One way to celebrate Black History Month is to support Black-owned businesses — not just this month, but all the months.
Flashback: In Charlotte in 2021, we saw a boom of Black-owned small businesses, from a cereal bar in Uptown, to a busy pizzeria in Optimist Park, to a wildly popular food trucks that went brick-and-mortar (Romeo’s).
- A look ahead: And the list will only grow this year, with the recent announcement of four Black-owned restaurants coming to Camp North End.
The bottom line: There’s enough here to fill your calendar for a long time.
So without more delay, here is our ever-growing list of local Black-owned businesses to check out (or revisit).
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in June 2020. It was last updated on February 1, 2022.
FOOD + DRINK
A Central Avenue spot owned by a brother-and-sister duo from Ethiopia, Abugida serves some of Charlotte’s best injera bread — spongey flatbread traditional in the East African country.
No-frills cafe serving Caribbean cuisine like jerk chicken and wings. Anntony’s also has a small patio out front its Elizabeth location. The cafe has a second location near University.
To support: Dine in or call (704) 342-0749 to place an order.
Contrary to the name, this is not just another food truck. The menu experiments with staple dishes from the Northeast as well as the Deep South.
To support: Find the truck’s next stop here.
Home-baked gourmet cakes and cupcakes because there is nothing better than a freshly baked dessert says owner Natosha Fleming. Everything is made from scratch, and they offer nationwide shipping of cookies and brownies. Place orders via their website.
The East-coast style pizza joint from husband-and-wife duo Kerrel and Nkem Thompson opened in December 2021 to rave reviews. You can’t go wrong with the classics so we suggest trying Bird’s pepperoni pizza made with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni and basil.
To support: Order ahead online or place an order at the walk-up window.
Named after the owner’s late son, BW Sweets has something for every sweet tooth including but not limited to ice cream, cupcakes, cake slices, hot desserts, macarons, pastries, bread, doughnuts. There are 16 cake flavors and 18 cheesecake flavors offered every day at the flagship location at 5820 East W.T. Harris Blvd.
The intimate luxury lounge on South Mint St. was started by husband and wife duo Ramond “Mond” and Kyphi Boyd and features dishes like 24-karat gold leaf lemon pepper chicken wings and lollipop lamb chops.
To support: Seating is first-come, first-served until 10pm. After 10pm tables are reservation only and can be made here.
Owned by cousins Andarrio and Anglee, who both hail from South Carolina, this spot specializes in Southern comfort foods. The menu includes wings, lobster mac and cheese, chicken and waffles, fish, chicken tenders, shrimp, and more.
To support: Order in person from their location at 3418 Tuckaseegee Rd. or place an order online here. Cuzzo’s also has a second location opening at 9601 North Tryon St. on February 12.
Charlotte’s first and only build-your-own cereal bar, which opened in Uptown in April 2021, offers a wide selection of classics like Honey Nut Cheerios and Cap N’ Crunch plus cereal varieties from around the world. LaMelo Ball’s go-to order is the Cosmo & Wanda shake.
To support: Stop in and order something from the menu or customize your own cereal bowl.
The full-service coffee shop on wheels has dozens of drinks on its menu including coffee and espresso drinks, plus teas, sodas, and smoothies for non-coffee drinkers.
To support: Check out their schedule to grab your morning beverage of choice.
Sharon and Cliff Freshwaters operate their namesake restaurant in the Fourth Ward tucked in a strip mall off Graham Street. They serve a mix of Southern and cajun cuisine that’s both meat-lover and vegetarian friendly.
To support: Dine in or call 704.503.9629 to order takeout.
The sports bar and CBD lounge was started by Jay Davis of the wildly popular Lulu’s Maryland Style Chicken and Seafood. Menu highlights include the bacon patty melt and the Hideaway Special Wings (although the lemon pepper wings were tasty enough to inspire a song).
To support: Stop by the bar located at 2710 Tuckaseegee Rd.
Located inside Southern Strain Beer Company, Hot Box Next Level Kitchen serves a wide selection of southern comfort dishes like deviled eggs and pimento cheese plus wing plates and pork sliders.
To support: Head to their kitchen at Southern Strain Beer Co. in Concord.
Owned by Janelle & Desmen Milligan, this gourmet popcorn retailer is currently operating out of 7th Street Public Market.
To support: Shop online and follow on Instagram for updates and specials.
Jazzy’s serves cheesecake in every form and flavor. Owner Gerri Simmons started the business when she was a high schooler at East Mecklenburg in honor of her late uncle Jazzy. Expect everything from classic cheesecake with strawberries to honeybun cheesecake to cheesecake stuffed apples.
Co-owners and chefs Oscar Johnson and DC “Coop” Cooper specialize in Tidewater, Virginia-inspired cuisine. One popular menu item is Uncle Gene’s Fish Sandwich, which is made with a piece of fried local fish, topped with field pea slaw and house-made hot sauce, garnished with Jimmy Sauce and packed onto a brioche roll.
To support: Follow Jimmy Pearl Street Shack on Instagram and book the truck for your next event.
Former Panthers player Marcus Lucas opened Krustaceans as a way to bring good, low country seafood to the Queen City. And the best part is that customers can have spices and flavors added to their orders.
The southern-inspired juke joint run by husband and wife duo Greg and Subrina Collier has become a Camp North End staple. Since opening in March 2020, they’ve secured the No. 2 spot on Esquire’s list of best new restaurants in the U.S.
To support: Make a reservation here.
Located at Tuckaseegee and Berryhill, Lulu’s serves one of the few true Maryland-style crab cakes in Charlotte.
A new food truck serving up family-style portions of mac & cheese and fried chicken.
To support: Order a pan of mac and cheese for your next dinner. Options include their OG mac ($7.99), bacon mac ($8.99), buffalo chicken mac ($9.99), and crawfish mac ($12.99) among several others.
Two concepts, under one roof. Havana Smoke is an upscale cigar social club with a full bar and a small patio overlooking Uptown. One level above is Novelty House, a rooftop bar that’s decked out with flowers on the walls and ceiling.
To support: Stop in (123 E. 5th St.) for a cigar or a cocktail on the roof.
Owned by Kia and Clarence Lyons, Popbar has handcrafted gelato, sorbetto, and yogurt pops made with natural ingredients and fun toppings.
To support: Stop in for a pop at Popbar’s NoDa, Camp North End or Concord Mills locations.
You may remember Romeo’s as the food truck that had lines of vegan-curious customers stretching down the block. Within about a year of starting the mobile operation, Romeo’s expanded to a brick-and-mortar location with a drive-thru window.
To support: Swing by their food truck (check their Instagram for location updates) or pull up to the drive-thru window at 5518 South Blvd.
The mother-daughter food truck venture started by Akyah “Ky” Atkinson and her mother April Atkinson served shaved ice and egg rolls. The menu has eight egg roll options, 15 pre-made shaved ice options and 21 shaved ice syrups to mix and match.
A full-service catering company and culinary apprenticeship program. With each meal served, sustainable solutions to poverty, hunger, and homelessness are created, through the job training and social enterprise solution program.
To support: Cater your next event with the help of the food experts with Sweet Creations.
Try more than 200 flavors of gourmet popcorn at this veteran-owned business.
To support: Visit them at 3805 Concord Parkway South #132 Concord, NC.
In addition to offering tattoos and booze, the tattoo parlor also has a full restaurant menu with bar bites and larger plates, plus boozy cupcakes and hookah all under the same roof.
To support: 505 E. 6th St., Ste. 100 in Uptown.
The beloved ice cream shop has a rotating list of ice cream flavors. Head to any of three locations (Plaza Midwood, South End, and Mooresville) and treat yourself.
To support: Go get some delicious ice cream.
If you thought the words “vegan” and “soul food” couldn’t exist in the same sentence, think again. The restaurant specializes in vegan cuisine, smoothies, and juices. Be sure to check its Facebook for the rotating features.
To support: Dine in at Veltree’s Ballantyne location at 14825 Ballantyne Village Way, Ste. 150.
The food truck and brick-and-mortar restaurant, owned by Jamie Barnes and Greg Williams, specializes in creatively topped fries and other delicious combinations, like lobster mac and cheese fries (lobster, cavatappi pasta, boursin cheese sauce, Gouda cheese, Asiago cheese, and parsley atop hand-cut fries).
Husband and wife duo Bernetta and Clarence Powell own and operate this west side staple. Bernetta opened it in 1998.
To support: Visit them at 2206 Beatties Ford Rd.
Handcrafted organic hair-care, skin-care, and men’s care products.
To support: Visit their website to shop for products for your self-care needs. Follow them on Instagram.
Part art gallery, part-studio collaborative, BLK MRKT connects local arts and photographers of color from its location in Camp North End.
To support: Shop online or stop by their store in Camp North End.
This women’s boutique in South Park Mall offers unique, quality pieces that fit any occasion.
To support: Visit their store or shop online.
The popular shop sells all the tools creatives need plus, it offers classes. During the pandemic, the shop has reduced class sizes, offered knitting kits, and private lessons.
Curio, located at 3204-C North Davidson St. in NoDa, offers readings and energy clearing services, spell kits, talismans, crystals and stones, C4 candles, and other ritual-related things. It’s open from noon to 5pm Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday and from noon to 6pm on Friday and Saturday.
To support: Go shopping in-store, or place an online order. You can also buy a gift card if you prefer shopping in person but aren’t comfortable just yet.
The watch and jewelry store located in the Epicentre Uptown is owned by James Mack.
To support: If you’re in the market for a new watch or some new jewelry, check out the online store.
This luxury candle company specializes in hand-crafted, soy-based candles which come in three sizes: small (8oz), medium (28oz) and large (80oz) — with names reflecting some of the most personal emotions, including love, strength, compassion and joy.
To support: Shop online or visit in-person at their store in SouthPark Mall.
Traci Bullock manages the second-hand boutique on Beatties Ford Road. The store is one of Friendship Community Development Corporation’s programs, a nonprofit that helps Charlotteans with affordable housing, transitional living, and more.
The plus-size boutique where you’ve got to be “two-something to do something” according to shop owner Summer Lucille.
Owned by Nyoni Sioh, the luxury menswear retailer offers bespoke suits, tuxedos, shirts, shoes, and accessories. Sioh says custom suiting and made-to-order pieces are the shop’s specialty.
Owned by Andrea Richter, Pretty Honest specializes in handmade, natural, soy candles. Bestsellers include fresh coffee, green tea and lemongrass, eucalyptus spearmint, lavender, and honeysuckle jasmine.
Stylist and jewelry designer Monica Warren offers one-of-a-kind handmade bracelets and can up your fashion game. She also offers a variety of personal styling services.
To support: Shop online.
This nostalgic thrift shop is owned by Josh Hallums and Jess McDonald, and it specializes in vintage apparel from the ’80s and ’90s.
Shop for whipped body butter, soy candles, essential oils, and other body care items (wrapped in gorgeous packaging).
Find your next plant with the help of Barry Greene, certified plant enthusiast and owner of Shades of Moss.
The pop-up independent bookstore owned by Abbigail “Abbi” Glen brings books to coffee shops and other small businesses such as Enderly Coffee, Sunflour Bakery and Pepperbox Doughnuts. Whatever she doesn’t have on hand, she can order for you.
To support: Order books online. You can shop Abbi’s favorites directly on the site, or you can send her your wishlist and she’ll order the books for you. And if you’re in a book club of five people or more, you’ll get 12 percent off your club’s books if you partner with Shelves.
Small business owner Erika Paige Henderson, specializes in handcrafted chunky knit blankets.
Home, bath & body, hair & skin care products that are handmade or developed by minority women.
This shop started by Tamu Curtis sells everything you need to create an at-home bar set-up that you can truly enjoy.
This men’s boutique in NoDa sells clothing, home furnishings, barware and more.
To support: Shop in-store at 2300 North Davidson St.
The University City bookstore has more than 3,000 books — from children’s books to coloring books to biographies — mostly from Black authors.
Justine Wiggins, who’s also in the army reserves and works for a professional organizer, runs Worthy + Badass. The company offers jewelry, key chains, and other accessories.
To support: Shop the online store.
It’s tax season and ASAP Tax Express can assist with individual and business tax preparation, payroll and bookkeeping.
The resume writing service and staffing agency supports workers and companies at every level. The agency can help employers find talent and future employees find work. Services include mock interviews and career counseling, and temporary staffing and permanent placement.
This full-service dog groomer offers haircuts, baths, dental care, de-shedding treatments, and other services.
To support: Book a grooming appointment for your pup.
This boutique personal training studio caters to specifically to women and offers customized workouts, nutrition coaching, assessments and monthly progress reports.
To support: Book an appointment online.
Charlotte Quality Control offers “auction-style” auto detailing for personal vehicles, fleets and dealerships.
The car wash and lube center offers oil changes, brake services and state inspections. The service center on Brookshire Boulevard prides itself on low prices and high integrity. Customers can get their car serviced and washed in the same visit.
To support: Call (704) 395-2155 to make an appointment or book a service online.
Interior designer Cheryl Luckett will help you transform your home into a space where you can truly dwell and feel excited to return to.
To support: Fill out a contact form on her website to get started.
This family-owned counseling and wellness practice provides counseling, massage, yoga, and nutrition services to promote a better quality of life and break down stigmas of mental health in the Black community.
To support: Call (704) 910- 2055 to make an appointment to create a nutrition plan or talk to a counselor. Or schedule online.
Shaun “Lucky” Corbett opened Walmart’s first Black-owned, Black-operated barbershop back in 2019.
Andrico Thompson never expected to own a nail salon or become a certified nail technician, and the idea of doing nails started as a joke with the fellas. After 20 years as a songwriter and producer, Thompson traded in his stage name “Big Dreek” for “Rico aka Mista Pedi.” He opened Manny’s Nail Spa at 529 Briar Creek Rd. (near Bojangles Coliseum) in November 2021.
To support: Book an appointment for a manicure or a pedicure here.
Twin brothers Damian and Jermaine Johnson have built their lives around No Grease barbershop, and they’ve become a model for Black entrepreneurial success in Charlotte.
This hourly rental studio is equipped with free lighting equipment, furniture and backdrops to help you facilitate your next photo or video shoot.
To support: Book the studio online here.
Have your next date night, girls’ night or birthday event in a luxury tent at the location of your choosing. Popup Datez uses temperature-controlled tents, furniture and decor to create the vibe you’re looking for. Tent options include the geo tent which can hold up to 12 people and their bubble tent which can fit up to four people.
Quintel Gwinn is a full-service interior designer offering virtual design consultations and other online design packages.
To support: Hire her to redesign your home, and follow her Instagram for all the design inspo you’ve ever wanted.
The full-service coaching and training firm specializes in everything from resume & cover letter writing, interview practice, and career mapping to C-level executive coaching, biographies and leadership workshops.
To support: Call (804) 678-8570o to inquire further about their services.
Located in Uptown’s Epicentre, Skyview Dentistry offers a host of services including family care, cosmetic, restorative and laser dentistry.
To support: Call (704) 632-7700 to make an appointment and learn about their services. Or book an appointment online.
The Village is a family child care home that serves students between six weeks and 12 years old in a Spanish-English format.
To support: Consider making a contribution by shopping The Village’s classroom wish list on Amazon.
S.C. McNeill opened The WashRoom in February 2016. It’s a full-service dry cleaners, currently offering free contactless pickup and delivery in Charlotte and surrounding areas. They also offer commercial services to businesses with laundry needs.
To support: Schedule a laundry pickup here.
Personal trainer Courtney Standridge works with clients one-on-one to create a customized plan that combines nutrition and workouts to meet whatever health goals they have.
To support: Courtney is booked at the moment, but you can send an email with any questions you may have to Courtney@vital-fitness.org.
Webber Dentistry has been serving the Charlotte community since 1961 and offers services like general checkups, dental implants, restoration, cosmetic dentistry, teeth whitening and orthodontic care.
To support: Call 704-392-9357 to book an appointment or schedule an appointment online.
- Check out @cltblackowned on Instagram, which is committed to building a place “to support, highlight, and increase the visibility of our local black businesses and services.”
- QCity Metro has a list of Black-owned restaurants with takeout options as well as a business directory. CharlotteFive has a list of 100 Black-owned businesses, too.
- Charlotte also has three Black media outlets: The Charlotte Post, QCity Metro and Pride Magazine.
- You can also visit the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture in Uptown.