From CookieLand to the Upper Room: East Buffalo Entrepreneur
is One Step Closer to Realizing Her Dream
For the past decade Vivian Jackson has been dreaming of taking her career of providing care for children, to another level; one which would embrace the entire community. And for eight years, she said, a symbol of God’s promise has manifested itself to her in the presence of rainbows… literally everywhere and all the time.
On June 5, after years of dreaming, praying, planning and rainbows, Vivian (also known as Cookie), held what she called an “Inside the Rainbow Ribbon Cutting” to announce her new corporation, The Upper Room, and the creation of a one stop family entertainment complex and eatery rooted in the Spirit and located in the heart of the community. The architects rendering is as striking, exciting and visionary as Ms. Jackson’s goal of providing children with a safe alternative to the streets and offering spiritual guidance to adults and young people who may find themselves overwhelmed in times of need. “It’s been my dream for ten years and I never lost the faith,” said Ms. Jackson, the owner of CookieLand, a successful child care facility she’s operated in East Buffalo for 20-plus years.
The new venture, which will be located at 202 Walden Avenue at the corner of Wasmuth (located on the street right behind CookieLand) will consist of four components. The Prayer Room (The Upper Room) will serve mainly as a place where people in the community can receive prayer and guidance. “We need prayer,” said the long time member of Elim Christian Fellowship. A number of ministers she said, have already committed to volunteer and she’s hoping more will step forward to help. She’s especially excited about the skating rink, which will be called Rainbow Skating, and will feature two rinks - one large and a smaller version.
From CookieLand to the Upper Room: East Buffalo Entrepreneur is One Step Closer to Realizing Her Dream sion for little children. The last two components will be Mama Cookie’s Diner & Eatery and The Cross Ice Cream Parlor -where she hopes to bring back penny candy! “Everything just opened up,” she said of the rapid succession of developments. “It was all God. It’s just favor…. but I seek Him everyday…I don’t let anything come before God.” She said developers hope to begin building this summer, and the facility is anticipated to open by the end of the year. “God is so good!” she exclaimed. “I want to thank Christina a true partner for real…I love her with my whole heart…and of course my brother Darnell Jackson, Miss Denise, Okos the architect, Mike the developer, and Bishop Bronner and my Elim Christian Fellowship family."
Once the building is complete and the doors are open, Vivian said she wants everyone who enters to feel the love from the font of the building to the back. Despite the politics of neglected neighborhoods, she continued, “God has not forgotten about the East Side.” Her experience, she points out, is living proof. The role that the community must play at this point she concluded, is basic. “It’s time to start loving again,” she urged.