50+ Black-owned businesses you can support right now

50+ Black-owned businesses you can support right now

LuLu’s Maryland Style Chicken & Seafood.

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This article was first published in June 2020. It was last updated on January 31, 2021.


February is Black History Month and one way to celebrate is to support Black-owned businesses not just this month, but all the months.

 Here is a growing list of local Black-owned businesses to check out (or revisit).


FOOD + DRINK

Leah & Louise

The southern-inspired juke joint run by husband and wife duo Greg and Subrina Collier has quickly become a Camp North End staple. Since opening in March, they’ve secured the No. 2 spot on Esquire’s list of best new restaurants in the U.S.

How to support: Order lunch or dinner online here. The Colliers also own the Uptown Yolk in 7th Street Public Market.

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greg collier leah and louise

Freshwaters

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.

How to support: Order takeout. Call 704.503.9629 to place your order.

LuLu’s Maryland Style Chicken & Seafood

Located off of Tuckaseegee Road, Lulu’s serves what has been said to be the only true Maryland-style crab cake in Charlotte.

How to support: Order from LuLu’s by calling 980.498.0838.

[Related Agenda story: The best crab cake in Charlotte today, according to the son of a Chesapeake Bay waterman]

lulus owners

Courtesy of Alvin C. Jacobs

Abugida

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.

How to support: Call 980.237.2760 to order.

Abugida Ethiopian Restaurant Central Avenue Veggie Platter

Abugida’s vegetarian feast.

Cuzzo’s Cuisine

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.

How to support: Order online for pickup or delivery, or order takeout directly from the restaurant. If you do order inside the restaurant, they encourage everyone to wear a mask. You can also find Cuzzo’s Cuisine Food Truck all over the city.

cuzzo cuisine

What the Fries

The food truck and soon-to-be 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).

How to support: Right now What the Fries is offering a limited menu, and you can follow the food truck on Instagram to find where it’ll be parked.

What the Fries hot fries courtesy image

Hot fries from What the Fries. (Courtesy of What the Fries)

Veltree

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.

How to support: Call 980.355.0075 to order takeout.

Veltree Vegan Soul Food

Popbar

Owned by Kia and Clarence Lyons, Popbar has handcrafted gelato, sorbetto, and yogurt pops made with natural ingredients and fun toppings.

How to support: Stop in for a pop at Popbar’s NoDa or Camp North End locations.

It’s Poppin! Gourmet Kettle Korn

Owned by Janelle & Desmen Milligan, this gourmet popcorn retailer is currently operating out of  7th Street Public Market. You can do curbside pickup noon to 4 p.m. Thursday-Sunday or order online.

To support: Place a curbside order, and follow them on Instagram for updates and specials.

Two Scoops Creamery

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.

two scoops ice cream

August June Desserts

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.

To support: Order desserts from the Valentine’s Day menu (accepting orders through Feb. 3). Follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Anntony’s Caribbean Cafe

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: Call (704) 342-0749 to place an order.

BW Sweets Bakery

Named for the owner’s late son, BW Sweets has something for every sweet tooth — ice cream, cupcakes, cake slices, hot desserts, macarons, pastries, bread, doughnuts. There are 16 cake flavors and 18 cheesecake flavors offered every day.

To support: Order online for in-store pick-up.

BW Sweets Bakery owner, Frankie

Jazzy Cheesecakes

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.

Detour Coffeebar

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.

Check out their schedule to grab your morning beverage of choice.

Detour Coffeebar owner

Photo courtesy Detour Coffeebar.

Maria’s

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 ($25), bacon mac ($30), buffalo chicken mac ($40), and crab mac ($50).

Sweet Creations

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: Order from their curbside cafe every Wednesday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for pick up. Find them on Instagram and Facebook.

Another?! Food Truck

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.

How to support: Order for pick-up online (be sure to check their weekly schedule to find their latest location).

Krustaceans Seafood

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.

How to support: Order online or call (980) 207-3081.

Coordinates Coffee

A mobile coffee cart serving iced coffee inside of themed plastic pouches. Over the summer, the pouches read “Black Lives Matter.”

To support: Order coffee through the Odeko app and pick up at the designated location that day.

Photos by Andy Weber.


RETAIL

BLK MRKT

Part art-gallery, part-studio collaborative, BLK MRKT connects local arts and photographers of color from its location in Camp North End.

How to support: Buy the Vibez photobook here for $25 and shop other products online.

Curio, Craft & Conjure

Curio, located 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 5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.

How 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.

Nyoni Couture

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.

How to support: You can shop in-store from noon to 8 p.m. or order online.

Great Things

Traci Bullock manages the second-hand boutique on Beatties Ford Road. The store is one of Friendship Community Development Corporation’s programs. The non-profit helps Charlotteans with affordable housing, transitional living, and more.

How to support: Shop in-store from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, or online anytime. The boutique is also in need of donations — specifically housewares, handbags, shoes, jewelry, perfumes, and women’s accessories. You can drop off your donations from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays, or during regular shopping hours.

Shelves Bookstore

The pop-up independent bookstore, owned by Abbigail “Abbi” Glen, opened just under a year ago. Typically, she brings her selection of books to coffee shops and other small businesses, like Enderly Coffee, Sunflour Bakery, and Pepperbox Doughnuts. Whatever she doesn’t have on hand, she can order for you.

But since coronavirus, she’s focused on e-commerce.

“Reading is so essential,” Glen says. “I’m in a position to really make a change and educate people, through books. People really are trying to better understand what’s going on. It’s beautiful.”

How 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.

Worthy + Badass

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.

Epic Times

The watch and jewelry store located in the Epicentre Uptown is owned by James Mack.

How to support: If you’re in the market for a new watch or some new jewelry, check out the online store.

The Brown Sugar Collab

Home, bath & body, hair & skincare products that are handmade or developed by minority women.

How to support: Stop by their store in Centro Railyard or head to their website to shop their selection.

The Brown Sugar Collab

Pretty Honest Candles

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.

How to support: Shop online and follow Pretty Honest Candles on Instagram.

Public Interest CLT

This nostalgic thrift shop is owned by Josh Hallums and Jess McDonald, and it specializes in vintage apparel from the ’80s and ’90s.

How to support: Shop online and check out their Instagram.

Slippin’ Knotz

Small business owner Erika Paige Henderson, specializes in handcrafted chunky knit blankets.

How to support: Buy a cozy blanket, and maybe send one to a friend, too. We all need some comfort right now.

Small Pawland Online Pet Store

This online pet shop has everything from collars and leashes to Panthers jerseys and portable water bowls.

To support: Spoil your dog and order online. I highly recommend the mesh car seatbelt/harness.

Aromatherapy Scents

Shop for whipped body butter, soy candles, essential oils, and other body care items (wrapped in gorgeous packaging).

To support: Follow on Instagram and place an online order.

House of LeMond

A men’s clothing boutique that also sells furniture, home furnishings, art, and barware. 

To support: Customers can either call (704-712-9531) or email to confirm or schedule appointments. They can also go through the store’s Facebook business page to book appointments.

Nostalgia Hollow Co.

A gift shop/coffee shop in Kannapolis, NC. Though they are not physically in Charlotte, you can find them at Front Porch Sunday’s and Small Business Saturday.
To support: Buy locally made gifts in their marketplace, and stop in to grab a cup of coffee and a Kronut by Sugarrmann. Find them on Facebook, for updates on events for the community.

Black Forward Life

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.

Captivate

A women’s clothing store online and inside South Park Mall.

Having not been able to open their doors in months, they had to close one location in Carolina Place Mall to focus on the Southpark location and online.

To support: Visit their website to shop online. 

Pretty Perfect Style

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.

(Courtesy Monica Warren)

Charlotte Yarn

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.

[Related Agenda story: Cash Confessional: Charlotte Yarn owner Remi Haygood knits through her troubles, both personal and financial]

Arrow Staffing Solutions

The resume writing service and staffing agency supports workers on every level. The company can help employers find talent and future employees find work. It offers mock interviews and career counseling, and temporary staffing and permanent placement.

Barefoot Kisses

Barefoot Kisses has organic, natural, and handmade spices. They specialize in no-salt and low-sodium seasonings and spice blends.


SERVICES

Da Lucky Spot

Shaun “Lucky” Corbett opened Walmart’s first Black-owned, Black-operated barbershop back in 2019. You can view a full list of services here.

How to support: Visit the barbershop and get a shape up, haircut, shampoo, or other treatment.

[Related Agenda story: A Charlotte man named Lucky just opened Walmart’s first Black-owned, Black-operated barbershop]

Shaun Corbett portrait

Vital Fitness

Courtney Standridge has her own personal training business and is accepting new clients. She works with people one-on-one to create a customized plan, combining nutrition and workouts, to meet whatever health goals they may have.

To support: Book a consultation and sign up for a plan.

The WashRoom Laundry Service

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.

Asap Tax Express

Services include individual and business tax preparation, payroll, and bookkeeping.

To support: Make a virtual or in-person appointment by calling 704.817.7196 or visit online.

Quin Gwinn Studio

Quintel Gwinn is a full-service interior designer. Pre-coronavirus she worked with clients one-on-one to transform their homes, and since having to work from home, she’s launched online services, too. She now offerings virtual design consultations and other online design packages.

To support: Hire her to redesign your home, or opt for one of her new online offerings. Also, follow her Instagram for all the design inspo you’ve ever wanted.

Bubbly Pups NC

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.

REDDjobb

The full-service coaching and training firm specializes in everything from resume writing, interview practice, biographies, and cover letters to C-level executive coaching, leadership workshops, and career mapping.

Skyview Dentistry

Uptown dentistry owned by Dr. Seti Byrd in the Epicenter.

To support: Call (704) 632-7700 to make an appointment and learn about their services.

The Village Child Development Center, LLC

The Village is a family child care home that serves students between 6 weeks and 12 years in a Spanish-English format. Parents and families can request a virtual tour and go through the enrollment process now so that once things re-open, your child(ren) can attend. 
To support: Consider making a contribution by shopping The Village’s classroom wish list on Amazon. 

Isaiah Counseling and Wellness 

A family-owned counseling and wellness practice that provides counseling, massage, yoga, and nutrition services to promote a better quality of life. In the current times we are facing, they have noticed more black people acknowledging a need for support, breaking down stigmas, and reaching out for help. Isaiah C&W is working toward being a beacon in the community to help with these conversations.

Due to COVID, they stopped their yoga and meditation classes and started using telehealth services for psychotherapy and nutrition counseling appointments.

To support: Make an appointment to create a nutrition plan or need someone to talk to about how you are feeling mentally. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Diamond Finish (Reopening Feb. 8)

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.

Sugar and Spice Party Bus

Mobile age-appropriate parties for girls ages 5-17. They travel within Charlotte and 30 miles of the Bank of America Stadium. They are currently offering custom home party packages.

“Under normal circumstances, we host celebrations on our sweet pink bus, but due to the pandemic and social distancing, we have been unable to use our bus for parties,” says owner Joi Kennedy. This pandemic has challenged our service-based business to create a product for our community, the home activity kits. They plan to resume bus parties shortly after phase 3 of North Carolina’s reopening but will have to make changes in our capacities and procedures.
To support: Buy an at-home activity kit for one or two people. Kids can make their own lip-gloss or paint a fun design at home! A fun activity for kids, friends, and even parents. Visit their website to place an order.

Shear Essence

Luxury pet grooming and dog walking services.

To support: Schedule an appointment on their website.


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