19 Black-Owned Decor and Food Brands to Shop for Your Juneteenth Celebration
Deck out your Juneteenth table with these beautiful (and delicious!) items from some of Black Southern Belle's favorite brands.
Established in Galveston, Texas in 1865, Juneteenth is not only a holiday to commemorate the emancipation of those enslaved but also a time to celebrate African-American culture. As a Lowcountry native who founded Black Southern Belle to showcase and highlight African-American lifestyles in the South, celebrating Juneteenth holds special meaning. It's a reminder to explore my Gullah Geechee heritage and family history throughout the year, but this is also a special day to celebrate that heritage by hosting friends and family at my home. I enjoy entertaining loved ones by serving traditional Juneteenth foods like "red drink" and Lowcountry favorites. Red rice paired with garlic crabs is a family favorite to enjoy during Juneteenth and other celebrations.
Honoring heritage, tradition, and Black culture are at the heart of planning and hosting a Juneteenth party. If you are looking to add African-American heritage to your dinner table or cookout, here is a list of some of my favorite Black-owned brands (19 to be exact!) with beautiful products that honor each founder's heritage. It is essential for me to support and highlight Black-owned businesses all year long, but especially during Juneteenth. By shopping these brands, you can observe the holiday from past to present. Learn about African-American history while equitably supporting entrepreneurs in building their brand legacy. I also asked each founder about their own Juneteenth festivities and memories for observing the holiday — maybe they'll inspire you this year.
And for even more inspiration, watch my new series The Juneteenth Menu, on FoodNetwork.com now! There are many ways to celebrate Juneteenth, whether highlighting traditional aspects or incorporating your family history. Share how you will celebrate Juneteenth this year using the hashtag #blacksouthernbelle and #JuneteenthMenu — I can’t wait to hear your stories!
Custom, elegant and suitable for every occasion, drinkware by Cedric Mitchell Design is something everyone (especially a Black Southern Belle) should have in their home. Made to enhance any party, its unique shape serves as a decor item as well as drinking glass. Cedric Major Mitchell, Los Angeles-based glass artist from Oklahoma, takes inspiration from an eclectic mix of graffiti art, pop culture, mid-century modern, and Memphis design. Cedric creates work that ranges from functional to decorative, combining simple forms with bold colors to craft hand-blown vessels with a purpose. The Clearly Kinetic Glasses are a beautiful combination of function and pure satisfaction. Fill the glass and enjoy!
"My favorite Juneteenth would be from my childhood in Tulsa, attending the Juneteenth festivals in the historic Greenwood District as live bands would play on stage," says Cedric. "This year for Juneteenth I will attend the festival here in LA at the Historic Leimert Park and we will have a small studio opening party at our new Crafting The Future headquarters in South Central LA for friends and family who have been vaccinated."
No party is complete until you add the small touches that tie the entire event together, and I love to tie the theme into plates, cups and serveware. We Celebrate Black has the Juneteenth Party Pack to make the holiday memorable. They are the first Juneteenth party bundle to be mass-produced. In fact, this company fills a void by producing party supplies, art, clothing and other novelty items that promote Black Excellence.
"Last Juneteenth was pivotal," shares founder Brandy Goodner. "We were in the heart of a global pandemic, and emotionally drained from injustice and social unrest. It had been a few months since I saw my close friends and family. My husband and I had a strong desire to have an epic Juneteenth celebration. Food was the cornerstone of the gathering, because it's so soothing to the soul, and we all needed a level of comfort at times. I actually wanted all the details perfect, down to the tableware. I had such a hard time finding Juneteenth decor, that I decided to create my own custom plates, cups, cupcake toppers, etc. It was a sweet escape from the covid craziness. The night was full of laughs, self reflection, history, and we closed the evening with a firework display that put the 4th to shame. It was a true celebration of good food, freedom and family."
The Afro Glam Collection was created to motivate, build confidence, and empower women of all colors worldwide. Each cup is designed to make you smile first thing in the morning while enjoying your coffee or tea. This cup will set the tone to start your holiday with a positive and productive mindset! Founder Alicia Boateng Designs emphasizes why female empowerment is crucial in today's generation of women.
Tabletop items inspired by Black Women in history are essential for my Juneteenth celebration. The Black Excellence Collection is inspired by Madame CJ Walker, with a portion of the proceeds going to Spelman College. As a proud HBCU alum and friend to many Spelman women and the mother of my own little Black Southern Belle named Savannah, this collection is near and dear to my heart and a perfect conversation starter for a Juneteenth celebration.
"Juneteenth is actually our wedding anniversary!" says Alicia. "We plan on celebrating with our family by enjoying a nice quiet dinner and counting our blessings. We have had a tough year and-a-half and we are just thankful for our strong bond, our love, our family, and most importantly, a very supportive community. One of my favorite Juneteenth quotes is this one from Frederick Douglas: 'I prayed for freedom for twenty years and received no answer until I prayed with my legs.' To me, it's a reminder that unless you step outside your comfort zone and ‘physically’ do something to make a change, change will not happen."
Estelle Colored Glass is a luxury brand of hand-blown colored glass cake stands and stemware in a mix of jewel tones and soft pastels. Estelle Colored Glass pieces are best described as "jewels for your table." Prop your desserts on their iconic pastel stained glassware. On my Juneteenth Menu, the Ole Fashioned Pound Cake would look stunning on the Estelle Cake Stand in Cobalt Blue, a fun color to add to Juneteenth as a nod to its significance in American history. As founder Stephanie's event rental company was one of my wedding vendors, her products are truly made with Southern hospitality and heirloom traditions in mind. This glassware is a perfect piece to pass down through generations and be a part of many Juneteenth celebrations to come.
“On the actual Juneteenth holiday, my personal celebration will evolve around making sure my kids appreciate and understand the Juneteenth holiday,” says founder Stephanie Summerson Hall. ”I will prepare a wonderful meal and we will watch a lighthearted movie that celebrates Black heritage. Juneteenth for me is really about never forgetting my Black heritage and the sacrifices that my ancestors made for us to enjoy the freedoms we currently do as an African-American race. This awareness is an ongoing celebration throughout the year.”
Black Pepper Paperie Co. is a Washington, DC-based mix-media art and design studio operated by Hadiya Williams. BPPCo. focuses on creating globally-inspired surface pattern designs and one-of-a-kind handcrafted pieces that include wearable ceramic art, home decor. I love this Lite Incense Holder and this Seed Apron; both items make great hostess gifts for a Juneteenth celebration if you opt to be the guest this year.
“I was introduced to Juneteenth about 15 years ago while I was in Chicago getting my BFA,” says Hadiya. “Even then, I thought it was a ‘Texas holiday’ and didn't really understand the full significance of what it meant for Black people in this country. Coming from Washington, DC, an East Coast city, I don't know if it was as widely discussed in my area which I find interesting considering the fact that I attended Black schools my entire life.
Since I have declared Juneteenth an official holiday, this year I hope to honor it by taking a trip to the NMAAHC since I haven't been in over a year. That place is always fulfilling so it's a privilege to be in the same city.”
Sweetgrass was founded by Mr. Corey Atson, a Sweetgrass Basket Weaver from Charleston SC. He is a member of the Gullah culture that is keeping values and traditions alive dating back to the day of Enslavement. Woven Sweetgrass Baskets were tools that were used during the day of Enslavement and are now known as the South Carolina State Hand Craft.
From sweetgrass baskets to trays and Palmetto roses, there are so many ways I love to incorporate this traditional Lowcountry craft into my holiday decor. Add a bunch of Palmetto roses to the sweetgrass basket to decorate your table or a bar cart. The sweetgrass tray with beautiful indigo linen would be a lovely way to serve the teacakes made by Emma Cromedy of Carolima's Dessert Boutique for my Juneteenth Menu dessert. I love to fill sweetgrass baskets with an assortment of Black-owned products to gift to my guests. It's a sweet gesture to thank them for attending while also sharing the products I used to customize the celebration.
“As I'm a descendent of Enslaved Africans, Juneteenth is a day of remembrance of what my ancestors went through prior to Juneteenth Day, and how this day was the starting of days of freedom moving forward,” says Corey. ”This Juneteenth my family and I will be together putting some meat on the grill, and share thoughts and conversations of what this day means to us. This is our day of independence/Thanksgiving.”
New Orleans-based interior design firm and furnishings showroom Eclectic Home offers some chic tableware perfect for celebrating. Their tableware is entertaining eye-candy with trays, cake stands, decorative pots, and pitchers. I love collecting napkin rings, and these Hibiscus Napkin Rings complement my Juneteenth Menu Hibiscus drink. The Fried Cabbage and Collards recipe by Gina Capers-Willis of What's Gina Cooking would look great served in these Cabbage Bowls.
“To commemorate Juneteenth the city of New Orleans has a celebration in Congo Square,” says founder Penny Francis. “Congo Square was a gathering place for slaves and free people of color throughout the 19th century, used for meetings, open markets and celebrations of African culture, particularly music.There will be food, music and dance to mark the occasion. Additionally, I plan to visit the Whitney Plantation. Just 45 minutes from New Orleans, the Whitney is the only plantation Museum in Louisiana with a direct focus on slavery. It has a special connection and meaning to me and my family. The museum docents tell the story of Victor Haydel, my 2nd great grandfather whose mother Ana, a slave, was brought to this country from Africa and had Victor for the master’s brother. Victor lived his entire life enslaved, married and had 9 children. His youngest was my great grandfather Clement Haydel.”
Effortless Composition is a curated collection of elevated home decor goods that are equally functional and beautiful. Being a Southern belle with love for the outdoors, adding a touch of nature is a must. This brand offers many handmade tabletop pieces, including these Rust and Rattan Textured Bowl and Mable and Wood Coasters. The Debossed Stoneware Plate (shown above) would showcase the Gullah-inspired Okra Pilau cooked by Chef Charlotte Jenkins for my Juneteenth Menu.
“When I lived in the Bay Area for college I always looked forward to the local Juneteenth festival,'' says owner Brittiny Terry. “The sea of black folk, music, and the feeling of home. I would make sure I save a big portion of my paycheck to get those homemade dishes I had back home. I always left with a plate of red snapper, peach cobbler and so much more.”
Founded in July 2020 by Makina Table, Black Like I Never Left (BLINL) is a home-based creator of handmade coasters and home accents. Influenced by all corners of the African diaspora, the original designs blend eclectic, modern, and minimalist styles to celebrate the experiences and stories of Black communities. Black Like I Never Left launched with two sets of HBCU-themed coasters and now carries more than twenty designs and counting. Many generations of my family attended HBCUs, and I am a proud Howard alumnus. For Juneteenth, the ‘Flyy Girls’ set features female authors, a party addition that connects my passion for highlighting Black women and with the importance of sharing my heritage.
“Having been born and raised in the South, Juneteenth was always a holiday celebrated in my communities,” says founder Makina Table. “I can remember being in elementary school and attending the Juneteenth parade in my Georgia town with my family and being so amazed at just how many of my teachers, neighbors, local store owners, and elected leaders were there. It was a lesson in culture and connectedness for me (and that my teachers were humans, too) and became an event that I looked forward to every summer.”
10: Ceramic Meltdown
Kyle Lee of Ceramic Meltdown creates voluptuous vessels and well-turned cups that provide the canvas for his unique hand-painting and surface treatments. The traditional shapes with vibrant colors and abstract designs showcase the beauty of handmade artistry. Fill this colorful bowl with fresh red florals or layer a tabletop with this vase painted with red, black, and green — traditional Juneteenth colors.
“I will spend the holiday gifting one of my ceramic cups to a young Black brother or sister, a complete stranger, that includes a snippet of Juneteenth history inside," says ceramic artist Kyle. “Call it a ‘Cup for Equity.' The more we educate, the stronger we become.”
11: Curly Contessa
Curly Contessa is a culturally centric home goods and giftware line designed with Black women in mind. Noticing the lack of Black community-oriented imagery in giftware, homeware, and fashion apparel designs, and constantly struggling to find gifts representing her identity, Kristin Farmer founded Curly Contessa. Curly Contessa makes shopping more personable for women of color, meeting a longstanding demand to increase representation within consumerism. Their Queen Mother wine glass will highlight the vibrancy of the Red Star cocktail by Taneka Reaves with pops of gold women circling the glass. Not all your decorations have to be in your party area; you may be spending a lot of time in the kitchen preparing your meal. Make cooking more fun with this cutting board and rolling pin.
“Growing up in a hometown that is richly steeped in racial history, Juneteenth has always been a holiday that caused me to pause and reflect,” says Kristin. “Last year, Birmingham, Alabama was flooded with an array of murals in the wake of George Floyd’s death. I spent Juneteenth walking around the city and taking in the impactful beauty of the artwork. As I sauntered through the streets I met others who’d also felt compelled to find an outlet for their feelings.”
“This year, I plan to connect with friends and family over a good meal with squash casserole. Our culture is filled with recipes and traditions that I’m sure will lead to nothing less than a good time! And it will be even more special using Curly Contessa’s Nourish to Flourish cutting board and Melanin Matrix apron and mitten set. And to top it off we will be enjoying libations in our Queen Mother wine glass.”
Entertaining is all about invigorating the senses: sights, sounds, tastes, and smells. Simply Naked Candle Company offers all-natural soy and beeswax candles that are soothing to the soul. They blend their fragrances and hand pour every candle. These candles can add illuminating ambiance. With delicious scents like Brown Suga and Pure Honey, you can’t go wrong decorating with them and are a great point of reference for inspiring a Juneteenth menu or leaving as a party favor for your guests.
“When enjoying our favorite Juneteenth foods like Collards Mac and Cheese and Fried Chicken,” shares founder Shante Smith, “We chose to light our honey candles because the light honey aroma compliments the food and doesn’t overpower the food aroma which most candles do.”
Black-Owned Food Brands for your Juneteenth Menu
13: MUMBO Sauce
Mumbo Sauce has been crafting small batches since 1950. Their homestyle, all-purpose barbecue sauce was created as a signature sauce at a popular family-run rib joint on Chicago’s southside. Available in three mouthwatering flavors, Mumbo strikes the perfect balance between sweet, tangy, and spicy with their tomato and vinegar-based sauces. This product has been around through generations and is a flavorful addition to a Juneteenth celebration to remind your guests of the importance of passing on traditions and making new ones.
“Gathering with family to celebrate Juneteenth is always a special time to reconnect and reflect on the significance of our family’s legacy as well as the richness of African-American culture,” says founder Allison Collins. “Our celebrations, in the recent past, included passing the baton to a few in the younger generation and showing them how to prepare some of the favorite main dishes and sides that they have come to expect and even demand when we gather on special occasions: Aunt Tam’s Mac & Cheese, Grandma’s candied sweet potatoes and the famous lemon meringue pie that my grandmother taught me to make when I was in grammar school. These gatherings have created precious memories at our family barbecues allowing us to strengthen our bonds, count our blessings and enjoy the traditions and flavors that are at the heart of our family table.”
Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey is inspired by the best whiskey maker the world never knew, the first African-American master distiller on record in the United States, Nearest Green. The Uncle Nearest brand encompasses a premium aged whiskey, an 11-year-old single barrel product, and a 7-year-old small batch offering, all distilled, aged, bottled, and hand-labeled in Tennessee. Uncle Nearest is an important figure in our history. I was thrilled that Taneka Reaves of Cocktail Bandits chose to incorporate their whiskey into her Red Star cocktail. It’s a great homage to the rich history of African Americans.
“My first introduction to Juneteenth being a day of celebration was while attending Middle Tennessee State University,” says master blender Victoria Eady Butler. “Over the years, I’ve participated in the annual parade and festivities organized by the NAACP and the Rutherford County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. The various array of soul food, music and fellowship is enjoyed by all at the community block party. Fried catfish is always a staple.”
Throw out those basic spices and get some real Caribbean flavors on deck; Jamaican Jerk, Pickling Spice or Curry! These sassy spices are house-blended and magic for marinating roasted veggies, adding that extra oomph to rice dishes, stews and more.
“For the grand opening of our Calabash Brookland location on Juneteenth in 2019, we served a ‘Spell On You’ spiced Hush Puppy amuse-bouche with habanero honey chutney,” says founder Dr. Sunyatta Amen. “Our 'Spell On You' seasoning blend is our homage to the formerly enslaved people of Louisiana and Texas who, in the face of bondage, created one of the world's most sought-after, assimilated and capitalized-on cuisines. It warmed our hearts that the more than 100 community members on hand for the opening heard backstories of servitude, rebellion and freedom integral to the delicious and complex flavors.”
Brooklyn Brewed Sorrel is a Black woman-owned business that is rich in tradition. Their brewed and aged sorrel is a complex, floral, sweet, rich, hibiscus-spiced, alcohol-free beverage based on a family recipe with an over 400-year Caribbean heritage. It’s made in small batches with raw and natural ingredients. With its roots in West Africa, Caribbean sorrel is traditionally prepared during holidays and celebrations. It is one of the most beloved drinks of the Islands. This is an alcohol-free, family-friendly option to serve. Mix it with fresh fruit and seltzer for a refreshing holiday drink.
"A special Juneteenth memory that I had was when I was a teenager,” says founder Nzinga Knight. “I loved the look and taste of red velvet cake. Living in Brooklyn, there was a bakery that was very well-known for its red velvet cake, and every year a parade would happen downtown. People were dancing, they had marching bands, they were also giving out watermelon and free red drinks and red velvet cake. It was just this huge, fun, wonderful celebration where all you see is red. Having the fondest memories about Juneteenth while I was a teenager was pretty exciting for me."
“Food for me is a way for families and friends to come together, it gives out a happy feeling. The importance of food in my celebration, especially with Brooklyn Brewed Sorrel, is to just honor the strength and the legacy of Black people and what survived the transatlantic slave trade which would be sorrel. It's one of the drinks that survived so I'm happy to push that tradition forward."
Trade Street Jam Co. is a minority & woman-certified small-batch jam company based in Brooklyn. Their culinary-inspired and clean-tasting vegan jams are low in sugar and high in flavor. Their spoonable jams (yes, the texture is very different!) are ideal for craft cocktails, BBQ sauces, glazes for meats, or baked goods. Season your menu items with their creative flavors Sour Cherry Ginger, Smoked Peach, and for a bit of kick, try the Strawberry + Fig Chipotle. These flavors remind me of visiting my grandfather’s family property, where he grew fig, peach, and pear trees. Today, they still grow, and I can share them with my children. If you can’t get down to your family farm, these jams will undoubtedly bring back those memories for your Juneteenth celebration.
“My favorite Juneteenth memory is from last year in 2020,” says founder Ashley Rouse. “I've never really celebrated the holiday in the past, but after George Floyd's death and the sudden urge to support Black businesses, I felt like it was one of the only things I could do to help get through the challenging times. I was eight months pregnant at the time, and I was huuuungry, lol! My husband went out while I was working hard fulfilling jam packages, and came back with jerk chicken, hoe cakes, barbecue, potato salad and banana pudding from one of our favorite local Black-owned spots. We ate on the patio, drank mocktails and I took a glorious nap before finishing the day trying to keep up with the recent business demands. It was a beautiful day amongst an exhausting month."
18: Bobby’s BBQ
From the husband-and-wife team behind Bobby’s BBQ, Bobby’s All-Purpose Seasoning is healthy, delicious and easy to cook with, and it has a great back story too: Octavius Nelson grew up working at his father’s restaurants — and his family would always cook together on Sundays when the restaurant was closed. After losing his father (Bobby Sr.) and his brother (Bobby Jr.) within a year of each other, he decided to do something to honor them and make it easy for other families to cook together, just like his dad. So he created Bobby’s All-Purpose Seasoning, a blend of spices and all-natural ingredients that can be used to season just about anything. It’s gluten-free and low in sodium — so you can add lots of flavor to your BBQ or Citrus to fresh fish without adding too much salt.
“Every good celebration needs food!” says creator Tay Nelson. “Food brings people together, and being able to celebrate the food of my culture makes it even more special. We own Bobby's BBQ in Fountain Inn, SC so of course we pull out ALL the meats ... but my favorite thing to eat on Juneteenth is collard greens. My wife didn't grow up eating them, so it's a special day that we make them together and I get my special treat of fresh greens seasoned simply with oil & Bobby's All-Purpose Seasoning! If you want to make it extra yummy, throw some bacon or pulled pork in there too.”
19: Love Cork Screw
Love Cork Screw is a wine and lifestyle brand dedicated to offering consumers wine and entertainment like virtual wine tastings and private events, and a Wine Club! Their Love Cork Screw wine varieties offer sophisticated and novice wine enthusiasts a range of choices for any palate. Each sleek wine bottle is colorful, whimsical, and fun!
"I traditionally celebrate with close friends over BBQ and delicious red velvet cake for Juneteenth!” says founder Chrishon Lampley. “With the mainstream recognizing this momentous holiday, I am looking forward to the larger scale celebrations post-pandemic. From delicious soul food, BBQ, and red velvet cake — because that is a must — I am proud to share this celebration with the world and create new memories. Happy Juneteenth, all!”