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Local Entreprenuer honors her murdered sister’s birthday with the gift of starting her own business and naming it after her: Chiquita Miracle Works & Snack Shack

Over the past months, I have learned that life will place people in your life to assist you on your path to healing. At the fork in the road we have the opportunity to network with amazing souls, these life connections can be personal or professional or maybe both.

Last month while on my path to healing, I was introduced to Danita Tate, CEO of Chiquita’s Miracle Works, by Simone O. Higginbotham, Founder, Editor In Chief/ Publisher-of ReBirth Magazine in Baton Rouge https://rebirthmagazine.com/. And her story would pull me out of my dark cave of depression. It was as if life set us up, and God planned our meeting to every small detail while connecting me with like-minded women entrepreneurs across the state of Louisiana..

I was in need of business assistance and guidance for an important meeting and after searching social media for a media company that would grant me this favor with nothing in return. I was told No three times, and I was about to give up when the words ”ReBirth” stared back at me, telling me to take one more chance and after we spoke, Simone sent me the information I needed and wished me the best with my meeting.

We started to network on a frequent base, and she asked me if I would like to cover Danita’s business. I accepted and would find out that like me, Danita was the older sibling of a murder victim, her sister Chiquita Tate whom she named her business, Chiquita Miracle Works in honor of her.

Danita had always been close with her sister, Chiquita and very proud of her accomplishments. Chiquita Tate was the family’s shining star, a high-profile attorney who believed that the justice system always prevails in the court of law. The 34-year-old attorney went into business for herself, starting the Tate Law Firm, LLC, where her motto was

“We enthusiastically and aggressively fight for the needs and rights of our clients.” 

She was known for her bigger personality than life, expert knowledge of the judicial system and a smile that lit up the room, and her devotion to family. She was described as a courtroom slayer and her lavished fashion sense, especially her love for expensive fabulous shoes.

“She was a fool in the courtroom. She slayed a lot of dudes in the courtroom. I know you were watchin’ over us from the sky. And I shouldn’t question God, but we just want to know why. Did you take a good lady and leave us with the blues. But I guess you wanted that good lady up there with you.”

Her husband murdered Chiquita in her office on the day Danita who worked as her legal secretary called in ill. Her husband went to her office with dinner and ultimately stabbing her to death on Friday, Feb. 20, 2009.

https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/article_fa7a2ec3-cc30-5263-93d9-9a78ba3075b8.html

I had the opportunity to speak with Danita about the problematic, gut-wrenching loss of her sister, how she recovered–and her road to entrepreneurship. Starting a business is, by its very nature, a challenging endeavor, and achieving entrepreneurial success under any circumstances is a great accomplishment. But to start up a business and have more obstacles to overcome than applying for funding. Danita was able to defy childhood hardships and the horrific tragedy of losing her beautiful sister by the hands of the man who promised to love her.

https://www.nbcnews.com/dateline/video/remembering-chiquita-tate-486423107929

When you lose someone, there is so little to hold onto physically, but Danita has some comfort in forging a new venture in her sister’s memory, and her name.

https://truecrimedaily.com/2018/01/25/murder-by-the-mississippi-star-lawyer-chiquita-tate-brutally-killed-in-her-office/

Her words will leave you inspired and ready to overcome life’s trials and tribulations!

Danita Tate, CEO of Chiquita Miracle Works

  • Where did you get the idea for cleaning supplies? Did you create the product or did buy into a franchise? I thought the bottles contained snowball syrup lol.

In October of last year, it was coming up to my late sister Chiquita Tate’s birthday. I asked God to give me something different to do in her honor, and he told me to sale the cleaning supplies I had recently created. I then sought confirmation three times, and each time I got the same response On her birthday, October 15th, I launched Chiquita’s Miracle Works. And the supplies do perform miracles.

My aunt thought it was a drink too.

Chiquita Tate
  • What kind of businesses do you serve, sell to? Can the general public buy your product, or is it a commercial product? If public, where can we buy it?

We sell to salons, barber shops, daycares, and restaurants. Most of my products can found in homes for general cleaning and deodorizing.

Products can be purchased from my storefront at 446 N Acadian Thrwy in Baton Rouge. We are currently working on shipping logistics and building our website. I have shipped outside of Baton Rouge in the past, but I am working on making it a major piece of the business.

  • How do you manage to run two businesses? Or is it three, do you have a janitorial company as well?

I am currently running three businesses Chiquita’s Blessed Hands (Janitorial Service), Chiquita’s Snack Shack, and Chiquita’s Miracle works It gets stressful sometimes, but I manage to put my best foot forward. And keep it moving.

  • Do you have a family?

Yes, I have family, but I run it alone.

  • What type of cuisine does she sell at the Snack Shack? Do you cater? Do any NOLA events?

Chiquita’s Snack Shack provides Short Order Fast Foods. I haven’t done any catering, but if the opportunity arises, I will act on it. I attended one event in NOLA and currently seeing more to attend.

I can be reached at chiquitasmiracleworks@gmail.com, and the website is coming soon.

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  • My heart goes out to you on the tragic loss of your sister. She accomplished career heights that some only dream of and for you to honor her in the manner of becoming a SuperWoman entrepreneur and naming your business after she is inspirational. Were you in business at the time of her death?

Thanks for your condolences in reference to my sister. At the time of my sister’s death, I was her Assistant/Secretary. A few months after she was murdered, I decided to buy a franchise with Jani King and named it Chiquita’s Blessed Hands. In July of 2009, other business October 2018 Chiquita’s Miracle Works and Chiquita’s Snack Shack November 2018.

  • Sadly, so many of us can relate to your pain, your loss; I’m actually in that number. When my brother was killed months after Katrina, I was able to push myself, and I opened my restaurant, but recently I lost my cousin to domestic violence, and I haven’t been able to recover.
  • Was there something or someone that motivated you after you? What do you do to keep that smile on your face? Would you mind giving those of us out here a tip or two to help us find a way to move while mourning?

Sorry to hear about your loss, I know it’s hard. Some days are better than others. I often find myself feeling down and depressed to top it all off my fiancé died of an aneurysm right next to me on my sofa in April of 2017. This is why I push myself to be busy to avoid falling into a depression. I don’t have anyone to motivate me because I am mama to my siblings and have been since the age of 16. I do have a friend who encourages me on the Miracle Works due to me being semi-afraid to put it on the market because so many unkind people surround me. But like God says, “What I have for me,” and He is the author of it all!

The product has been doing well ever since it launched. My biggest motivation is prayer; without it, I would be totally lost.

As of late, I have a Marketing Manager and a few close friends that encourage me daily and refuse to let me give up. On my down days, I speak of throwing the towel in, but after those moments of pity, I shake back.

My tips to anyone who is thinking or dreaming of starting a business it is said, “you must have a plan well I didn’t” It all came to me in a vision. 

  • What advice would you give any woman out here either contemplating starting or stopping a business?

I will say that if its something you have wanted to do it for a while then makes a plan and don’t rush into it. Pray about every decision, because nothing works without God being n the midst… My sister was a fighter until the end. There will always be negative people to discourage you, but never give up.

  • What do you do in your free time, such as hobbies, organization involvement, etc.?

I really never have any free time, but every now and then I might take some time and travel to my sisters home in Georgia. I love going to football games as well. That’s all the excitement I have in my life besides spending time with my grandkids…

  • Where do you see Chiquita’s Works in the next five years?

Prayerfully, I am hoping Chiquita’s Miracle Works will be nationwide in the next five years and on every shelf that has available space and to be a household name.

  • Any quotes or words you live by?

” You can’t touch the sky unless you reach for it.”

“Never allow your past to determine your future.”

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Chiquita Miracle Works is a locally-based black-owned business of household and commercial cleaning products which are made from naturally made by Danita. Chiquita Miracle Works cleaner is designed to remove water lines and rings from the toilets also soap scum from showers and bathtubs. The Multi-purpose disinfectant deodorizer used to clean and disinfect any area of home and offices leaving the area germ free and fresh smelling.

Spring is almost over! That means if your annual spring cleaning hasn’t been tackled yet, you need to invest in you a bottle or two of Chiquita Miracle Works! Some people dread the thought of deep cleaning their entire house if this sounds like you “Chiquita Miracle Works” has a cleaning and janitorial service to assist you in that area.

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A native of New Orleans, who left her beloved New Orleans to spend twenty years of living in the land of Minnesota Not So Nice. Minnesota was full of opportunities but would learn that the soul of the state and the people who made it was just as icy cold as the temperatures. After the years and my 40th birthday flew by, I decided it was time to pack up my youngest child and come back to my roots, my birthplace the city that not only birthed me but gave me life. I would not be who I am without my New Orleans beginnings. I am all things that would challenge the belief of growing up in New Orleans. I was a 16yr old teen mother of a premature baby born with a severe medical disability. And only With the help of my mother, was it possible for me to BE! I was able to endure and survive the obstacles laid before my child and me. In a city that was built by my family, but did not allow for us to reap the benefits I overcame. Charity Hospital was my second home — a building filled with miracle workers who made it possible for my daughter to have life. I have lived a life of rainy days with peeks of sunshine, that are my children, including those not of my womb. I'm the proud mother of three and a grandmother of three. My dream was to live the life of the nursery rhyme of ”The Old Lady Who lived in a shoe,” and for the most part, I did. I cared for several children over the years as a special needs foster parent. I would learn that my love was not enough for some children, but I loved them through their pain. I'm not sure if I ever had a case of true love or came close to what love looks like on television, but I had my share of men and the mirage of love. I survived two abusive marriages. Though I longed to return to New Orleans on a daily bases, I must admit my move was one of the best decisions made for me. I am a college graduate; I was a successful entrepreneur. I coowned a soul food restaurant and catering company in Minnesota for 12 years. I developed the talent of creating custom cakes after the murder of my beloved cousin Melvin Paul. He survived Katrina only to go to Minneapolis six months later to be murdered over a parking spot dispute. But with the challenge of creating a simple wedding cake, I was able to find healing. I created the House of Cakes in honor of him. Minnesota life had me pretty materialistic. I worked to the point I do not remember much, but work and handing my children love money. I thought by having the big house on the hill, a husband, having a family, the ultimate provider and being involved in all things that matter, plus having the funds to match would cure me of what I was told was a generational curse of lack of everything from money, love to even self-love. But for the most part, that life poisoned my heart and soul. I was blinded by visions fed to me by the media. I was told I wasn't anything unless I was better than the Jones's. I lived being ok with a broken, bleeding heart. Life like this did not exist in my family while living in New Orleans from what I viewed with my eyes and soul. We may not have had all the things I acquired over the years, but we were happy, we were together. Family outside of New Orleans wasn't family anymore. We lived separate lives and had awkward moments when we bumped into each other in public. I hated living in Minnesota even though life their helped me in so many ways. I felt deep down the only way to repair it was to get back to my roots, my soul, my home, myself, my New Orleans. I'm here, and I love it. Even being in the so-called Blighted Area of New Orleans and not having all the financial and material security, I'm happy. I am determined that She, yes, New Orleans is a woman is just like me; together, we will overcome and will rise from all that tried to kill our spirit. Nothing like starting from the bottom and making your way back up!. I just know in my heart that New Orleans will provide for me. There's a bank account with funds in it owed to me by way of back pay for my ancestors. And I will receive my inheritance, and I will continue the traditions and customs of the old to keep the heartbeat of New Orleans beating. I'm down in the boot, living the life that feels right to me awaiting my destiny...

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