Looking for new ways to advocate for racial justice and equity in America? Here's a list of Black-owned businesses you can support at a grocery store near you.
While many are taking to the streets in protest, others have been taking action from home in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Some are donating to civil rights organizations, some are educating themselves and sharing resources on social media, and some are having difficult conversations with friends and family.
There’s another way you can contribute to the fight against institutional and systemic racism: supporting Black-owned businesses, which have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic (1).
According to a financial report from JP Morgan Chase, 94% of small Black-owned businesses do not have the cash reserve to stay open for more than 14 days of being closed during the COVID-19 stay-at-home order (2).
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was a loan designed by the U.S. Small Business Administration to support small businesses during the coronavirus crisis. But, there were several structural limitations built into the PPP that made it hard for businesses of color to get funded.
For example, Black-owned businesses are more likely to have fewer employees and less revenue than White-owned businesses. This puts them at a disadvantage compared to larger businesses that were able to qualify for larger loans. The PPP also excluded business owners who have been charged, tried, or convicted of a crime (3). For Black business-owners who have been subjected to the existing racial disparities in the criminal justice system, this exclusion puts them at an even further disadvantage (4).
For every $100 earned by White families in America, Black families earn only $57.30 in income (5). Due to racial disparities in homeownership and the return on education, in addition to a lack of intergenerational transfer of wealth, the racial wealth gap is alive and well in America (6). Although there are many actions that need to be taken at the policy level before these economic inequalities can be eliminated, non-Black Americans can use the financial power they have to bring wealth back into the Black community. It is crucial that, as a first step, we take action to provide financial support to Black-owned businesses.
Our team at GreenChoice has compiled a list of 10 Black-owned businesses you can support today and every day. These brands are all listed on the GreenChoice app, so you can find Black-owned products to love that are best for YOU and your values.
We acknowledge that this list is far from complete, but we will continue to update it as we add more Black-owned food brands to the GreenChoice database.
Black-owned Business: Me & the Bees Lemonade
Me & the Bees is a Black-owned beverage brand created by Mikaila Ulmer, a young social entrepreneur who created a lemonade inspired by her love of bees and an old family recipe. Me & the Bees premium lemonade is sweetened with honey and includes ingredients like mint, ginger, prickly pear, and black tea. Me & the Bees Lemonades contain no high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, or artificial flavors!
Black-owned Business: Capital City
Capital City is a Black-owned food brand founded by Arsha Jones, who was born in Washington, D.C. and created Mambo Sauce as a way to give her family a taste of home when they moved to the suburbs. Arsha and her husband Charles were able to grow this home-based business into a successful company, providing a beloved product from their childhood to more people around the world.
Black-owned Business: Charleston Gourmet Burger Company
Charleston Gourmet Burger Company is a Black-owned food brand founded by Chevalo and Monique Wilsondebriano, who were inspired to create the perfect burger after trying lots of different recipes at cookouts with family and friends. Their guests encouraged Chevalo and Monique to bring their delicious gluten-free burger marinade to the world — and Charleston Gourmet Burger Co. was born!
Black-owned Business: Glory Foods
Glory Foods is a Black-owned food brand founded by Bill Williams, who had a vision to bring generations of Southern-style recipes and flavors together in quality, convenient, and flavorful Southern-style vegetables. After Williams passed away, his son, Bill Williams, Jr. moved back to Columbus to join the family business as Director of Sales. Although McCall Farms acquired Glory Foods in 2010, the Glory Foods product line is inspired by generations of southern-style recipes and flavors.
Black-owned Business: Iya Foods
Iya Foods is a Black-owned food brand founded by Toyin Kolawole, who was inspired by her West African roots, her love of great food, and the better-for-you food movement to create African-inspired spice mixes, one-pot meal mixes, and gluten-free flours. Iya Foods is committed to sourcing ingredients from sustainable growers, portraying the best of Africa’s culture, and fostering stronger food connections between the United States and Africa for the future.
Black-owned Business: Michele’s Foods
Michele's Foods is a Black-owned food brand founded by Michele Hoskins, who created her famous Honey Creme Syrup based on a secret family recipe passed down from her mother. The product line of syrups — which includes Honey Creme Syrup, Maple Creme Syrup, and Butter Pecan Syrup — can be used not only for waffles and pancakes, but also as condiments and in sweet and savory dishes.
Black-owned Business: Partake Foods
Partake Foods is a Black-owned food brand founded by Denise Woodard, who decided to create her own allergy-friendly, healthy snacks after she discovered her daughter had several food allergies. Understanding the challenges that come with finding safe, healthy snacks and the importance of bringing people together through food, Denise created her allergen-free, gluten-free, vegan cookie products from scratch!
Black-owned Business: Sanaia Applesauce
Sanaia Applesauce is a Black-owned food brand founded by Keisha Smith-Jeremie, who was inspired to use the island fruit and spices from her childhood home in the Bahamas to create her plant-based, allergen-free applesauce. Sanaia Applesauces feature exotic flavors, a decadent texture, and an elegant single serve package, making it the“holy grail” of healthy adult snacking.
Black-owned Business: Southern Culture Artisan Foods
Southern Culture Artisan Foods is a Black-owned food brand created by Erica Barrett and her mother, who were inspired to start their business after a trip to the store for pancake ingredients. After realizing how expensive and time-consuming it was to shop for a single batter recipe, Erica became committed to creating convenient box mixes for pancakes, fried chicken, cornbread, and more.
Black-owned Business: Yolele Foods
Yolélé is a Black-owned food brand created by Pierre Thiam, a chef, author, and social activist best known for bringing West African cuisine to the global fine dining world. Yolélé is committed to buying Africa’s oldest super grain, FONIO, from smallholder farms in West Africa and bringing the new superfood to the rest of the world in an effort to transform communities in rural West Africa.
Author: Sydney Wexler
GreenChoice, PBC has evaluated and rated more than 340,000 food & beverage products across hundreds of attributes related to diet, health, and sustainability. Easily find the best products for you, the planet, & your budget. Download the free GreenChoice app for Apple iOS or Android!