By Kristin Tajlili
The Triangle has a rich history of Black entrepreneurship spanning back to the late 1800s when Durham’s John Merrick established several businesses that provided services previously inaccessible to the African American community. Today, the Triangle is home to the largest and oldest African American life insurance company, North Carolina Mutual, in the country and remains a hub for budding Black entrepreneurs. With both new and legacy black-owned businesses, the Triangle has plenty of options for those looking to buy Black. Here are five places to get you started.
1.) Visit (or donate to) The Black Farmer’s Hub
Many areas of Southeast Raleigh are considered food deserts — an area of high poverty and limited access to healthy foods. To make fresh produce more accessible to these communities, Demetrius Hunter and his partner, Priscilla Ngera, opened the Black Farmer’s Hub, which sources its products from local Black farmers and businesses. Even if you are not located in Southeast Raleigh, supporting the Black Farmer’s Hub is easy. You can order online or donate at their website: https://www.thesweeterjuice.com/.
2.) Browse the Black Farmer’s Market
Shopping at the Black Farmer’s Market is another way to support Black farmers and other businesses. The market, hosted bi-monthly in Raleigh or Durham, is set to return this April. There, you can find local vendors for all kinds of products — from fresh produce to tasty desserts. Go to https://blackfarmersmkt.com/ to learn more.
3.) Order A Drink at Spaceway Brewery or Harlem Brew South Taproom
Located on the east end of the Triangle or looking for a post-COVID road trip? Rocky Mount, NC is set to be home to not one — but two — Black-owned taprooms led by Briana Brake and Celeste Beatty. According to the Rocky Mount Mills website, they hope to “collaborate to brew signature craft recipes that celebrate the living culture and history of Rocky Mount.” If you’re a local company in search of new brews to introduce to your customers, you can connect with Harlem Brewery distribution located in Durham. You can learn more about their unique brands at:
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4.) Discover Businesses in your City through #BlackDollarNC
Whether you are looking for car maintenance or locally made beauty products, #BlackDollarNC lists a variety of goods and services with pages specifically dedicated to finding Black businesses within NC’s largest cities. Additionally, their new store, the Black Friday Market, allows patrons to shop online or in-person for Black-owned clothing, beauty, and artwork. You can follow their hashtag #BlackDollarNC to stay updated on new businesses.
5.) Download Official Black Wall Street App
Those outside of the Triangle’s major cities can discover black-owned businesses nearby with the OBWS app, available for free on Google Play and the Apple App Store.
Even though Black History Month is coming to a close, that doesn’t mean we have to close our wallets to local Black businesses. By investing in their businesses and supporting their products and creations, we can create amazing, supportive communities to help them thrive.
Know any other great ways to support Black-owned businesses? Leave a comment below. As we near the end of Black History Month, we hope that you support Black-owned businesses year-round!