Food

10 Food Gifts From Black-Owned Companies

10 food gifts from Black-owned companies

I think most of us would agree that the best gift right now would be an actual physical hug from a quarantined friend or family member we haven’t seen in a while, but until we get so lucky, here’s the next best thing: food and drinks that you can order online — and all sourced from Black-owned businesses. Friend got a birthday coming up? Want to let your sister (or aunt or teacher or uncle or grad) you are thinking of them? Here are 10 food gifts that they’ll love…

1. Hot Sauces, $10, Basbaas

Two sauces  — tamarind date and coconut cilantro chutney — both laced with heat and reminiscent of flavors from owner Hawa Hassan’s native Somalia.

2. Waffle Mix, $10, ReMix

Fluffy with just the right amount of crunchy, the not-too-sweet all-natural waffle mix makes Sunday brunch that much better. Gluten-free also available.

3. Chocolate Chip Cookies, $21 for half dozen, The Salty Heifer

Ever hear of a chocolate chip cookie described as smoky? I hadn’t, and now I can’t get it out of my head. This salty chocolate chip cookie is made in Brooklyn with pork lard — hence the smoke — and through June 19, as part of the Bakers Against Racism initiative, 70% of the company’s proceeds go towards Color of Change and United we Dream.

4. Blondies, $45 for two dozen, Blondery

Owner Auzerais Bellamy trained in Michelin-starred restaurants including New York’s Bouchon Bakery, and according to legend, spent three years perfecting her recipe for these Pecan and Salted Caramel blondies. I’m convinced!

5. BBQ Sauce, $7 for 15-ounce bottle Jones B-B-Q

Sweet-and-Tangy BBQ original sauce from a beloved, sister-run Kansas City BBQ favorite. Also available in a two-pack: Coconut-pineapple sauce. How good would that be slathered on grilled chicken?  (Note: They currently have a 2-week delay in shipping, so plan accordingly.)

6. Carrot Cake (Lloyd’s, $59 for 8-inch cake)

The lines are always long at family-run Lloyd’s, and it’s for one thing: the legendary carrot cake, dense and moist, iced with classic cream-cheese frosting, and studded with optional nuts and raisins. The New York bakery with two locations churns out more than a thousand cakes a week and has fans all over the world.

7. Granola (JuneBaby, $16 per bag)

Granola made from currants, sultanas, coconut, millet, baharat spices makes this a favorite at heirloom-grain focused Lucinda in Seattle (sister restaurant to renowned JuneBaby, run by two-time James Beard Award winner Edouardo Jordan). While you’re there, check out JuneBaby’s Ancient Grain Pancake and Red Flint Cornbread mixes.

8. Coffee, $19 per 12-ounce bag, Red Bay Coffee

A wide variety of blends and single origin coffees from the Oakland-based community hub, which prioritizes hiring, supporting, and training people from marginalized communities. Start with single origin Kings Prize from Ethiopia or fruit-forward Carver’s Dream.

9. Small-Batch Whiskey, $55 for 750-ml bottle, Guidance

Distilled in Iowa and “captained” by R&B singer Larry Dodson, this two-year-aged whiskey has notes of burnt caramel and vanilla essence.

10. Chardonnay, $25 per bottle, Maison Noir

Award-winning Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from maker André Hueston Mack, a one-time sommelier at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry and Per Se, and the first Black man to be given the prestigious Chaine des Rotisseurs Best Young Sommelier award. Also: How amazing are those labels? Mack designs them himself.

Thoughts? Which would you want?

P.S. 8 gifts dads secretly want for Father’s Day and how to drink wine like a sommelier.

(Graphic design by Maud Passini.)

  1. I’m going to need that coffee!

  2. jana says...

    Just ordered the Red Bay coffee, thx for the heads up!!

  3. K says...

    ohhhh gosh those smoky chocolate chip cookies sound amazing *crying face

  4. Emily L says...

    If you’re in Vermont (or one of the few states where they distribute) check out Zafa Wines! I haven’t had any yet (been trying to get pregnant) but have can’t wait to try it!

    https://zafawines.com/

    • Katherine says...

      Omg I feel like I rarely see anyone on the blogs I read commenting from VT. Hi from the Northeast Kingdom!

  5. Yvonne says...

    I notice that lately COJ have been sharing a lot about Black-owned companies and products which is great but I would appreciate it if you would do the same for Indigenous people. Indigenous people have a lot to offer and it would be nice to see them represented also. Thank you!

    • Emily L says...

      Great suggestion!

    • Amelia says...

      Yes! I recommend checking out Native Harvest from White Earth Native Americans in Minnesota. They sell this amazing hand harvested wild rice, also maple syrup, chokecherry jam/syrup, and lots of other great foods and art. Highly recommend it!!!
      https://nativeharvest.com/collections

  6. Fantastic list! Always think everyone should try and do their bit and this is another small step along that road :)

  7. Tania says...

    Thank you for this! Just ordered my dad a box of wines for Father’s Day!

  8. michelle gordon says...

    Waffles! What I would do for a waffle right now.

  9. Susannah says...

    I’m a huge COJ fan and I am appreciative of how you have adjusted your content to reflect current times. I have noticed you are featuring more writing from people of color and more resources for your white readers who want to further educate themselves to be better allies and work towards being anti-racists.

    But, I can’t help but worry about this post. Are these affiliate links? If so, do you plan to donate the commission that you earn off these black-owned businesses?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thanks for your note! These aren’t affiliate links. Also, we have always donated a percentage of earnings to causes we care about, including organizations supporting the Black lives matter movement. Thank you!

    • Amy says...

      I’m a bit confused. As far as I know, most people want an opportunity to have valid work, not just charity. Would it be a problem if Black-owned businesses partnered with Jo and she gained a commission from highlighting their products and they gained more customers? And then Jo used that commission to pay her (diverse) staff and also expand her business?

      Maybe I’m missing something that would make a situation like that exploitative.

  10. Traci McDuffie says...

    André Hueston Mack’s wine is AMAZING! We just had the rose this weekend and next up is the Pinot. Great job and great price point!

  11. Carrie says...

    Adding to the list McBride Sisters Winery, a black woman owner winery in CA that makes a perfect picnic wine in a can (among other things):

    https://www.mcbridesisters.com/

  12. Michelle Lee says...

    Lloyd’s! This might be heresy but my favorite is their red velvet cake.

  13. jane says...

    the BLONDERY! EVERYTHING looks incredible but I’ve got to spend my money first on the “blackout blondies” because first things first. But then I plan to work my way through the whole inventory over the course of this year. thanks? ; )

  14. Stacy says...

    For delicious cookies packed with care, I would definitely recommend Pinckney Cookie Cafe in Kirkland, WA (ilovethesecookies.com). Hard to choose a favorite flavor so try them all!

  15. AN says...

    Uncle Nearest whiskey is delicious, its story even better (tl:dr guess who Jack Daniels learned to distill whiskey from?!?), and Fawn Weaver, its CEO, even better than THAT! She’d be such an incredible entrepreneur to feature here! http://www.amtrakthenational.com/fawn-weaver

    • Natalie says...

      What an amazing story! Thanks so much for sharing!

  16. AB says...

    I LOVE Red Bay Coffee! Their beans are delicious, and so are their freshly made coffee drinks. I live close to one of their Oakland locations and it’s my favorite little coffee shop.

  17. I pretty much buy wine based on the label alone (sorry but I’m in the visual arts) and these had me sold immediately! Knowing that they are designed by the wine maker himself is super cool. Thanks!

  18. Alexandra says...

    Words can not express my love for Lloyd’s carrot cake!!!!

  19. I recently purchased low sugar jams from Trade Street Jam Co. based on a different roundup. My Blueberry Lemon Basil Jam and Sour Cherry Ginger Jam just arrived today, and I can’t wait to try them! I read a recommendation to mix the Sour Cherry Ginger Jam in a cocktail.

    • Claire Walker says...

      Can you share the link to the other round up? Thanks so much!!

  20. Nora says...

    During my time as a high school cross country runner, my team would race at the Manhattan Invitational at Van Cortlandt Park—right across the street from Lloyd’s. We would always buy a cake to share on the bus ride home! My family, with many kids running XC at VCP over the years, has been enjoying their cakes for decades. It truly is the best carrot cake around and I hope everyone in New York takes the time to stop by VCP on a fall afternoon, go on a run through the trails or cheer on a cross country meet, and support Lloyd’s.

    I would also be remiss to not mention that Van Cortlandt Park is occupied Lenape land, colonized by Dutch settlers, and a former plantation that was involved in the slave trade and utilized enslaved labor.

    • Jenny Rosenstrach says...

      Nora – I was so hoping a runner would chime in about Lloyd’s! I wouldn’t have ever heard of it if it weren’t for my 18-year-old XC-running daughter who has run the Manhattan Invitational (and many other meets) at VCP, and loves going there MOSTLY for the proximity to Lloyd’s. I’ve since read about so many runners from all over the country who feel the same. So thank you for your comment and for teaching me a little history about the park itself.

    • Rosha says...

      I used to run track practice in van courtland as well and was like “I know Lloyd’s!!” Then I thought “$59???” Menu looks like it is $18, but maybe $59 with delivery fees? Always good to see the best neighborhood spots getting a shout out on CoJ!

    • Barbara says...

      Another runner here! My husband and I both ran many cross country meets at VCP, and almost 20 years later he still talks about Lloyd’s as the best carrot cake ever. It made me so happy to see them highlighted here!
      Thank you also for sharing about the land, which I confess I never knew the history of. It’s sad to know that a place that brought me such joy has a painful past and brought the very opposite of joy to many before me.

  21. Hilary says...

    We’re big fans of AubSauce in our house! We loved their classic bbq sauce especially with pulled chicken. They have spicy peach and pineapple flavors that are really good with pork. We’re gifting some to my father in law this weekend!

  22. Alison says...

    I echo this. These posts are much appreciated!

  23. Marisa V. says...

    I bought that very granola for my dad for Father’s Day! I can attest it is sooo good and so is everything else we’ve ever eaten at JuneBaby and Lucinda. Happy to see it got a shout out!

  24. Kim says...

    As a KC resident, so happy to see the Jones sisters’ sauce on this list! If you haven’t already seen their episode of Queer Eye (or all of Queer Eye, really), you definitely should put it on your to-watch list.

  25. meg says...

    yesss ordering from Junebaby now! thanks for the idea!

  26. Gabrielle says...

    Ah thank you for this! I love giving food gifts and was looking for a list exactly like this. CoJ, you always seem to know :).

  27. Jennifer Sze says...

    I would also recommend Cocovaa, which is a black owned female business in the midwest (Madison, WI). She is amaaaaazing and her chococlates and desserts are out of this world! https://www.cocovaa.com/

    • jane says...

      Are you related to the artist Sarah Sze? I just discovered her yesterday and spent hours in a rabbithole.
      PS: thanks for this link – I adore bonbons like these, can’t wait to try!

  28. Hannah says...

    Also tea from Brooklyn Tea.

  29. Patricia says...

    If you’re ever in the Hudson Valley, check out Violet’s Bakery in Saugerties (named for her adorable daughter). My friend Sina opened it just before the lockdown and she has just reopened and her baked goods are amaaaazing!! Get the galette if she has them.

  30. ale norris says...

    these all look wonderful, thanks so much, COJ!

  31. Kim says...

    For wine lovers, I recommend House of Pure Vin, a Black-owned Detroit wine shop that does tastings and events. They also have a nice on-line shop for those outside the area.

    https://houseofpurevin.com/

  32. Jess says...

    Hi- I think you may have the price wrong for the Blondies. Just looked at the website because they looked so dang delicious and it says something different. Thanks!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Thank you! Fixed!

  33. Jaime M says...

    Guidance Whiskey is excellent!! We ordered a bottle last month. Highly recommend!!!

  34. N Rogers says...

    May have to try that whiskey!!!

  35. Agnès says...

    You’re doing such a great work at researching and offering interesting and ethical and committed content and product. (I live in Paris though, but I’m hungry now).

  36. Lauren E. says...

    Jones BBQ! From the lovely ladies featured on Queer Eye. I bought a bottle after I watched the episode, and it took weeks to arrive (they were so overwhelmed with orders) and when I got it, I put it on EVERYTHING. It was so. freaking. good. Cannot recommend enough.

    • Lisa says...

      I’m in the U.K. so can’t buy any of these things (though if anyone has U.K. suggestions, let me know). I don’t know if anyone else experienced this, but pre lockdown we did most of our shopping (food and clothes) from big retailers. Then the lockdown happened and it wasn’t possible to physically got to the stores, or order online. After lots of panicking and research, some of the local stores started doing deliveries. Now I can’t imagine going back to places like Tesco of Sainsbury, and it made me also think more carefully about where I buy my clothes. Maybe that will be something that comes out of the pandemic- people will support their local businesses more, and now with all this focus, there will be more support from black owned brands. Ive started following so many more on Instagram. I just need my husband to stop working from home with me so I can order things without being asked about them when they arrived (dude buys pretty much nothing. He asks for socks and work shirts for birthday presents)

  37. CJ says...

    I can vouch for the Jones BBQ sauce! Bought it after seeing them on Queer Eye and it. is. DELICIOUS!

  38. Laura says...

    Love seeing Jones BBQ sauce mentioned…their episode of Queer Eye was amazing! It’s so good to see that they are crushing it!

  39. Marisa says...

    This is such a great list and a perfect idea for incorporating more Black businesses~ you had me at “carrot cake”!!

  40. Lauren says...

    Detroit Friends Potato Chips! Detroitchips.com. Locally grown in Detroit, supports the community, and they have a ton of amazing flavors.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      ooh potato chips are my biggest weakness. thank you for this rec!

  41. Tovah says...

    And if you haven’t yet seen the Queer Eye episode that features the Jones sisters of Jones B-B-Q (season 3), you are in for a treat!

  42. Jacquie says...

    The Maison noir punch drunk rosé is excellent!!

    • erica says...

      Thank you for verifying that! The description sounds absolutely delicious. I bought that and the Bottoms UP X3 each. Socially distanced summer picnics: check!

  43. Carrie says...

    I remember seeing the Jones sisters on Queer Eye! I’m excited to support them- just ordered some sauce!! Thank you!

  44. KM says...

    I highly recommend watching the Queer Eye episode featuring the Jones sisters. The best!!

  45. Tina, NYC says...

    I’m so excited to see André Mack’s wines featured here! I had the honor to attend a wine dinner he hosted ages ago in Princeton NJ. Beyond his wines being outstanding he was so charming and his stories, coupled with encyclopedic knowledge of wine, made for an unforgettable evening.

    May I also suggest purchasing his new book titled, 99 Bottles: A Black Sheep’s Guide to life changing wines as a great accompaniment to one of his amazing Pinots!

    http://andremack.com/99bottlesbook

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that sounds like such a wonderful evening!

  46. Amy says...

    Love the wine labels!

  47. HIJ says...

    It brings me great joy to purchase from these vendors for my Trump-voting Dad and FIL for this Father’s Day.

    • Valerie says...

      LOL. I enjoy this comment (and your joy) very much.

    • Becky says...

      That’s awesome!

    • Agnès says...

      Oh you made my day! That could make a great post for this blog, how do you deal with your family’s opposite thoughts on politics… I find it really hard. My father and I vote opposite (I’m french so, it’s not about Trump), and we can’t talk about politics. But politics is everything! it’s sad.

  48. Sarah says...

    Your last suggestion made me think of Brown Estate, the only black-owned winery and tasting room in Napa. Their wines are also available online: https://www.brownestate.com/

    • Akari says...

      Great tip, thank you!!