Over the past few months, the country has erupted in protest over the unjust murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and so many other Black Americans. Many Americans have turned to supporting the Black community in every way they can, from joining protests, educating themselves by reading anti-racist literature, donating to bail funds and Black Lives Matters organizations, and having tough conversations with family members about how to change and thwart the racial discriminatory actions we see everyday.
Along with these very important and necessary actions, one of the best ways to directly support the Black community is by actively shopping at Black-owned businesses—right now and continuing to in the future. We’ve gathered together a list of some of our favorite culinary-forward businesses around the country, which can be supported even during the coronavirus pandemic through online shops, and takeout and delivery options.
Related Reading: Support These Black-Owned Bars & Restaurants in Major U.S. Cities
Somalia-born Hawa Hassan escaped the civil war in her country before moving to America, and now she pays homage to the flavors of her motherland with her collection of hot sauces. “Basbaas” comes from the Somali word for chili, so it only makes sense that her hot sauces and chutneys are flooded with spices, fruits, and herbs (think coconut cilantro chutney and tamarind date sauce).
Ashley Rouse founded Trade Street Jam Co. in her teeny apartment in North Carolina, which has since evolved into a company crafting small-batch jam geared toward swirling into cocktails, salad dressings, BBQ marinades, and pan sauces (or simply smeared on a piece of toast). Jam flavors run the gamut from smoked yellow peach to plum & rose and blueberry lemon basil, and if you’re in need of inspo for ways to use up your jam, Ashley posts a slew of recipes online.
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Shop tea blends, healing elderberry syrups, farm fire cider, and other immunity-boosting serums from Sage’s Larder, a pantry-cum-herbalist destination from Jovan Sage, a herbalist and food alchemist.
Even if you haven’t watched season three of “Queer Eye,” where the fab five gave the founders and Kansas City restaurant a makeover, you’ll want to get familiar with the BBQ joint. The restaurant offers a famed sweet and tangy barbecue shop, available for purchase online, and if you happen to be in the Kansas City area, the team is also still doing BBQ takeout.
Following a trip to Haiti where Stanely Dumornay and Jason Delis revelled in the complexity of traditional, spicy Haitian peanut butter, the pair decided to bring the spread back to Montréal. The duo infuses roasted peanuts with Scotch Bonnet peppers, crafting a smooth, yet fiery, spread that can be swiped onto sandwiches or baked into cookies. Choose from flavors like classic creamy or spicy crunchy.
Lani Halliday has proven you don’t need flour to make an excellent baked good. The professionally trained pastry chef shares her gluten-free treats, and her accompanying distinctive stencil work, in glamorous cakes and cookies.
Amanda Mack usually dishes up hand pies, pastries, cookies, and cakes in her Baltimore bakery, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, the baker has resorted to baking her specialities and offering them for pick-up (think strawberry buns with cream cheese frosting and chocolate chip cookies).
Essie Spice draws on traditional West African cooking processes and spices, along with influences from Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, and South America to craft a range of sauces and spice blends. Add the likes of TamarindOH! (a blend of tamarind, guava, ginger, and vanilla) and a mango chili medley to your pantry.
The Chicago-based bakery Justice of the Pies was founded by Maya-Camille Broussard, who bakes a host of pies and quiches. And while Chicago locals normally flock to the bakery for a chance to nosh on blueberry banana pudding pie, these days the team has pivoted to delivering meals to frontline workers and have even launched a cooking subscription service called Justice for All, where Maya teaches weekly cooking classes.
Partake, a cookie company that boasts investors like Jay-Z, bakes up sweets that are gluten-free, vegan, and allergy-friendly. Those with allergy restrictions don’t have to worry about biting into these cookies, as they’re free of nuts, eggs, dairy, and soy, among others. Grab a bag online or at Target in flavors like crunchy carrot cake and ginger snap cookies.
Instead of opting for your regular can of kombucha, grab a bottle of Berry Bissap, a West African spiced hibiscus tea, brewed from ethically sourced hibiscus, spices, and organic fruit. The caffeine-free tea gets its roots from Senegal, but has emerged as a staple in much of West Africa, and now you can find it in the States, infused with other fruits like pineapple and cinnamon citrus.
Trinity Mouzon Wofford founded Golde with wellness, superfoods, and good vibes in mind. The brand straddles the intersection of health and beauty, toting items like turmeric latte blends, make-your-own matcha kits, and face masks made from edible superfoods like spirulina and mango juice.
Three brothers from Harlem are the brains behind these single-origin chocolate bars, with cacao sourced from countries like Peru, Madagascar, and Ecuador. Bars can be purchased from the online store or found at a host of grocery stores in three states.
EXAU is run by husband-and-wife team Giuseppe and Skyler, a 3rd generation olive producer and 3rd generation Californian, respectively. The company brings the olive groves in Calabria to the terroir of California, offering an assortment of extra virgin olive oils and recipes to boot.
Theopolis Vineyards is set in the bucolic area of California’s Anderson Valley. If you can’t make it into the vineyard, you can, instead, shop a selection of wine online, from pinot noirs to sirahs.
There’s a whole lot of soul in Lotus Scoop’s ice cream, blended with ingredients that are distinctly Caribbean and Latinx. Expect flavors like Meet Met at Sunset (pink guava and honey) and Platanos Maduros (sweet plantains and vanilla). Although the ice cream is only currently local to New York and New Jersey, the team has plans to bring pints to Florida and Georgia next year.
Founder and executive chef Christa Lynch runs the operations at Brooklyn Braised, a catering-cum-events platform in Brooklyn. Along with full-scale event and design production, as well as customizable catering, Brooklyn Braised also partners with local shelters and organizations like City Harvest to bring food to those who need it most.
Detroit’s April Anderson is the owner and pastry chef at Good Cakes & Bakes, a bakery specializing in American comfort food sweets, like gooey butter cakes and cinnamon rolls slathered with cream cheese frosting. Anyone in the Detroit area can order items ahead of time, to be delivered or picked up at the bakery.
Tea lovers and those fascinated by herbalism will want to flock to Ivy’s Tea, an online boutique specializing in loose teas, honey, and dainty mugs and matching saucers.
Before the COVID-19 crisis, Just Soul Catering dished up soul food staples like sweet candied yams and fried catfish. But due to the closures of many restaurants and catering businesses, Just Soul Catering has pivoted to cooking and delivering free weekly meals to frontline workers and domestic violence shelters in N.Y.C, and these efforts rely entirely on donations.
A former sommelier at Per Se, André Hueston Mack turned to wine production with his company Maison Noir Wines. The 11 varieties of Oregon wine can be shipped to 31 states, along with his collection of wine-inspired T-shirts.
Green Garden Bakery, powered by a group of young entrepreneurs in North Minneapolis, grows vegetables in a community garden that are then baked into healthy, vegetable-forward desserts and sold at a slew of farmers markets. For the moment, the team is offering only a few products through the online store, but have plans to be back at markets by July 2020.
Tiffany Hall is at the helm of Empower Cocktails, a liquor company that boasts ready-to-pour vodka geared toward women. Made from sweet potatoes, the vodka is sourced form a family farm in Northern California and pre-mixed with white cranberry, triple sec, and lime flavors.
Cornelius Robinson and Liv Woudstra-Robinson, the husband and wife duo behind Trufflin, specialize in all things truffles. Black and white truffles star in a host of products, including black truffle ranch, black truffle sriracha, white truffle oil, and black truffle sea salt. Just need the truffle? You can also purchase whole fresh summer truffles.
Chef Nik Fields proffers a range of olive oils and vinegars—with olive oil coming straight from her own personal farm in Italy—along with teas and spice blends. Add the likes of white truffle olive oil, pineapple balsamic vinegar, and roasted garlic salt to your pantry.
Marc Washington is the brains behind Muniq, a line of nutritional shakes designed to strengthen gut health. You can choose from flavors like chocolate, vanilla, mocha latte, and vegan chocolate, which help not only balance your blood sugar but also keeps you full for four hours.
A Dozen Cousins
Ibraheem Basir was working at General Mills when he came up with the idea for A Dozen Cousins, a company that offers nutrient dense natural foods. With A Dozen Cousins, you can try slow-simmered beans, influenced by the Black and Latino recipes that Ibraheem grew up eating. There are currently three flavors of beans—Cuban black beans, Mexican cowboy beans, and Trinidadian chickpea curry—along with refried pinto beans and refried black beans.
Founded by a husband-and-wife team, Island Pops shares traditional homemade Caribbean ice cream and sorbet. Locals can pick up the frozen treats at the Brooklyn location, but the small business has also just started shipping on Goldbelly, featuring items like sorrel rum sorbet and mango popsicles.
This Harlem-based ice cream shop is run by husband and wife team Petrushka Bazin Larsen and Nick Larsen. The creative flavors are inspired by Petrushka’s Caribbean roots and Nick’s Midwestern upbringing, coupled with the couple’s years of living in Harlem. Expect flavors like berbere spiced bourbon pecan and cinnamon with Mike’s Hot Honeycomb, all of which can be shipped from Goldbelly.
Black lives matter. Text DEMANDS to 55156 to sign Color of Change’s petition to reform policing, and visit blacklivesmatters.carrd.co for more ways to donate, sign petitions, and protest safely.
Header image courtesy of Essie Spice.