The Black community has been especially hard hit by the pandemic. Just as much now as ever, local Black-owned businesses and nonprofits need and deserve our support—part of a long-term, sustainable commitment to helping dismantle white supremacy in our community. The following are just a few of just a few of Portland’s awesome, family-friendly, Black-owned businesses and nonprofits.
Is your Portland home in need of an update or expansion since becoming your families primary location for work and play? If you are in desperate need of an office addition, bigger kitchen, outside patio space or just a spring paint job, this is the business for you. For growing families, Willco is the general contractor to choose, with their focus on remodeling, historical renovations, and residential and commercial painting. Co-owned by James Garrett and Ruth Warren, Willco’s diverse team of experts have years of experience to take your home projects from dream to reality. Like most small businesses, Warren says, Willco has felt the impacts of the pandemic, but have had the good fortune of remaining open and retaining most of their employees, adjusting policies to provide a safe working environment for all. The Black Lives Matter movement “shines a light and exposes what has been happening for too long,” Warren says. “I am comforted by the marches in my community and the desire to speak up against racism and injustice, and the willingness to listen and have hard conversations.”
5215 S.E. Flavel Dr.
Mimi's Fresh Tees & PDX Love Over Hate
Mimi's Fresh Tees
If you are looking for some new threads for the family, you want to put these hoodies and tees on your "must buy" list. Founded in January 2018, Mimi’s Fresh Tees is a Portland-based t-shirt company that amplifies tough social justice conversations and allows people to wear their truth. Motivated by systemic racism her Black son experienced in the education system, owner and designer Kamelah Adams wanted to create a product that brought conversations around discrimination out into the open, in a quick and straightforward way. She started designing t-shirts as away for people to take a stand, break the silence and start a dialogue by wearing their truth.
Buy yours online: mimisfreshteespdx.com
Signs of Justice
Jameesa and Bryan Oakley already had a sign printing business, but when Trump was elected, they decided to use their vocation to impact social change. Their online shop now features striking yard signs, bumper stickers, and apparel featuring progressive statements on a range of issues, available for bulk order. Red Tricycle asked the Oakleys what they loves about what they do. "Our graphics bring progressive truths to the mainstream," Jameesa says. "The narrative in America is changing and we believe we played a small role." During the pandemic, the Oakleys have encountered supply chain issues and have had to use their creativity to overcome them. "It tested our resolve," the Oakleys say. "We’re stronger because of it."After the George Floyd murder tapes were released, demand increased more than Signs of Justice could have ever expected, and orders were temporarily delayed. "We couldn’t believe how kind and patient most people were. Love is winning."
9220 S.W. Barbur Blvd., Suite #119-122
Anjelica Otness started Fat Cupcake for good reasons: she has always loved eating dessert, she enjoys the creativity of decorating cupcakes, and she wanted to create an environment where people feel loved, welcome, and known. “I love sharing the joy of a cupcake and celebrating exciting life events or being there when things are challenging,” Otness says. She jokes, “It's also a perk to be able to eat a treat whenever you want." In the wake of the pandemic, Fat Cupcake has added extra safety precautions to prioritize team members’ and guests’ health and safety. And with the world’s increased support for the Black Lives Matter movement, Otness says they’ve seen a tremendous amount of support from the local community in placing orders, coming in for the first time, and promoting Fat Cupcake.
19273 Molalla Ave.
Oregon City, OR
6011 S.E. 72nd Ave.
13203 S.E. 172nd Ave.
Happy Valley, OR
The Black Parent Initiative
This nonprofit was created in 2006, to assist Black parents in developing critical parenting skills and in learning to be great advocates for their children's health, education and well-being. The Black Parent Initiative starts with a deep love for the community, striving to serve them well by being a constant anchor for them. BPI says helping Black families recognize their intrinsic value, beauty and capacity is the best part about their work. During the pandemic, BPI has had to adjust how they deliver services, but continues to do home visits via Facetime and Zoom, lead groups, offer doula lactation consulting, and continue with family and school engagement and employment services, by using technology and social distancing. BPI is grateful for the outpouring of love from our greater community in light of the Black Lives Matter movement. They continue to work to alleviate the stress and trauma that results from the ongoing onslaught of violence and domestic terrorism against Black people.
2915 N.E. Martin Luther King Blvd.
With over 24 years of experience working with children, Paula Rogers founded Reggio-inspired Flouriche preschool with the intention to combine the best of three guiding principles for developing minds: flourish, nourish, and niche. “The best part is the laughter and natural compassion that I am privileged to witness every day,” Rogers says. During the pandemic, the community has had to adjust to many changes designed to keep kids safe, from daily health checks to rotating mealtimes in order to reduce the number of children at the table. They’ve also begun incorporating Zoom circle times to include children who are unable to come to Flouriche, in order to help children feel connected. Flouriche stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement that is resounding all over the world, and has started a Facebook group for discussion around the history of racism. Rogers says she loves idea sharing and would love to connect with other diverse preschools in Portland, as well as develop a scholarship program for children who want to attend Flouriche but may not be able to afford it.
The Black Resilience Fund
In response to the devastating effects of the pandemic on the Black community, and the most recent deaths in the continuation of horrific, systemic racist violence in the U.S., Portlanders Cameron Whitten and Salomé Chimuku launched the Black Resilience Fund as an opportunity for non-Black allies to support the resilience of Black people in the local community. Black Resilience Fund is a program of nonprofit Brown Hope and is dedicated to fostering healing and resilience by providing immediate and direct financial assistance to Black Portlanders. The fund provides immediate support for Black Portlanders in the form of a warm meal, groceries, and unpaid bills. Chimuku has over a decade of experience in public sector work, working with organizations such as Portland State University, the Urban League of Portland, and Unite Oregon, and Whitten has served as Executive Director of local nonprofits such as Know Your City, Brown Hope, and Q Center.
With a slogan of “coffee should be dope” and sneaker-themed art, this is the hippest coffee shop in town, for sure. But it’s not all style: the coffee, which is roasted in-house, is some of the city’s best blends, like the chocolatey Nenemar or the fruitier Fresh Prince. Grab your beans to grind at home, or order a drink for the signature sneaker latte art.
408 N.W. Couch St.
Felton and Mary
As a spicy ode to his beloved grandparents, Felton and Mary Campbell, Tory Campbell has created a myriad of Texas-style BBQ sauces and rubs made right here in Portland. Felton and Mary were restaurant owners and community-builders in SE Portland in the 80s with their renowned BBQ joint Campbell’s. By infusing the love and generosity of his grandparents into their sauce recipes for a new generation, Felton and Mary is spreading the homegrown BBQ love one jar at a time. Order online or find them at a growing list of local stores like New Seasons.
In a business that doesn't always cater to darker complexions, founder Paula Hayes is out to change that. Her mission is to empower women to look and feel their best while changing the face of beauty by putting multicultural women at the center of modern beauty movement. A product chemist herself, Hayes combines scientific-based research and development with leading color and light technology into gorgeous products like flawless foundation, perfectly tinted lip butters, and show-stopping eyeshadow. Products are mostly made from natural ingredients, and are cruelty free, hypoallergenic, and noncomedogenic. It's time to go shopping!
A Kids Book About
It’s hard to know how to approach tough topics with kids, like racism, divorce, or bullying. Founder Jelani Memory, who grew up Black in Portland, wanted a better way to open those talks with his white kids. A Kids Book About Racism, written in a simple and direct format, was born in 2018, and today the company spans over 75 books on topics like shame, grief, boredom, and addiction. But he’s not stopping there, expanding into podcasts and other media to help everyone tell better stories.
Abbey Creek Vineyards
In an industry that’s fortified by tradition, Abbey Creek blasts hip hop instead. As the first recorded Black winemaker in Oregon, Bertoy Faustin has created a welcoming community space for everyone who loves wine. The vineyard and wine production are in North Plains, the rolling hills to the west of Portland where the namesake creek runs through. The tasting room, “The Crick,” is firmly in downtown, a community space with a relaxed vibe and a corner store.
Bonus, check out the website to watch the award-winning documentary Red, White and Black, about minority winemakers in the state.
912 S.W. Morrison St.
Taking Ownership PDX
While no action can undo the decades of systemic racism and redlining, Taking Ownership is an inspired community group banding together to fight gentrification. By assisting Black homeowners who request help, they can help people generate wealth and dispel predatory investors. Their inspiring projects range from replacing a roof, building new fences, cleaning up a backyard, or repairing a deck, and they are always welcoming volunteers! These small actions in Portland’s Black communities help make a more welcoming city, house by house.
At home on Alberta Street in NE Portland, owner Len Allen comes from generations of NE Portlanders. His store offers a beautiful array of plants, gardening supplies, home decor like baskets, mirrors and throw pillows, and more. They also donate a percentage of each sale to non profits working in the community to better the planet and society.
1906 N.E. Alberta St.
This is just a small sample of the many amazing Black-owned businesses and nonprofits in the Portland area. Visit the BlackPDX.com directory for more, where you can search by industry and location. Also check out Support Black-Owned Portland Restaurants, an extensive online directory and annual event.