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Whether it is through the non-profit "The Gentlemen's Foundation", their restaurant "Virgil's Gullah Kitchen & Bar" or visibility in the community Juan Smalls with his husband Gee are on a mission to give back to their community. Originally from California in 2007 he drove 32 hours straight and moved to Atlanta. He found an apartment after one month and met his husband a year after moving to Atlanta.
After being laid off from his job Juan decided to focus on building the couple’s company. They started an event planning company, and the first event was the Gentlemen’s Ball in 2011. In the planning of that event, deciding the name, the concept, and the program, they always wanted to attach a nonprofit to it so that we could give back to the community. This evolved into The Gentlemen’s Foundation.
The Gentlemen’s Ball, a gala that has been described as a “second chance prom” awarding youth scholarships and honoring community advocates making contributions to Atlanta’s LGBTQ community.
Recently the couple, opened Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen & Bar, located in downtown College Park just outside Atlanta. Named after Juan’s late father-in-law, Virgil F. Smalls, the chic eatery provides customers with more than signature cocktails and soul food. It is also helping to build community and combat stigma.