In all 50 states, millions have flooded the streets to demand justice for George Floyd and protest police brutality against black people. For those unable to physically protest, support can take other forms that don't require leaving the house. In addition to teaching kids to be anti-racist, donating to organizations that help protesters or change policies surrounding police brutality, healthcare rights and more, you can support black business owners locally and nationwide by reaching for black-owned food brands next time you're at the store (or shop online).
According to the 15 Percent Pledge, black people make up 15% of the U.S. population, but since the pandemic hit, more than 40% of black-owned businesses have shut down during the coronavirus pandemic. With a goal to "put $14.5 billion back into black communities," the 15 Percent Pledge urges retail stores like Whole Foods and Target to commit 15% of their shelf space to black-owned brands, so all shoppers have to do to "buy black" is to look.
So before heading to the store or adding to an online shopping cart, do some research on black-owned businesses you can support to help reach this goal. TODAY Food rounded up 10 standout black-owned food brands, many of which are run by women and families.
Anyone who enjoys the nutritious value of ancient grains like farro or sorghum should try teff — and source it from Berhan Grains. This gluten-free grain is harvested and imported from Ethiopia and stone-ground into a flour ideal for baking bread, tacos, pasta, desserts, cookies and more. The company is family-owned, founded by Ermeyes and Betlehim Ghebrreselassie. Berhan's teff is available online for delivery in the U.S. and Canada.
If you crave Caribbean flavors, from seasonings and cooking staples, subscribe to a Callaloo Box. After working in corporate jobs for 14 years in New York City, sisters Malika and Jamila Augustine, originally from the twin Caribbean Islands of Trinidad and Tobago, fulfilled their dream of owning their own food company. Founded in 2017, Callaloo offers online, subscription-based or a-la-carte hot sauces, condiments, seasonings, snacks, drinks and more.
Available at Walmart and on Amazon, Iya Foods sells shelf-stable, whole-food powders to make healthy eating easier. Founded by CEO Toyin Kolawole, IyaFood makes products inspired by African health foods, including items like beet powder — a great add to a refreshing smoothie — and gluten-free baking substitutes like cauliflower cassava and cassava pancake mix, which are paleo-friendly, gluten-free and Kosher-certified.
Founded in 1992 by William "Bill" Williams in Columbus, Ohio, Glory foods sells tasty Southern side dishes, including fresh, bagged greens, frozen foods, seasoned, canned beans, yams and more. Glory products are in grocery stores around the country. When Williams died in 2001, his son, Bill Williams Jr. moved from Boston to help carry on the family business.
This Brooklyn, New York-based brand was founded by Trinity Mouzon Wofford and Issey Kobori in 2017 to make health-boosting foods and supplements more accessible. Their food and beauty products, including kits to make turmeric lattes, can be found on their online shop.
The McBride Sisters is the largest black-owned wine company in the U.S. (It's also women- and family-owned!) Co-founders and sisters Robin and Andréa McBride's collections of red, white and rose wines can be found at Available at Kroger, Target, Ralphs, Walmart, Instacart and more nationwide chains. The McBrides also launched a canned wine called "She Can" with a development fund that awards scholarships "to empower women to strive for change and to create opportunities for themselves where there hadn’t been before."
Partake in supporting black-owned, vegan restaurants and food brands with a bag of tasty vegan, gluten-free cookies. Created by Denise Woodard for her daughter who has food allergies, these simple cookies have fun flavors like carrot cake, ginger snap, birthday cake and classic chocolate chip. In May, they launched in Targets nationwide.
The mother-daughter team behind Southern Culture was featured on CNBC's "The Profit" for their inventive approach to Southern food — making it simpler. Founder Erica Barrett and her mother teamed up with "The Profit" host Marcus Lemonis to sell shelf-stable breakfast products to make your life easier, including banana pudding pancake mix, jarred bacon rubs and canisters of stone-ground grits. All products are available online for home delivery.
You don't have to live in New York City to enjoy Genelle Drayton's artisanal macarons and confections. While Drayton brings her Cherry Jubilee CocoMallow Sandwiches and Salted Caramel Coconut Macarons to pop-up locations, luxury retailers and markets around the city, she also sells them on her online shop. Her confections are the perfect gift for a special someone with a sweet tooth — even if that someone is yourself. Drayton named her company after her Bahamian-born grandparents, Henry and Daisy Dames, and sources flavor inspiration from the coconut sweets she enjoyed as a child.
Dedicated to re-imagining childhood treats for health-focused adults, Keisha Smith-Jeremie this elevated applesauce brand. With exciting flavors like hibiscus, lavender pear and ginger, all the varieties are certified organic, gluten-free, GMO-free, low-calorie and packaged for adult snacking habits and taste buds. It's available at Walmart and on Amazon.
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