Looking for ways to support the NYC-area black community? An easy way is to directly support local Black-owned businesses, many of which have already been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. We’ve rounded up some of our NYC family favorites.MoreLess
This cozy Bed-stuy shop and cafe owned by tea experts Alfonso Wright and Jamila McGill offers tea on the go (in a cup or a bag for your at-home stash) or in store, where you’re encouraged to slow down and enjoy the sensory experience that is tea. They got it all here: green, herbal, black, oolong, matcha, etc. While the kids may not be up for an Earl Grey, they will probably enjoy a vegan waffle with fruit or chocolate toppings, or a Biggie Smalls cookie.
Alex Branson, AKA Lady B. AKA Miss Alex is the musical force behind Lavender Blues. She conducts fun grownup & me classes featuring original music throughout Brooklyn, from Brooklyn Heights to Bay Ridge, Bed-Stuy, Kensington, Crown Heights and beyond.
Owned by local parents Nick Larsen and Petrushka Bazin Larsen, this shop serves up small batch ice cream made with fresh and locally-sourced ingredients in both classic flavors the kids love (vanilla is "Andy Griffith"—get it?), and more adventurous ones for adults, like Pon de Replay, the Rhianna-inspired vegan ice cream made with coconut, tamarind and passionfruit.
Don’t let the name fool you: this bakery (which also sells cakes, muffins and other sweet treats) consistently tops lists of where to get the best pie in the city. Founded by classically-trained Broadway actor Arnold Wilkerson in 1985, this shop has a pie no matter the season, from apple and pumpkin in the fall and winter, to key lime, peach and cherry in the spring and summer.
Started as a home-business more than two decades ago, Make My Cake has gained legions of fans with its confections. The heart of the business is the family recipes of Josephine “Ma” Smith, said to combine the baking traditions of Mississippi and Alabama with Harlem soul. Must-haves here include the red velvet cake, German chocolate cake, sweet potato cheesecake and strawberry cupcakes.
Owner Noëlle Santos famously opened this Mott Haven bookstore/coffee shop/wine bar after the Bronx’s last remaining bookstore, a Barnes & Noble, closed. The Lit Bar now holds that honor (as well as a lot more indie appeal and character). Find shelves of books for kids of all kinds, a curated collection of reads for adults, as well as gift items and programming.
We’ve long been a fan of Lower East side native Mikey Cole’s pop culture-inspired artisanal, organic ice cream and his fun storefront decked out with images of pop icons. (Flavors at the downtown store include “Pink Floyd”, “The Brady Bunch”, “Ice Ice Mikey” and “Foxy Brown.”) Cole started his business selling ice cream out of a pushcart, and now also offers vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free varieties.
Founded by NYC power mom Kim Magloire, SciTech Kids does classes, camps, after-school, birthday parties and more. (And yes, they're offering virtual camp this summer.) The Upper East Side business gets kids ages three to 15 involved in science of all kinds with hands-on, interactive experiments and activities.
Sister's Uptown Bookstore is presently the oldest black and family-owned bookstore and community cultural center in Washington Heights/Harlem. The store is dedicated to nourishing the minds, hearts and souls of the community with present and past works of gifted African-American, Latinx, and other great authors and intellectuals.
Felicia Eve owns this charming Park Slope yarn store and event space, which is stocked with drool-worthy raw materials for knitting, crocheting and weaving. The studio has hosted after school classes and open knitting nights, and offers private lessons as well. Need an al fresco spot for your small gathering? There’s a lovely garden area in back you can rent out for your event.