5 Black-Owned Food Businesses to Support This Month
From desserts and wine to delicious vegan cuisine.
Here at rē•spin, we strive to share Black-owned brands during Black History Month and throughout the entire year. This month and every month moving forward, rē•spin will highlight the missions of brands, organizations, and restaurants to support and uplift BIPOC communities. Our purchasing power has a profound effect on the world we live in and can help shape the future of our community institutions.
Auzerais Bellamy was appointed the “family baker” at a young age. She harnessed that early talent and passion by enrolling in culinary school right after high school and felt like she knew she was exactly where she needed to be. Bellamy always wanted to be a business owner. After working in fine-dining, she continued to make blondies and shipped them to family members as she bounced around. After opening up an online store Bellamy sold over 500 orders. It was then she recognized the path opening up in front of her and began her journey towards creating Blondery, a virtual bakery that centers on the ever-so-delicious blondie.
“Blondery exists because people who are notoriously marginalized within the food industry aren’t allowed to create, advance, or just be themselves at work,” Bellamy says. “I am very intentional about most things (shooting for all but not there yet) and Blondery is quite possibly my greatest expression of what I would like to see more of in the world: good products, sustainable business practices, and passion.”
If you don’t know where to start, Bellamy suggests trying the Strawberry Rosé flavor of her blondie creations first. And yes, it’s made with real rosé!
Robin and Andréa McBride found each other a little later in life and quickly discovered their shared passion: wine. Realizing they also shared an entrepreneurial spirit, they carved out their own path within the beverage industry to create wines that felt true to their character and their upbringing. From day one, the McBride sisters strived to transform the wine industry and lead by example in order to cultivate community, one glass of wine at a time.
Their signature collection is inspired by their hometowns of California and New Zealand. Because they grew up on opposite sides of the world, they were able to represent the character and unique tastes from both renowned winemaking regions, in one bottle. Andrea tells rē•spin, “Our wines are rooted in tradition, but remixed for everyday life. And we like to break the rules (and drink the wine).” The sisters have also created Black Girl Magic, a line inspired by the resilience of Black women, and an eco-friendly line, SHECAN, dedicated to their daughters and the next generation. SHECAN was inspired by women who break barriers and make their dreams a reality, a theme that runs through every endeavor they undertake.
The McBride sisters have integrated a philanthropic aspect to their business through the creation of the SHECAN Professional Development Fund, originally started in 2019 to promote the professional advancement of women in the wine and spirits industry. In 2020, the program pivoted and they opened a grant program for Black-and-women-owned-businesses after the financial impact of COVID hit. The fund has grown 600% and awarded $300,000 in grants.
Wendy-Dawn Wintcentsen spent almost 20 years working in corporate America before making the shift to becoming a chocolatier. When she was younger and growing up in the Caribbean, she would hang around the older women as they worked in the kitchen. Wintcentsen reflected on her grandma back in Trinidad, a mother of five children and four grandchildren, who cooked for the entire family and prepped food for neighborhood events. Of all of the kids, Wintcentsen had the most fun in the kitchen. She created her first dish when she was just six years old: honey mixed with mango and pineapple to balance out the sourness.
Through Truffolie, Wintcentsen found a way to transform her childhood interest into a full-blown venture. She focuses on creating chocolate bars that encompass the essence of natural chocolate with zero added sugar, dairy, or preservatives.
“I see chocolate as one of the most ‘abused’ health products on a market, which loses most of its health benefits during the production process,” she tells rē•spin. “Though we are a high-end luxury chocolate brand, we create all our products with one thing in mind: how to preserve and amplify all of the well-known and documented health benefits of chocolate, along with preserving and amplifying their delicious flavors!”
Latisha Daring had considered herself a foodie long before starting Greedi Kitchen. After traveling to over 23 countries, she found that one of her greatest joys was to immerse herself in other cultures through food. After working in fashion for over two decades, Daring made the switch into the world of hospitality as a restauranteur. She tells rē•spin that she saw a problem and set it out to fix it. The problem in this case? She was unsatisfied with vegan options in Black communities.
“I wanted flavorful, healthy food in my neighborhood and it didn’t exist,” she says. “I’ve been vegan since I was a child so it truly is my foundation. I wanted to create a culinary experience that was rooted in my expression of veganism paired with culture, history, and tradition.” Daring combined her southern roots with the culinary experiences she came across during her travels to harness a strong concept for diverse, healthy food that isn’t just good for you but tastes good too. Thus, Greedi Kitchen was born.
Amanda-Jane Thomas and Shanita Nicholas founded Sip & Sonder in 2017, bringing together their unique stories and experiences with coffee to create what they describe as a “creative hub” where coffee, community, and culture come together to connect. Thomas tells rē•spin that when she was growing up, going to a coffee shop with her mother was a treat since they were absent in her own community. She wanted a space in her community where she could do work, see friends, and even get lost in her own thoughts over a latte. Nicholas’ experience with coffee growing up as an army brat was centered in comfort and familiarity, as she knew she knew no matter where she was in the world, she could always find a coffee shop and have a space to find solace.
When she would visit her family in Maryland, Nicholas noticed that the same experiences with coffee shops were not available in the communities she called home, especially predominantly Black neighborhoods. She told rē•spin, “I wanted to provide access to the same experiences I had to the people and in the spaces that reflected further parts of my identity as a Black woman.”
Sip & Sonder represents having a community where you can be yourself, whether you’re at their flagship location in Inglewood, California, or enjoying one of their blends at home. If you’re unsure how to support your local businesses, especially Black-owned businesses, at this time, Thomas shares the reminder, that this is not a “passing fad, but a sustaining effort that is crucial for businesses like ours that are still struggling.” To continue to support these businesses, visit safely in person if you can or purchase online and become local ambassadors for your favorite business through word of mouth on social media.