How to Support Black-Owned Businesses at Every Stage of the Party Prep Process
One of the easiest ways to join the fight against racial injustice and show your support for Black businesses—which, according to the 2018 Annual Business Survey (ABS), make up a mere 2.2-percent of the 5.7 million businesses in the United States—is to make buying from them a regular practice. Fortunately, social media puts a face to the name of many small and large businesses alike, making it easier to actively shop brands helmed by members of the Black community. Here are some of the wonderful companies you can support during your next virtual dinner party or in-person gathering you're planning down the line.
This company based out of Atlanta creates curated specialty tableware (see above), ranging from gold-rimmed glassware to handcrafted dinnerware, that's available to shop or rent. They provide cohesive options for the entire table, including flatware, dinnerware, glassware, and lighting—making them the ultimate option for all kinds of events, from rehearsal dinners or holiday parties to baby showers. Rentals are available nationwide.
Serveware: Estelle Colored Glass
Some colorful hand-blown glassware is just what your settings and tablescapes are missing. From cake stands to stemware, Estelle Colored Glass boasts a collection of pieces handmade by artisans in Poland. The company was inspired by owner Stephanie Summerson Hall's grandmother Estelle, affectionately known as "Big Mama," who loved antiquing, especially in the realm of colored glass.
Stationery: The Taylored Design, Co.
Florals: Byron's Flowers
Originally established in 1913, Byron's Flowers was purchased by Nathanial Duff in 1969, becoming the first minority-owned retail flower shop included in the Florist Transworld Delivery in all of the Midwest. The Duff family still runs the business today, churning out stunning bouquets that are perfect for all kinds of occasions. Although they're located in Detroit, they ship far and wide, all across the nation.
Plants: The Nice Plant
Prefer a more greenery-forward tablescape, instead? The Nice Plant, founded in June 2020 by Jasmine and Andrew Cisco II, was created with the mission of taking the stress out of planting. They deliver curated boxes, including already-potted succulents, and plant-care directions to go along with them. Each of their plants are known to reduce stress, boost creativity, and cut back on the toxins in your home—and will look great down the length of your table.
Food: AYO Foods
Husband-and-wife team Fred and Perteet Spencer launched AYO Foods in the middle of 2020 with the goal of introducing the masses to the cuisine of the West African diaspora. They focused on using the right ingredients and hours of slow cooking to get the layered flavors just right. Popular dishes include Cassava Leaf Stew, Jollof Rice and Egusi Melon Soup.
Seasonings and Marinades: Kreyol Flavors
Self-taught chef, entrepreneur, and educator Wilnie Keara Hunter first discovered her love for cooking in her native Port-au-Prince, Haiti, before moving to Queens, New York, where she later developed a culinary style that was influenced by Caribbean and Latin flavors. Her company creates seasonings and marinades made from real ingredients that you should feel good about adding to your meals—you won't find artificial flavors, dyes, sweeteners, MSG, GMOs, or preservatives in her offerings, which you can order from anywhere in the States.
Cake: Chic Sugars
This full-service custom cake boutique based in Fort Lee, New Jersey, whips up decadent and delicious creations including fresh cupcakes, macarons, cookies, cake jars, and their "quarantine-size cakes." They offer nationwide shipping, so you don't have to be a New Jerseyan to experience their sweet treats.
Chocolates: Phillip Ashley Chocolates
Founded in 2012 by award-winning chocolatier Phillip Ashley Rix, this company sells luxury chocolates that are hand-crafted in small batches using the finest, fair-trade ingredients from around the globe. Each chocolate is developed after a careful design process that spans countless hours and is meticulously sculpted into a true work of art. Send your guests home with a box or two at the end of your evening.
Cookies: A Haute Cookie
There's nothing better than a cookie made from scratch, but if you feel like ordering in, consider A Haute Cookie. Owner and founder Shiana White has tested each individual cookie recipe (and then tested it again) to determine the best way to bake it—and her gourmet-level creations are the proof. She also offer Keto cookies, as well as gluten-free and vegan options, so there's something for every guest's needs.
Beverages: Peach State Drinks
This all-natural beverage company churns out gluten-free, non-GMO, and vegan-friendly juices made from only ingredients that you can pronounce. Unlike other brands on the market, the lemonade that Peach State Drinks produces—arguably their most popular offering—is made with brown sugar. It's perfect on its own or mixed into a batch of Arnold Palmer cocktails.