The award-winning wines of Theopolis Vineyards, which won the Gold Medal in the 2021 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, are an example of the impact of the $6 billion African-American food industry. We call it “freedom food” because Black food businesses have literally funded our passage into freedom since the 1500s in the United States, Caribbean and Latin America. Each March since 2006, we’ve chosen March to extend 31 Ways 31 Days from National Black Business Month in August during the period of basketball tournments which are the traditional social extravaganza and the Easter holiday when families fesst. The concept is simple, Visit at least one Black food business each day during March. We provide suggestions for 75 cities in our book Say Grace and Wipe Yo’ Hands: BlackRestaurant.NETGuide to America’s Black Restaurants
The high end burgers of Fuddruckers are now the nationwide domain of 40-year-old Nicholas Perkins, who has plans to add hundreds of new franchises. He’s the first African-American to own a nationwide hamburger chain, providing options for economic development that transforms neighborhoods. Perkins began by offering food services at HBCUs. His hero is A.G.Gaston, and accordingly his company is Black Titan Investments
Keba Konte has turned a hobby into the largest Black-owned manufacturer in Oakland with Red Bay Coffee, creating a model for Black food as a job creator that stabilizes neighborhoods. Konte is shpping directly from African growers, boosting economies on both continents.
Kristen Pierce is the second generation to tantalize legions of Chicago and Midwest chicken lovers who included a young Barack Obama. Harold’s Chicken Shack has been around longer than any of the major national chains-70 years.
Valerie Goldston leads Gourmet Companies into a future of grwoth with a variety of food services concepts including institutional service and the new Mrs. Winer’s Chicken.
It is a refreshing break for African-Americans to see the normalcy and creativity of Black life expressed through the kitchen.
Dooky Chase has history in every bite as the restaurant fed the civil rights leaders of the Deep South and endured urban renewal and hurricanes.
M2 launches in Oakland