19 Bay Area Black Women Owned Businesses to Celebrate

Selina Knowles, Communications Coordinator
March 25, 2024

Imani M-Glover, The Lemonade Bar

On March 30, celebrate Women’s History Month with a day of delicious food, crafts, and community at Pop-Ups on the Plaza: Celebrating Black Women Makers at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and Embarcadero Ferry Terminal Plaza. Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S., and the Bay Area is full of examples of women who are leading the way and turning their dreams into realities. Meet talented chefs and designers who are paying homage to their Bay Area roots, bringing new twists to family traditions and recipes, and charting their own paths through their innovation and creativity.

From Soul-fusion brunch and Caribbean pastries to small-batch jams and hot sauces, you’ll find delectably crafted foods, as well as beautiful and unique gifts from participants in the Fillmore’s In The Black marketplace. Get to know and support these Black women-owned businesses tomorrow!

Food Businesses

Photo of two people standing on a lawn.

Bivett Brackett, Big Black Brunch

Bivett, a San Francisco native, founded Big Black Brunch in 2019 to build community and the Black economic power base. Her goal is to create spaces that celebrate Black cuisine, from delicious American Southern dishes to savory Nigerian dishes, and mobilize and circulate the Black dollar in the Bay Area. Don’t miss: Baked goods and chocolates

A photo of three people wearing Cookie Maven crewneck sweaters

Christina Wein, Cookie Maven

Christina has been baking since her childhood. She often entertained her family with many failed attempts of the perfect buttermilk biscuit. She didn’t give up, inspired by her family’s culinary excellence. Her parental grandmother cooked for seminary students, and many say that her maternal grandfather made the best cinnamon rolls in Lafayette, Louisiana. Eventually, she started Cookie Maven, based out of Oakland, California, offering a mix of traditional and unique pairings using quality ingredients. Don’t miss: Cookies and bars

A photo of Hope Hines, the owner of Hella Juiced.

Hope Hines, Hella Juiced

Hope grew up in East Oakland, went to school in Berkeley, then moved back to West Oakland. Over the course of her life, she noticed that there was a lack of healthy food options. She started Hella Juiced with a mission to help others embrace changing the way we view nutrition, while honoring her Oakland roots. Don’t miss: Glow TF Up fruit, vegetable, and turmeric juice and Hella Fresh greens, wheatgrass, and lemons juice

Photo of Imani M-Glover, owner of The Lemonade Bar

Imani M-Glover, The Lemonade Bar

Imani has had an entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. She even sold popcorn balls to fundraise for high school extracurricular activities that weren’t in her single mom’s budget. After Imani got married, she and her husband invested in a hot dog cart, where Imani started selling fresh squeezed lemonade. In 2018, she went all in with The Lemonade Bar, which sources local ingredients for freshly squeezed and frozen lemonade. Don’t miss: Lavender lemonade and strawberry frozen lemonade

Two people pose at Lil' Alijo's stand at Foodwise's Pop-Ups on the Plaza event at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco

Alisha Wilson, Lil’ Alijo Catering & Events

Born and raised in San Francisco, Alisha “Lil’ Alijo” has always had a passion for art, design, and food. She learned to cook from her Mother Lois and Aunt Marie. After graduating art school, Alisha honed her design, marketing, and culinary skills to build her business, with the support of En2Action’s Ujamaa Kitchen program. Lil Alijo specializes in Caribbean, Cajun, and Creole Cuisine. Don’t miss: Specialty macarons and croissant cubes

Mo'Raysha Pouoa holds a dish of food at Foodwise's Pop-Ups on the Plaza event at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco.

Mo’Raysha Pouoa, Mo’Raysha’s

Mo’Raysha grew up eating her mother’s Southern-style cooking. In 2019, she turned her love for food into a catering business, initially selling food in her local community. She continues to grow her business with the support of SF Black Wealth. Mo’Raysha also gives back to her community by serving free meals to youth. Don’t miss: Mac and cheese and garlic noodles

Three people pose at Peaches Patties stand at Foodwise's Pop-Ups on the Plaza event at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco

Shani Jones, Peaches Patties

The lack of Jamaican food in the city was what originally motivated Shani to start her business, Peaches Patties, in 2013. Jamaican patties hold a lot of nostalgia for Shani and cultural significance for her family. Shani named the business after her mom, nicknamed Peaches, who treated the family to patties at home. Once established as a caterer, Shani participated in a business incubator program with La Cocina, and in 2023, she opened a Peaches Patties shop at the Ferry Building. Don’t miss: Curry chicken Jamaican patties and sorrel

Christina Alexis, The Pleasure Principle Supperclub & Dining Events

With over five years of culinary experience, Christina started The Pleasure Principle Supperclub, a party-food-and-drink-loving catering business. Living and working around Oakland, Christina is inspired by the Bay Area’s abundance of fresh produce. She incorporates this into her unique offerings of her seasonally focused menus. Don’t miss: Seasonal Caribbean pastries and bottled sauces, plus Christina Alexis’s Foodwise Demo at 12 pm.

Vanessa Lee, Smoke Soul Kitchen

After catering for family events, Vanessa “Vee” took the leap to turn her passion for cooking into a business. She participated in several entrepreneurship and cooking programs and worked with SF Black Wealth to launch Smoke Soul Kitchen, an authentic Soul Fusion catering company. Don’t miss: Soul-fusion brunch menu

Two people pose at That's My Jam's stand at Foodwise's Pop-Ups on the Plaza event at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco

MarQuita Pettis, That’s My Jam

MarQuita, a native of Oakland, has early memories of helping her grandfather in his garden. It was those early years of planting seeds, watering them, and watching them grow that sparked her love for fresh produce. In 2021, MarQuita started That’s My Jam, a small-batch jam company that transforms fresh produce into jams. Don’t miss: Blueberry Lavender jam and Mango Lemon jam

Kushinda Little, Yummy Honey

Based in Sacramento, Kushinda Little started Yummy Honey Co. in 2020. She says, “We are here to dive deeply into bees, agriculture, and living a sustainable life. We know that nothing happens by chance and that every event that occurs in your life has some deep lesson for you to learn.” Don’t miss: California Buckwheat honey and Wildflower honey

Zakiyyah Shaheed, holds two mini pies at Pop-Ups on the Plaza: Black Holiday Market 2023

Plus: Don’t miss a Foodwise Demo with Zakiyyah Shaheed, Baby Bean Pie

Zakiyyah is the co-dounder of Baby Bean Pie, an artisan food company that serves healthy and indulgent treats. She grew up in the kitchen helping her mom who was a gifted cook and pastry chef. Her passion for food inspired her to study Nutritional Science at San Diego State University. Zakiyyah is now a Degreed Nutritionist with 10 years of experience working in food service. Baby Bean Pie won’t be on the plaza tomorrow, but don’t miss Zakiyyah Shaheed’s Foodwise Demo at 11 am.

Craft Businesses

Nicole Williams poses in front of Belle Noire's stand at Foodwise and In The Black's Pop-Ups on the Plaza Black Creators Craft Market

Nicole Williams, Belle Noire

After regularly receiving offers for the jewelry pieces she would wear in her daily life, Nicole started Belle Noire (French for “Beautiful Black”) to connect women makers in Africa and the African Diaspora with a local market. Nicole, a third-generation San Franciscan, is a participant in In The Black’s Black-led marketplace in the Fillmore District. Don’t Miss: Handmade beaded earrings and necklaces

Nicole Thrower poses at Bismillah Boutique's stand at Foodwise's Pop-Ups on the Plaza at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco

Nicole Thrower, Bismillah Boutique

In 2010, Nicole founded Bismillah Boutique, a Bay Area based candle and skincare brand. Each offering is handmade with the intention of bringing a sense of beauty, peace, and relaxation to the spirit. Don’t miss: Handmade soy and crystal candles

Two people pose with clothing and accessories at CIK Apparel's stand at Foodwise's Pop-Ups on the Plaza event at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco

Cianni Jackson, CIK Apparel

CIK Apparel is owned and operated by Cianni, a San Francisco native and mother of three. She began the apparel line in June 2020 and has since started vending at the In The Black marketplace. Cianni is determined to reflect her love for her family within her business, and the letters “CIK” are a legacy nod to her children. Don’t miss: Signature camo Black pride jacket and enamel pins

LaToya McInnis poses with jewelry at CocoaCentric's stand at Foodwise's Pop-Ups on the Plaza event at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco

LaToya McInnis, Cocoacentric

Designer and San Francisco native LaToya began Cocoacentric in 2017 with a vision to create a bold statement style. After working at several fashion conglomerates, she sought to express her creativity within her own label. With Cocoacentric, LaToya’s goal is to uplift and empower women to feel beautiful, while she designs and curates sustainable jewelry and accessories. Don’t miss: Statement jewelry and accessories

Kim Leonard poses while smelling one of En Vie Naturals aromatherapy products at Foodwise's farmers market in San Francisco

Kim Leonard, En Vie Naturals

Before starting En Vie Naturals in 2009, Kim worked in the cosmetics industry for 16 years. Put off by the amount of animal products and harmful chemicals she saw on ingredient labels, she was motivated to start her own business focusing on natural, vegan beauty products. She joined the Mission Community Market when it opened in 2010 and has participated ever since. Don’t miss: Body butter and pain relief cream

Vickie Brown poses at Ice Body Shop's stand at In The Black's pop-up craft market at Foodwise's Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco.

Vickie Brown, Ice Body Skincare

Vickie, another vendor at In The Black Marketplace, started Ice Body Skincare with her daughter, Deja, in 2015. Ice Body Skincare sells handmade, plant-based skincare products. Don’t miss: Brown Sugar Body Mousse and Cucumber Balancing Facial Toner

Photo of Evie, the founder of Urembo Asili.
Photo by Amy Thompson.

Evie Dondi, Urembo Asili

Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Evie faced limited access to quality skin products, which led to a lifelong struggle with acne starting from her early teens. She grew tired of having no control over her healing process, which led her to explore traditional African natural skincare. She founded Urembo Asili to share her comprehensive line of Afro-rich natural products, carefully crafted with ethically sourced wholesome ingredients. Don’t miss: Gentle Calendula Oil Cleanser and Body Nectar

Join us this Saturday, March 30, for Pop-Ups on the Plaza, and save the dates for future 2024 Pop-Ups on the Plaza events celebrating Bay Area Black entrepreneurs, including businesses in Foodwise’s Building Equity Program!

Pop-Ups on the Plaza is a Port sponsored event brought to you by Foodwise. This program is proudly funded in partnership with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s Dream Keeper Initiative. Additional support is provided by the Ferry Building.

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