During the month of February, we celebrate Black History Month and one way to do so is getting in the habit of shopping and supporting Black-owned Bay Area businesses. From pilates classes and bookstores to pie and coffee, you’ll find a slew of businesses below that your family will love. So go buy yourself a sweet treat, purchase a few gift cards and support these businesses now and always!
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Walk into Tamara Shiloh’s store and you will be transported to a world of multicultural books including sections on LGBTQ, disabilities and biracial families—everything one could want to teach and learn about diversity and inclusion.
The oldest, independent Black bookstore in the country, Oakland’s Marcus Bookstore is over 60 years old and proudly carries books by and about Black people.
Stylish yet practical, Cincha is a travel belt that secures personal bags and coats to your luggage leaving your hands free to hold on to more important things… like little hands. Every purchase means 100 airline miles is donated to the nonprofit Miles4Migrants, which helps to reconnect migrant families.
With the approach that “We Are Every Woman”, this Oakland based clothing collection prides itself on inclusivity and sustainability for clothing that will not only last a lifetime but look and feel incredible.
Using fair trade and organic botanical ingredients from Brazil, founder Stevonne Ratliff began crafting skin products to treat her own skin hyper and hypo pigmentation. Years later and with stores in Oakland and San Francisco, Beija-Flor carries a full product line for face, hair and body.
Born out of a desire to relieve her son’s eczema using natural products, Oakland mom Efiya created what is now her famous artisan soap. Today, she handcrafts organic, natural hair, body and home products, all of which are paraben, synthetic fragrance and sulfate free.
Blk Girls Green House
This lovely open-air plant and home goods store is also a community space but currently accepting shopping by appointment only.
Every purchase from this store means an investment back into the Oakland community through youth empowerment, mentoring services and community programs.
Nabolom Bakery & Pizzeria
Since 1976, this family-friendly restaurant has been serving up one-of-a-kind sauce and meat free pizzas on a thin, sourdough crust. Try their take-and-bake pizza and finish baking at home for the irresistible smell to fill up your kitchen.
Looking for the Bay area’s best fried chicken and soul food? Look no further. Originally from Texas, Jackie pays homage to the Lone Star state with customer favorites such as Uncle Greg’s ribs and JP’s Chicken & Waffles served up in true Texan style… HUGE.
Z Zoul Cafe
When owners Aref and Dalia and their four children immigrated to San Francisco in 2016, they discovered no authentic Sudanese restaurants in the city. Using generations-old and passed down family recipes, Z Zoul Cafe was born—be sure to try Dalia’s famous rice pudding.
Every item is made from scratch with Chef Anne’s vision to be a “flavor pusher”. Waffle sandwiches and chicken tenders are the name of the game here to be washed down with multiple options of iced tea but leave room for the beignets!
Award-winning “3 Way” Chili awaits you at MB’s place along with filet mignon burgers and smoked chicken meatball sandwiches—is your mouth watering yet?!
San Francisco natives Melvin and Helen Simmons’ cafe serves up soul food in this family-owned restaurant where chicken and waffles and southern shrimp and grits will have your tastebuds begging for more!
Sweet Treats & Coffee
The inspiration behind Chef DeReath Times’ creations comes from the memory of her Grandma and a heavy dose of her secret family ingredient… love. Her cinnamon rolls and sweet potato pound cake will blow your socks off!
Yvonne’s Southern Sweets
Yvonne started out with sharing praline treats with friends and co-workers and expanded to cakes, cookies and pies that led to a contract with Super Bowl 50 and is currently a vendor for the Chase center.
Sextant Coffee Roasters
Partnering with farms in Ethiopia, Kenya and Colombia, first generation Ethiopian founder Kinani Ahmed brings the best coffee beans from Africa to San Francisco.
James and the Giant Cupcake
Using fresh and sustainable ingredients from farmers’ markets, Eurydice Manning’s custom cupcakes and cakes are all the rage at three locations in the Oakland area.
Rasa in sanskrit means flavor and this cafe uniquely blends influences from Africa with India in their coffee and tea menu – try the award winning Rose latte!
Pietisserie focuses on one thing and one thing alone: PIES. With fifteen toothsome pies to choose from, your dilemma comes down to this: key lime pie or black bottom walnut pie?!
A queer and black owned smoothie and acai bowl shop, the menu at Super Juiced is seasonal and draws organic ingredients from small, local farms. All their nut milks are made in-house making this the place to go for a delicious (and nutritious) snack in Oakland.
Kutz and Colors Barbershop & Hair Salon
When not delivering quality haircuts, owner “KC” is a basketball coach for at-risk youth and in the process of fundraising for a community sports complex for all to play safely in.
The Pilates School SF
With a goal of creating strong and balanced bodies, co-owners Ray and Rae started this school to make affordable, quality classical pilates accessible for everyBODY.
Skilled at cutting any type of hair, talented barber Damion Hunter commands a cult-like following of customers in his store with his casual, relaxed atmosphere and easy conversation. Bonus: he’s great with kids, too!
Beyond a braid salon, owner Ninja also offers classes on braiding so everyone can learn intricate hair braiding.
Offering repairs and sales, Bikes 4 Life is the only black owned bike shop in Oakland and has been around for ten years serving the community.
Featured photo: Simply Wholesome & BJ the Photographer