Sherrita Magalde becomes the Utah Black Chamber’s Business of the Year.

Utah Black Chamber celebrates Black-owned businesses at Mardi Gras in the Mountains

Sherrita Magalde becomes the Utah Black Chamber’s Business of the Year.
Sherrita Magalde becomes the Utah Black Chamber’s Business of the Year.

A crowd bedecked in sequins, feathers and fur gathered at the Siempre Event Center to celebrate Black-owned businesses at the Utah Black Chamber’s (UBC) inaugural Black Business Excellence Award Banquet on February 8, 2024.

Sherrita “Rita” Magalde, founder and owner of the pastry shop Sheer Ambrosia, took home the night’s top prize—$5,000 and the title of UBC Business of the Year.

The UBC also recognized corporate chamber members and businesses in seven different categories. Winners were selected by the public, with close to 1500 total votes cast. 

“Rita’s win is indicative of how she does business,” says Dr. Sidni Shorter, CEO of the UBC. “That’s absolutely how she approached campaigning for this award. She created newsletters, emails, and social media. She used all the business practices that have made her business successful to begin with—and she has a great product.”

Magalde expressed her gratitude and pride for the recognition in a recent LinkedIn post and said Sheer Ambrosia is just beginning its growth journey. “Thanks again to everyone who loves me, my business and my baklava,” she said. “I will continue to work extra hard to make you proud because I love you too.”

Shorter says the UBC is one of the most diverse chambers in the country and hosted the awards banquet to draw attention to the work, accomplishments and interests of businesses that might be otherwise overlooked. “We are a chamber of commerce. We are about business,” Shorter says. “We wanted to elevate and expose these businesses to further opportunities.”

Black-owned business category winners:

Arts and Entertainment: Changing Lanes Entertainment Group
Services: Jirie
Food and Beverage: Eats Bakery
Media: Vidzual
Retail: Esensually Yourz
B2B and Business Consultants: i3PMINC
Community and Social Impact: OurSundays

Corporate member awards:

Andrew Hutchins, Delta Air Lines
Randy Owner, Goldman Sachs
Keisha Shelton, Morgan Stanley
Micaela Choo, Progressive Leasing

Melanie is the editor-in-chief of Utah Business. She worked as a curator and speaking coach at TEDxSaltLakeCity for five seasons, collaborating with some of Utah’s brightest minds. She also spent over 25 years in the medical device manufacturing industry and has specialized in various areas including international account management, product training, digital marketing and project management. Melanie is a frequent emcee, panelist and podcast guest, and produced her own dental products podcast starting in 2006, before podcasting was cool.