Black community, and it’s restaurants, with everyone. “There’s so much potential in this city and we’ve gotten to where we are because of this city believing in our potential.”
A successful run in Philly made it possible for Black and Mobile to expand its services to other cities including Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles. Despite an economic collapse in the Spring of 2020, Cabello says the business continued to receive a ton of support from restaurants, consumers, and drivers. “COVID was good for business because people could only order delivery,” says the young business owner. Black and Mobile was able to weather an otherwise devastating storm and compete with the big players in delivery apps. In fact, Cabello credits that time with helping to put the business on the map. Growth wise, Black and Mobile went from 25,000 in sales in 2019 to over 500,000 in 2020. Even without the “artificial growth” due to COVID, or a true marketing campaign, Cabello says 2021 was a great year.
“We have huge goals today,” Cabello says of the growing business that charges Black restaurant owners a flexible 15 – 20 percent for working with them—roughly half of his competitors. Though Black and Mobile has experienced setbacks as its scaled, the passioinate CEO says he’s taken them all as lessons and blessings.
“I’m always looking for ways to support Black businesses,” Cabello says. “For me it’s a way of life. And that type of commitment and dedication from the start has already put me ahead.”