To celebrate Black History Month, we’re encouraging people across the country to #SpendLikeItMatters at Black-owned businesses in their communities. Undoubtedly, the East Bay of California is rich with Black history. The region includes beautiful cities like San Leandro, Berkeley, and Oakland — the birthplace of the Black Panther Party that continues to be a hub for activism and resistance.
Our list is by no means exhaustive, and we encourage you to help us grow our directory of businesses in the East Bay area so we can continue to be an ever-growing resource for your communities!
Brown Sugar Kitchen
Chef Tanya Holland got her culinary education at La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine, worked under world-renowned chef Bobby Flay, and wrote her own cookbook all before opening her Oakland restaurant, Brown Sugar Kitchen. If her esteemed background itself doesn’t pique your interest, her inventive approach to soul food is sure to impress. Try a plate of her mouth-watering, crispy fried chicken or her savory creole meatloaf.
CupCakin Bake Shop Berkley
Berkley and Oakland, CA
Lila Owens started selling cupcakes in 2007 with her home-based cupcake catering company — but her dream was to open a bake shop with a fun culture, adorable decor, and artisan baked goods. The bake shop has a flavor for everyone from key lime pie to chocolate salted caramel (with vegan and gluten free options). CupCakin also donates their cupcakes to a different organization every week!
Devaughn’s Cajun Kitchen
Old family recipes that were once made to nourish owner Tami Rabb’s family gatherings are now the foundation of Devaughn’s Cajun Kitchen. Tami opened Devaughn’s with the deep desire to share her passion for Cajun food and southern culture with others. Devaughn’s Cajun Kitchen offers southern-style classics like red rice and beans, jambalaya, lobster mac and cheese, and other comfort foods that will make you thankful for a little bit of Louisiana in Oakland.
Grandeur Oakland is a spot, rest assured, where everyone can eat. Vegan, halal, gluten-free, and omnivore folks can all eat together in harmony. Owner Vahim Boyd and partners Nesanet Tamirue and Zenebech Tamirue had this particular goal in mind when they opened Grandeur Oakland in 2019. Grandeur Oakland is primarily a burger bar, and diners have their choice of lamb, fried chicken, falafel, Impossible, and more!
Named after B.B. King’s guitar and popular song “Lucille”, Matt Horn’s 500 gallon-smoker Lucille has also brought him fame. What stands out in owner Matt Horn’s particular style is that there is notably less sauce and more of a focus on bringing the delicious flavor out of the meats using California white oak for the flame and a dry rub. Horn Barbecue offers a range of sizzling options like hot links, ribs, turkey, brisket, and more.
Lena’s Soul Food Cafe
Stepping into Lena’s Soul Food Cafe is like stepping into a cozy family kitchen. Owner Calvin Andrew opened the restaurant in 2013 as a way to honor his mother’s recipes — like her tender candied yams and perfectly crisp fried chicken. Calvin is known to hire and train people who were formerly incarcerated and offers food to community members who are experiencing homeless at the end of each night.
Jaynelle St. Jean started PieTisserie after giving away slices of pie from a “country window” in her mother’s house in San Francisco. Today, PieTisserie sells delectable sweet pecan, pink apple, and violet sweet potato pies, as well as savory chicken and vegetable pot pies. Their playful modern and elegant pies are available for pickup and delivery in the Bay Area.
Tamearra Dyson opened Souley Vegan in 2009, inspired by her mother’s cooking and her youth growing up on mostly vegetarian cuisine. Tamearra, now vegan, challenges the notion that eating healthy has to be bland and boring. She brings authentic Louisiana Creole flavor to dishes that are also super nutrient-dense. Since she started, her unique cuisine has gathered attention from the likes of Guy Fieri and Oprah — she’s even done cooking demos for Macy’s!
Alchemy Collective Cafe and Roaster
Alchemy Collective Cafe and Roaster is a worker-owned and operated cafe and coffee roasting company, which means all members of Alchemy have an equal voice and equal responsibility. In addition, Alchemy responsibly and sustainably sources all their coffee beans from small, family-owned farms and coops.
This friendly Berkley cafe is steeped in history. Owner Rasa Mott’s mother Ericka Huggins and father James Mott are longtime activists and well-known Black Panther members. After spending time in Ashrams in India and Oakland he perfected chai recipe, and was inspired to open a cafe. Today, Rasa Caffe serves delicious coffee, chai, and locally sourced pastries and food goods to the Berkley community.
Red Bay Coffee Box is about more than crafting delicious, specialty coffee — it’s about supporting and building community. Owner Keba Konte works hard to ensure his coffee is high quality and sustainably-sourced, without exploiting the farms he works with. Red Bay is also dedicated to fostering a space of inclusivity and diversity and focuses on employing people who were formerly incarcerated, people of color, women, and people with disabilities.
Oakland juice spot, Super Juiced, is rooted in the principle belief that it is a human right to have access to healthy food options. In 2012, co-owners Emanne Desouky and Rana Halpern noticed a void in their community when it came to nutrient-dense grocery options, and opened a storefront to sell fresh, healthy juices. They’ve since expanded to offer more food and drink options like breakfast items, nut-based milk, and different produce to be sold in the store.
Alyce on Grand
There’s nothing more fashionable than women supporting women, right? Alyce on Grand is a stunning Oakland boutique that’s woman-owned and operated by business partners Alyce Preston and Kalu Gebreyohannes. Their shop makes a priority to support female designers, sustainable fashion options, and local art. Stop in to shop their beautiful selection of clothes, shoes, and accessories!
Community driven cannabis store Farmacy Berkeley has a selection of specially curated sustainable products for everyone interested in cannabis. Sue Taylor is dedicated to providing quality cannabis medicine to those who need it the most and educating her community about the potential of alternative medicine. Farmacy Berkeley has a team of cannabis experts to tailor the perfect cannabis experience for each customer.
Marcus Books was founded 60 years ago by Julian Richardson and Dr. Raye Richardson and is the oldest independent Black-owned bookstore in the country. Today, it’s owned by their daughter, Blache Richardson, and her children. Marcus Books offers the opportunity for Black people and their allies to learn about and celebrate Black people around the world.They even have an anti-racism and allyship section for kids!
Owner and founder of McMullen, Sherri McMullen, has been in the fashion industry for 20 years and is using her platform to make a difference in the industry. Sherri is committed to supporting African and African-American apparel and home decor designers. The boutique offers luxury womenswear featuring a wide range of emerging and establishing designers from around the world. McMullen was also named a top boutique by Women’s Wear Daily.
DIY food and urban farming expert Yolanda Burrell seeks to empower her community to harvest food right from their backyards! Whether you’re interested in growing veggies, keeping bees, or raising chickens, you’ll find the supplies and wisdom you need at Pollinate Farm. In addition to selling the best seeds and tools, Pollinate Farm offers consultation services for newcomers to urban farming. It’s a general store — reimagined!
Adesina Cash has been teaching yoga in the Bay Area since 2011 with an infectious smile. In 2014, she decided it was time to open her own studio, and Hot Spot Yoga was born. Hot Spot Yoga is an ashtanga-inspired boutique vinyasa yoga studio, which offers hot yoga, body weight-strength straining, and restorative yoga. Yoga at Hot Spot is meant to challenge your mind and body in order to illuminate your true inner strength.
Taylor Jay Collection
Taylor Jay began designing her fashion brand during a period in her life when her body was changing, and the fashion industry didn’t cater to it. She discovered that many people had the same journey. She created the Taylor Jay Collection in 2014 to empower women with beautiful, versatile, comfortable, and sustainable fashion basics that adapt to any lifestyle. Taylor Jay Collection is meant to stand the test of time and cater to different needs, challenges, and styles.
Destiny Arts Center
Destiny Arts Center began as a small storefront dojo in 1988. Since its humble beginnings, it has transformed into a unique movement arts and self-defense training community that engages over 2,600 young people each year. Founders Anthony Daniels, Sarah Crowell, and Kate Hobbs are committed to teaching martial arts, dance, theater, and more with intention around socio-economic disparity and in tune with the needs of the community.
Organic Bliss Day Spa
It’s important to make space for ‘bliss’ in your life, Rasheedah Loharsingh believes. Owner of Organic Bliss Day Spa, Rasheedah offers customers a relaxing escape through services like facials, mani/pedi, body sugaring, threading, and more. The spa also sells their own collection of skincare products, artisanal tea, stylish clothing, and more!
Empower, educate, elevate — that’s the mission at The Source Chiropractic. Determined to give patients an active, educated say in their care and make change in his community, Dr. Brett Jones opened The Source Chiropractic. His chiropractic services will help your body reduce inflammation, decompress your spine, and allow your body to heal from injuries! The Source Chiropractic also offers pediatric services.
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Intentionalist is your local guide to small businesses and the diverse people behind them. We believe that where you spend your money matters, and we’re sure glad you do too! Whether you identify as a localist, activist, or just a good neighbor, we make it easy for you to connect with, learn about, and support small businesses in your community through everyday decisions about where you eat, drink, and shop.