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How You Can Support California’s Black-Owned Businesses

How You Can Support California’s Black-Owned Businesses

Check out this curated collection of restaurants, boutiques, and other worthy outlets

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Posted 2 years agoby Kwin Mosby

One way to promote racial equality in our society is to support Black-owned businesses whenever you can—including when you travel.

“In terms of getting to a place where things are just and equal, it’s important that we support Black-owned businesses financially—not with just lip service, but with serious financial support,” said Earl Cooper II, President of the Black Business Association of L.A.

Many California destinations and media outlets have curated lists of Black-owned businesses worth supporting. In addition to Discover Los Angeles’ guide to Black-owned businesses, the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, and LA Eater have gathered great collections. San Francisco Travel created this list, and SF Eater put together a comprehensive guide to Black-owned restaurants across the Bay Area.

There are similar resources available in San DiegoOrange County, FresnoSacramento, and throughout the state. And here’s our list—a collection of 17 Black-owned businesses covering a wide variety of categories, organized by region.

Please note that many of the businesses listed below will open soon or are partially open, with safety measures in place due to COVID-19. Contact each business directly for more info about what services they are currently providing customers as well as what social-distancing measures are in place to keep you safe.

Northern California

African American Expressions
This Sacramento store is the largest Black-owned gift and greeting card company in the world. Known for eye-catching designs and poignant art pieces, African American Expressions offers the best selection in culturally authentic gifts such as African-American calendars, greeting cards, figurines and more.

Marcus Books
Oakland’s Marcus Books, the oldest Black-owned bookstore in the United States, has seen an uptick in business as more people turn to books to educate themselves on issues of race in the U.S. This 60-year-old independent bookstore is not only a venue to showcase Black authors, but it also functions as a safe-space forum for patrons to discuss current events.

McBride Sisters Collection
After years apart, half-sisters Robin and Andréa McBride connected and created the world’s largest African-American-owned wine company. Based in Oakland, their offerings include the Black Girl Magic collection (including a Riesling, a rosé, and a red blend) as well as the canned wines series, She Can (including a Sauvignon Blanc and rosé). The wines celebrate the flavors of New Zealand and the Central Coast of California, and plans are underway to open a tasting room.

Miyako Old Fashion Ice Cream
Thomas Bennett and his daughter Teresa Bennett have operated the only Black-owned ice cream parlor in San Francisco for 30 years. The shop is situated in the culturally diverse Fillmore District and the undisputed bestselling flavor is Cookies and Cream.

Minnie Bell’s
Owner Fernay McPherson, who learned to cook from her great aunt Minnie and her grandmother Lillie Bell, serves traditional family recipes and soulful food out of her Emeryville restaurant—including Rosemary Fried Chicken, braised greens, and candied yams.

Fingersnaps Media Arts
In this creative workspace in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, DJ Lamont educates all ages and experience levels to follow their passion and explore the necessary skills to DJ. Learn how to record a mix, participate in formal talks, take creative workshops, and more.

Outdoor Afro
Founded in Oakland in 2009, this organization is dedicated to celebrating and inspiring Black connections and leadership in nature. Today, with a network active in 60-plus cities, Outdoor Afro volunteers lead their community members in intergenerational activities such as kayaking, fishing, backpacking, birding, horseback riding, and swimming; for Juneteenth (June 19), the organization is aiming to motivate 50,000 people to go outside for 2.5 hours to reflect on the day in 1866 when the enslaved people of Galveston, Texas, learned of their freedom 2.5 years after the fact.

Central California

Alavina Skin Care
In Arroyo Grande, owner Cassandra Grossman is on a mission to keep your skin healthy. This skin care line is a blend of organic, cold-pressed oils from the seeds of watermelon, pomegranate, red raspberry, jojoba, coffee bean, and other natural ingredients.

Dr. Jacques Charles Aesthetics, Health & Wellness Institute
This unique Santa Barbara business encompasses massage therapy, nutritional and lifestyle counseling, and a variety of other health and wellness services. Let the stress melt away as you receive a relaxing massage or pamper yourself with a facial or body treatment.

Hush Harbor Artisan Bakery & Café
Owner Donnie Monroe oversees this quaint Atascadero bakery-café specializing in artisan breads and pastries. Enjoy a selection of tasty food and local wines while listening to jazz greats such as John Coltrane and Sarah Vaughn.

Miss Oddette’s Creole Kitchen
Based in Paso Robles, Oddette Augustus draws on her Louisiana roots to create delicious BBQ sauces and customer favorites such as creamy shrimp and grits, classic mac and cheese, chicken Creole and pulled pork sliders. You can usually catch Miss Oddette at her weekly appearance at D’Anbino Vineyards & Cellars or at other pop-up events, including local festivals.

Smobbin 559
Fresno native James Graham gave up a career as a probation officer to become a full-time artist, and his dynamic work is definitely worth a look. He possesses a remarkably diverse skill set — colorful murals, drawings, paintings as well as chalk and mixed media art — that burst with creativity and passion.

Southern California

Ackee Tree
Your taste buds will spring to life at this San Diego restaurant that serves dishes originating from the Maroon people in Jamaica. Featured menu items include Manish Water (Goat Soup), Saltfish and Calaloo, and Brownstew Chicken.

Charles Wine Company
Based in Los Angeles, the family-owned Charles Wine Company features a portfolio of premium wines distributed under three labels: Paul Charles Series, Cherise Sparking Riesling, and Symphony Our Wines. Grape varieties used in this Black-owned business’ wines include Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Symphony—a relative newcomer to the grape world.

Dulan’s Soul Food Kitchen
Owner Adolf Dulan is the self-proclaimed “King of Soul” and he has more than 40 years of experience in the L.A. food scene. As the patriarch of the “First Family of Los Angeles Soul Food,” he serves up one-of-a-kind culinary experiences at his Inglewood location and at the Dulan’s SFK on West Century Boulevard.

Jendayi Collection
This full-service jewelry retailer prides itself on providing customers with culturally inspired custom wedding rings and fine jewelry—often featuring unique gemstones sources from around the world. Shop online or arrange for an appointment so you can see the sparkling creations in person.

Rock City Climbing
Put your mind and body to the test at this indoor climbing facility in Anaheim. It’s not just a gym—it’s also a community gathering place for climbers, from first-timers to masters, looking to scale a wall in a family-friendly environment.

Stuzo Clothing
Los Angeles resident Stoney Michelli Love created this unique clothing brand for non-conforming, gender-free customers as well as for popular celebs such as Tiffany Haddish, Lena Waithe, Spike Lee, and Jada Pinkett Smith. 

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