August is Black Business Month. While this month is an opportunity to bring awareness to the factors that disproportionately affect Black-Owned businesses, it’s also a time to celebrate and support Black-owned businesses. The pandemic has taken a toll on the oldest Black-owned businesses so it’s refreshing to see new businesses still opening and thriving during these unprecedented times.
Check out these 6 new, local Black-owned businesses (including a non-profit organization) that have opened and are still thriving during the pandemic:
Owner: Janae Greene
Janae Greene, a SCSD math teacher and fitness enthusiast, started BeSure Juciery with “a ginger shot, one juice and a strawberry smoothie” that turned into a full daily menu along with a clothing brand Be Sure Sport. Be Sure Sport includes quality yet affordable gym and swim wear. Catch this mompreneur and her juices at 2727 James Street and Collingwood. Shop All Things Be Sure.
Owner: Tynikka Nicholson
Some people are glowing in Syracuse, and Tynikka Nicholson might be partially responsible. You can scroll for hours down her Manifest Your Beauty Facebook business page full of amazing skin transformations. Besides her popular “glow” facials, she offers waxing and teeth whitening services. Book your service here.
Owner: DJ Bella J
DJ Bella J, the official DJ for Syracuse University’s women’s basketball team, not only opened up the first DJ Center in Central New York but is also hosting the first Annual DJ Festival at the New York State Fair. This powerhouse offers 4-week courses to teach the youth (and adults) how to scratch at her DJ Center in Destiny USA Mall. Join her and other hot local Black DJs at the first annual On the One DJ festival on August 29th 12pm-11pm. Book a DJ course here.
Owner: Kahs Hills
Kahs Hills did it for the culture with her loose leaf tea blends named after our favorite throwback songs and viral social media moments. You can sip on “Yup, In My White Tea,” “Don’t Worry ‘Bout it Sweetheart“ or the infamous one-liner from TV classic “Martin”: “Damn, Gina”. Get your 210 tea blends (green, white, herbal, etc.) and tea accessories at www.210teas.com. Follow @210teas on Instagram and Facebook as Hills plans to announce the grand opening of her storefront soon!
Owner: Dawn Evette Reed
The Queen of Soul Food Dawn Evette Reed made history when she opened her restaurant on Marshall Street, the popular street for food and drink places near Syracuse University campus. Winnie’s Soul Delicious is the first and only Black-owned restaurant in the area. Reviewers have raved about the mac & cheese and fish. Reed was a food vendor for our first annual “A Taste of Black ‘Cuse” event in 2019. She told us this heartwarming story of why her food business was so important to her:
“My inspiration to become a caterer was my late mother Winnie Reed. My fondest memory of my mom is her holiday meals. She would spend weeks gathering specific ingredients to prepare her mouthwatering secret recipes even if that meant barbecuing in the Syracuse winters.This is where my passion to cook has come from. A famous quote that defines my cooking is: “A recipe has no soul. You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe” (by Thomas Keller).When I prepare these meals I put my all into them, including my love and soul. My ultimate goal is to satisfy and exceed customers’ expectations through the food.”
Go grab some good food for the soul at 123 Marshall Street, Syracuse, NY 13202. You can also order for delivery through popular delivery apps!
Owner: Samuel Washington
Director: Kate Berry
For several years, the Kia Foundation, Inc. has been helped families with their basic pet care needs. In 2020, the foundation opened its unique pet thrift shop and pet food pantry at 2546 James Street Syracuse NY 13206. It’s the only CNY pet thrift store in Central New York. The shop offers a pet meal delivery program. The foundation also hosts a free monthly veterinary clinic in collaboration with The Street Dog Coalition. You can donate gently used and new pet items that can be dropped off during business hours: 12pm-5pm, Monday-Saturday. The foundation takes money donations as well.
Visit www.TheKiaFoundation.org for more information.
These businesses and organizations are doing more than just selling products or services. They are contributing to a positive community paradigm shift that will last for decades to come.
There are many other new, local Black-owned establishments that opened during the pandemic. What are some of your favorites?
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