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Black Owned Businesses in Brooklyn You Should Know

Over the past decade, countless Black owned businesses in Brooklyn (and nationwide) have fallen victim to gentrification.

Rising rents and leases are forcing businesses to close. However, there are still many Black owned businesses and institutions that have weathered the storm and continue to provide great goods and service.

Black Owned Businesses in Brooklyn

The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) aims to serve as a conduit for African Diaspora forms of expression ranging from the visual and performing arts to film and television.

Black Owned Businesses Brooklyn

Calabar Imports is a trendy, specialty retail and gift store that offers home furnishings, unique crafted jewelry, fashion, and gifts sold at moderate prices.

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Khamit Kinks is a natural hair care salon that specializes in natural hairstyles and maintaining healthy hair.

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Akwaaba Mansion is a meticulously restored Italianate villa that features exquisite architectural details, including 14-foot ceilings and ornate fireplaces.

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Richol Bakery combines French tradition with an American Flair, including a light menu of quiche & panini, plus pastries & elegant French-style desserts.

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Adrian Fanus Grooming is a highly rated barbershop that tailors to each client’s grooming experience to maximize his/her own personal and unique sense of style.

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From old school haircuts styles to the most current popular hairstyles , Brooklyn Master Barbershop focuses on providing high-quality service and customer satisfaction. 

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Levels’ is a multifaceted barbershop that specializes in styling, grooming, and overall hair care for men, women, and children. Founders: Kamal Nuru, Larry Wilson and Denorval Parks
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BCakeNY is a custom cake studio dedicated to creating specialty cakes for every occasion. Owner & Cake Designer: Miriam Milord
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Ms.Dahlias Cafe specializes in baked eats, including biscuits & muffins, plus light fare in cozy digs.

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A remarkably preserved slice of the prohibition era, Bedford Hall is the perfect combination of a Bar, Lounge, and Events Space.

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La Caye offers authentic Haitian cuisine & inventive sangrias in an intimate, art-hung space with outdoor dining. 

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The Crabby Shack is your destination for all things crabs! They dish up crab in full plates with sides, as well as in rolls, tacos & sliders. 10525846_868818223139365_263334174250857375_n

Bed-Vyne Brew Bar is a pub with a reclaimed wood decor serves draft microbrews & hosts DJs from Wednesday to Saturday. 

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Blew Smoke is a sophisticated cigar lounge with Wi-Fi, TVs, private humidors & a BYOB drink policy.

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Brooklyn Bell is an ice cream shop that sells classic & seasonal flavors & other housemade sweets. 

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Brooklyn Swirl is the first independently-owned frozen yogurt shop to serve the Brooklyn Community. They serve crepes & smoothies in bright modern digs with a patio & free WiFi. 

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Brooklyn Wine Yard is an intimate lounge, serving up an upscale atmosphere with great wines, spirits, beers, and tasty food. brooklyn-wine-yard-slide-3-992x546

Bati is a traditional Ethiopian restaurant, located in the heart of Fort Greene, Brooklyn, dedicated to serving authentic delicacies that possess homemade quality flavors.

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Jollof Restaurant is a West African eatery with colorful art-filled walls serving a variety of Senegalese and other West African dishes. 6_1440061230_joloff_restaurant
Joire’s Spa Studio is a beauty salon that offers different types of hair extensions, full body waxing, teeth whitening, and Henna tattooing.

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Joshua Dwain Photography is an international wedding photography husband and wife team. 

Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy is a community-based arts and cultural organization dedicated to supporting the creative, educational, and vocational development of disadvantaged youth and families. 

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Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center uses dance to encourage, inspire, and facilitate the aspirations of New York’s inner-city youth.

Big Apple Urgent Care is an urgent care and community wellness center located in the heart of East Flatbush, Brooklyn.

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Greedi Vegan is a vegan restaurant that offers fast-casual vegan soul food.

Harlem Hops is a bar that offers craft local & world beers & international pub grub.

Cafe Rue Dix is a French and Senegalese cafe, restaurant, and bar located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

Marche Ru Dix is a trendy concept store featuring a curated selection of vintage clothing, jewelry & home goods.

 


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29 Black Owned Businesses in Philadelphia

I recently moved to Philadelphia and I must say, as someone who loves art and food, the City of Brotherly Love doesn’t disappoint. Apart from great restaurants and hole in the wall “hood spots”,  the city has a thriving art scene and an up and coming tech startup scene. Check out some of the many Black Owned Businesses that have got you covered if you live here, decide to visit or are doing some online shopping.

Black owned Businesses

Veronica Marché is a freelance illustrator who’s artwork features women of all ethnicities and celebrates the glamour of a multicultural world.

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Warm Daddy’s is an atmospheric soul food establishment known for live blues and R&B sets plus a Sunday jazz brunch. – Owners: Robert and Benjamin Bynum

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The African American Museum in Philadelphia presents the achievements and aspirations of African Americans from pre-colonial times to the current day. – CEO: Patricia Wilson

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BlackStar Film Fest is a celebration of cinema focused on work by and about people of African descent. – Founder & Artistic Director: Maori Karmel

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S&B Event Concepts and Catering is family owned and operated full service event planning and off-premise catering company. Owner: Sodiah Thomas

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Duafe Holistic Hair Care‘s mission as an elite and holistic hair salon is to ensure that each client gets the best and most professional service available. – CEO: Syreeta Scott

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Paris Bistro and Jazz Cafe is a snazzy neighborhood eatery with classic French bistro fare & a downstairs lounge with weekend jazz. – Owners: Robert and Benjamin Bynum

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Maxamillion’s Gentlmen’s Quarter is a a networking destination where you can get a fresh cut and have great conversations with Philly’s movers & shakers. – Owner: Maxamillion A.J. Wells III

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1617 Master Barbers and Stylists bring you the ultimate experience in OLD school professionalism with NEW school flavor. – Owner: Talib Abdul Mujib

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Ton’Sure Grooming Studio offers the feel of a classic barber shop with a touch of modern day technology. – Owners: Kenny Tha Barber and Chink da barber

4df1ff27884803.5636c37880351Nile cafe is a laid-back, counter-serve eatery specializing in plentiful portions of vegan & vegetarian soul food and desserts. It gets my personal stamp of approval. – Co- Owners Aqkhira and Khetab Corinaldi

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Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse is a comic book store and coffee house for fans, hardcore gamers, movie addicts, television connoisseurs. – Founder: Ariell R. Johnson

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Blue Sole Shoes is a shoe store specializing in fashion-forward footwear for men in styles from dress to casual. – Owner: Steve Jamison.

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Little Delicious is neighborhood hole in the wall that serves hearty portions of Caribbean dishes. I give this one my personal stamp of approval also.

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Koco Nail Salon & Wax Studio is a quaint boutique pampering destination that offers a quaint boutique pampering destination. – Owner: Onisha Claire

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United Bank of Philadelphia is the only Black owned and managed community bank in Philadelphia –  President & CEO: Evelyn F. Smalls

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2B Groomed Studios offers stylish haircuts, facials, a wide variety of shaving options, beard coloring, bump extraction and complimentary shoe buffing with every service. – Owner: Jahmal Rhaney

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Onehunted closes the gap between smart consumers and products that align with their values. Owner : Isaac Ewell

Philadelphia Print Works is a t-shirt company that encourages a culture of activism and inclusion. – Donte Neal, designer and Maryam Pugh, owner and co-founder.

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Team Clean is a premier commercial janitorial service company, and is the largest woman and minority-owned company in the greater Philadelphia area. – Owner: Donna L. Allie, PhD.

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Iron Lady Enterprises is a construction and concrete reinforcement contractor and supplier of construction materials. – Owner: Dianna Montague.

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Kilimandjaro Restaurant – Senegalese fare served in casual, warm-hued quarters with African artwork & artifacts. – Owner: Youma Bah

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Mellow Massage Therapy Center is home to a team of licensed wellness therapists who strive daily to bring restorative therapeutic treatments to their clients. – Owner: Gerrae Simons

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Black and Nobel  – Independently owned store featuring books, DVDs, art & events related to African-American culture. – Owned by Hakim Hopkins

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Color Book Gallery is the nation’s oldest multicultural children’s bookstore. It offers has retail operations, reading activities, seminars, educational displays and exhibits. – Owner: Deborah Gary

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Natures Hair Food products are chemical free products that contain all natural ingredients that promote hair growth and restores the hair to a healthy, lustrous state. – Owner: Angela Tyler

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B’ella Ballerina Dance Academy is a non-profit organization that offers a comprehensive dance curriculum to students ages three and up. Founded & directed by Roneisha Smith-Davis

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Little Giant Creative works with local and national companies to develop custom brand strategies, design collateral, and awareness promotions. – Founder: Tayyib Smith

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The Philadelphia Tribune, founded in 1884 by Christopher James Perry, Sr., is America’s oldest and the Greater Philadelphia region’s largest daily newspaper serving the African-American community. – President & CEO: Robert W. Bogle

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Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson

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Move Over Instacart, OjaExpress Offers African and Caribbean Grocery Delivery

My friend, Chaz Olajide, recently connected me to OjaExpress, a startup providing grocery delivery services focusing on African and Caribbean products. Since Tony and I have become quite addicted to Instacart, because of its Whole Foods delivery service, this of course seemed like the perfect idea!

We sat down with Boyede Sobitan, CEO and Co-Founder of the Chicago-based OjaExpress. We discussed everything from businesses, pan-Africanism, African-American/Continental African relations, colonial mentality, fraternities and sororities and lots of stuff in between.


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SB: So what did you and Fola set out to achieve by launching OjaExpress?

BS: We wanted to achieve several things. One thing was to give access to African products to everyone who is interested in African culture – not just Africans. There may be people see something and say, “I love jollof rice and I want to learn how to make it.”  

So, we want to give them that access. Secondly, we want provide an opportunity to create economies for our people. What does that mean? We need drivers. We have a platform for entrepreneurs who want to get into stores, now we have a platform to get their products out there.

So in doing this, very grassroots, we went to all of the African grocery stores, which funny enough, the majority of them are not owned by African people in Chicago, or Caribbeans.

SB: Interesting. Who are they owned by?

BS: The three major ones – 88% of the share of them are owned by two Greek guys and one Mexican guy.

SB: Wooooow.

BS: So we wanted to disrupt that market because one of the things you find in Chicago is that when you walk into these stores, there is literally nobody working in there who looks like us. We’re giving our money to these entities because we need these products.

These are our cultural products that we can’t get anywhere else. So going back to the spirit of the Pan-Africanist, where everything is transactional, how do we create a system or a product where the money is cyclical, and the money returns to you? That’s where we’re going with the whole concept of Oja Express.

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SB: That is so interesting because even with the concept of Shoppe Black, some people have asked “don’t you think that’s prejudice, to just promote Black owned-businesses?” And we’re thinking, but every other community does this…and furthermore, what’s wrong with promoting ourselves so that wealth can circulate?”

BS: Collaborative work for African immigrants is foreign. People have the mentality of stacking their chips, purchasing a house back in Africa, and not really caring about what’s going on here. But, you have kids here who are struggling to find work.

I don’t have twenty-five friends I can call and say, “I want my kids to work for you.” So one of the things we echo in our team meetings is that we’re a company that’s for us, by us, and with us. As we grow, all of our vendors are Black – our lawyer, designer, printer…and we’re proud to say that. All of the things we need, we’ve sourced from our community.

SB: So what’s up with the Continental African versus African-American divide that sometimes plagues our community here in the States?

BS: Africans will come in with the mentality of “I’m not African-American” because they don’t come here [understanding] the history and legacy of slavery.

I look at African-Americans as family because honestly, you could be related to me. Also, some people come here with what Fela [Kuti] called “colonial mentality” which to me, is the same thing as “slave mentality.”

SB: Exactly! Sometimes I think that can actually be worse than slave mentality. Slavery ended here in 1865 and Brasil in 1888. Colonization/apartheid was on the continent until the 1990s.

BS: Precisely.

SB: How does this Pan-African philosophy show up in the company and how is OjaExpress different from Instacart in its philosophy?

BS: At first, a lot of stores didn’t want to work with us. One of the stores, we had a great relationship with the owner’s son, who loved what we were doing. Then we went to meet with his father who initially heard the ideas and said, “Let’s do it.” But, he didn’t know we were African.

The moment he saw us he rescinded his offer. I said, “Cool, no biggie.” Then, we met with a Mexican guy – loved it, great idea. But he looked us dead in the eye and said “how am I sure I’ll get my money from you.” We had a legal contract we were bound to right in front of him. We proceeded to bring his attention back to the contract right in front of him. So those were some challenges we faced but we didn’t want to stop.

So what we’ve done is gone into these stores and priced the items. We’re building out a network of wholesalers we can work with and have access to their goods and pay them on a consignment basis when people buy their goods.

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SB: Wow. Do you think they had preconceived notions because you all are Nigerian? Because you’re African? Or because you’re Black?

BS: I don’t want to give that too much thought. One of the people said that they prefer people stopping in their store. That just lets me know that they were old school thinking you’re going to make more money with people coming into your store, not knowing that you’re leaving money on the table.

Another concept is that they think that young Black guys are going to disrupt the market, which wasn’t the plan. Our plan was to enhance the market, but now we’re going to be one of their direct competitors.

SB: How many people do you have working for you now?

BS: Right now we’re a team of five. We’re also hiring drivers. People can go to our website and sign up to be a driver. Our CTO is from Nigeria. Come to find out, we’re from the same village.

SB: Nice.

BS: Our Chief Marketing Officer, Dineo Seakamela, is South African. And we have two students, Muyiwa Adenaike and Ololade Martins from DePaul University. That’s really cool, because now we’re giving people at a very young age an opportunity to become part owners of a company. When I was their age, I definitely wasn’t thinking about having equity in a company.

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SB: So the drivers both do the shopping and delivery?

BS: Ideally, we’d like the stores to do the shopping and packaging but since we couldn’t work that deal out with the stores, our drivers are the shoppers. They know how to pick out a great yam and know what a ripe plantain looks like.

SB: Speaking of which, did you all do a focus group to figure out which kind of products people really wanted that would allow you to focus on specific brands or  based on your own personal experiences?

BS: We did. We put out a survey. We also created a focus group.

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SB: I know that Chicago is home to one of the largest populations of Nigerians in the US. Also, many West Africans eat jollof and most of the ingredients are the same throughout different cultures. But what about other Continental Africans? Do you include ingredients and products that would appeal to people from other parts of the Continent?

BS: We do. We’re constantly evolving. But we’re also very market-dependent. So for instance, our Marketing Officer is South African but there isn’t a large South African population here in Chicago.

But, there is a growing population from Burkina Faso, as well as Gambia. So we’ve tapped into those markets. Also, Haiti has a large population here. So we have a large inventory of Caribbean goods as well.

We want to make sure that wherever you’re from the Continent or the Caribbean, we have products for you.

SB: I’m sure people will have questions about Oja Express coming other cities. What are your plans for expansion?

BS: Those plans are coming along well. It’s also dependent on future capital. So far, we’ve been self-funded but as soon as we perfect what we’re doing in Chicago, we’re planning to take this show on the road.

SB: How do you all manage this while maintaining other full-time jobs and other businesses and manage Oja Express?

BS: Communication. My partner and I work together. We split responsibilities and communicate back and forth. We have each other so that our other jobs aren’t impacted by it.

SB: Do you bring different skill sets to the table?

BS: Oh for sure. Fola is nowhere near as loquacious as I am. (Laughs). He’s a very quiet guy but he has a great technical mind. I’m the person who focuses on business strategy and who does most of the talking.

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SB: Have you all started reaching out to any venture capitalists?

BS: We’ve been focused on developing relationships. We want to make sure that we’re in a good place before attracting great investors. God willing, we can get an investor who really fits with our team, and who believes in our product and what we’re trying to do. We don’t want to take money just to take money.

SB: That makes all of the sense in the world. One of Tony’s best friends, who’s from Sierra Leone,  is working toward being able to grow enough capital to be able to support other African businesses and other Black-owned companies.

BS: That’s the same thing we want to do. We believe that we can become a 4 billion dollar business. Right now, conservatively speaking, we have an 800 million dollar market opportunity. We feel that if we can acquire a massive amount of wealth in this company, we’ll have five people who can turn around and help to fund your dream for a small piece of equity.

SB: Outside of this, what else are you involved in?

BS: I’m the president of the Nigerian-American Professionals Association.

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SB: How big is that?

BS: Over a 100 people. But we get tons of people who come out of our events. I’m just really in the community, supporting as many community-owned businesses as possible. I’m an Alpha. I hang out with the bros. I’m just trying to engage with as many people as possible.

SB: As an Alpha Chapter Delta, I’m friends with lots of Beta Chapter Bros from Howard. #fiyahandice

BS: I’m from a single letter chapter, too: Theta Chapter, here in Chicago.

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SB: Dope. I have love for everybody but for single letter chapters before.

BS: Yep.

"So you have gone and joined a cult Abi..." - *Ignore the grammatical faux pas
“So you have gone and joined a cult…?” – (Ignore the grammatical faux pas)

SB: We could probably go on all kinds of tangents but in terms of the role of non-African American Black people living in the US, what type of responsibility do you feel you have to Nigeria, if any?

BS: I cannot deny my Nigerian roots or heritage. My first degree was in nursing and my master’s degree is in health care administration. How I ended up here, I have no idea.

But I came up with an idea and put pen to paper and here we are. I definitely feel need to go back and invest, even in agricultural businesses. How do we develop non-Monsanto, organically grown food in Africa so that Africa can become the breadbasket of the world?

SB: How long have you been working on the idea itself?

BS: The idea originated in July 2014. I reached out to Fola and he made me go back and do more research. He wanted to see how serious I was. So I did, and he came back to him. We started working on it in January 2015 and went hard on it until we launched last November.

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SB: In terms of your own education in this, what has been the biggest learning curve?

BS: Usually when I go out and do work, I have the backing of a company that gives me credibility. Now I have to stand out on my own and create my credibility. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. People think you’re just going to launch a business and sell it for a billion dollars and live on a yacht.

That’s at the latter end of the entrepreneur stage. I work two full-time jobs. I’m doing at least 60 hour days. It’s easy to do because I love it. I see the potential in what we’re doing.

An African guy who heard one of our past interviews has alkaline water and contacted us to ask if we could help sell it.  Sure. So we were able to put another entrepreneur’s product on the market without the validation of major grocery deliverers in the game. Now we’re building an economic eco-system.

SB: Lastly, in terms of support, how supportive has your family been? Are they customers?

BS: (Laughs). Funny enough, a relative has actually used the app and I went to fulfill one of her orders. It’s crazy because if she knew and didn’t use the app, I wouldn’t have left the house.

Fola was out of town and I treated it like it was a real order. I went out, bought the groceries and dropped everything off to her. I even handed her a receipt and told her to go through everything. I don’t want to take anybody for granted.

Even if a neighborhood kid uses it, I want to make sure that we deliver the same consistent service for everybody. We messed up on her order, so we gave her a free bag of plantain chips, on the company. It’s been a real labor of love.

SB: Yes!

BS: What we want to do is make African and Caribbean food as American as tacos and pizza. Now, when you go Chipotle, kids think it’s American food. So why not have jollof rice and jerk chicken as part of the American culinary lexicon?

SB: You better! You better!

Shantrelle P. Lewis

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Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

Here’s our list of 30 Black Owned Businesses in Chicago, aka “The Windy City”. We love the architecture. We also love the fact that this city is FULL of all types of amazing businesses.

Black Owned businesses in Chicago

 

FOOD

Mikkey Halsted, DJ Toure and Rico Nance, are the owners of Mikkey’s Retro Grill. This “healthy fast food” spot opened late February and is located in Hyde Park. It offers a variety of options, including gluten free, salmon, turkey and veggie burgers. They also stay open until 4am everyday except Friday!

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

Justice of the Pies  is a bakery specializes in sweet and savory pies. Its founder, Maya-Camille Broussard created this business in memory of her late father, a criminal defense attorney with a passion for baking.

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

For 30 years, Original Soul has offered a one-of-a-kind culinary experience for vegans and health aficionados throughout the Chicago area.

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

Uncle Remus is a successful family-owned and operated business that has survived 50 years in the Chicagoland area.

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

Norman’s Bistro was founded by Norman Bolden. His restaurant offers a wine bar and serves “American Creole cuisine with a Brazilian flair.”

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

ZBerry Frozen Yogurt & Treats is a self-serve soft serve frozen yogurt and sorbet bar. During winter months, they offer flavored hot chocolates, including a non-dairy vegan option and hot apple cider!

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

 

HAIR SALONS/BARBER SHOPS

Hyde Park Hair Salon is owned by  Ishmael Coyeand and is home to Zariff, the “First Barber of the United States” (FBOTUS). This barber shop has been dubbed “President Barack Obama’s official barbershop for over 20 years.”

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

 

Christian Fields Style Bar is the premier natural hair salon, specializing in Locs, Loc starts and maintenance. 

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

Chris-Tia Donaldson is the founder of  Thank God It’s Natural, a complete line of products made with natural and organic ingredients for ethnic hair and skin.

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

Ken Burkeen is the Founder of Huetiful Salon. They focus on healthy hair treatments for wavy, curly, and kinky-curly hair that is natural, relaxed or transitioning. Locations are also in Dallas and Atlanta.

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

DANCE STUDIOS

MADD Rhythms Dance Company is a family-owned tap dance school and company composed of young, versatile tap dancers from all over Chicago. It was founded by Bril Barrett and Martin Dumas III.

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

 

Red Clay Dance Company is a professional touring company that creates and performs a diverse repertoire of Afro-contemporary dance which fuses traditional West African movement with contemporary dance forms. Vershawn Ward, choreographer, performer, and dance scholar, is the Founder and Executive Artistic Director.

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

Black Ensemble Theater – Founded in 1976 by the phenomenal actress, producer, and playwright Jackie Taylor. The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater is to eradicate racism and its damaging effects upon our society through the utilization of theater arts.

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

EVENT SPACES

The Grand Ballroom Chicago is a gracefully designed masterpiece that dates back to 1923.  Once known as Cinderella’s Ballroom the architectural design is majestic with whimsical details evocative of a fairytale evening.

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

The Silver Room is owned by Eric Williams. This space houses a tasteful collection of eclectic jewelry, fashion, art and music.

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

Room 43, located in the heart of the historic Bronzeville and North Kenwood area, is a classy rental venue perfect for wedding receptions, birthday parties, galas and fundraisers.

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

ARTISTS

Dawoud Bey is a photographer and educator renowned for his large-scale color portraits of adolescents and other often marginalized subjects. His works are included in the permanent collections of numerous museums, both in the United States and abroad, including the Addison Gallery of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago.

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

Kerry James Marshall is known for large-scale paintings, sculptures, and other objects that take African-American life and history as their subject matter. His work often deals with the effects of the Civil Rights movement on domestic life.

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

Amanda Williams is an artist/architect who uses her work to explore themes of personal freedom and identity. Best known for her colorful abstract paintings, she is also an accomplished photographer and installation artist.

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

Hebru Brantley draws influence from an array of pop culture icons, comic book heroes, Japanese anime and the bold aesthetics of street art pioneers Jean-Michel Basquiat, KAWS and Keith Haring.

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

Theaster Gates paid $1 for a dilapidated bank that closed in the 1980s. With the help of The Rebuild Foundation, (which he founded), he transformed the space into an art center that will host site-specific commissions, exhibitions and a media archive.

Black Owned Businesses in Chicago

Faheem Majeed transforms materials such as particle board, scrap metal and wood, and discarded signs and billboard remnants, breathing new life into these often overlooked and devalued materials.

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PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Vista Equity Partners was founded in 2000 by Robert F. Smith, one of the newest(and few) Black billionaires on the Forbes list. Vista Equity Partners is a leading private equity firm focused on investing in software and technology-enabled businesses.

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Burrell Communications Group L.L.C. is one of the largest multi-cultural marketing firms in the world. It was founded in 1971 by Tom Burrell, “the first Black man in Chicago advertising” and author of “Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority.”

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FIS group is an employee owned investment manager. Tina Byles Williams is the founder, chief executive and chief investment officer of FIS Group. She is widely regarded as a trailblazer in the investment management business, particularly in identifying and investing in investment management firms that are minority and women-owned. 

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Mitchell Titus  is the largest minority-controlled accounting firm in the United States. They provide assurance, advisory and tax services to Fortune 1000 organizations, financial service firms, non-profit organizations, real estate entities, government and public sector entities and middle market companies.

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Miro Development, LLC is founded by Michael Altheimer. It is a full service real estate development company that specializes in construction, creating lucrative investment strategies and property management. Miro also offers concierge services, which include residential home cleaning, as well as dry cleaning pick-up and delivery.

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HOSPITALITY

Welcome Inn Manor is one of Chicago’s highest rated B&B’s. Built in 1893, this Queen Anne historic home is 12 minutes away from the center of Chicago’s Downtown Loop. It is owned owned and operated by Mell Monroe, the official innkeeper, and his wife of 15 years, Angela Higginbotham.

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The Chicago South Loop Hotel is owned by Jimmy White, Louis Dodd and Dr. Floyd Mix. It is located in the heart of the historic Bronzeville District and South Loop Area, and moments away from all of the downtown excitement.

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There you have it, 30 Black owned businesses in Chicago! Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to get more great content as soon as it’s available!

-Tony O. Lawson

If you would like to add your business to this list (or another) SUBMIT HERE.


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Black Owned Businesses in Paris You Should Know

We’re back at it with another guide to shopping Black in the Diaspora. This time, we’re highlighting Black owned businesses in Paris.  Let’s show some love to our brothers and sisters in the “City of Light”.

Black Owned Businesses in Paris

Café Dapper by Chef Loïc Dablé  is located a stone’s throw from Champs Elysées. The restaurant Café Dapper Loïc Dablé is set in Dapper Museum, a place dedicated to Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, and its diasporas. black owned businesses in paris

FASHION

Natasha Baco

black owned businesses in paris

Sakina M’sa

black owned businesses in paris

Adama Paris

black owned businesses in paris

BaZara’pagne

black owned businesses in paris

Nefer 

black owned businesses in parisHOME DECOR

Myriam Maxo tells a story through fabrics with abstract patterns and wax that provide a touch of fantasy with contemporary design.

black owned businesses in paris

TRAVEL

Visiter L’Afrique or “Visiting Africa” ​​is an interactive digital platform dedicated to tourism and culture on the African continent.

BOOKSTORE

Présence Africaine is a pan-African quarterly cultural, political, and literary magazine, founded by Seneglese-born Alioune Diop in 1947.

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 ART

Alexis Peskine is a Parisian resident who is renowned for his work on race and identity issues in France.

black owned businesses in paris

 


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22 Businesses in the $3.4 Trillion Health and Wellness Industry

Our list of Black owned businesses in the health and wellness industry is here right on time. Why? Because each new year is typically accompanied by resolutions related to improving health. My goals have generally stayed the same – to increase my income, improve my diet and to exercise more.

This past year, kudos to me, I’ve made quite a bit of progress. I’ve lost almost 30lbs in the past 7 months. Now, in the right lighting and depending on how much I’ve had to eat, I can actually see something that resembles a six pack. I owe much of this progress to whomever created the meme below.

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With so many factors negatively affecting our health, whether it is genetically modified food or the unpronounceable chemicals in our household products, it is even more important that we pay much closer attention to our health.

There are at least five chronic health conditions that disproportionately affect Black Americans more than any other group. Also, the health issues that were once unique to the West are now becoming prevalent on the Continent. Don’t be fooled by the late night infomercials featuring starving children.

Today, increasingly more people in developing countries go to bed having consumed too many calories rather than going to bed hungry. Being overweight is rapidly becoming a more common problem than being underweight. This is due in large part to the popularity of fast food chains spreading across Africa.

 

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The good news is that these days, whether you live in the Western hemisphere or on the Continent, it is likely that you are taking some steps toward living a healthier life.

Africans in Africa are rapidly becoming much more health conscious and the big bellies that once represented wealth and good living are not the status symbol they once were.

In the U.S., more Black people are also interested in fitness and health, as is evident by the large following that fitness-related sites like Black Men RunBlack Women Do Workout, and Black Fitness Today have amassed.

hbcu_5k1According to a report by the Global Wellness Institute, the $3.4 trillion Global Wellness Market is now three times larger than the worldwide Pharmaceutical industryThe report states that the sectors seeing the most significant growth since 2010 are the Fitness and Mind-Body industry as well as Healthy Eating, Nutrition, and Weight Loss industry.

What does this mean? Simply put, people are relying less on drugs to prevent and solve their health issues.
The Fitness and Mind-body industry ($446.4billion) includes gyms and health clubs; personal training and yoga. The Healthy Eating, Nutrition, and Weight Loss industry ($574 billion) include: health foods, natural and organic foods; weight-loss and diet services; diet and weight-loss foods and meal services; and anti-obesity prescription drugs.

Black Owned Businesses in the Health and Wellness industry

There are abundant opportunities available for Black owned businesses and entrepreneurs who are interested in in this industry. Here are several businesses and services that encourage health and wellness and will help you get in shape for the new year and beyond!

Healthy Eating, Nutrition, & Weight Loss

Food and Beverage

Black Owned Businesses

Jus Blend is a Jamaican-rooted; New York City-based family business that produces fresh, cold pressed juices to the city and surrounding areas. Their produce is “fresh and sourced within 24-hours of your order.”

Black Owned Businesses

Jimmy’s Vegan Cookies  Jimmy Prude is the founder of this wholesale Vegan Cookie company based in Chicago. His products are now available on select Whole Foods shelves.

Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar: Khepra Anu founded this Washington DC-based raw food juice bar that was featured in the Washington Post’s Best Eats in 2012.

The WaterHole is owned by Lisa Harris. This Maryland based juice bar also provides coffee, wifi cable, and good vibes.

Local Farms

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Five Seeds Farm is a family-owned and operated city and country farm in Baltimore, MD. This city-based farm was developed in the spring of 2008 in the backyard of a Belair-Edison neighborhood and quickly expanded to other vacant lots and private yards across the city.

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Renaissance Community Co-op has a mission to create a democratically-owned and controlled grocery store in Northeast Greensboro, NC, that provides all of Greensboro with healthy foods at affordable prices.

Black Owned Businesses

Patchwork City Farms is a family owned urban farm located in the South West Atlanta historic West End neighborhood. Patchwork City Farm’s mission is to “work with local landholders – public and private – to create a sustainable, naturally grown local food system.”

Fitness and Mind-body industry

Yoga

Black Owned Businesses

NY based Afro Flow Yoga infuses electrifying dance movements of the African Diaspora with a meditative yoga sequence of gentle yet powerful stretches. Founder, Leslie Salmon Jones is a former Alvin Ailey dancer, certified holistic personal trainer, yoga instructor, certified wellness coach, and public speaker.

Michael Hayes, the owner of NY based “Buddha Body Yoga,” has over 20 years experience teaching and has has traveled regularly to Thailand to study with master teachers. His class will benefit anyone regardless of their individual anatomy, flexibility, age, or yoga background.

Black Owned Businesses

Chelsea Loves Yoga is founded by Chelsea Roberts, PhD. She is an Atlanta based yoga instructor and educator. The purpose of Chelsea Loves Yoga is to illuminate the voices and images of yogis who have been traditionally eliminated or (under)represented in Yoga in the United States and abroad.

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Dade2Shelby  Derrick “DJ” Townsel, a former NFL athlete, has become an inspiration to thousands who didn’t think a passion for fitness or yoga could be a possibility for them— mainly men and people of color. Derrick is now a sought-after Certified Personal Trainer and Calisthenics Instructor based in Orlando.

12208487_1160592893969453_8166857437012076124_nSelamta Yoga is an eco-friendly yoga mat company based in San Diego and founded by Aregache Demelew, or “Mimi’. The company is dedicated to spreading the practice of yoga, eastern philosophy & culture to the world. Selamta means “Peace Be With You” in Amharic (a native language of Ethiopia)

Black Owned Businesses

Spa & Resorts

Black Owned Businesses

Virginia-based, Salamander Resort & Spa, features 168 luxurious rooms and suites, a luxury spa, full-service equestrian center, a dedicated cooking studio, wine bar, billiards room and a unique array of conference and banquet facilities.

Chatto Salon is a full service, eco-friendly salon located in the Gold Coast area of Downtown Chicago, IL, that offers its own natural and organic products.

Atlanta-based, IWI Fresh Garden Day Spa, partners with local farms and gardens and handpicks fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs to create fresh skin care products. They offer spa services such as Manicures, Veggie Pedicures, Veggie Facials, Herbal Massages, Waxing, Threading and Natural Hair Care.

Black Owned BusinessesFrancine’s Salon and Day Spa, the first Black owned Salon & Day Spa in Hartford County has been located in Bloomfield, Connecticut, for over a decade. The founder, Francine Austin, is a 20-year plus veteran of the cosmetology industry.

Fitness Centers

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Shaun Chambers, BodyRoc founder, is a former boxer and song writer. His BodyRoc Fit Lab is CT’s first dynamic, boutique boxing studio. A high-intensity workout that fuses fitness with entertainment, the signature circuit-style workout combines treadmills, heavy bag boxing, and weight training, all in a dance club environment.

Black Owned Businesses

KTX Fitness founder, Keith Thompson, has created an Atlanta-based cycle class that is guaranteed to have you sweating. KTX’s “Rock the Bike™” Cycle, Step, and Zumba are uniquely different and literally an exercise party as it provides a fun and challenging workout that is sure to have you working every muscle.

Black Owned Businesses

Rahman “Ray” Grayson, Mr. Shut Up and Train, is the founder of this Atlanta-based personal training company. His signature “In Motion” style of training focuses on keeping the heart rate elevated and the body in motion. Whether you are aiming to lose weight, build muscle, or gain endurance, Ray has the plan for you.

Knight’s Personal Fitness is a Philadelphia-based personal training facility founded by Tommi Knight. His first location was in a basement. A few months later he moved to a 1,100 square foot studio space. Now, Tommie trains clients in a 5,000-square-foot facility. I guess you can say, business is booming.

Dance

Black Owned Businesses

BRUKWINE is a Caribbean inspired dance workout created by professional dancers and choreographers, Tavia and Tamara. Brukwine, “Break out and Wine,” is a NY-based workout class featuring dancehall moves turned choreography, complete with waste winding and hot sounds straight from Jamaica.

The Dwana Smallwood Performing Arts Center is based in NY. Founded former principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater turned Director of Student Affairs (and founder of the OWLAG’s Dance Company) at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, DSPAC aims to mold the world’s next generation of elite dancers and artists.  No worries, they also offers a variety of classes for adults ranging from Orisa dance workshops to Afro-Caribbean technique classes.

Black Owned Businesses

 

-Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson

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20 Black Owned Businesses in the UK

By now you must have seen our first list of Black Owned Businesses in the Diaspora. On that list, we mentioned several Black owned businesses based in the UK. This time, we are showing even MORE love to our brothers and sisters across the pond with a new list of dope businesses you should most definitely check out and support from your country or when you visit the United Kingdom.

20 Black Owned Businesses in the UK

Home Decor

Eva Sonaike is a lifestyle company that produces luxurious home décor, fashion accessories and textiles.

Black Owned Businesses

 

Fashion

Uptown Yardie is a British company inspired by Jamaican heritage, selling a lifestyle captured through shoes and clothes.

Black Owned Businesses

Afrination is an urban clothing brand inspired by African culture and tradition.

Black Owned Businesses

Dionne Gooding is a footwear designer that combines the latest London styles and soft leathers and suede with jaw dropping fabrics from West Africa.

Black Owned Businesses

Tsemaye Binite  is an award winning contemporary fashion label characterized by exquisite clothing encapsulating a love of luxury and innovative design.

Black Owned Businesses

 

Duro Olowu is impressing the right people with his vibrant mix of African prints, seventies tailoring, and unlikely color combos.

 

Hair/Skin Care

Hug My Hair

Curly by Nature

Almocado

Root2Tip

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Jewelry and Accessories

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Afro Deco 

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MaroonDawta

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Sapelle 

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Food

The Black Farmer

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Check out our most recent list of Black owned businesses in the UK !

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