From great food to shopping and boutique fitness experiences, this list includes a little bit of everything.
February is Black History Month, and in order to celebrate the culture, history, and knowledge of the Black community, encourage learning and sharing in our real estate community and beyond, and to inspire the support of local Black business owners, creators, restauranteurs, and others, RSIR will be curating a series of blog posts throughout the month, each one with a unique focus. (You can check out our first post of the month, which highlights Black History Month events you won’t want to miss, here, and our second post, which spotlights must-know local leaders, here.)
This week, we’re highlighting a few standout Black-owned businesses that we’re sure you’ll love and want to support—if you aren’t already doing so! Some of our favorite restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and fitness studios in and around Seattle are owned by Black entrepreneurs whose admirable drive, know-how, and devotion to putting out fantastic food, products, and experiences makes them a joy to share with you, our beloved real estate community.
1. Plum | Bistro
Run by Chef Makini Howell, Plum Bistro is one of Capitol Hill’s most well-known vegan restaurants and has been serving up delightful plant-based dishes since 2009. The Plum family of restaurants has expended over the past decade, opening offshoots Plum Chopped, Pantry by Plum Bistro, Plum Truck, and Sugar Plum, offering an array of more casual options, quick lunches, and sweet desserts and ice creams—but every branch of this impressive business provides guests with the same delicious and carefully thought-out experience. Using organically grown produce as well as local fruits and veggies from family-owned farms, Chef Howell and the Plum team cook creative and surprising meals that never cease to delight eaters of all stripes, year after year.
2. Black Coffee Northwest
With a slogan like “grounded in excellence,” Black Coffee Northwest is the kind of small business you can’t help but want to learn more about. And the more we learn, the more we love this thriving local establishment that works hard every day to succeed as a business and support its surrounding community. More than a coffee shop, this spot positions itself as a community hub in Shoreline, offering networking opportunities, programs that promote and sell Black-owned products, a youth outreach project called “Friday Night Vibez,” and job training for work experience for local Black youth—and they’re the home of the award-winning Northside Drill Team and Step Team!
Black Coffee Northwest is truly a neighborhood meeting place and space for community, as well as a wonderful café—which is why it is with a heavy heart that we have to share that this generous local business was the victim of an arson attack just a few short months ago. The staff are asking that anyone with information please share it with the King County Arson investigator’s office by calling 206-263-2070.
The founders and owners of this Seattle-based business have history in two entirely different parts of the world—Dominique hails from Kentucky and Susan from Ghana—but they nevertheless found that they had a shared vision for making a difference in the world through encouraging healthy living and the use of natural products. So, Gärden was born. Offering unique tea blends made with herbs, spices, and some other unexpected plant ingredients (reishi mushroom and seamoss, anyone?), the company’s wellness teas are flavorful little packets of joy bound to boost your mood as well as your health. Selling sustainable accessories, like reusable silicone steepers and bamboo storage boxes, Gärden doesn’t just sell products, it creates an experience—going so far as to share creative recipe ideas (Teamosas! Ice pops!) and specially curated Spotify playlists to take your enjoyment to the next level.
4. My Sweet Lil’ Cakes
Serving up showstopping sweet and savory little hotcakes on sticks as well as delicious homestyle sides, My Sweet Lil’ Cakes makes every menu item from scratch every single day and has done it all out of one surprisingly tiny food truck. With options for meat eaters, plant-based diners, gluten-free devotees, and everyone in between, this business really makes it easy to find a delectable dish (or several) you’re sure to enjoy, no matter what your preferences or dietary restrictions.
Unfortunately, My Sweet Lil’ Cakes’ fabulous orange truck, affectionately named Myrna, was stolen recently. The team isn’t letting this sad event get them down, though, and is currently fundraising on GoFundMe in order to raise the money needed to purchase a new truck and get back to business!
5. Soulful Flow Yoga
Jasmine RaShae’ is the beautiful spirit behind Soulful Flow Yoga. Offering yoga classes and mindfulness practices geared toward youth, adults, and even the elderly, and working diligently to provide representation and exposure to yoga to communities of color, RaShae’ strives to make yoga truly accessible for everyone, no matter their background, their prior experience with yoga, or where they are at in their lives and their health and fitness journeys. Desiring to deliver a more inclusive experience, RaShae’ creates positive, supportive and nurturing spaces within which her community can experience the healing potential of meditation, movement, and sound.
6. Tougo Coffee
The baker behind this business, Berhanu, states on the company’s website that Tougo Coffee was built on “a love affair with coffee and sourdough.” And really, is there anything better for a business to be built on? This cozy neighborhood café—located in the heart of Seattle right on Yesler Way—tries above all to cultivate a welcoming and respectful atmosphere for all, while serving up some seriously creative coffee drinks as well as homemade baked goods, breads, and other irresistible goodies.
7. Sukie’s Candle Co.
Carefully sourcing every ingredient for its premium products, Sukie’s Candle Co. has a mission to make incredible candles that are everything most candles on the market are not: non-toxic, eco-friendly, and vegan. Choosing to purchase the components they need (like soy wax) from American farmers, packaging in reusable glass containers, and using only phthalate-free scents derived from natural essential oils are just some of the steps Sukie’s takes to ensure they’re putting out the best possible product. Each candle purchased from Sukie’s not only sets a mood in your home or workspace, but also supports a better, more sustainable production system that benefits everyone.
8. Blue Daisi Consulting
Helping small businesses waste less and keep more trash out of landfills might sound like a simple mission—but the folks behind Blue Daisi know just how complicated the shift from wasteful to zero-waste can be. That’s why they’re dedicated to guiding business owners toward a more sustainable future, helping them to discover surprising solutions to an array of everyday problems and embrace the idea of re-imaging the way things have always been done, no matter what kind of business they’re guiding or who they’re serving.
9. City Sweats
Washington’s very first infrared wellness spa, City Sweats is changing the game in the notoriously gray, rainy, and dreary Pacific Northwest. Using heat and infrared light waves, the one-of-a-kind saunas at this spa claim to do everything from boost the immune system to calm blood pressure, normalize blood sugar levels, and improve circulation—all simply by creating the perfect environment for a healthy sweat sesh! And in the depths of a damp and chilly PNW winter, all of that sounds like an absolutely perfect excuse to warm up and wind down at City Sweats.
*UPDATE: A member of our online community recently shared another Black-owned business that they love, and we wanted to share it with you here as well—thanks to Nikki G. for their contribution! Hunni Co. (aka Hunniwater) is a small, family-run company based in Edmonds, WA started by Karin and Eric Butler. Their signature product, called KINDNESS, is a sparkling water beverage made with carefully sourced wildflower honey and other natural flavors, like Lemon Honeydew, Cherry Watermelon, and Green Apple Lime. They also make another beverage line called Hunniwater Detox, which combines other ingredients like charcoal, tart cherry juice, and real ginger to add a boost of flavor and nutrients to their basic product. They offer free delivery in the Seattle area and are also now available at QFC grocery stores!
As you can probably tell from the name chosen for their main product line, the team behind Hunni Co. believes that kindness is contagious, and wants to spread as much positivity as possible—they’re about more than just making profits. Desiring to be good stewards of the natural resources they use to make their honey-infused drinks, a part of every Hunni Co. purchase supports bee habitat restoration and other projects that protect our environment, our wildlife, and our communities. Learn more about this business and their mission on their website or follow them on Instagram.
Did we miss a business you absolutely adore? If you’d like to share the names of any other local Black-owned businesses with us, head to our Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook pages and send us a message—we’d love to hear from you!