Village Market proponent to headline Stake ‘n Steak
By Myra Bean
Dr. Lakeysha Hallmon is a strong believer that “it takes a village.” She used that mantra to start her business which is helping other businesses be successful
Hallmon, formerly of Batesville, will tell everyone about Village Market ATL as the keynote speaker at the Boys and Girls Club Stake and Steak Dinner, Thursday, March 22.
“I can’t wait to talk,” Hallmon said. “It tickles me to death because I am just me. People start putting you on this pedestal. Really? I am Lakeysha Hallmon from Seven Road.
“What I really want to talk about is the passion of Dennis Hoskins, passion of people from Batesville who pushed me to be great,” she added.
As a former member of the Boys and Girls Club, Hallmon has first hand experience how founder Dennis Hoskins and other workers Candace Fondren and Rhonda Leland talked success over her life. She was the first Student-of-the-Year for the Batesville Boys and Girls Club and went to the state convention in Biloxi. She was one of the first members when the Boys and Girls Club was located at the old Head Start Center on Martinez.
Village Market is a program that Hallmon and her team of five women are all about community sustainability. They hold clinics to help small businesses, primarily black-owned businesses.
Their last market was Feb. 24 and 80 businesses were represented. Over 3,000 people came to the market and blocked traffic. At the market, the businesses showcase their products and sell them and circulated over $150,000 in five hours.
Most of her clients, about 70 percent, are from Atlanta, but she does have customers from California, Chicago and New York.
Hallmon attend undergrad at Tougaloo and moved back to Marks to teach at M.S. Palmer for five years. She obtained a masters degree from the University of Mississippi and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from Liberty University.
During that time, she had the business YGB (Young Gifted and Black). She does work with businesses of other ethnicities but black-owned businesses are her passion.
Hallmon explained why she stepped out and tried to bring her race of people together.
“I know the importance of creating community/a village,” Hallmon said. “For me, as a community we needed to be revitalized. We needed to remember our excellence.
“With the death of so many black boys and men, we have to be presented with hope,” she added. “Equally, many of my friends needed a space to bring exposure to their businesses. I knew I could do that in a way that welcomed health, love and circulation within our community.
Hallmon moved to Atlanta seven years ago and started the Village Market two years ago. She started with 30 businesses and had 500 customers at the first event.
“I am just very grateful to be home,” she said. “I have spoken all over to large crowds. There is nothing more valuable to me than coming back home to speak. It’s such a blessing to me. It’s one of the coolest things I have done for me and I have been able to do a lot.
“It doesn’t matter what calls you get from all over the world or what celebrities you sit next to, nothing matters more than to be able to talk and my grandmothers can see.”
Her mother died six years ago and she calls herself a grandmama’s baby to Bobbie Smith of Marks. Her other grandmother is Josephine Hallmon of Batesville.
“My grandmother is proud,” Hallmon said. “She thinks it’s Oprah coming to Batesville.”
The Stake and Steak will be held in the Batesville Civic Center starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $55 each and tables for eight are $440. For tickets, visit the club at 630 Highway 51 South or call the Club at (662) 578-7309 or (662) 563-1392.