For Immediate Release
Minneapolis (July 18, 2022) – Minneapolis celebrates its second annual Black Business Week July 25 – 31 as a start to August’s National Black Business Month. Several entrepreneurs opened businesses recently in Minneapolis, adding to a thriving community of Black-owned restaurants, shops and arts organizations that will easily fill a visitor’s itinerary on a trip to the city. These new businesses are all striving to bring equity and empowerment to the community they serve through social enterprise efforts and sustainability.
Lutunji’s Palate Cafe opened in May in Downtown’s Elliot Park neighborhood after years of success at farmer’s markets and grocery stores. Vegan or regular peach cobbler and other desserts are Lutunji Abraham’s specialties, along with social enterprise efforts through Voices of Effective Change.
Rosaline’s Candles’ Rosaline Friedrich sells small-batch, soy candles in upcycled glass jars in this earth-friendly gift shop on Central Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis.
HYPE (Help Your People Eat) is sneaker shop located in Uptown that offers upscale shoes, like rare Air Jordans and Nike AirMax, and apparel from local designers. Sir Curtis Kirby, Abdulkarim Abdulle, Yassir Mohamed and Arif Mohamed began reselling shoes on Instagram a year and a half before expanding to this buy-sell-trade store.
Mocha Momma’s Coffee opened at the Minneapolis Central Library at 300 Nicollet to caffeine-fuel the patrons and provide primarily African-American young people a job and life skills via the nonprofit Mobilizing And Releasing Caring Hearts Inc.
(MARCH). Owner Melanie Leehy also will offer grab-and-go breakfast and lunch food, including items from Solomon's Bakery’s niche-style African and Caribbean breads.
Venture North Bikes & Coffee is a North Minneapolis full-service bike shop and café that helps empower disadvantaged youth. New owner Kennis Littleton reopened the business and serves Roastery 7 Coffee, an organic roaster based out of Minneapolis.
Smoke in the Pit reopened at 3733 Lake Street with owners Dwight and Ivy Alexander striving to cultivate community through outreach and nonprofit events while cooking smoked meats and sides with family recipes brought from Little Rock, Arkansas.
These businesses join dozens of other Minneapolis Black businesses where visitors to the city can enjoy entertainment, food and drink and shopping. Here’s a sampling:
Arts and Culture:
Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery preserves, records and celebrates the history, art and culture of Blacks in Minnesota through exhibitions, programs and community events. New history exhibit, Early African Americans of Southeast Minnesota, by MAAHMG History Fellow Mica Anders, runs through July 31 and UNBREAKABLE: Celebrating the Resilience of African Americans in Minnesota runs through 2028.
Somali Museum of Minnesota, the only museum devoted to Somali culture anywhere in the world, is the home of Somali creativity in North America and a global leader in advancing and elevating the work of Somali artists. The collection contains more than 700 pieces of craftwork, paintings and sculptures, ranging from nomadic objects and a model nomad’s hut to contemporary art.
Penumbra Theatre is celebrating its 45th season by strengthening its mission to advance equity and facilitate wellness through the healing power of art. Theatrical productions of “Thurgood” and “Weathering” (world premiere) are joined by the Let’s Talk Series, which creates space for compassionate and challenging conversations around issues of social justice, equity and the arts.
Pillsbury House and Theatre is a center for creativity and community, with a mainstage producing plays for 30 years and long-standing youth and neighborhood arts programming that upholds the tradition that the arts are an integral part of all healthy communities.
Capri Theater is a 1927 theater that underwent a major renovation in 2021. It may be best known as the site of Prince’s first public concert in the 1970s. Today, it shares films and musical performances, in addition to community and youth programming.
Paisley Park is one of the best-known tourist spots in Minneapolis, where visitors can tour Prince’s home and studios, and see more than 300 pairs of “the Purple One’s” shoes in The Beautiful Collection.
Food and Drink:
Soul Bowl is a quick service, build-your-own, reimagined soul food shop at the North Loop’s Graze Provisions + Libations where your choice of base, veggie, meat and sauce yields endless combinations.
AfroDeli is a fusion restaurant and a social enterprise, offering freshly made African, Mediterranean, and American themed food, prepared Halal.
Pimento Jamaican Kitchen earned a 2021 James Beard Award with owner Tomme Beevas, who previously won Food Court Wars on the Food Network. Here you’ll find authentic Jamaican Street food using family recipes and true to form rum cocktails on Eat Street.
Dripping Root is Minnesota’s first and only Black-owned, cold pressed juice bar. Located in South Minneapolis, owner Catiesha Pierson also sells smoothie bowls in this shop that opened in 2021.
The Get Down Coffee Co. and Houston White’s Men’s Room newly built facility opened on Black Friday 2021. It features visionary Black entrepreneur Houston White’s coffee company/café, his popular barber shop and a retail operation selling his clothing designs in North Minneapolis’ “Camdentown” neighborhood.
Trio Plant-Based is Minneapolis’ first Black-owned, 100% vegan restaurant, where you’ll find soul food, burgers, apps and desserts.
Slice serves up New York-style pizza by the slice or whole pies at the first Black-owned pizzeria in the city in Northeast Minneapolis, and a new location at Midtown Global Market that opens this week.
Shopping and Hip-Hop Yoga
Lip Esteem’s plant-based, gluten-free and cruelty-free lipsticks, glosses and liners can be found in season at the Minneapolis Farmers Market and Midtown Farmers Market at Moon Palace Books, or their new Midway Saint Paul location. Makeup artist Tameka Jones’ goal is to make people feel good “one tube at a time.”
Queen Anna House of Fashion is a North Loop-based, contemporary women’s retail and lifestyle boutique offering brands from influential fashion houses and independent emerging designers, many philanthropic and environmentally focused.
Urban 29 is a premium, luxury streetwear store, at Mall of America, with everything from jeans to joggers, and luxury brands from Paris.
Karmel Mall is made up of Karmel Square and Karmel Plaza, the first and largest Somali shopping center in the United States. Shops, a mosque and dining like the popular Qoraxlow are located in this South Minneapolis location.
Midtown Global Market has several shops like Simba Craftware, with authentic African art and crafts, and New Start Fashion, who carry fashion-forward clothing for men, women and teens, in this 16+ year-old destination on Lake and Chicago, where visitors can also find regular and special event programming. Grab a bite at Black-owned restaurants like The Kitchen at Midtown Global Market, Soul to Soul Smokehouse, Safari Express and more.
612 Jungle is the first and only hip-hop yoga studio in Uptown, offering classes seven days a week in studio and virtually.
From artists and creatives to innovative entrepreneurs and makers, learn even more about Minneapolis’ Black Community. Explore the Minneapolis Cultural Districts. Or for more about what’s new, what’s to do and planning a trip just for you, visit Meet Minneapolis.
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Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit to the greater Minneapolis area. Meet Minneapolis is accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of Destinations International.
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Kristen Montag, Meet Minneapolis Senior PR and Communications Manager, 612-767-8038, KristenM@minneapolis.org, @Minneapolis_PR on Twitter
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