As outrage over the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer spills into the streets in the form of peaceful protests in Cincinnati and throughout the nation, we face the ever-present reality that members of the Black community are placed at a systemic disadvantage.
To make matters worse, we’re still in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic. And Black business owners, experts say, have been especially vulnerable to the economic fallout, a heavy impact that’s only been compounded by the physical toll the virus has taken on minority communities.
Supporting Black-owned businesses isn’t a cure-all to the problems at hand. But it’s an easy, direct action you can take today. Instead of picking up dinner from a chain restaurant tonight, order out from a local, Black-owned eatery. Take part in #CincyBuyBlackThursdays, a new initiative by Cincinnati City Councilmember Jan-Michele Kearney.
The following list is by no means exhaustive. But if you’re not quite sure where to begin, here are 71 (and counting!) Black-owned businesses in Cincinnati you can support. You can find a more comprehensive directory here.
If you’re interested in adding your business to this list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your business’s name, address, neighborhood, phone number, and website, plus a brief description. Is your business online only? That works too! Send us your business’s name, website, and a brief description.
BlaCk OWned Outerwear
To the co-owners of this Elm Street boutique, Black-Owned isn’t just a business descriptor—it’s a state of mind. It’s also the phrase you can find emblazoned on their apparel, available online or at their downtown storefront, located next to BlaCk Coffee Lounge.
822 Elm St., Downtown, (513) 407-3496, blackowned19xx.com
The Kentucky Derby may be postponed until September, but that doesn’t mean you can’t shop around for a showstopper of a hat. For more than 15 years, Chapeau Couture has blessed the Queen City with hats that range from mile-high statement pieces to slightly more subdued “fascinators.”
(513) 409-4287, chapeaucouture.com
This upscale children’s clothing store in OTR is a refreshing departure from the average family shopping experience. Take advantage of the in-store lactation room and keep your little ones occupied in the playroom while you browse a carefully curated selection of sustainable brands.
1209 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, hutchbaby.com
Wear your state, city, or neighborhood pride on your sleeve—literally. Part of the proceeds from this clothing store’s most recent line, Unity Within the Community, directly supports the Freestore Foodbank’s efforts to provide assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
2809 Woodburn Ave., Woodburn, originalitees.com/
All Together Lovely Beauty Supply
This beauty supply store doesn’t just specialize in premium quality hair and skincare products—its owners also hold monthly training classes to educate foster and adoptive parents on proper hair care.
atlcincy.com, (513) 445-2502
Beat by Kee
Beat by Kee offers a variety of makeup services and beauty products, as well as detailed makeup lessons for clients.
Chenese Bean Makeup Artistry
With an impressive list of celebrity clients and TV/film credits, Chenese Bean has been doing makeup artistry in the Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky areas since 1997.
8918 Reading Rd., Suite 102, (513) 348-9004, chenesebean.com
Want to be treated like royalty? Fairfield’s El-Nails is a full-service nail salon that offers high-quality polish, gel, and acrylic services for both walk-in and by-appointment clients.
6126 Winton Road, Fairfield, (513) 795-2545, el-nails.com
Grace + Grit Spa
Self care shouldn’t be a luxury only for the few. That’s the gospel the team at Grace + Grit preaches each day at their spa, where services range from waxing and facials to relaxation and therapeutic massages.
6712 Montgomery Rd., Silverton, (513) 818-3010, graceandgritskin.com
G’s Perfection Plus
Located right next door to Emma’s All-In-One, G’s Perfection Plus has been cutting the hair of men, women, and kids on Harrison Avenue since 2005.
3120 Harrison Ave., Westwood, (513) 481-4494
Jade’s Beauty Room
Jade’s is a one-stop shop for all things nails! Appointments can be made through the link on the salon’s Facebook page, which also displays an extensive gallery of nail art photos.
3825 Edwards Rd., Norwood, (513) 601-9919, facebook.com/jadesbeautyroom10
Love That Hair
With a stellar customer loyalty program and a dedicated team of stylists who regularly attend conferences to learn about new trends, this Sharonville salon believes confidence and great hair go hand-in-hand.
11561 Chester Rd., Springdale, (513) 834-7516, lovethathair.club
M.A.D.E. by Keisha
M.A.D.E (Makeup Artistry Designed Exclusively) by Keisha provides all things beauty enhancement wherever you are in the Cincinnati area.
Mr. Reno Barbershop
This classic barbershop, run by the one and only Mr. Reno himself, offers a variety of services for men and women. It also has a special incentive for kids: Read a book or get A’s in school and get a free haircut.
2100 E. Seymour Ave., Pleasant Ridge, (513) 274-3942
The Najah J. Beauty Company
Freelance makeup artist Najah Johnson’s work has been seen on big and small screens, but she also creates custom looks for weddings in the Cincinnati area.
8200 Galbraith Rd., facebook.com/najahjmua
Natural Shea Care
With ingredients sourced from Ghana, this Loveland-based skincare company offers a carefully curated selection of all-natural shea butters, lotions, and black soaps. Check on the online store, or look for Natural Shea Care’s products at Jungle Jim’s International Market or Kroger stores.
Nigel’s Gifted Hands
A licensed cosmetologist since 17, UC grad Nigel Mask’s services go far beyond just hair and beauty appointments. Along with image consulting and public speaking, he even styled hair on Netflix’s new show, Say I Do!
Not only will Kisha of Pretty Please do your makeup for your big day, she also custom blends homemade, cruelty-free beauty products like body and lip scrubs.
500 E. Ross Ave., (513) 686-9393, prettypleasemakeupstudio.com
Pure Beauty Skin Bar
Boasting a wide range of skincare services, this Silverton clinic specializes in personalized acne treatment and even makes an acne-safe foundation that comes in 17 shades. Book a virtual skin consultation today to create a special plan tailored to your needs.
7337 Montgomery Rd., Silverton, purebeautyskinbar.com
A Touch of Summer
A Touch of Summer’s Summer Holmes-Mazion has nearly 20 years of experience creating elegant wedding makeup looks on-location. Services also include skincare treatments, and makeup lessons.
(740) 550-7588, atouchofsummermakeup.com
Curtis’s Custom Cuisine
Looking to surprise a special someone with an at-home date night? Curtis’s Custom Cuisine specializes in romantic surprise meals for two, but also offers catering for any kind of event.
Who doesn’t love BBQ? Since 2015, Dada Smokes has catered classics like pork ribs, brisket, and pulled pork to events of all sizes around the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati areas.
(859) 363-6133, dadasmokes.com
OCD (which stands for Obsessive Cake Disorder) creates the perfect confections for all kinds of events, specializing in cakes, choux pastry, and cookies. The bakery also donates frequently to mental health organizations and works to end the stigma surrounding mental health issues like obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The Passion Plate
Chef Kymberly Wilbon brought her self-described SOUL (Seasonal, Organic, Unexpected, and Local) food from New York City to Cincinnati, where she offers catering services for dates, family gatherings, corporate dinner parties, and more.
(513) 293-9075, thepassionplate.com
Southern Grace Cincy
Owned by Chef Nickey Nicole Stevenson, Southern Grace caters Southern classics like fried chicken, cornbread, and collard greens directly to your event.
(513) 808-5819, southerngracecincy.com
Southern Treats Sweetery
Need something sweet for your event? Southern Treats Sweetery Owner and Chef Jemina Whittle has you covered with decadent adaptations of her family’s dessert recipes.
(513) 371-8793, www.southerntreatsllc.com
Sweet Petit Desserts
Like regular desserts but petite! Sweet Petit Desserts specializes in miniature desserts like cake and cheesecake pops, tartlets, and mini cupcakes.
1426 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 443-5094, sweetpetitdesserts.com
Toast to the Good Life Bartending
While most events are on hold now due to the pandemic, Toast to the Good Life has been showing followers how to create some of their stylish and flavorful concoctions through Instagram and Facebook live videos.
EVENTS + WEDDINGS
Over the course of its 30 years in business, Blossoms estimates its florists and freelancers have arranged more than 5 million flowers at weddings, funerals, and countless group events across the Queen City.
8711 Reading Rd., Reading, (513) 531-7673, blossomsfloristinc.com
Blush the Event Loft
Specializing in “Events Guaranteed to Make You Blush,” Blush’s venue space accomodates up to 75 guests in its downtown Cincinnati location.
815 Race St., Downtown, blushcincy.com
The Confetti Room
Looking for the perfect backdrop for your next event? Located in the heart of OTR, The Confetti Room is a near-blank canvas of an event space ready to be dressed up to fit clients’ needs, from baby showers to wedding receptions and every Instagrammable event in between.
1531 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 446-1650, confettiroomcincy.com
The Crystal Collection
While the wedding season may look different this year, The Crystal Collection’s event planners are still working with couples and families to plan unique and memorable weddings, along with other events.
(419) 699-9659, thecrystalcollectionllc.com
De Evans Events
Deanna ‘De’ Evans’s wedding planning skills have been recognized in weddingwire.com’s Couples Choice Awards for four years in a row. Services can even be customized based on how involved you would like to be in the process.
(513) 515-2317, deevansevents.com
Detailed Days Event Design
For “brides who want less stress on their big days,” Detailed Days owner Brittney Johnson has been taking care of the details of local weddings since 2010, after being inspired by her own wedding, which was planned and designed by her aunt.
(513) 289-6756, detaileddays.com
Exquisite Events by Amanee
With their signature “couture approach,” Exquisite Events focuses on planning highly customized weddings and events in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky.
(513) 926-2326, eventsbyamanee.com
Maize Music’s DJ Nemar has been spinning records for local weddings, clubs, karaoke parties, and bar/bat mitzvahs since 2003. Its extensive library of songs can even be browsed on their website, so you can customize your event playlist.
(513) 608-9077, 630 Madison Ave., Covington, maize-music.com
Nov by Christina
A long time local event planner, Christina Christian was recently featured on FOX19, talking about the ins and outs of hosting a safe, socially distanced party or gathering.
(513) 772-3288, facebook.com/christinachristianentertaining
Revel Urban Winery
Revel’s Over-the-Rhine location isn’t just for making wine. The winery, which currently also delivers bottles to locations in and around the Cincinnati area, can also be booked for events.
111 E. 12th St., Over-The-Rhine, (513) 579-9463, revelotr.com
Social Butterfly Events
Dual-based in Cincinnati and San Francisco, Social Butterfly is a boutique that plans events of any size, including corporate gatherings, weddings, and more.
(513) 446-1650, socialbevents.com
Although they are currently closed due to COVID-19, Socialtique’s event space will be perfect for any post-pandemic pop-ups, product launches, or private parties.
4027 Hamilton Ave., Northside, (513) 795-1880, socialtiqueevents.com
This local arts group brings the party to you—the paint party, that is. Soul Palette specializes in mobile paint parties, murals, and private lessons for adults and kids alike. In the absence of in-person sessions during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit Soul Palette’s Facebook page for virtual art lessons and to make a donation.
(513) 227-4836, paintwithyoursoul.com
With an impressive roster of experienced DJs, Shaun Daniels (aka DJ Sutle) and his team have been providing tunes to Cincinnati events for nearly 20 years.
(513) 317-1124, sutleproductions.com
Touch of Heaven Floral Shoppe
Recently reopened for walk-in service, Mt. Healthy’s Touch of Heaven Floral Shoppe provides floral arrangements to a wide array of local weddings, funeral homes, hospitals, and cemeteries.
7626 Hamilton Ave., Mount Healthy, touch-heaven.com
A restaurant that manages to sell 2,000 pounds of turkey tips each week has to be doing something right. Former UC football player Dwan Wood cooks his no-frills BBQ over charcoal for authentic Alabama flavor.
2733 Vine St., Corryville, (513) 376-8781, alabama-q.com
This mobile food truck is committed to creating unique taste in the world of burgers. It takes pride in serving fresh-off-the-grill burgers and fries.
(513) 399-7783, facebook.com/BanginBurgers
Cincinnati’s first-ever food truck dedicated solely to the art of the acai bowl, BOL offers seven signature, handcrafted bowls, in addition to a popular “create your own” option. Look out for a brick-and-mortar location in the future, but in the meantime, you can order a bowl through GrubHub or DoorDash.
(513) 903-9636, bolonline.org
If you think you have to sacrifice flavor to create healthy comfort food, think again. Conscious Kitchen has been doing it for years, serving up salmon-bacon BLTs, beet burgers, and plenty of soulful staples at its popular Corryville location.
2912 Vine St., Corryville, (513) 834-7001, facebook.com/consciouskitchen513/
Darou Salam African Halal
When it comes to Senegalese cuisine, Cincinnati’s options are fairly slim. But Northside’s Darou Salem African Halal stands as an exception, serving up generous portions of West African dishes like dibi (grilled lamb) and brochette (lamb or chicken shish kebab). Polish off your meal with thiakry, a sweet, millet-based pudding.
4163 Hamilton Ave., Northside, (513) 681-3663
Davis Cookie Collection
In the mood for something sweet? Davis Cookie Collection has been dishing out cookies through its online store and at local businesses since 2016. Keep an eye out for the grand opening of its first brick-and-mortar storefront, coming soon to Bond Hill.
(513) 313-3663, daviscookiecollection.com
Emma’s All-In-One Occasions Soul-Food and Catering
Emma’s has it all! This restaurant on Harrison Avenue serves up plates of soul food classics like fried tilapia, mac and cheese, and wings, in their dining room, or catered to your event.
3122 Harrison Ave., Westwood, (513) 481-2200
Habesha is a family-owned and operated restaurant serving authentic Ethiopian fare, which also offers takeout and delivery service for customers who wish to stay at home.
5070 Crookshank Rd., Westwood, (513) 429-4890
Honey Child Artisan Pops
Honey Child creates fruity frozen pops with no added cane sugar, dairy, or gluten that are perfect for summer. Their “smoothie on a stick” even comes in an alcoholic version for grown-ups.
(513) 800-0911, honeychildpops.com
Once featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” for its decidedly “off the charts” jerk chicken platter, this Short Vine Jamaican restaurant serves up island classics cooked by former UC football captain Leo Morgan.
2826 Short Vine St., Corryville, (513) 498-0680, islandfrydays.com
Jazzy Sweeties Bakery
Decadent layer cakes and cupcakes are just the tip of the dessert iceberg at Jasmine Ford’s Walnut Hills bakery, which features perfect-for-summer specials like peach cobbler cheesecake and strawberry crunch cupcakes.
1006 E McMillan St., Walnut Hills, (513) 492-2535, jazzysweetiesbakery.com
After being forced out of her West End location to make way for FC Cincinnati’s new soccer stadium, Just Cookin’ Owner Monica Williams reopened her restaurant in an even larger space at 1142 California Ave. in Bond Hill, where she continues to serve up soul food favorites like smothered pork chops, salmon croquettes, fried chicken, and more.
1142 California Ave., Bond Hill, facebook.com/just.cooking316/
Just Q’in BBQ
A story that first began with a grill and a special blend of 17 spices has evolved into a Cincinnati BBQ favorite with a mission to uplift and train those who have experienced homelessness, addiction, jail time, and other barriers to success.
975 E McMillan St., Walnut Hills, (513) 452-6328, justqin.com
Founded in part as a response to food deserts in neighborhoods around downtown Cincinnati, Matunda Juicery specializes in cold-pressed juices packaged in recyclable French glass jars. Try their signature juice, “The Green Light,” or, if you’re feeling bold, order a one-to-three day cleanse.
2908 Vine St., Corryville, (513) 680-5122, matundajuicery.com
Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt
Roxana Turner has owned and operated the Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt location at Harper’s Station for five years and counting. Indulge in best-in-class frozen yogurt flavors (fresh shredded coconut!), plus custom “fro-yo cakes,” which are perfect for all occasions.
11397 Montgomery Rd. Store C, Symmes Township, (513) 918-2254, menchies.com/yogurt-shop-our-locations
Despite the pandemic, Muse still frequently hosts live music in their outdoor seating area, and also offers wine, beer, coffee, and many more cafe items for carryout.
3018 Harrison Ave., Westwood, (513) 906-7743, facebook.com/musecafecincinnati
It’s near impossible to miss the bright red and yellow trolley car that’s been a fixture in OTR ever since Mr. Ollie (whose real name is Marvin Smith) parked it there in 1993. Stop by for a classic Ollieburger, a rack of ribs, or a helping of classic Southern sides like black-eyed peas and collard greens.
1607 Central Ave., West End, (513) 381-6100
Pata Roja Taqueria
Sunny Blu Coffeehouse
Despite only having been open for a year, Camp Washington-based Sunny Blu has proved a formidable contender in Cincinnati’s ever-burgeoning coffee ecosystem. The community coffeehouse serves La Terza brews and sells sweets from local bakeries. Buckeye donuts, anyone?
2869 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington, (513) 975-1001, sunnyblucoffeehouse.com
Looking for a comfort food option that fits a halal diet? Rasheedah’s Café, located in the heart of College Hill, was born out of a need for halal meals in the community. Twenty-seven years later, Rasheedah herself is still serving up generous portions of soul food staples.
5922 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, (513) 351-1129, rasheedahscafe.com
Self-taught Chef Soleil brings her signature “urban cuisine” to local tables and events through her mobile catering company, challenging the traditional definition of soul food and incorporating flavors and healthy options from around the world.
1719 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 545-1687, soleilkitchen.com
While Sugar’s Over-the-Rhine shop is currently closed, delivery orders can still be placed online for the bakery’s indulgent cookies, cakes, and “Sugar Fix” dessert jars.
HOME + WELLNESS
Breastfeeding Outreach for Our Beautiful Sisters
Headed by Janelle Richardson, Breastfeeding Outreach for Our Beautiful Sisters is the only African-American community-based program focused on maternal and child health with a concentration on the best early infant feeding practices.
(513) 783-2301, breastfeeding-boobs.com
Dreamy scent combinations by this Cincinnati candlemaker include ginger and patchouli, whiskey and amber, and raspberry mint. Order a signature scent online or pour your own with District 78’s DIY candle-making kit, which comes in a perfect-for-date-night set of two.
2908 Vine St., Corryville, bydistrict78.com
Flora Lee Naturals
Born of “blackberry bushes and sunny days” spent with founder Nia Baucke’s grandmother, for whom the shop is named, Flora Lee Naturals is a plant-based skincare line focused on feel-good wellness products.
This local purveyor of educational games doesn’t want you to wait until February to celebrate Black history. Their fast-paced Black History Trivia Showdown trivia card game now comes in a special “Trailblazers” edition, highlighting the achievements of Black innovators in science, business, politics, and more.
With a special focus on using only clean, eco-conscious ingredients, this online skincare company creates its products in small, handcrafted batches. Each bar of soap is vegan and free of gluten, synthetic fragrances, palm oils, sulfates, artificial coloring, and animal byproducts.
The brainchild of four Black MORTAR entrepreneurs, this retail collective is focused on all things wellness, offering everything from cold-pressed juices and massages to crystals and handcrafted candles.
2908 Vine St., Corryville, facebook.com/Pausecincy/
Images by Nick B
After starting out as a barber, Middletown native Nick Baynes began taking photos as a hobby, which eventually grew more professional. Now, he specializes in Fashion and landscape photos, as well as taking professional headshots.
Kenyatta Davis Photography
For creative, intimate wedding and engagement portraits, look no further than Cincinnati-based photographer Kenyatta Davis, who focuses on capturing the “in between laughter, hugs, and goofiness that makes your love unique.”
Love Photography Studios
Although it specializes in wedding, family, senior, and newborn portraits, Love Photography also shoots for small business and entrepreneurs looking to refresh their personal brands.
Shot By Dubs
Kevin “Dubs” Watkins started shooting photos as a hobby in 2014, but soon found a passion for capturing memories for friends and families. Now, he specializes in portrait photos of all kinds.
YH Images Photography
Regardless of the event, Yohan Hameed of YH Images will make sure there are images to make the memories last. Check out his website for some of his work:
(513) 399-2550, yhimages.com