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Monday, February 23, 2015

WEEK FOUR - African American History Month - MACK & DELSIA BOND

TOP:  Mr. & Mrs. Mack and Delsia Bond
BOTTOM:  MAMA BOND with horse for children - Block Party2000 W. Clarke
City Center Milwaukee | DAY 175 | African American Week calls for individual and group honorees to represent Neighborhood and Census Tract for Historic Presence 2015.  

Our first honoree is a business - Bond Foods.

During SATURDAY TALK, February 21, 2015 Milwaukee Professionals Association LLC announced the names of the proprietors - Mack & Delsia Bond, 35 years of Bond Foods 
(2 years on N. 11th Street & 33 years on 20th & Clarke).

BOND FOODS                   1962-1995          33 years
2000 W. Clarke Street
Milwaukee, WI  53206

Mack and Delsia Bond were African American Entrepreneurs with a strong WORK lineage from the State of Tennessee.  Their parents worked in Agriculture.  Mack Bond’s father and mother were hard-working and industrious farmers.  His father’s father was a freed slave. Mack’s father own his farm and tilled the soil with vegetables and raised livestock that fed his family of 13 – 8 children and 3 grandchildren.

After graduating from Lane College, Jackson, Tennessee; Mack Bond moved to Milwaukee where he worked at AO Smith (2nd shift), was a realtor for United Realty and he and his wife, Delsa Bond (who is also from Tennessee), ran their neighborhood grocery stores.  They first opened a grocery store on 11th Street.  In 1962, they opened BOND Foods at 2000 W. Clarke.

This was where they made their mark in the Amani Neighborhood.  It is also where they trained their 6 children before and after school to be workers in the business of the family.  It was also where Delsia Bond became “Mama Bond” by the People in the neighborhood for her outreach and help for the neighborhood.  The Bond’s administration and outreach was daily and focused on cleanliness of the area outside and inside of the store - seeing that the stock was available and on the shelves.  Mama Bond held annual block parties, sold fresh barbeque and ribs outside in their yard adjacent to the store and created a hot and cold deli for the store.  Bond Foods was known for hot cooked wings, pork chops, soul dinners and a signature Banana Pudding.

MACK & DELSIA BOND, Proprietor   Page 2
Mama Bond was known to have a specialty event where she either bought or roasted a “WHOLE PIG” for sell during the summer.  She also provided live horses for riding for the children during the block parties.

The store hours were:          6am – 10:00am at first.
The extended hours were:   6am – 12 Midnight.

Comments by Sherri
My mom would start a grill as early at as 8am in the morning and put on a slab of ribs and some chicken wing on the grill.  She would feed people that were coming in the store to buy grocery. She would send them home with a dinner, my mom love to cook (amazing women).
My mother and father were respected in the neighborhood for the way they ran their store and the way they treated the customers.

Mama would extend credit to families to tide them until their checks came.   “The women of the neighborhood would come throughout the month and on the first of the month they would come and pay their bill. I can’t remember when there was a time when someone did not pay. The neighborhood supported Bond’s Grocery and the proprietors of the Bond Foods supported the neighborhood.

You know the statement it takes a village to raise a child --- I will turn that statement around … it took a neighborhood to keep proprietor Mack and Delsia Bond on the corner of 20th Clarke and it took Mack and Delsia Bond, plus daughters, to take care of the neighborhood.

My mother, loved children and the 20th Street neighborhood. 

Comments Deon – 4th Daughter
Because of my parents’ strong work ethics, I can see why I have such a passion in my own business and drive for standards for my children.

MACK & DELSIA BOND, Proprietor   Page 3
Comments Vernisha – Granddaughter
So, I got up the nerve to asked her about the free block parties; Granny, why did you do all of this?! Why don't you charge money?!  She gave an answer I'll never forget. "Baby, this is what I like to do, make folks happy".

Mama Bond, Granny as I affectionately called her, was not one for drawn out speeches. I don’t remember her being a woman of many words. But she always put things in a way that I understood exactly what she meant. Even at a young age, I understood that our family's legacy was built on being the helping hand. Sure, we sold goods in a store that my grandfather owned, but we also left an imprint on the community. That's what Bond Foods store was all about, community, Building up strong families and simply put, making 'folks' happy.

Entrepreneur footsteps
For many years, Maxine, the 3rd daughter, fulfilled the administration leadership for her parents.

Sherri owns a Transitional Living Center and Transportation Service in the Milwaukee area.  Deon owns a Commercial Cleaning business. There are 5 sisters, they all have been entrepreneurial focused – worked in business and/or owned a business.
Clockwise:  Marie Stennis, Ruth Bond and Vernisha Taylor, Sherri Bond, Ruth Bond, Sade Stennis, CFO Martin Matson, Vernisha Taylor, Marie Stennis, Sherrie Bond, Sade Stennis, The Bonds, Vernisha

Bonds children are:  Marie Stennis, Ruth Bond, Maxine Bond, Michael Bond, Deon Bond and Sherri Bond.

We take note of MACK & DELSIA BOND, pioneer spirit, and their children for keeping hope alive, promoting economics in the neighborhood and entrepreneurship that called for customer service.   They were vetted by their customers then and today their children are reminded by those who remember how “special” Mr. & Mrs. Bond were to the Amani Neighborhood.  They left a legacy that we pay tribute today during African American History Month.

Between the two grocery stores, Mack & Delsia Bond were in the food-grocery business for 35 years.

It is also important to note that Mama Bond had a van Transportation service and was one of the first licensed for the city of Milwaukee.

Click photo to Enlarge
Urban Garden
The Bond's Family is looking at options of remembering their parents.  One is converting the land at 20th & Clarke into an Urban Landmark Garden as a tribute to their parents and their efforts in the Amani Neighborhood.
A Garden Idea 
Click photo to Enlarge
February 21, 2015

Milwaukee Professionals Association LLC

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