More than 63 Black-owned food and beverage brands to provide support in 2023 and beyond
Abisola Abidemi, owner of Abisola Whiskey, told us that when customers meet or see a photo of her for the first time, they are often surprised that she owns a whiskey company. “A lot of people expect an older white man to be behind an alcohol company, not a younger black woman,” she said. Many Black business owners we spoke to, like Abedemi, said they started their companies to ensure that stories about Black Americans are included in conversations about what we eat and drink. But it’s an uphill climb: “The capital gap is huge,” Abedemi said of financial service providers’ willingness to subsidize black-owned companies versus white-owned ones. This is why shoppers play a major role. When you buy from black-owned businesses, you support them economically and expand their customer base.
Step forward Black owned food companies | Black owned beverage companies | Black owned wine and spirits companies
Below, we’ve rounded up over 60 black-owned food and beverage companies that offer items like tea, chocolate, prepared foods, spices, and more. We also spoke to business owners to learn more about why they set up their companies and how impactful it can be when shoppers stock their pantries and fridges with their products.
The best black-owned food and beverage brands in 2023
Below, we’ve rounded up food and beverage products from black-owned brands we think you should know about. We also spoke to the companies’ founders to learn more about the people behind each brand.
Dozen of Cousins Marinated Pinto Beans
Ibrahim Basir, founder and CEO of A Dozen Cousins, grew up in Brooklyn and said food has always been at the center of large family gatherings. In addition to her “authentic Southern dishes,” Basir said his mother also got Latin American and Caribbean recipes from neighbors. As he got older and sought to recreate these dishes himself, he found it difficult: “I had to either cook them all from scratch or use processed choices with ingredients I was trying to avoid,” Basir said. This inspired him to start A Dozen Cousins, which serves rice, beans, and sauces inspired by traditional Creole, Caribbean, and Latin American flavours.
A dozen of our seasoned pinto beans is made with a dozen tomatoes, green peppers, and spices. The beans come in a bag that you can put in the microwave to heat, or you can pour them into a saucepan to heat on the stove. The brand says the beans have a 12-month shelf life, so you can buy them in bulk and store them in your leggings.
Jackie Summers, CEO of Sorrel Liqueur, left his 25-year career in 2010 after surviving a cancer scare. He then decided to dedicate his life to preserving Caribbean culture by creating an alcoholic, shelf-stable version of a traditional hibiscus-based drink. The United States to carry a distillery license after the ban. Black History Month, Summers said, “is very personal to me because I live it. I want to make sure that in 150 years’ time, when people look back, there is irrefutable evidence of the path we’re on today for everyone who comes after.”
Sorrel liqueur is made with Moroccan hibiscus and blended with Brazilian cloves, Indonesian cassia, nutmeg, and Nigerian ginger. It’s a bright red liqueur that the brand says pairs with just about any cocktail-making base spirit.
Wine Company McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic California Sparkling Brut
“One of the biggest challenges we faced was not being taken seriously as winemakers in a white male-dominated region,” Andrea McBride-John and Robyn McBride, founders of the McBride Sisters Wine Company, said as they started their business. The sisters said the success of their business helped break the status quo about what winemakers look like. One of their targets? To use their platform to empower women of color. In 2019, the sisters launched the McBride Sisters SHE CAN Fund to provide professional development scholarships and grants to emerging women leaders.
McBride Sisters Wine Company offers bottles of red, white, and rose wines, as well as boxed wines. Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut wine is a bubbly blend of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay. The brand says you’ll savor notes of pear, crisp apple, and white peach.
Ea Foods Pancake and Waffle Mix
Toyin Kolawole, founder and CEO of Iya Foods, grew up in Nigeria as the first of five children and often helped her mother in the kitchen. She studied business in school, and eventually mixed an entrepreneurial education and family recipes to start Iya Foods. Through her company, Kolawole says she’s sharing her African heritage with families while feeding them high-quality, unprocessed foods.
This pancake and waffle mix from Iya Foods contains cassava, tapioca, brown rice, rice, and fonio flour, plus sugar, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. There are instructions on the package for turning the mix into pancake and waffle batter. The mix is gluten-free, kosher, and non-GMO, according to the brand.
The Black Leaf Tea & Culture Shop CoCo Bae Tea. Coco Bay tea
When Amber Jackson founded The Black Leaf Tea & Culture Shop in 2019, she used her background in food science to create tea blends for customers to order online and enjoy at home. But it was also important to Jackson to dedicate a portion of her work to engaging with and celebrating the black community. It hosts monthly events for young black professionals to connect with each other, as well as tea talks, which Jackson says is “a space where [Black individuals can] talking about the things that matter to us in a space just for us.” The Black Leaf Tea & Culture Shop is currently undergoing a brand refresh, through which Jackson is launching a quarterly digital magazine highlighting stories from guest writers.
Black Leaf Tea & Culture Shop’s caffeinated Coco Bae Tea blend contains keemun snail black tea, cacao nibs, and coconut flakes. To make the drink, the brand says to steep two teaspoons of tea per 8 to 12 ounces of water or milk for three to four minutes before drinking.
Abedemi’s original goal for 2020 was to buy a home. Instead, she pursued a different dream: to create her own whiskey company. “I realized that there is no real representation or ceremony for modern-day whiskey drinkers,” she said, noting that many people think whiskey is harsh and stinks. Therefore, Abedemi created Abisola Whiskey, which she said is a funky, smooth-tasting drink that appeals to a wide audience.
Abisola Whiskey is a blend of 1 year old bourbon and 6 month old malt. The brand says there are notes of vanilla and waffle cone, as well as caramel and spice. The drink gives aromas of apricot and almond cream with a finish of salted chocolate.
Black-owned food and beverage brands to shop
We reached out to more than 60 food and beverage brands to compile a list of black-owned companies we think are worth checking out. We also confirmed with each brand below that it is at least 51% Black-owned, which is consistent with the Census Bureau’s definition of a Black-owned business. In addition to the list below, check out our guide dedicated to black-owned coffee companies.
Black owned food companies
Black owned beverage companies
Black owned wine and spirits companies
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