Black-owned businesses | Shopping, Eating & Beyond

Find "Heaven on a Fork" at Reuschelle's Cheesecakes. Photo courtesy of Reuschelle's.
 
While we celebrate Black History Month throughout February, it’s also time to celebrate our local Black-owned business owners. Small businesses across the Bay Area have felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic forcing them to pivot their business models to include online offerings, takeout and/or delivery services, curbside pickup, and outdoor dining. While the Bay Area slowly reopens, these businesses continue to need our support. As we take time to reflect on the history we celebrate and honor in February, let’s also take time to visit these local Black-owned gems and show them the love!
 
Editor's Note: Please wear a mask and keep a physical distance of at least six feet while riding the trains or at an in-person event. Before you travel on BART, use our Trip Planner to get estimated arrival and departure times. See BART's 15-step plan to safely welcoming riders here.
 
Keep Oakland AliveA one-stop shop for some of Oakland’s Black-owned businesses can be found at KeepOaklandAlive.com. Top (l-r): Evie of Urembo Usili, Dionne of Iva Jewell. Bottom (l-r): Imani of The Lemonade Bar, Iguehi of Love Iguehi. Photos courtesy of Keep Oakland Alive.

KeepOaklandAlive.com

When e-commerce ignited with the arrival of the pandemic, KeepOaklandAlive.com sprang into existence to support local shops that make Oakland vibrant. They’ve teamed up with undoubtedly amazing business owners whose vibrance makes Oakland… well, Oakland. This month in honor of Black History Month, in a town where Black culture is rooted in its fabric, meet some of the Black shop owners and makers who continue to Keep Oakland Alive – now and beyond the pandemic.
 
Gregory WilliamsGregory Williams has the special touch for creating delicious-ness at Gregory's Gourmet Desserts. Photo courtesy of Kiva.org.

Gregory’s Gourmet Desserts

Considered a “local secret place,” owner and head baker Gregory Williams operates his underground bakery in the basement of a nondescript beige brick building on a side street in Uptown Oakland. It’s no longer as secret as it once was - the continuous line out the door from the tiny shop, when open, gives it away. Regular customers will tell you it pumps out the best baked goods ever tasted, including cheesecakes with silly names (try the “Ugly Duckling”), cobblers generously full of fruit and buttery crumbled shortbread, scones, cookies and decadent American goodies. Once you experience Gregory’s, and if you get the chance to meet the warm and charming owner while there, you’ll realize how truly special this place is!
 
Outdoor seating is open at Mission Bowling Club located at 3176 17th St, San Francisco near 16th St Mission Station. Photo courtesy of Mission Bowling Club. 

Mission Bowling Club

There’s more to Mission Bowling Club, near 16th St Mission Station, besides bowling. Co-owners Sommer Peterson and Molly Bradshaw have brought together a friendly and hip neighborhood alley while offering great food and drinks. While COVID-19 has their bowling lanes currently closed, their kitchen is open for pickup and outdoor dining. Order food online to pick up, sign-up for a virtual cocktail class, or visit the outdoor patio for socially distanced drinks or brunch on the weekends. Check the website for hours before visiting.
 
Virtual yoga or yoga in the park is offered by Satori Yoga Studio. Photo courtesy of Satori Yoga Studio. 

Satori Yoga Studio

An oasis in the middle of San Francisco’s SOMA/Financial District, Satori Yoga Studio was founded in 2004 by Jena Regan and Andrea Stern. With a deep love of yoga and a passion to make a difference to San Francisco’s urban professionals, they stepped away from the corporate life and created a student-centered yoga studio. While the studio may be closed, you can still take classes with focus on movement, breath, and meditation in virtual classes. Visit their Virtual Class Schedule for full calendar. 
 
The #1 Black Children's Bookstore is located in the Bay Area. Photo courtesy of Ashay by the Bay Books.

Ashay by the Bay Books

Even though Ashay by the Bay is based in Vallejo, their online bookstore has become a huge resource for Bay Area families. Deborah Day is the founder and CEO of Ashay by the Bay and began selling books in 2002. Today, the store is the #1 Black Children’s Bookstore and specializes in reselling African American and multi-cultural children’s books, adult books, and other educational products online. 
 
Superfood juices are a thing and Teranga has them. Photo courtesy of Teranga Juices and Organic Meals. 

Teranga Juices and Organic Meals

Nafy Flatley is the founder of Teranga Juices and Organic Meals, headquartered near 24th St Mission Station, where many of the recipes include baobab (a tree that is known as the “tree of life” and grows throughout most of Africa). This essential ingredient in African cuisine and culture is a natural remedy for many ailments and is considered a superfood. From fully cooked organic meals to juices, you can place your order online for delivery or pickup or check out a list of locations throughout San Francisco that carry their products.
 
Vegan Mob is located at 500 Lake Park Ave, Oakland, one mile from 19th St/Oakland Station.

Vegan Mob

The mission of Vegan Mob is to provide nutritious and healthy food with plant-based ingredients. Owner and chef, Toriano Gordon, is from San Francisco’s Fillmore District and brings traditional family soul food recipes and barbecue fusion with a vegan twist. It's highly recommended to order ahead as wait times can be up to two hours. Vegan Mob is located about a mile from 19th St/Oakland Station and you can order online for pickup or delivery via Caviar
 
Get one-of-a-kind pieces from CANDID ART's website. Photo courtesy of CANDID ART. 

CANDID ART

Established in 2011, Candice Cox is the creative mind and business owner behind Oakland’s CANDID ART. A self-taught jewelry designer, Cox’s handcrafted designs are inspired by African visual culture, indigenous design vernacular, and cosmic geometry. These one-of-a-kind pieces inspire women to celebrate their personal space, unleash their creativity, and influence the world. From jewelry to home décor, and now face masks, you can shop CANDID ART online.
 
Red Bay Coffee has locations near Fruitvale and 19th St/Oakland stations along with a coffee van that roams around Downtown Oakland. Photo courtesy of Red Bay Coffee.

Red Bay Coffee

Red Bay Coffee Roasters was founded in 2014 by Keba Konte, a renowned artist and successful food entrepreneur with deep roots in the San Francisco Bay Area specialty coffee and hospitality industry. Headquartered near Fruitvale Station, Red Bay Coffee serves more than a good cup of coffee. While they continue to remain closed for community events and such, you can grab coffee at their Coffee Box on Broadway near 19th St/Oakland Station, from their roaming coffee van, or order online for curbside pickup or delivery to brew at home. For the event component you may be missing, tune in each week to a new podcast release called “Coffee Dojo with Keba Konte.” 
 
The Mocha Cheesecake from Reuschelle's can be found on the weekends at the Castro Valley Farmer's Market. Photo courtesy of Reuschelle's. 

Reuschelle’s Cheesecakes

Annoyed by all the fights two brothers can have, Victor Harris’s mom took to the kitchen and taught him and his brother the art of baking cheesecakes. Fast forward to now, Harris now owns and operates Reuschelle’s Cheesecakes out of the East Bay. These gourmet cheesecakes come in traditional flavors and specialty flavors including ube (a purple yam originally from the Phillipines) and mocha. Order your cheesecake online for pickup at 974 A Street in Hayward during the week or at the Castro Valley Farmer’s Market at Castro Valley Station on Saturdays and Sundays.
 
Find "Black Girl Magic" at Queen Hippie Gypsy in Downtown Oakland. Photo courtesy of Queen Hippie Gypsy. 

Queen Hippie Gypsy

Queen Hippie Gypsy is a sanctuary for crystals, spiritual tools, and artisan goods that is in the heart of Downtown Oakland near 12th St/Oakland City Center Station. As a domestic violence awareness advocate and survivor, Queen Hippie Gypsy owner Lilly Ayers used crystals, meditation, and metaphysical tools to heal her from her own life experiences. She now shares these tools with the Queen Hippie Gypsy community. The store is open for socially distanced shopping or online for in-store pickup or delivery.
 
Get authentic Liberian West African cuisine at Kendejah in San Leandro. Photo courtesy of Kendejah. 

Kendejah Restaurant

Dougie Uso opened Kendejah Restaurant, a 10-minute walk from San Leandro Station, to tell the story of Liberia and serves authentic Liberian cuisine. Named after the number one culture center in Liberia, Kendeja, is where artists in the country went to learn their crafts like drumming, dancing, carving, painting, and more. Uso added an ‘H’ to the end of Kendejah for branding purposes but the restaurant still serves traditional and fusion Liberian dishes. From Cassava Leaf, leaves from a Cassava plant, to Fried Okra and Oxtails, the story of Liberia is bound to come out in the food at Kendejah. The restaurant is currently open for takeout and delivery via GrubHub and Door Dash. You can also find the Kendejah Food Truck around Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt.

Let's talk about it.  

What small businesses are you supporting during Black History Month and beyond? Let us know via social media, @SFBARTable #SFBARTable! Keep up with us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to see all of the best BARTable (virtual) events, places to eat (grab take out from) and have fun (outside) around the Bay. 

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