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Help New Orleans' Small Business Employees!

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Hi, my name is DJ Johnson. I am the owner of Baldwin & Co. coffee & bookstore ( and NOLA Art Bar art gallery & craft cocktail bar ( located in New Orleans, LA. Facing the aftermath of Hurricane Ida it is with a heavy heart that I ask for donations; I truly wish I did not have to ask. I am asking for donations to please raise money for the employees of Baldwin & Co. and NOLA Art Bar so that I can provide them with advances on their paychecks as well as funds to support their travel costs, hotel costs, food costs, home repairs and general living expenses. The entire city of New Orleans and surrounding areas power is estimated to be out another 21 days. To help my employees during these difficult times I would like to please ask for donations--no donation is too small and every dollar is a big help. In addition to funds requested for my employees, I would also like to please ask for contributions towards Baldwin & Co. and NOLA Art Bar repairs and sustainability costs. During Hurricane Ida, Baldwin & Co. took in water and suffered wall damage resulting in many books being damaged and water damage to the hardwood flooring. NOLA Art Bar also took in water that resulted in mild flooding inside. In addition to the structural building and product damages, the power will be out for several weeks of which does not allow us to open for business to make money. I have to cover my insurance deductibles for both buildings, pay clean-up costs and keep paying the mortgages all while not generating any income. I am an 80's baby, born and raised in New Orleans, therefore I am no stranger to persevering through tough times, but any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Both businesses are new businesses; NOLA Art Bar art gallery and craft cocktail bar opened February 5, 2020--(six) 6 weeks prior to having to shut down because of COVID. I was miraculously able to sustain NOLA Art Bar and open Baldwin & Co. coffee & bookstore in the middle of COVID on February 20, 2021--(six) 6 months prior to Hurricane Ida. Despite being new businesses and facing these challenges, we have been able to build strong community relationships and become community hubs for book lovers, coffee connoisseurs, art lovers, craft cocktail enthusiasts and more.

A little bit about me, DJ Johnson...

I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, attended McMain High School and am a graduate of Georgia State University. I hold a Bachelor degree in Management Information Systems and a Master of Business Administration degree. In 2005 following hurricane Katrina, I co-founded with my brother TJ Johnson, The Price Foundation – HP Elite 501(c)3 non- profit organization. I served as CIO of The Price Foundation, of which provided educational enrichment, mentoring services, tutorial services, recreational activities and community service for teenagers in New Orleans, Louisiana and its surrounding communities. For the years of 2005 – 2009, The Price Foundation – HP Elite 501(c)3 non-profit organization expanded the concept of positive youth development by equipping young people with the skills needed to succeed in school as well as address community and global issues with confidence.

From 1999 to 2019, I also served as a 20-year employee of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) where I ascended to become Chief of the Infrastructure Management Services Branch. I oversaw Contract Oversight Management, Asset Management, Configuration Management, Procurement Management and Financial Management. I performed executive leadership and managerial duties for comprehensive IT policies, program management oversight, internal operating procedures, IT internal control and audit coordination, financial management services, contract sourcing strategies, vendor relationships, and administrative management initiatives. I received an Outstanding Achievement Award and was recognized by Federal government senior officials as being resourceful in introducing new technologies and techniques that expand the current knowledge and theory on banking technologies.

In 2019, at the height of my professional corporate career, my mother became very ill. After consecutive months of being in the hospital, the doctor told me in these very same words "We have to release your mother, there is nothing more we can do for her here. She is not going to get better, she is only going to get worst and she probably does not have much longer to live." It was in that moment I decided that I could find a new job, but I only get one mother so I quit my lustrous corporate career and moved back home to New Orleans to care for my mother. She could not walk, she could not bathe herself, she could not cook for herself and had very limited capabilities. Day-by-day and night-after-night I stayed by my mother's side and improved her living standards, diet, exercise habits and mentality. I am very happy to report that 2 years later my mother is alive and well. She performs daily walks outside, cooks her own meals and even provides some of the baked goods at Baldwin & Co. coffee & bookstore. It was during this time in New Orleans that I decided to open Baldwin & Co. coffee & bookstore and NOLA Art Bar.

Currently I am the owner of Baldwin and Co. coffee and bookstore, NOLA Art Bar, and the historically iconic building formerly known as Gene’s Po’boys. I am on a mission to provide my hometown communities with access to books, art, music and a space where everyone feels valued and the best version of themselves.

I am super appreciative of anything you can give. Thank you in advance for your consideration.


DJ Johnson
New Orleans, LA

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