A Guide to Shopping from Black-Owned Businesses in NYC

By Ava Sexton, Grade 11, Staff Writer

Why Shop Small? Small businesses make America. Shopping from small or family-owned businesses can help both the business owners and their communities. Smaller businesses pay taxes back to their city or town, circulating the wealth, while bigger corporations keep a larger percentage of their profits. Small businesses can also be more sustainable. Because products are often homemade or made on a smaller scale, these businesses tend to be more eco-friendly than the chain corporations that use mass production to make their products. Small businesses tend to have better customer service and shopping from one will provide you with a more personal experience than buying from a large corporation.

Why Buy From Black- owned Businesses? It is always important to support and celebrate Black creators. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2017, the median income of white families was $68,145 while the median income for Black families was $40,258. Buying from Black-owned businesses can support Black families and help diminish the wealth disparity between Black and white Americans. It is a mutually beneficial action—you get a high- quality, community-friendly profit, and the creator gets the support they deserve.

So, Now What? Where do I Start? Below is a helpful guide of small businesses, organized by product type, so that you can give back to your community and enjoy high-quality products!

Black Owned Businesses In NYC

Restaurants/Food:

Brooklyn:

Cafe on Ralph - A cafe with vegan options

Zaca Cafe - A French-American cafe

Brooklyn Bend - A fresh smoothie and sandwich shop

Biyou - New Orleans style soul food


Manhattan:

Lloyd's Carrot Cake - Famously known as the best carrot cake in the city!

BLVD Bistro - My personal favorite restaurant, classic Southern soul food

Melba's - Comfort food restaurant

Baked Cravings - Nut-free bakery


Bronx:

Flava's International Grill - Jamaican soul food and fresh smoothies

Cea-Lo Cafe - Soul food restaurant

Freckle's Juice - Natural juices and smoothies

Accra Restaurant - West African cuisine

Paula's Soul Food - Southern soul food


Queens:

Milk & Pull - Coffee and pastry restaurant

Veggie Castle II - Vegan and vegetarian dishes

Henrica's - Jamaican and Chinese fusion restaurant

Southern Girls Soul Food Kitchen - Pretty self-explanatory!

Lloyd’s Carrot Cake, a black-owned bakery with locations in Manhattan and the Bronx, is known for serving some of the most delicious carrot cake in the city.


Bookstores:

Cafe con Libros - Fusion cafe and bookstore, located in Brooklyn

Sister's Uptown - Indie bookstore, located in Manhattan

The Schomburg Shop - Books focusing on black culture, located in Harlem

The Lit. Bar - Locally popular bookstore, located in the Bronx

Sister's Uptown - Family-owned business located in Washington Heights

Gizmo Vintage Honey - Vintage store, located in Brooklyn


The Lit. Bar, which is located in the Bronx, doubles as a bookstore and a wine bar, giving readers a truly relaxing experience.


Fashion and Beauty:

African Queen Boutique - African inspired fashion, located in Brooklyn

Madame Matovu Vintage - homemade and curated vintage pieces, located in Manhattan

The Beauty Cave - hair and nail salon, located in Manhattan

Beaute Brownie - cosmetic line, located in Brooklyn

Lost Queens - jewelry shop, online store

Ace Beaute - cruelty-free makeup, online store

Ani Organix - African skin and hair company, online store

Oui the People - skincare and self-care products, online store