Beloved entrepreneur Vincent Sheffield had a rare ability for connecting people and a remarkable capacity for building strong relationships with individuals and agencies to bolster the quality of life for thousands of Detroiters and citizens across the nation.
Sheffield, better known as “Sug” passed away recently but the mark he left on the lives of those he encountered will be long-lasting and in many cases legacies for future generations.
The affable visionary, born in Detroit, MI was a leader in business and economic development in communities in Detroit as well as Atlanta and Chicago.
Sheffield, the proprietor of The Avenue International Kitchen on Livernois in Detroit, was a respected member of the city’s business community and a key organizer of the much-anticipated annual Jazz on the Ave music, fashion, fun, and food festival.
The veteran defender of equitable living and advancing the quality of life for all citizens remained undaunted in his quest for equity and equality in a nation that had on too many occasions renigged on the promise of fair treatment.
“As Black business owners we continue to be totally responsible for the experience of our clients and customers and the onus is on us to make each and every single individual feel appreciated … no more than that inspired,” explained Sheffield. “But the fact is that we are not appreciated by the power structure downtown, and we get virtually no assistance,” he continued offering that citizens, consumers, and compatriots should form an alliance to realize every opportunity presented.
The expert entrepreneur is most missed for transcending run-of-the-mill business transactions to establish life-long meaningful relationships between aspiring and accomplished clients.
” I will always remember and honor him for attaching himself and his resources to me and my two brothers to make sure we were not only gainfully employed, but mentoring me and emphasizing the importance of creating family legacies for generational wealth and well-being.”
Sheffield remained focused on “the prize” even during Detroit’s economic downturn that caused many businesses — many of which were black-owned in the popular retail mecca — to close while a handful struggled to keep their doors open. He reached out to businesses and media outlets around the nation to combine resources for a common good. Ultimately, the tale of the Avenue of Fashion’s comeback along with new business start-ups and entertainment industry collaborations are in large part due to his vision for “a world community.”
Business leaders, entertainers, cultural leaders, influencers, and a venerable slate of Who’s Who celebs are deeply indebted to the relentless efforts of a remarkable man.
The father of four accomplished children, Jennifer, Dominique, Raphael, and Gary, was a stellar example of the adage, “it takes a village.” Sheffield would go on to assist hundreds in realizing their destinies and empowering them to define life on their terms.
Much to the chagrin of thousands of supporters around the world Vincent Sheffield succumbed to an aggressive assault of prostate cancer.
He leaves to celebrate his passing a host of friends, family, collaborators, and supporters in his dedication to a life of unmitigated honor and spectacular service.