Two Black-owned, Cincinnati coffee shops made it onto Yelp’s 2021list of “Black-owned businesses to watch in 2021.”
In celebration of Black History Month, Yelp put together a list of Black-owned businesses that have shown increases in ratings and reviews in 2020 as compared to 2019 (or opened in or after 2019). Yelp limited its list to two businesses per metro area.
“Our vision is to change the business landscape of African American communities,” says Cream and Sugar’s website, “to spread love and inclusion, to inspire creativity, to enhance the business district, and more importantly, to have our children see people who look like them owning and operating thriving businesses.”
Opened in spring of 2020 by Taren Kinebrew and Crystal Grace, the cafe offers cappuccinos, lattes, chais, and a tempting iced “toddy” latte. Their menu also includes brunch toasts — like maple peanut butter banana or honey pepper goat cheese — yogurt bowls, and even a Mediterranean salad and pita with scratch-made hummus.
BlaCk Coffee Lounge, on Downtown’s Elm Street, features a centerpiece mural with a colorful, large tree, coffee beans and music notes, as well as a street light with two intersecting street signs labeled “culture” and “community.” The lounge itself strives to be that intersection, a place where people of all communities can congregate to celebrate Black culture while enjoying great coffee.
The shop was established in 2019 by owner Means Cameron, a Cincinnati native, avid coffee drinker and the owner of both BlaCk Coffee and the BlaCk OWned clothing brand/boutique, housed in the storefront next door.
In addition to a variety of coffee drinks, the shop also offers muffins, including a best-selling vegan chai muffin, as well as bagels and cookies. Fun latte flavors include the “Woah” with vanilla and caramel and the “Swirl” with caramel and dark chocolate.
Black-owned businesses that Yelp included on the list fell into three categories: food, beauty, and home. “Our hope is that you’ll discover new local favorites to support,” says Brenae Leary, Public Relations Manager with Yelp.
For even more delicious food, check out these 25 Black-owned Cincinnati restaurants you should have tried by now.