By Robert Stitt
You’ve probably seen the hashtag #buyblack. You’ve heard the statistics: the buying power of Black America sits at over $1.3 trillion. You know the issues: despite a growing number of Black businesses and an increase in Black buying power, Black wealth in America continues to stagnate. You’d like to do something about it, but you just don’t know where to start. Where are the Black businesses in your area that you can support?
Good news! You no longer have to search around for a local Black-owned business. Many minority businesses have had their wares picked up by major retailers. Their goods can now be purchased at your favorite shopping site. You just need to know what names to look for…
Beer, Wine, and Vodka.
Harlem Brewing Company started in Celeste Beatty’s New York City apartment. She graduated into growing her own hops and other ingredients in her backyard and later on an upstate farm. She now brews ciders and ales that can be found in most New York Area Walmart stores as well as Fairway Market, Whole Foods, and local restaurants in Harlem.
If you like wine, Heritage Link Wines was founded by Selena Cuffe in 2005. It is carried by more than 4,000 outlets including Walmart, Sam’s Club and Whole Foods in most parts of the nation.
Chanel Turner runs the only liquor company in the Unites States that is run by a Black woman. While Fou-Dré Vodka is made in South Carolina, with no added sugars, the name comes from the French word for lightning since the bottles are made in France. Fou-Dré can be found in liquor stores in both Maryland and Georgia.
You want to stay healthy and watch what you eat. Norma Maloney’s LoAdebar was founded in 2006 and named the Emerging Business of the Year in 2015. The energy bars are all organic and can be found in many Whole Foods Markets in the southeast.
Drawn from a guarded spring in the Ouachita National Forest, Eric Wells started bottling 2T Water in 2014. He says that the water has all of the natural minerals from the earth that water is supposed to have without all of the chemicals and pollutants that man adds. Wells claims that the natural water will improve the health of hair, skin, and nails. 2T is carried in Amy’s Natural Foods and The Fresh Market in Georgia, Texas, Arizona and Ohio.
Michele Hoskins says that the recipe for Michele’s Syrup came from her great great great grandmother and is a closely guarded secret. The recipe may be a secret, but the quality and flavor of they syrup is not. It is sold at over 8,000 stores in America, including Publix, Kroger, Albertson’s and Safeway stores, and it is featured in many Denny’s restaurants around the country.
Cake and Cookies.
Amy Hilliard founded The Comfort Cake Company in 2001. In 2003, it was named Emerging Minority Enterprise of the Year. Her cake mixes can be purchased from Jewel stores in Chicago and at Walmarts in the South and Midwest.
You may know the name Wally Amos from the Famous Amos cookie brand. Did you know, however, that Amos founded a new company boasting handmade cookies from pure ingredients? The Cookie Kahuna was launched in Hawaii in 2014. His chocolate chip, chocolate pecan, and butterscotch macadamia cookies can be found in Costco stores throughout Hawaii.