Bay Area Black-Owned Business Spotlight

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Amid the worldwide pandemic and the ongoing fight against social injustice, the San Francisco 49ers have, and will continue to support and elevate their neighbors and businesses surrounding the greater Bay Area. In addition to the organization's year-round efforts, the 49ers recently teamed up with U.S. Bank to provide several small businesses with gift cards and partnered with Visa to surprise two local Black-owned businesses with $10,000 grants. Additionally, the 49ers spent over $35,000 with multiple Black-owned businesses to aid in COVID-relief efforts.

Here's a curated list of several Black-owned businesses in the Bay Area, including some backed by 49ers players as well as the organization's Black employee resource group, 49ers B.U.I.L.D.. (Check back for more recommendations from players and staff.)

* 49ers B.U.I.L.D. (Black Unity In Leadership and Development) was established to bring together Black employees within the front office of the San Francisco 49ers to influence positive change within the organization and the communities we support. It will tackle key social justice issues and create a more progressive, equitable, and supportive work environment for all.

Have a Black-owned business in the Bay Area that we should highlight? Submit it here for our review.

BOOKSTORES

Ashay by the Bay Books – Vallejo, CA

Opened in 2000, Ashay by the Bay is an independent minority-owned company that specializes in African American and multi-cultural Children's Books, Baby-3 and K-12 for schools and organizations. The business, owned by Deborah Day, is said to have the largest selection of African American and multi-cultural (Spanish bilingual) books online. Located in Vallejo, Ashay by the Bay sells books throughout the US, Canada and select markets around the world.

Marcus Book Store – Oakland, CA

*B.U.I.L.D Approved

Founded in 1960, Marcus Book Store is regarded as the nation's oldest Black-owned independent bookstore. Their mission is to provide opportunities for Black people and their allies to celebrate and learn about Black people everywhere. Marcus Books offers an extensive catalogue of selections, including children's and young adult books, classics, bestsellers, cookbooks, ancient and contemporary history, poetry, biography and graphic novels.

Multicultural Bookstore & Gifts – Richmond, CA

Recognized as the only multicultural bookstore in the county, Multicultural Bookstore & Gifts offers a number of reading options for Black, Latino, Asian and Native American children of all ages, in addition to adult selections. Owned by Tamara Shiloh, the bookstore is preparing to reopen amid the pandemic, and allows community members to purchase books through their online bookstore.

COFFEE SHOPS

Hippie's Brew – Hayward, CA

Hippie's Brew is serving up funky fresh drinks and good vibes in both Union City and Hayward. They offer Boba, coffees and a variety of breakfast food options with fun twists. You can't go wrong with a "Rick Ross," "Ice Luvs Coco," or "Yonce."

Nirvana Soul – San Jose, CA

*B.U.I.L.D. Approved

A brand-new shop located in the SoFa District, Nirvana Soul was founded by sisters Jeronica Macey and Be'Anka Ashaolu with the focus of bringing people together through the power of coffee and tea. Nirvana Soul is San Jose, California's first Black women-owned coffee shop also sells art from local artists with 100% of the proceeds going to its originators.

Red Bay Coffee – Oakland, CA

Red Bay Coffee was founded in 2014 by Keba Konte, a renowned artist and successful food entrepreneur who has deep roots in the San Francisco Bay Area specialty coffee and hospitality industry. They stand on their coffee production not only being high quality and sustainable, but a vehicle for diversity, inclusion, social and economic restoration, entrepreneurship and environmental sustainability. Red Bay Coffee recently earned three medals at Golden Bean North America. Their shop locations serve as a community hub hosting events, including food popups, concert residencies, magazine releases, panel discussions and self-care festivals.

FOOD/EATERIES

Back A Yard Caribbean Grill – Campbell, San Jose, Menlo Park, CA

* Solomon Thomas Approved

"Back A Yard" is a common term in the Caribbean, simply meaning, the way things are done "Back Home." With five locations, Back A Yard Caribbean Grill is the destination for the Caribbean and American food in the Bay Area. Back A Yard is known for their signature Jerk Chicken and Beef Oxtail Plate, Curried Goat, Barbeque Spare ribs and Vegetarian Jerk Tofu among other popular favorites.

Brown Sugar Kitchen – Oakland, CA

A staple in the West Oakland community, Tanya Holland, award-winning chef, author and restaurateur, is the executive chef and owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen. The fares at Brown Sugar Kitchen reflects Holland's African American heritage, her formal training at La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in France and her general appreciation of a wide variety of cuisines. Brown Sugar Kitchen cooks with locally grown, organic and seasonal ingredients whenever possible.

Hummingbird Bakery & Dessert Bar – Vallejo, CA

Opened in 2011 by sisters Zipporah Johnson and Anastasia Domingue, Hummingbird Bakery and Dessert Bar is a family-owned and "locally loved" bakery. Known for their extravagant artistry, Hummingbird Bakery and Dessert Bar specializes in southern-inspired recipes, custom cakes and wedding cakes. The bakery was voted best bakery in Solano County for eight-straight years.

Little Baobab – San Francisco, CA

With locations in the Mission District of San Francisco and Baobab Oakland in Downtown Oakland, Little Boabab serves Senegalese, Afro-Caribbean cuisine and artisan cocktails. Owned by Marco Senghor, a Senegalese immigrant, Little Baobab has brought the savors and succulent flavors of Senegal to the heart of the vibrant Mission District for almost 20 years.

Little Skillet – San Francisco, CA

Established in 2008, partners Jay Foster and Deanna Sison Foster turned their the tiny kitchen restaurant in SOMA into a neighborhood staple offering Southern classics and comfort dishes. Little Skillet follows a simple formula of quality ingredients, friendly service and good value.

Sandi's Cobbler Cups – Santa Clara, CA

Following her passion for baking and cooking, Palo Alto native and Santa Clara resident Sandra "Sandi" Dailey created Sandi's Cobbler Cups in 2011 that features Creole Classics and Southern Comfort Soul Food. The catering company prides itself on natural homemade goodness and farm fresh organic ingredients. They offer vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. "Sandi's Soulfood" is available at a Levi's® Stadium a concession stand, located at section 120.

HAIR CARE

AVOCURL – Oakland, CA

Jasmine Curtis, AVOCURL founder and formulator, focuses on handmade, certified organic ingredients for hair. Created for all hair textures, AVOCURL's product line focuses on healthy hair, moisture and protecting curls without the usage of sulfates, parabens, phenoxyethanol, formaldehyde, artificial fragrances, phthalates, PEG, diethanolamine, petroleum, retinol, BHA, aminophenol, parfum and formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. AVOCURL uses avocados which contain high amounts of nutrients and antioxidants, that provide nourishment, shine, strength and protection for hair. Avocado is rich in A, C, D, E, K vitamins, proteins, fats and B Group vitamins which are all important for healthy hair growth and maintenance.

Barbers Inc. – San Jose, CA

* Solomon Thomas Approved

Located in the heart of downtown San Jose, Barbers Inc. is a multi-ethnic barbershop that blends the old school barbershop feel with a modern edge and style.

The Barber Academy – San Jose, CA

The Barber Academy is a barber school guided by a team of experts with more than 30 years of combined experience and aimed to provide students with the right tools and knowledge to become successful in an industry full of opportunity.

K&K Beauty Supply – Antioch, CA

After relocating her family from Oakland to Antioch, Calif. four years ago, Shelly Robinson struggled to find a beauty supply near her new home. A negative experience on a visit to their nearest store, a light bulb went off and Shelly told her children they were opening their own beauty supply store. Two years later, K&K Beauty Supply is up and running and they haven't looked back.

WINE

McBride Sisters – Oakland, CA

Robin and Andréa are two half-sisters who shared a common enthusiasm for wine and turned their passion into a successful business in 2010. McBride Sisters is the largest Black-owned wine company in the United States and also one of the most inclusive, accessible, socially aware and sustainable brands around. Their signature McBride Sisters Collection wines are direct reflections of the terroirs of their youth, with flavors designed for all palates.

FITNESS

MORE Young Athletes (MYA) – Oakland, CA

MORE Young Athlete's mission is to develop discipline, self-awareness and self-confidence within their young student-athletes through the mental, emotional and physical well-being derived from physical endeavors.

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