We’ve been thinking after the #BlackOutTuesday campaign about how we can continue the conversation and directly help black-owned businesses. This website was set up to help small shops in London affected by COVID-19. However, the statistics consistently show that people of colour, along with other minorities, have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic – and that they also face the most barriers when setting up new businesses in general.
In this blog post we’ve highlighted some black-owned small shops in London you can support right now, and continue to support when lockdown lifts. It’s important to use our platform to amplify these businesses and black voices in general, in order to begin to address the systemic racism locally and globally, as retail is not exempt from it.
Thank you for all your recommendations so far – this list is by no means exhaustive so please keep them coming in our Instagram DMs! Links to donate directly to the Black Lives Matter movement are at the end of the list.
- @newbeaconbooks – The first Black-owned bookstore in the UK, specialising in African & Caribbean Literature. Founded by John La Rose and his partner Sarah White in 1966, New Beacon Books has provided poetry, literature, non–fiction, history and children’s books from Africa, Caribbean, Asia, African America, Europe, South America and Britain to its community in Stroud Green and beyond for over 50 years. Inspired by John La Rose’s political and cultural vision, derived from experience in the Caribbean and South America, New Beacon is also an established publishing house that has produced an important body of publications. The bookshop has been at the centre of many ground-breaking political and social projects, organisations and campaigns. We’re currently loving Taking Up Space by Chelsea Kwakye & Ore Ogunbiyi, “a guide and a manifesto for change” by two recent Cambridge graduates. To order books, visit their website: https://www.newbeaconbooks.com
- @princepeckham – A culture-driven pub founded by Clement Ogbonnaya, who grew up in the neighbourhood. Serving Caribbean inspired plates, the Prince of Peckham is a South London institution, hosting brunch, lunch, dinner and club nights that can’t be missed. Until you can go back and party, head over to their instagram for food (and beer) envy!
- @darksugars – Before there was chocolate, there was cocoa. Dark Sugars is the story of one woman’s journey from tree to tummy. After many exciting years at Borough Market, Nyanga flew to South America and West Africa where she spent three years researching cocoa on her family’s farm, excited to translate her experiences from Ghana to London. In 2013, she opened the Dark Sugars Chocolate Shop on Brick Lane. People came to the shop from all around the world just to get a little taste of Ghanaian cocoa beans. Two years after opening, Nyanga opened The Cocoa House, bringing the culture of West African cocoa production – and one mean hot chocolate – to Brick Lane. Until you can go and experience the chocolatey wonders for yourself, order from their website: https://www.darksugars.co.uk/collections.
- @pempamsieltd – Based in Walthamstow, Lewisham, Brixton and Bromley, Pempamsie are a small chain of holistic health stores specialising in all-natural products for the African family. Everything stocked is chemical free with an emphasis on health, beauty and culture. Pempamsie is run by Basil Linx, who founded the shop in 1992. They stock everything from health supplements and cosmetic products to books, art, and specifically curated children’s toys for increased black representation. All of their shops are open as usual, but you can visit their website for product lists and to join their WhatsApp group! https://www.pempamsie.com
- @ghanakitchen – A community kitchen in East London run by chef @zoeadjonyoh. Her restaurant, formerly in Brixton, has turned into an amazing community kitchen during Covid-19, donating 500 meals a week and miniature well-being kits to as many vulnerable people as possible in the local community of Hackney Wick & Bow, whilst also employing those healthy individuals who have lost vital income due to the ongoing crisis. Founded in 2010, Ghana Kitchen helped to kick start an African food revolution. From beginning outside her front door with a pot of peanut butter stew, it went on to be the first modern West African restaurant in London to produce a cookbook and even hosts pop-ups around the world, promoting West African food, breaking down stereotypes of what ‘African food’ is (and can be), and redefining Ghanaian cuisine in a modern dining world. Zoe’s not ready to stop the momentum of the African food revolution any time soon – to help continue her mission, donate from as little as £5, share the campaign link [ https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/were-ghana-feed-vulnerable-people-help-our-kitchen-stay-open ], pre-book meals and events for later in the year, or buy a voucher online.
- @dees_table – A vegan Jamaican supper club with a Caribbean bar tucked away under the arches in Deptford, chef Denai Moore adds a modern, innovative twist to authentic Jamaican flavour while redefining Jamaican food as you know it. Better yet, Dees Table uses 100% fresh plant-based ingredients and spices. Visit their website (https://www.deestable.com/blog) for amazing recipes – the coconut bao bun looks insane!
- @frankhornlondon – Based in Brick Lane, Frank crafts a selection of handcrafted leather goods made locally in his East London studio. Using vegetable tanned leather in an array of finishes, each creation is designed, developed and crafted in-house. He currently offers a bespoke service but also has a ready-to-go collection of designs made to order. As normal operations are on hold for the moment, Frank has put on hold all bespoke orders, commissions, and studio visits. However, you can still place orders online! To place orders and check out the FAQs, visit his website : https://frankhorn.com.
- @unclejohnsbakery – At Uncle John’s you’ll find delicious Ghanain baked goods in Tottenham, such as bread, cakes, savoury snacks and more. Uncle John’s Bakery is a family business established over two decades ago to help Africans in London feel closer to home. It was established in 1982 by John and Emilia Mensah when they arrived in the UK, whose inability to get freshly baked bread, triggered their entrepreneurial journey and the beginnings of the bakery. John, who had learnt his family’s secret sweet bread recipe from his mother back in Ghana, decided to start baking himself. 25 years on, Uncle John’s Bakery has remained a household name within the Afro-Caribbean Community. Samuel Mensah, their son, now continues the business amidst a competitive market according to their motto ‘Obeyeyie,’ meaning life will get better in Fanti, a Ghanaian dialect”. They are now delivering straight to your door – check out their website to order and browse some recipe inspo! https://theunclejohnsbakery.com
- @islandsoclub – Island Social Club is the coolest social club-meets-restaurant by Marie Mitchell and Joseph Pilgrim. Found in Haggerston, Island Social Club connects people to British Caribbean culture. This collective enterprise investigates the diaspora experience by creating spaces to interact with cultures and building bridges inside and outside the community through food, drink, and people. With emphasis on connection and sustainability, they are planning post COVID-19 projects. To stay up to date and learn more about Island Social Club, visit their website at http://islandsocialclub.co.uk/haggerston and check out their insta!
- @redrooster_ldn – For American soul food with a touch of East African influence, try Red Rooster. Founded by chef Marcus Samuelsson. Red Rooster celebrates the roots of American cuisine, channelling Southern soul food alongside the diverse culinary traditions of New York and chef Marcus’s Northern European upbringing. Staying true to its Harlem roots, the London Red Rooster outpost features many of the same dishes as the original, along with some new ones created especially for its new London home. Whilst they are closed during lockdown, check out their insta for inspiring content such as Gospel Brunch throwbacks to soul food recipes, guides on how to stay sane working from home, and lots of uplifting images.
Amazing black-owned businesses in London need your support now more than ever. For more ways to help, visit: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/?fbclid=IwAR3zvYjKGodSA_W0yIN9FHgmZwzGvtAZw7YHH527SRwZ-FsZn08eSAhXu5o
Plus, check out these other recommendations we’ve been sent on Instagram below
- Choco Fruit @chocofruituk
- Ivie Egonmwan – Independent Baker @ivie.i.e
- Sweet Handz – Ghanaian Restaurant in North London @sweethandz
- Ma Petite Jamacia – Jamaican Inspired Resturant and Bar in Camden @mapetitejamaica
- Lou’s Kitchen – Afro-Caribbean and Chinese Food – Delivery to WC1, EC1, NW1, N1 @louskitchen_
We know there are loads more, so we will continue updating this post with recommendations and will proudly feature black-owned businesses on our site! Comment below with your favourites?