Owner Taren Kinebrew of Sweet Petit Desserts in Cincinnati. Photo provided

Contributed by Ohio.org

COLUMBUS — August is National Black Business Month, an annual celebration recognizing Black entrepreneurs and their contributions to America’s economy. TourismOhio and the Ohio Department of Development are encouraging Ohioans to support local and shop Ohio Black-owned businesses across the state, not just this August but all year long.  

“We are dedicated to empowering and elevating Black-owned businesses across Ohio,” Lydia Mihalik, director of the Department of Development, which oversees TourismOhio, said. “Small businesses are the heart of Ohio’s economy, and our minority-owned small businesses are vital to supporting our communities and keeping them unique.”  

There are hundreds of Black-owned businesses across the state – from bakeries with sweet treats, to relaxing spas, and trendy apparel companies, many are currently featured in TourismOhio’s 115 Black-Owned Ohio Businesses to Check Out.  

Those with a sweet tooth in central Ohio will definitely want to check out Bake Me Happy, a gluten-free bakery with locations in the south side of Columbus and Dublin. Keep an eye out for Donna’s Delicious Dozen food truck around Columbus or head to the Gahanna/New Albany donut shop for a delicious way to start the day (or midday snack).  

Looking for a bite to eat in Cincinnati? You won’t want to miss K&J Seafood Co. They’re bringin’ nawlins to the ‘nati with their New Orleans-style seafood. 

On deck in Greenville, near Dayton, is Proper Gnar, the nation’s first Black woman-owned skateboard company. This online streetwear and skateboarding brand has been covered by Rolling Stone, featured on HBO, and even received a shoutout from the queen herself, Beyoncé.  

Jera’s Heavenly Sweet in Toledo is a sweet stop you have to try. The downtown Toledo bakery prides itself on sweets baked daily from scratch that not only taste incredible but the customer service is so sweet you’ll feel right at home. Speaking of feeling at home, tucked away in the suburb of Holland is Black Frog Brewery, a nanobrewery and local hang out spot (and one of the very few Black-owned breweries in the country) making “great beer for great people.”  

Head northeast for gifts for any occasion. Fill your home with amazing aromas from Lotus Candles, a family-owned shop in Cleveland boasting traditional scents like lavender and the decadent Grandma Russell’s Chocolate Fudge Brownies. At Elizabeth’s Books & Writing Centre, founded by Akron native Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, you can peruse titles online or in person at the storefront at The Well CDC. 

Black-owned businesses in Southwest Ohio to check out

Southwest Ohio

Sweet Petit Desserts — feast your eyes on these confectionary creations. 

BŌL — Cincinnati’s first acai bowl food truck is serving up artisan acacia bowls throughout the city.

K&J Seafood Co. — this restaurant provides a taste of Louisiana-style seafood. Or as they say, “Bringing Nawlins to the Nati.”

Just Q’In — this eatery promises to deliver freshly smoked BBQ. And if you can’t grab a plate while you’re out, pick up a bottle of their sauce at Jungle Jim’s International Market.

Chicken’s Head — well-known in the Dayton area for its food, perfect for your next meal at this Kettering eatery.

Divine Appetite Café — make a stop in West Chester for a home-cooked style meal of soul food, Caribbean, and West African foods. Plus, they also offer desserts and pastries as the perfect after treat.

Mz Jade’s Soulfood — head to Middletown for classic comfort-style soul food.

Neal’s Famous BBQ — the barbecue is famous and the All Purpose Sauce is award-winning at this spot in Hamilton.

Soul Full — dine on delicious soul food in Hamilton at this local restaurant.

Mutt’s Sauce — is your cooking missing something? It’s probably this sweet, tangy, and a little spicy sauce. Whether it’s sauce or spice, you’re next meal will be finger-licking-good! 

Honey Child Artisan Pops —enjoy these frozen treats made with no refined sugar. But plenty of flavor!

Sugar — a dessert delivery that makes gourmet cookies, cupcakes, and cakes. 

Like Mom’s Only Vegan — grab something sweet from the vegan vendor selling delicious baked goods. You can order online or check them at Findlay Market in Cincinnati. 

Twist Cupcakery — head to Dayton for unique treats and sweets at this spot that specializes in cakes and cupcakes. For some extra fun, order one of their cupcakes in a jar

Sunny Blu Coffee & Ice Cream — get the scoop with handmade ice cream. Or grab a cup of coffee that’s been sourced and roasted from La Terza Coffee while you’re at this Cincinnati spot. 

Third Perk Coffeehouse & Wine Bar — feel a sense of community when you stop in for a bite to eat or a cup of coffee from this Dayton spot with three locations: Downtown Dayton, The Mall at Fairfield Commons, and Gem City Market

Cream + Sugar Coffeehouse — it’s easy to bring people together when you offer them coffee, plus breakfast and lunch treats, from this coffee spot. 

Matunda Juicery & Co. — find refreshment at this smoothie and juice bar. 

Muse Café — stop into this Cincinnati spot for everything from coffee, wine, to Jazz!

Esoteric Brewery Company — enjoy a beer at this Cincinnati spot.  

Alematic Artisan Ales — this Huber Heights neighborhood brewery focuses on small batch ales.

Revel Urban Winery — an OTR urban winery that features a variety of wine that’s made onsite.

Six Acres B&B — this premier bead and bed and breakfast in Cincinnati is the perfect getaway spot.

Flora Lee Naturals — this small batch skincare line will give you a fresh and clean feel.

Alexis Nickelle Co. — treat your senses to a crafted soy candle from this Cincinnati-based maker.

Diamyn’s Crystal Bar — learn more about crystals, while also picking up some custom jewelry from this Cincinnati shop located in the Clifton neighborhood. 

Chamaele — treat yourself with offerings from this Cincinnati vendor. You can find their offerings throughout the area, including places like Jungle Jim’s International Market and Findlay Market

Smith & Hannon Bookstore — check out the #1 bookstore for African American literature in Cincinnati (and OTR).

GO(O)D Co. — a Cincinnati apparel company that wants you to “wear who you are and live what you believe.”

BlaCk OWned Outwear — outfit yourself in style with this Cincinnati-based retailer. And check out their BlaCkOWned x FC Cincinnati line

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