Black businesses in Phoenix for Black History Month

Black businesses in Phoenix for Black History Month

Population growth in the Valley saw nearly 800,000 people move to Phoenix and other cities in Maricopa County, including 70,000 black residents who moved between 2010 and 2020.

Along with people come entrepreneurs who want to start trade and business.

Black Arizona and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) released their third State of Black Business Report, which examines the growth of the black business community. This study has been conducted annually since 2021.

About 1,200 black-owned businesses have been identified around Arizona, most of which can be found using a database created by the community organization Blax Friday.

What is a black-owned business?

At face value, the term is self-explanatory, meaning Black-owned vehicles owned by an individual or Black or African-American individuals. However, terms like Black-created can add a layer of complexity to understanding what it means to support a Black business. Guidelines issued by the Federal Government’s Small Business Administration make it easier for minority-owned businesses to bid for government contracts. The key condition is that at least 51 percent of the business is owned by one or more people identified as an ethnic minority.

The Pew Research Center found that despite the growth of majority black-owned businesses, they accounted for only 3% of all firms in 2020 that could be classified by race and ethnicity. An estimated 140,918 firms are majority black or African American owned.

As February marks Black History Month, we’ve compiled a list of businesses in the Valley that Republic readers can support. Here are some of those enterprises:

Early Bird Vegan and Trash Panda Vegan

Chef and owner Krystal Harris opened Early Bird Vegan in south Phoenix in November 2020, focusing on bringing better, healthier food options to the community. Garbage Panda is a vegan sister concept food truck.

Information: 1712 E Broadway Road, Unit 3, Phoenix. 602-612-3578. https://earlybirdvegan.com.

Grassrootz Bookstore and Juice Bar

Grassrootz is a Black and working-class bookstore in the Eastlake Park neighborhood.

Information: Noon-7pm Tuesday-Saturday, noon-5pm Sunday. 1145 E. Washington St., Phoenix. 480-442-0293. https://grassrootzbookstore.com.

Black Theater Troupe

Katherine Mason, an official with the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, founded the Black Theater Troupe on September 14, 1970. It is the oldest African American theater in the Southwest with its 51st 2021-22 season.

Information: 1333 E. Washington St., Phoenix. 602-258-8128. https://www.blacktheatretroupe.org.

Cool Vybz Jamaican Restaurant

This Jamaican eatery is family owned and operated in North Phoenix.

Information: 340 W. Northern Ave., Phoenix. 602-601-5731. https://coolvybz-jamaican-restaurant.business.site.

Archwood Exchange

Launched in 2017, Exchange is a marketplace for black-owned small businesses. They host and organize events like the Buy Black Marketplace in downtown Phoenix.

Information: 1145 E. Washington St., Phoenix. https://archwoodexchange.com.

Mr. Wonderful’s Chicken & Waffles

Mr. Wonderful brings a blend of Cleveland and Southern flavors to Valley residents. The best way to find out where Mr. Wonderful’s food truck is is to check out their Facebook.

Information: 502-329-1885. Facebook page.

Get the Sassy Beauty Supply

Founded in 2009, this Black-owned beauty shop claims it “can help you find your sass!” They offer a selection of wigs, skin care accessories and hair accessories and much more.

1368 N. Arizona Ave., #102, Chandler. 480-917-0014. https://getsassybeauty.com

Caribbean cuisine

According to its Yelp page, Caribbean Cuisine offers “authentic island taste in the valley of the sun” with dishes like Curry Goat, Oxtail and more.

6031 N. 67th Ave., Glendale. 623-476-2401. https://menupages.com/caribbean-cuisine/6031-n-67th-ave-glendale.

Randizzle’s Food Truck

Football star Ryan Gatewood dreamed of opening his own restaurant. Randizzle’s is a dream come true. The food truck specializes in bringing people gourmet burgers and tacos. The best way to find a truck is to go through the food truck’s Instagram account.

Information: 480-326-4435. https://randizzlesfoodtruck.com.

Straw and wool

The business was founded in 2020 by Owner Henry Dickerson and focuses on selling classic hats.

Information: 610 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix. 602-888-4761. https://strawandwool.com

Honey bear barbecue

Owner, chef and pitmaster Mark Smith has been serving the Valley for over 35 years.

Information: 2824 N. Central Ave., Phoenix; 5012 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix. 602-702-3060. honeybearsbbq.com

Have a question you need answered? contact the reporter [email protected]. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter @raphaeldelag.

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