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August is National Black Business Month! A time when individuals and businesses recognise black-owned businesses globally and across the UK. This year, it will be the 18th designated celebration to support and recognise these businesses and entrepreneurs.
Systematic inequalities have disadvantaged black individuals for decades, as a result causing a wealth and wage gap between black and white families. Now more than ever, Black-owned businesses are in aid of support, after over 40% of ownerships have dropped between February 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since Gaston’s launch earlier this year, it has been our mission to create a community around food, where minority groups are represented and can simultaneously grow and develop alongside Gaston! We are already supporting new business owners who wants to join UK’s fastest growing food ordering platform by taking them on without any upfront costs. And throughout this month we will be spotlighting amazing Black-owned food businesses across the UK and celebrating the culture and diversity they bring into our community!
Promote and encourage Black Business Month by supporting your local Black-owned businesses, whether they are coffee shops, restaurants, meal kit providers or snack companies! No matter how big or small your support is, whether it’s a share of a post or your new date night location, any support is valuable.
Please take time to browse through our team’s favourite black-owned food businesses below. These are just 10 of our favourites in London. It’s time to show up and support in every way we can.
1. Second Shot
Starting off with an amazing coffee shop with an even better ethos, Second Shot. Based in Bethnal Green and Marylebone, this coffee shop is on a mission to change the perception of homelessness by creating a unique community which is changing lives. By employing people who have been affected by homelessness, training them up and transitioning them into full time employees elsewhere, Second Shot gives these individuals a chance to live a life they deserve.
They also operate a pay it forward scheme, where customers can pre-pay for food or drink that a homeless person can later collect free of charge.
The values this Black-owned business radiates is inspiring and for all the coffee and pastries lovers, this is one we all should be supporting!
2. Treats Club
Say hello to the best donuts in London! This 100% Veggie and Halal dessert bar is ticking all our boxes. From Oreo and Kinder s’mores to cookie dough sundaes, this female owned, female led and black owned business is on a journey to celebrate diversity and spread donuts as far as they can go. You can find Treats Club on Roof East in Stratford!
3. Ground & Grapes
Time for something savoury? Let’s head for breakfast at Ground & Grapes. This place was born to give the people of Honour Oak a place to enjoy coffee and wine, all under one roof. Lee and Latoyah came together in 2016 creating a cosy and intimate atmosphere and serving a diverse menu of delicious sourdough breads and earthy coffees.
4. Deserted Cactus
Whether you’re into plant-based goodness or you’re just on the lookout to try something new- head to Deserted Cactus in Peckham to try out their vegan heaven! Using only plant-based products and aromatic spices, vegan influencer Esme – @londonafrovegan set up an ever changing menu of Asian/Caribbean homestyle meals. If fried jackfruit, jerk tofu, or cajun roasted sweet potatoes, sounds like a bit of you then head over. Based in Copeland Park, which once served as a studio complex, it’s now the area’s social and cultural heart by offering studios, workshops and space that enables creative businesses to flourish. Copeland Park works with local groups to retain the area’s cultural diversity and vitality, and Deserted Cactus is just one of their amazing black-owned food vendors to support in this inspirational community!
5. Eat of Eden
London would not be the same without Caribbean influence. From Notting Hill Carnival to some of the best Caribbean inspired eateries. With plant-based diets on the rise, we couldn’t miss out on another vegan favourite; Eat of Eden. All ingredients are ethically sourced and the passion behind this black-owned business has sparked its popularity and given founders the opportunity to open up 6 chains (Clapham, Brixton, Shepherd’s Bush, Lewisham, Walthamstow & Croydon)!
6. Drums and Flats
If you’re based in South East London you can catch Drums and Flats in Boxpark Wembley, serving some of the best wings in London…. Two childhood friends, Khasmi and Daniels grew up together in South London but both share commonalities of growing up with parents who immigrated to London. With Jamaican and Ghanaian roots, the pair believe their cultural upbringing played a huge role into their passion for creating food. They say Drums and Flats was created with a bigger purpose in mind than just serving food, but they want to share their energy, passion and pride that their culture gave them and serve this back into the communities of London. After starting Drums and Flats in their parents’ kitchen and testing on friends and family, they decided it was time to bring their boxes of beauty into the streets of London. Drums and Flats is a reflection of the food, music and culture they grew up with, its food that’s packed with flavour, culture and soul.
7. Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen
Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen was created by food writer and supper club host Zoe Adjonyoh. Zoe began serving hot food outside of her terraced house 12 years ago during the Hackney Arts Festival. Since then, she’s started Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen to start an African Food Revolution and bring African food to the masses. Zoe has spent the last 10 years doing exactly that by hosting supper clubs, kitchen residencies, mobile catering, running a former restaurant space in Brixton and publishing her successful cookbook, Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen.
Zoe says that as a mixed-race, Black lesbian from a working-class immigrant background who works at the intersections of food, culture, identity, and politics, she’s driven to create change in the food landscape. She hopes to see an equal balance in the representation of global businesses, and push African gastronomy to be readily accessible in supermarkets and explored by many. Zoe is also currently on a mission to help people take back control of the ingredients they use in food. She is working to decolonise the spice trade in Africa, working alongside Black-owned businesses and African farmers so that wealth goes back into Africa and their people. From salts, spice mixes to rubs, plenty of amazing products can be found on Zoe’s website, paired along with flavoursome recipes you won’t want to miss out on. Zoe’s inspiring aims to build a more equitable food system are some plans we should all stand by, and we can by visiting her page, supporting her business and learning more.
8. Jollof Box
This place is described as “Africa in a box”, serving West African staples, the very best of African cuisine! Jollof box was created by mother and son due, born out of love for the mothers culinary gift and frustration at the lack of African casual dining outlets in the UK. The aim behind Jollof Box was to create and share African cuisine with all communities and show that African food can thrive on the food scene. Serving plenty of Vegan, Halal and non-vegan options, Jollof Box is the perfect lunch spot if you’re in Dalston.
9. Fish, Wings and Tings
If you live in or around Brixton, you’ll have heard of local Trinidadian owner Brian Danclair. Together with his wife, Danclair opened Fish, Wings and Tings in the heart of Brixton back in 2012. In true Brixton style, Brian’s restaurant is the go to food lover’s destination for mouth-tingling menu of jerk, curries and more. But apart from the delicious food, it’s a gathering place for a vibrant and tight-knit community. Fish, Wings and Tings is locally known for dishing up all the flavours of the Caribbean and for blaring reggae tunes. Where possible, Danclair buys ingredients from local suppliers, he collaborates with other businesses within the market and employs local people, doing everything he can to raise the food profile in South West London. Brian inspiration behind his business was his grandma, who taught him that food brings people together by creating community and Brain’s aim is to flow this energy back into the Brixton community.
10. Borough 22
Last but not least, let’s finish off with something sweet. Borough 22! Award winning, gluten free and vegan donuts. Created by Ryan Panchoo back in 2011 when his wife and children began suffering with gluten and dairy intolerances. It was evident to Ryan that in their hometown of London, there were few multi-allergen friendly products and an extreme lack of quality in the choices which were offered. It wasn’t until 2014 that Ryan perfected his donut recipe, containing no gluten, soya, dairy or eggs! Making it completely vegan too. Ryans donuts have expanded in flavours and varieties over the years, making the perfect snack or present for sugar lovers!
We hope that we have given you an insight into some of our favourite, delicious Black-owned businesses around London! While Gaston focuses on building an inclusive dining experience for people with dietary restrictions, it is also our purpose and mission to create an inclusive community where all members of society are valued and represented. We want our platform to be the go-to place for culture, community and flavour! Therefore supporting minority groups is in our hands! Gaston is offering no set-up fees for Black business owners and we will also provide complimentary branding services such as rebranding, social media posts and flyer distribution to help you get up and running on our ever growing platform. It’s time to support in every way possible and inject back into the Black communities.