Trell Thomas created a brunch to celebrate Black excellence. Stars can’t get enough

Event producer Trell Thomas is a big fan of Sunday dinners in the Black community.

The warmth, the togetherness, and, of course, the delicious dishes speak to his soul and remind him of growing up in South Carolina.

“You go to church and after church you have Sunday dinner around like one or two o’clock, if you’re lucky. I grew up Southern Baptist and sometimes it was three or four,” Trell recalled in a recent interview with CNN. “My mom hosted at our home every Sunday, and it was one of the first places where I got to see and feel the joy of being a Black person.”

Thomas, who formerly worked in broadcast journalism, has turned his nostalgia into a thriving business that is attracting everyone from influencers and celebrities to those just looking to connect.

The Black Excellence Brunch grew out of Thomas’ apartment and is now a sought after ticket – even internationally.

A quick perusal of his social media shows events featuring Kelly Rowland, Niecy Nash and the cast of the movie musical “The Color Purple.”

Discovering something ‘beautiful’

It’s a heady achievement for a man who says he can’t even cook. Trell credits his move from New York City to Los Angeles in 2017 for getting him in the business.

“We went to this like beautiful rooftop restaurant in New York City and I asked everybody to wear all white because I was like, ‘I can ask them to go the extra mile since it’s going away,’” he explained. “And everybody came looking beautiful.”

Trell said people in the restaurant immediately started asking, “Who are you? What do you do? Can I take a picture?” and wanting to send over food and drinks to his group.

“I just remember looking around the table and seeing people like sit up a little bit taller, smile a little bit brighter, laugh a little bit louder and I thought to myself, if I could just give us this feeling all the time,” Thomas explained. “Fast forward, I moved to LA, did the same thing, same vibe, same reaction. And I just thought to myself, there’s something beautiful here.”

That beauty didn’t stop because of the pandemic. Thomas simply switched to virtual gatherings and learned that the magic was in forming community, even if it couldn’t be in person.

Inviting Black artists and celebrities to join the gatherings just made sense to Thomas, who has begun expanding his events overseas. After all, the brunches are all about joy and those he has chosen to honor, including actors like Sheryl Lee Ralph, Tabitha Brown and David Oyelowo have brought just that to their audiences.

“We give them their flowers,” Thomas said, smiling.

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