Black-owned business spotlight: Reggae Central

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Reggae Central owner Carolyn Barber has been spreading positive vibes at her Plaza Midwood store for more than two decades.

When she first opened the store in 1997, it occupied a small space on the second level in the building located at 1506 Central Ave. Two years later, she was able to move to a larger, street-level space there. In December, Barber relocated Reggae Central to 4456 The Plaza, Suite B.

The store is a must-visit for Bob Marley fans – you’ll find Bob Marley music, T-shirts, blankets, bags and even bathing suits.

In addition to selling merchandise from Jamaica and the Caribbean, she also offers items from Central and South America – items she’s picked up during her travels to other countries.

Since many of the items are hand-selected or handmade, she and her daughter make a lot of the jewelry that’s sold at the store, she’s got a story for a lot of the pieces that she’ll gladly share with her customers.

Reggae Central in Plaza Midwood

Reggae Central customers span generations as well as her help sometimes. More than one shopper has told her their mom used to bring them there, and her adult daughter and granddaughter sometimes work at the store when she needs an extra hand. You can spot her family in personal photos sprinkled throughout the store.

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In addition to running Reggae Central, Barber has also produced and promoted concerts at local music venues. Over the years, she’s hosted a variety of popular reggae artists such as Culture, Eek-A-Mouse, Capleton, Yellowman and Inner Circle.

For more than 10 years, Barber has also hosted Reggae at the Lake. The event started as an outdoor concert series at Lake Norman. Now, it takes place aboard a chartered yacht where you can listen to nonstop reggae music and snack on Caribbean appetizers during a three-hour cruise.

Reggae Central is open seven days a week. Call 704-377-2782 for more information.