It’s extremely important to support our community’s black owned business all year long, and to kick off Black History Month, we rounded up a list of a few bad-ass black owned businesses you are going to wish you knew about sooner! 🤩
This curated list is only the beginning of several spotlights that we have planned for CT-based black owned businesses.
If you are looking for an incredible resource to check out thousands of Connecticut based black owned businesses, we highly suggest that you head to shopblackct.com. The platform goes above and beyond to provide an easy to use database, and acts as a free resource for black-owned businesses in Connecticut.
29 Markle - Bridgeport
This unique restaurant offers a seasonal menu and creative cocktails. Owned by Wesley Arbuthnot and Ishalee Green, with Chef Damon Daye, it emphasizes local partnerships and sustainability. From smoked-fried chicken to salt-roasted beets, the diverse menu is a refreshing addition to Connecticut's culinary scene.
- 29 Markle Instagram
Maury's Hive Tea - Norwalk
A personal fave that's always fully stocked in our pantry. Maury's has reinvented the tea bag! Offering bold blends of whole leaf tea infused with premium granulated honey for a smooth and invigorating taste. Committed to pure ingredients, Maury's believes in delivering a tea that makes you say, "I love my tea”!
- Maury's Hive Tea Instagram
Rhythm Brewing Co. - New Haven
The first black and female-owned brewery in Connecticut... and the 4th in the country (hell, yes!!). The owner Alisa Bowens-Mercado, encourages customers to "find their rhythm with every sip" and hopes to change the world & the beer industry, one sip at a time!
- Rhythm Brewing Instagram
Capital Ice Cream - Hartford
Serving up desserts that dreams are made of, Capital Ice Cream claims to be the "Happy Place" in Hartford... and they're not wrong. While looking into this must try ice cream shop, we learned that at Capital Ice Cream, customers are invited to "pay it forward" by purchasing a kindness cone. These 'Kindness Cones' help Capital Ice Cream provide cones to families that might not have extra income to purchase an ice cream cone, or an ice cream cone for all members of their family.
- Capital Ice Cream Instagram
Natural Annies Essentials - Bridgeport
Natural Annies Essentials is a family-run candle business making non-toxic candles, that are each hand-poured by their small team of family members. Owner, Annie is heavily influenced by her Jamaican culture and has mastered the ability to use scents to transport others to a tropical place.
Their candle bar is an extension of their brand, and it's not to be missed! Offering fun sip and shop candle-making classes EVERY WEEKEND that allow you to visit their studio and experience the art of candle making.
- Natural Annies Essentials Instagram
We Shine Apparel & Accessories - West Hartford
Young entrepreneurs, Bryson and Justin were inspired to build their own clothing brand when they realized they couldn't find clothing representing who they were. That's when they created “We Shine” Apparel and Accessories. An online platform that focuses on the need for spreading encouraging and uplifting messages on their clothing that incites positivity.
- We Shine Instagram
The Key Bookstore - Hartford
At "The Key Bookstore", they believe that, when it comes to books, “curation” is “everything”. This Afrocentric bookstore containing books that focus on the importance African American history, environmentalism, entrepreneurship, and spirituality. Owner, Khamani Harrison, cultivated an interactive space for online readers to discuss various topics with one another. Their mission is “Divine liberation one page at a time”...
- The Key Bookstore Instagram
The Singing Sliders - Torrington
“So good they’ll make you want to sing”! Sliding Sliders, a local CT food truck, serves up juicy sliders and sandwiches in the Torrington area. Owner, James Hanton, always had a passion for cooking and took it upon himself to share his love with others around him. Whether feeding the hungry or serving customers just passing by, he’s always cooking up something good. Try his classic favorites, the BBQ bowl or the pork sandwiches!
- The Singing Sliders Instagram
Love More Than Ever - Norwalk
Spreading art, love + justice all around the world. "Love More Than Ever" is a powerful guerrilla street art movement “attempting to shift the paradigm from Hate/Bigotry to Love/Acceptance.” Owner, 5ive Fingaz, has become a locally loved icon and works tirelessly to spread messages of love, kindness, and inclusion with his art throughout the community. With immersive classes, kids programs, graffiti street art displays, and cozy clothing, this Norwalk-based artist has started a powerful movement to inspire the world (and our community) to “hate, hate, and to love more than ever.”
If you haven't checked him out on instagram yet... run don't walk!
- Love More Than Ever Instagram