Black lives matter, and so do Black-owned businesses.
In light of George Floyd’s death, we’ve seen the world come together in the fight against anti-black racism. Support has come in many forms, from sharing information on social media, to quiet reflection and learning and attending protests.
One of the easiest ways we can uphold the movement is by supporting Black-owned businesses; not just now, but forever. We’ve rounded up some Black-owned businesses that we know will become your new favourite place to shop. It’s time to open your purse.
A Different Booklist: For the reading fanatic
This cultural landmark and well-loved independent, multicultural bookstore is located at 779 Bathurst Street, Toronto, Ont. For over two decades, A Different Booklist has operated as a cultural hub that is dedicated to the cultural experience of African and Caribbean ancestry. If you’re in the Toronto area, A Different Booklist is offering curb-side pick up for book orders, Monday to Friday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m. In addition, you can support this Black-owned business through book orders on their website, which ships internationally.
Armure Beauty: For the skincare guru
A branch of Reynah Armure, Armure Beauty is luxury natural skincare, created in Toronto. Their Instagram describes their products as “cruelty free, clean and effective botanical oils.” The line ranges from serums and oils, to body scrubs and cleanser. You shop this Black-owned business online, and make sure to check out the Reynah Armure fine jewellery while you’re on the site!
Elctrk Tea: For the tea lover
Described on their website as “Thoughtfully blended exotic teas to nourish the body, and balance the mind through a rich assortment of Indian tea leaves, herbs and spices,” Elctrk Tea offers six different tea blends. The Toronto-founded tea assortments include names such as ‘Sweeter Ting’ and ‘Deep Roots’. From June 1 to June 8, $1 from every purchase will be donated to a community relief fund in Minneapolis, to help those affected by the protests.
The Heartbreak Chef: For the inevitable cravings
Posting mouth-watering food on Instagram daily, The Heartbreak Chef was a staple on the pop-up food show scene in Toronto; just before COVID-19 hit, The Heartbreak Chef opened its first brick and mortar restaurant. But fear not, you can still get your chicken sandwich fix through delivery apps or take out. This Black-owned business is located at 1316 Queen St. W, and their mac and cheese is calling your name.
Seventh and Oak: For the self-care enthusiast
While you’re stuck inside during quarantine all day, you might as well make your home smell nice. Why not do so with Seventh and Oak? The coconut and soy wax blend is all natural for a cleaner burn, mixed with spa-inspired fragrances to make your living space to the ultimate retreat. Made in Mississauga, Ont., Canadians can shop Seventh and Oak’s spa-inspired scents online.
Prince Pearl: For the fashionable
Prince Pearl offers gorgeous accessories with bold prints and unique designs. Their website says the brand was created to re-introduce the African aesthetic to the fashion industry. From handbags to pocket squares, Prince Pearl can up anyone’s style. In response to COVID-19, they even started a line of non-medical masks. This Black-owned business ships worldwide and you can check out their available products online.
Gro For It: For the plant parents
This Milton, Ont. plant boutique is filled with rare finds and classic beauties. Gro For It’s lush green products are able to bring any space to life. During COVID-19, Gro For It has had to close its doors, but plants are available for curb-side pick up and they offer free delivery within the Milton area. If you live far away but are in desperate need of some beautiful greenery, you can shop online; Gro For It highly recommends you opt for XpressPost to ensure the best quality of your plants.
Sweet Blooms: For your sweet tooth
What’s better than receiving a bouquet of flowers? A bouquet of donuts. And that is exactly what Sweet Blooms Toronto is serving up. This Black-owned business can provide your loved ones—or yourself—with delicious donuts surrounded by fresh cut fruit, all with free delivery within the GTA. Sweet Blooms offers five donut flavours, and can accommodate vegan and gluten-free restrictions. DM them on Instagram to inquire.
Where to find more Black-owned businesses
While we’ve rounded up our local favourites, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Black-owned businesses in Canada that deserve your support.
This crowd-sourced list started by Instagram users @desperateidiot and @j.a.l.i.l is continuously updated by members of the community with their favourite Black-owned businesses that are open during quarantine. You can also check out @blackowned.to on Instagram for promotion of Black-owned businesses in the GTA.