30 Black-Owned Food Brands That You Need In Your Kitchen
These are products you'll swear by forever.
By T.K. Brady, Maggie Wong, Rachel Trujillo and Michelle Baricevic
Black lives matter. And as protests against systemic racism continue throughout the country, Americans are being called upon to put their money where their mouth is. On social media, you’ll find resources circulating with information on where to donate (community bail funds, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Black Lives Matter are good places to start), lists of restaurants to patronize, documentaries and films to watch and books to read. But your support doesn’t — and shouldn’t — need to stop there.
Grocery shopping is habitual and something many of us do on a regular basis. We buy the same brands, make the same meals and have rarely taken stock of what’s in our pantries until this pandemic. It’s time to take stock again. Buying from Black-owned food businesses is a way to continually support the Black community and stock your shelves with quality products you’ll use all the time. Below is a list of pantry staples, snacks, coffee, tea and wine brands available nationwide. It's important to note that we stand by these products for their quality, taste and craftsmanship — not simply because they're Black-owned.
This list of products is not the end. Once you've shopped this list, we encourage you to seek out local Black-owned food businesses in your area. There are so many small businesses that need your support right now and making a big impact can happen at any level. Like we said, this is not the end. This is just the start.
This list will continue to grow as we add more food and drink businesses that can be purchased throughout the country or that ship nationwide.
Essie Bartels’ love affair with spice started in her mother’s kitchen in Ghana and has blossomed into her very own spice shop. Her small-batch blends include traditional West-African spices with influences from Asia, the Caribbean, South America and Europe. The jars of “bottled up joy” are versions of her homemade sauces and are perfect for marinating meats and vegetables, as dips and on desserts. Choose from mixtures TamarindOH, Mekko Dry Rub, Mango Chili Medley or Coco-For-Garlic — or try all four in the EssieSpice Essential Sauce Collection.
Created by wife and husband, Skyler and Giuseppe, EXAU Olive Oil was born out of the “modern culinary needs of Americans and 75+ years of Calabrian craftsmanship.” Olives are grown and pressed in the couple’s estate in Calabria, Italy. The resulting award-winning bottles of the EVOO go for $25 to $27 each. If you find yourself constantly running out of olive oil, subscribe to the business’ Excelsis or Mango Valde Club to get bottles shipped every four months.
Trade Street Jam Co. knows they're not your average jam purveyor — it says so on their website. With flavors like Smoked Yellow Peach and Plum + Rose, these jars are good for more than just spreading on toast (although, you should definitely do that, too). They're ideal for mixing into salad dressings, sauces, marinades and more. The brand's 100% vegan jams are developed by Ashley Rouse, Trade Street Jam Co's founder and in-house chef, and made by hand in small batches. All of the jams are free from pectin, which means the texture will be a bit thinner than your usual spread, but cleaner in taste. Start with the Trio or Welcome gift set to find the flavor you'll use again and again.
If you've never heard of fonio, Yolélé Foods is setting out to change that. Fonio is a West African super grain dating as far back as ancient Egypt. It's nutrient dense and high in protein, fiber and iron and has a low glycemic index. Fonio is naturally gluten-free and quicker cooking than couscous. For every Yolélé Foods product purchased, part of the proceeds goes back to the fonio farmers in Africa.
Inspired by the Southern, Caribbean and Latino recipes founder Ibraheem Basirgrew up eating, A Dozen Cousins offers a variety of vegan and gluten-free microwavable bean pouches that are both delicious and easy to prepare. Choose from three different pouches made with either black beans, cowboy beans or chickpeas. The brand is also devoted giving back through an annual grant and volunteer support to a variety of non-profit organizations.
Family-owned business Zach & Zoe Sweet Bee Farm offers a wide array of raw, flavor-infused honey harvested in New Jersey. Flavors include lavender, matcha, beetroot, ginger and seasonal offerings like blueberry, all of which are infused with real deal, high-quality ingredients. Seriously, the lavender jar is filled to the brim with fresh flower buds! Use the honeys in drinks, on breakfast foods or desserts and incorporated into savory entrees. Like olive oil, honey is one of those ingredients that’s worth investing a few extra bucks in. If your go-to is the generic-brand plastic honey bear, we promise you’ll taste the difference with Zach & Zoe.
Put down the instant pancake mix you’ve been buying all these years and pick this up instead. Co-founder Christian Sargent’s mom, Vicky, developed this pancake recipe 40 years ago using products she found in her pantry — and it’s stood the test of time. Vicky Cakes' five pancake mixes are made without powdered milk or preservatives, so they’re vegan and fresher than your average pancake mix. The brand says it’s the “anti-just-add-water” mix, as the recipe calls for other staple ingredients like eggs and milk. If waffles are more your thing, this mix will work for you, too.
Chances are you've seen Glory Foods products in your supermarket before. The line of products launched in 1992 in Columbus, OH with pre-seasoned canned vegetables. In the 28 years since, the brand has grown to 64 products including canned fruits and beans, packaged fresh greens, bottled hot sauce and boxed muffin mix. All of Glory Farms' produce is grown within the United States, with 80% of it being locally sourced within 150 miles of the canning facility.
From kale powder to cassava flour, Iya Foods is a health and wellness destination. The brand’s mission is to bring African-inspired healthy ingredients to an American audience. You’ll find a variety of whole food powders that are perfect for adding a nutritional boost to smoothies, grains and baked goods. And if you’re looking for some alternative flours, Iya Foods offers a wide variety, including baking mixes. For all products on the site, Iya Foods lists a variety of uses, so you’ll be ready with ideas when it arrives at your door.
Get a taste of the “Barbecue Capital of the World” in your own kitchen. Developed and perfected over three decades by a Kansas City pitmaster, Pitmaster LT’s small but mighty selection of barbecue sauces and dry rubs use only premium natural ingredients to give meats, beans and more a smoky, Kansas City flavor. Self-dubbed the “Official BBQ Sauce of Good Eatin’,” Mr. LT’s blends can be found at major retailers like Whole Foods and Walmart.
Starting with her grandmother’s recipe, the CEO of Mama’s Biscuits, Lesley Riley, became dedicated to finding the secret to the perfect biscuit. It's how she created gourmet biscuits made with real butter and free from trans-fat, preservatives and artificial flavors. Mama’s Biscuits ready-to-eat biscuits come in a variety of sweet and savory flavors including classic Buttermilk Biscuits, Cheddar Chive biscuits and Bananas Foster biscuits. Look for them at your local Walmart, Sam's Club, Wegman's or Whole Foods, or shop them on Amazon.
If you’re looking for a quick, easy and affordable way to explore flavors from around the globe in your very own kitchen, Neilly’s Foods is here to help! Founded by Albert and Julie Ndjee, the brand offers a variety of healthy frozen foods inspired by "hidden regions throughout the world." Some of the products include Yucca fries, sweet plantains, chicken and beef empanadas and rice mixes, including Cajun Gumbo, Jambalaya, West African Jollof, Coconut Rice and Jerk Rice and Black Beans. Opt for one of these products the next time you need a quick dinner or snack solution.
If you’ve ever experienced a food allergy before, you already know that finding a snack without eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy and other top allergens can be really difficult. Enter Partake Foods. Featuring iconic flavors like carrot cake, chocolate chip, birthday cake, triple chocolate, gingersnap and more, each box of crunchy and soft-baked Partake cookies are vegan, free of the top eight allergens, gluten-free and OU Kosher certified, so everyone from the littlest cookie fan to the biggest can snack without worry. Plus, each box contains 15 cookies, so you’ll have more than enough to share — if you want to, that is!
Proudly women- and minority-owned Pipcorn began in 2012 selling hand-stamped bags of tiny popcorn at famous food market Smorgasburg, in Brooklyn, NY. The brand has since expanded to offer not only their signature light and crunchy mini popcorn, made with heirloom kernels, but also equally delightful heirloom-based cheese balls, corn dippers and snack crackers. Don’t believe us? Take Oprah’s word for it – these better-for-you snacks have been named one of her favorite things not once, not twice, but four times.
Originally founded as a spice blend, Symphony Chips is on a mission to give snackers of all ages a gourmet potato chip experience. The family-owned business uses all-natural ingredients like sea salt, ground mustard, hickory, parsley, paprika, chopped onions and more to give their gluten-free chips a mouthwatering and harmonious flavor in every bite.
Marjorie’s Beef Jerky, which was founded in 1991 by Michelle Timberlake and is the only Black woman-owned jerky company in the United States, is known for being a snack high in protein and loaded with flavor. This jerky is made from fine cuts of beef and is offered in five flavors, including Cracked Pepper, Sweet & Spicy, Orange Teriyaki, Hot & Spicy and Burnout.
Two ingredients go a really long – and delicious – way in Sol Cacao’s dairy and nut-free chocolate bars. The Bronx-based company is owned and operated by Daniel, Dominic and Nicholas Maloney, three brothers, who were inspired to form the company after seeing how difficult it was to find quality chocolate like the kind they had grown up eating in Trinidad and Tobago. The brand prides itself on using sustainable organic farming practices and ethnical sources for all their raw materials, including their cacao beans. We can’t wait to try their Peru bar, which has hints of apricots and raisins, and their Madagascar bar, which has raspberry, plum and cherry notes.
You could buy this granola to top your morning yogurt bowl, but customers claim it's delicious eaten right out of the bag. Oh-Mazing owner, Stephanie Williams, started making her own granola as a healthier snack than what she was finding on grocery store shelves. Now, Stephanie's recipe is what you'll find on those same shelves. The blends are made with whole foods and are free of preservatives and fillers. Unlike many granola blends, the Original, Oatmeal Raisin, Lemon Bar and Cranberry Orange flavors are nut-free and made with gluten-free oats, and the Caribbean Delight blend is vegan. Eat the clusters as a snack or use them to top your next bowl of ice cream.
Coffee & Tea
When Blk & Bold’s founders created a line of coffee and tea, they saw it as an opportunity to make a difference. As a company, they pledge 5% of profits to youth programming, workforce development and eliminating youth homelessness — giving your morning routine an extra sense of purpose. They offer a variety of coffee and tea blends and the option to subscribe. Your favorite blend can be delivered on the date of your choice and as frequently as you desire.
Promising a product that is the highest quality, organic and fair trade whenever possible, Brooklyn Tea has an assortment of blends that will excite any tea lover. Here, you’ll find a Cream Earl Grey, Milk Oolong and Lemongrass as well as Cucumber Melon Green, Ginger Turmeric and Kyoto Cherry Rose Sencha.
If you're a fan of flavored coffee, you’ll want to add a few ounces of Chicago French Press blends to your shopping cart ASAP. Not only is their coffee organic, it’s also flavored completely by hand to give you one-of-a-kind flavors and aromas in every sip. Choose your grind based on your coffee machine: auto-drip, Keurig, French press, espresso or whole bean. With flavors like Coconut Creme, Chocolate Blueberry, Maple Pecan, Peach Nectar, Snicker Doodle and Lemon Brulee, the hardest thing you’ll have to do is choose which one to try first.
Red Bay Coffee is committed to doing more than just providing customers with a strong cup of joe. Based in California, the company has devoted itself to using its high-quality coffee products to promote diversity and inclusion by hiring people of color, the formerly incarcerated, women and people with disabilities. The brand offers decaf, espresso and signature coffee blends, including the King’s Prize, which contains notes of honeysuckle, white peach and melon, and their East Fourteenth, which has hints dark chocolate, date and blackberry. Each coffee blend also comes in whole bean, drip and espresso grinds and is delivered in 12 oz. bags, so you can easily store them in your pantry or cupboard.
Dope Coffee is an e-commerce-first local coffee shop. The Black-, woman- and veteran-owned business is creating a new kind of coffee culture inspired by Black culture with flavors that everyone can appreciate. With blends of beans from South America and Africa, the flavors are smooth and drinkable without the bitter aftertaste you might be accustomed to. Not sure where to start? Order a Pleasure Pack of four blends to find the one you want to drink every morning.
Passed down from her great grandfather, Nailah Ellis-Brown’s family recipe for hibiscus tea can now be bought by the bottle. The smooth, Jamaican blend includes hibiscus, rosehips and mint, and comes both sweetened and unsweetened. Grab one of these packaged drinks for whenever you need an herbal refresher.
At Love Cork Screw, you’ll find a selection of six vegan wines made from grapes that have been selected to achieve a balanced, complex and intense flavor. Start with a five pack, which includes Pinot Grigio, Sweet Riesling, Niagara, Rosé and red table Concord, or join the wine club to have two bottles shipped four times a year, directly to your doorstep. Once you’re hooked on the wine, snag some fun merchandise including tumblers, corkscrews and wine-scented body butter.
Marvina Robinson’s love for champagne began in college and it branched into a business when she decided to create a private house label to serve at her champagne bar. She worked with a vineyard in France to develop a Rosé and Grand Reserve Brut, and named the champagne brand after her hometown of Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, NY. Stuyvesant Champagne is one of the few Black and woman-owned champagne brands, and Robinson hopes she can, “bring a taste of home, spice and culture to the Champagne community.”
If you’re looking to expand your palate and discover new wines, turn to Brown Napa Valley. Their wine membership program comes in three levels, offering between 12 and 28 bottles of newly released wines per year and complimentary tastings. If you already know what you like, browse their site for a wide selection of wines including Zinfandel, Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Betelgeuse Sauv Blanc.
When the two sisters behind McBride Sisters Wine reunited after living in separate continents for most of their lives, they quickly bonded over a mutual passion for wine. Taking inspiration from their hometowns of Marlborough, New Zealand, and Monterey, California, the two channeled that passion into what is now the largest African-American-owned wine company in the United States. McBride Sisters Wine’s collections include a newly released New Zealand Sparkling Brut Rosé, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and a Central Coast California Red Blend. They also offer other wine collections, including their Black Girl Magic collection of California Riesling, California Rosé and California Red Blend, and the SHE CAN collection of canned wines, which is inspired by both of their mothers.
Krista Scruggs makes natural wines and ciders, or as she calls them, “just f*cking fermented juice.” Based in Vermont, ZAFA Wines farm grows grapes and produces playfully named bottles – like “Jungle Fever” and “The Science of Sleep” – that “finish under cap” as traditional-method sparkling wines. Scruggs also co-owns winery and tasting room CO Cellars, where ZAFA drinks are “ideally… consumed and purchased.” But if you can’t make it to Vermont for curbside pickup, you can order direct from the ZAFA wines website.
When a top sommelier starts his own wine company, you make room on your wine rack immediately. In 2007, André Hueston Mack started Maison Noir as a project making garage wines (very-small-batch blends) for the New York restaurants he worked in. Now, his wine is available for purchase nationwide. You'll find whites, rosés and red, so there's something for every wine drinker. Don’t forget to check out the “Schwag” section of the site, which offers a plethora of original graphic tees for sale.