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    Meet Jonathan Forbes: Founder of X Marks The Spot

    In celebration of Black History Month, Fig is partnering with Tyrone Miller, CEO of Lancaster Works, for a special four-part series as he shines a spotlight on successful Black entrepreneurs in Lancaster by sharing their stories.

     


     

    Tyrone Miller, CEO of Lancaster Works

    Happy Black History Month, Fig readers! I’m Tyrone Miller, the CEO of Lancaster County’s first and only Social Enterprise B Corporation staffing agency, which happens to be Black-owned. I started Lancaster Works to remove barriers to employment by providing our diverse population equitable access to the support and resources required to establish a truly inclusive economy that works for everyone. As I go about my work, I thought about how could I do something to acknowledge the contributions other Black business owners are making to our local economy. My friends at Fig magazine have graciously offered their platform as a way for me to publicly celebrate a few of Lancaster’s courageous Black Entrepreneurs. My heartfelt thanks go out to Fig. With that said, let’s celebrate!


    Chef Jonathan Forbes is a native of Hartford, Connecticut and transplanted to the Central Pennsylvania in 1990. The son of Reverend Roland P. Forbes Jr., Jonathan was raised to believe that he could become whatever he wanted to be in life. At a very early age he witnessed the magic that was performed in his mother’s kitchen. Watching her prepare amazing meals that everyone raved about ignited his passion for the culinary arts. Paired with the unshakable faith instilled by his father, Jonathan realized his life’s passion early.

     

    However, his dream was a bit delayed, as other responsibilities compelled him to accept a job in the customer service industry. After a short time in that position, he decided to fulfill his calling, spending more time in kitchens and developing his craft. He began his journey in the culinary industry by serving bar food as a general cook for a small private club.  Jonathan’s culinary career heated up as his talents landed him in a five-star dining establishment at one of the premier Platinum Clubs in North America. However fulfilling, his desire for more decision-making power and creativity in the kitchen set him on a path to entrepreneurship. He developed and launched his first catering company, Xecutive Decision Catering LLC.

     

    Starting the catering company was a natural transition for him after growing up cooking for a large family and also helping in the kitchen of his father’s church where he fed community meals to the less fortunate and those who congregated after the afternoon church service.

     

    With encouragement from his friends and family, he realized he could fill a void for quality upscale soul food in the area along with his catering business. His brick-and-mortar location, called X Marks The Spot, opened in Lancaster City in 2022. Jonathan attributes the name of his business to the fairy tales and movies where ‘X’ always marked the location of a valuable treasure.

     

    As a business owner, he has had to overcome numerous pitfalls and moments of frustration, and there were many days where he felt he had to run to keep up with the demands although he knew his business was barely able to walk. Having learned to move at a balanced pace, he sees business ownership as a great and rewarding journey.

     

    For Jonathan, being a small business owner means your job never stops. You have to be and represent all aspects of your brand from janitor to CEO and every other position. His advice to would-be entrepreneurs is: Never stop dreaming. Never stop hustling. Never give up. Your dream and vision are as big as you allow them to be.

     

    Try Jonathan’s delicious soul food in Southern Market at 100 South Queen Street in Lancaster City.