Here are just a few of the many wonderful Black-owned businesses in the DMV you can support NOW (and always) by shopping their kid-friendly products and services.Less
Support this legendary landmark and you'll be treating yourself to a piece of history on a bun! Sink your teeth into the half-smoke at Ben’s Chili Bowl and you will be savoring perhaps the only food native to DC. It’s half pork-half beef and topped with a heaping of chili sauce. A longtime local favorite, the U Street location has been around since the 1950s, and even counts celebrities as fans, including Barack Obama.
Founded by Vernon Woodland, plant-based NuVegan offers soul-inspired comfort foods and has become a favorite staple with District vegans. Their juice bar churns out delicious smoothies, and who doesn’t love fried “chicken” and collard greens? Favorites like the Garvey burger, “chicken” drummies with homemade honey mustard, and vegan lasagna get cheers all round. These laid back locations have speedy service; the Columbia Heights location is spacious enough to accommodate families.
Puppet Heaven is a unique store that appeals to children and the young at heart. Owner Alban Odoulamy has been selling puppets and his artwork in Crystal City for decades. Alban hails from Benin, where he was formally trained in marionette puppetry and created set designs for children's television programs. The store is dedicated to keeping the art of puppeteering alive. You will find a variety of hand, finger, marionette, and shadow puppets from all over the world.
Looking for a way to start your morning in Arlington? Check out Ididos Coffee and Social House. The cafe offers a variety of coffee and espresso drinks, as well as breakfast pastries, sandwiches, and salads. According to its website, its namesake comes from “the Gedeo area of Yirgacheffee, Ethiopia, a region that is known for producing clean bright washed coffees dominated by citrus flavor.”
MahoganyBooks started in 2007 as an online bookstore specializing in books written for, by, or about people of the African diaspora. In 2017, it opened its first physical location in Washington, DC. in Anacostia. Created by husband and wife team, Derrick and Ramunda Young, they started it as a result for their love for culture, community and literature and their desire to see it empower others as it has empowered them.
Roaming Rooster provides quality comfort food that customers feel good about eating. Their biggest motivator is making people happy. Whether it's during lunch hour on one of their food trucks or at a private event, excellent customer service is a huge part of their daily routine. Roaming Rooster's recipes are sure to spark an appetite in every lover of fried chicken, just follow the white truck with a red rooster.
The Sweet Lobby, based on Capitol Hill's Barracks Row, is known for both its classic as well as its globally inspired flavor incarnations and specializes in French macarons, madeleines, éclairs, shortbread, canelés and more. Within months of opening in 2012, owner Dr. Winnette McIntosh Ambrose won Food Network's vastly popular show, Cupcake Wars. Winnette is a self-taught pastry chef who combines her love of science, travel and baking to create delectable desserts.
DC's oldest Black-owned flower shop has been arranging flowers since 1945 in the U St. Corridor. These florists specialize in modern and edgy arrangements, but the can make any floral vision come to life. In addition to flowers, they also sell chocolate and fruit gift baskets, plants and more. Insider tip: If you're looking to pick up your poesies in person, be sure to check out some must-see landmarks on U St.
This West Baltimore farm works to combat food deserts while also creating job opportunities. The vacant plot-turned-working farm primarily grows leafy greens, as well as okra, peppers, cucumbers, squash, radishes, beets, and flowers. They offer fresh, nutritious, great tasting produce at competitive prices to diverse retail, restaurant, institutional, and individual customers. For a list of regional Farmers Markets where you can pick up their produce, check out their website.
Baruch Ben-Yehudah has been serving up eclectic vegan soul food at Everlasting Life (ELife). It addition to dishing out healthy meals, he also regularly donates massive amounts of free food to those in need. Crowd favorites include two types of mac and cheese (cashew and soy), curried maple drumsticks, jerk “chicken,” and more. On weekends, brunch items tofu scramble, organic corn grits and whole wheat pancakes. If you or your tot is undecided, feel free to ask the friendly staff for samples.