Black entrepreneurs are underrepresented in the beverage industry. Sipping Black Only aims to change that.
Why it matters: Black business owners have a harder time gaining capital and getting their brands into stores, the SBO network helps brands overcome those obstacles. Plus, the group is a great place for aspiring brand owners to network.
- It’s also open to bartenders, who’ve been able to get Black-owned brands like Uncle Nearest into their bars thanks to connections made in SBO.
Demetra Harris founded the group in November 2020. She says the group was borne from her passion for promoting Black owned beverage brands.
“We want to normalize buying Black,” she says. “It shouldn’t be a section in the store, it shouldn’t be a section at the bar… it should be a part of the mainstream selection.”
Harris is a business owner herself and aspires to start her own wine brand. She lives in the Charlotte area but welcome business owners from all around the country into SBO.
“We are community ambassadors for all Black owned beverages,” she tells me. “Everyone is here to support and promote.”
Here’s a list of Black-owned beverage brands in Charlotte.
ADOS, a dose of the south, was borne during the pandemic when founder Keysha Walker Taylor got bored with grocery store coffee. So, she set out to elevate the at-home coffee drinking experience with her own blends inspired by southern sweets and deserts.
Where to buy: Online. Currently ADOS offers a Sunday Morning blend with butterscotch flavors and coffee beans imported from South and Central America.
The brand is committed to sustainability and top-notch ingredients. The tea is made in small batches to ensure the quality is consistent.
There are four flavors: Positively Pineapple, Lavender Lemonade, Bee Ginger and Flower Power.
Where to buy: In-store. Sum Bucha is sold in over two dozen retailers including Free Range Brewing, Oh My Soul, Bean Vegan Cafe and Devil’s Logic Brewing. Find the full list of retailers here.
The wine collection is made of of a diverse group of flavors and profiles. Currently the brand offers a rosé champagne, a riesling, a red blend and a moscato.
Lindsey Williams, a lawyer turned wine maker, founded Davidson Wine Company in hopes to provide affordable and locally sourced wines.
Expect popular wines like Merlots and Chardonnays along with harder to find wines like Barolos and Gewurztraminers. The shop, located in Davidson’s historic business district, hosts events including wine tastings. It also has a bistro with a small menu that includes items like flatbreads, cheese boards and small plates.
Where to buy: In-store (121 Depot Street, Davidson) or online.
The vodka brand is named after Rose-Mary Jackson, an entrepreneur with a family of ten. Her story inspired the brand which offers a strawberry -lemon flavored vodka. It’s corn-based, made in the U.S., and GMO free.
Where to buy: Online.
Calvine’s specializes in gourmet specialty roast blend coffee beans. The beans are responsibly sourced from farmers around the world and are roasted in small batches. They also sell K-cups.
Maji, the Swahili word for water, prides itself on offering premium natural spring water.
The shop serves single origin and custom blend coffees. It also has loose leaf black and green teas. Owner Jeff Tuning says four years of living in Europe inspired him to bring more quality tea and coffee to Charlotte.
Where to buy: Coppa closed its in-person locations but still offers coffees, teas and accessories online.