Black History Month is great time to recognized Black-owned businesses. I have created two lists – national businesses (featured in a previous blog) and businesses that are locally owned in my home state of Minnesota. Here is a sampling of Black-owned businesses in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Adefris and Toppin Women’s Specialists – adefrisandtoppin.com
Superb women’s care founded by Dr. Wanda Adefris and Dr. Barbara Toppin. I have been a patient of Dr. Toppin’s nearly 20 years. Women come from around the globe for exceptional life long OBGYN care.
Bouquets By Carolyn – bouquetsbycarolyn.net
Founded in 1990, Bouquets By Carolyn is the first floral shop owned by an African American woman in St. Paul. The company’s exquisite flower arrangements cover any occasion.
Cheesecake Funk – cheesecakefunk.com
Owner and head baker, Vanessa Drews, began Cheesecake Funk in 2003 to share with family and friends. Today, Cheesecake Funk is a wholesale provider of made-from-scratch cheesecake. Drews incredible story involves opportunities with Prince, Shark Tank, and simply to die for desserts. The Turtle Cheesecake is my personal favorite.
Gideon’s Barbershop – wearegideon.org
Not just a barbershop Gideon’s Mission statement declares, “Gideon’s Barbershop aims to deliver a barbershop experience characterized by art, service, and education.” There’s a kids corner that provides resources for parents and fun activities for kids. In the back, there’s a gift shop with t-shirts and scarves, plus a bookstore in partnership with the nonprofit, Planting People Growing Justice.
Golden Thyme Coffee and Cafe – goldenthymeonselby.com
Co-owners Stephanie and Mychael Wright serve smooth coffee, beverages, snacks, and bakery goods. Golden Thyme is a long-standing gathering space in Saint Paul. While the space isn’t currently hosting crowds, stop by and grab a drink and snack to go. What’s not to love about specialty drinks named after favorite jazz musicians like Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington?
The Human of Color – thehumanofcolor.com
Everything about The Human of Color is personally made by the founder, from the products, labels, bottles, website – you name it. The merchandise is haircare products for both men and women of color. As she writes, “The Human of Color products are a reflection of my journey and the message of strength that I have grown to embody and want to pass on to everyone who has felt the way that I did.”
JT’s Fitness – jts-fitness.com/
Owner and former NFL player, Jim Thomas, whom everyone calls JT, has been helping people stay fit, get stronger and recover faster for three decades. Located in St. Paul, JT’s Fitness offers strength training, yoga, fitness, and massage. Now more than ever, taking good care of yourself from exercise to relaxation is crucial.
K’s Revolutionary Catering – ksrevolutionary.com
Chef K and Mariam Omari, owners of K’s Revolutionary Catering, bring 35 years of culinary and restaurant experience in offering wholesome food that tastes great. Home of the locally brewed Stay Well Tonic and award winning catering services, K’s Revolutionary provides communities with food that is good for the mind, body and soul. Full-service catering and custom menus tailored to dietary needs.
Queen Anna’s House of Fashion – queenanna.co
Queen Anna’s features shoes, tops, bottoms, dresses, outerwear, and accessories for every occasion. She pays special attention to clothing brands owned by women and designers that give back to the community.
Soul Bowl – soulbowlmn.com
Soul Bowl began in the summer of 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After hosting a dinner party with close friends a conversation began about what type of restaurant Brittney and Gerard Klass should open. They decided on Soul Bowl, a fusion of traditional soul food with the tastes of a younger generation. In March 2019. soul Bowl landed a concession stand at the Twins Stadium Target Field.
For more Black-owned businesses in the Twin Cities, there’s an extensive list in Mpls/St. Magazine. Note: Some eateries are temporarily closed due to restrictions imposed during the COVID pandemic.