Now—amid the coronavirus pandemic—Black-owned vegan businesses need support more than ever.
According to research from Stanford University, Black-owned businesses have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 outbreak. Researchers found that in February 2020, there were 1.1 million African-American business owners. In April, that number dropped to 640,000—a 41 percent decrease.
Between the same time period, immigrant business owners declined by 36 percent; Latinx by 32 percent. And Asian business owners saw a drop of 26 percent.
In comparison, white-owned businesses saw a decline of just 17 percent.
If you’re looking for Black-owned vegan restaurants and businesses to assist during the pandemic and long after, here are 21 companies that you can support right now.
21 Black-Owned Vegan Businesses to Support Right Now
Stuff I Eat
Fitness expert, health-centric chef, and motivational speaker Chef Babette founded this all-vegan, California-based restaurant. Babette is an ardent animal rights activist and has previously done work for animal rights nonprofit Mercy for Animals. Menu items include quesadillas, burritos, and veggie stir-fry.
Learn more about Stuff I Eat here.
Minneapolis resident Louis Hunter overcame adversity to open one of Minnesota’s only Black-owned vegan restaurants. He spent two years fighting unjust charges that could have landed him in prison for 20 years. In September 2018, after the court dismissed the case against him, Hunter opened Trio Plant-Based, a 100 percent Black-owned, plant-based restaurant.
Learn more about Trio Plant-Based here.
Gangster Vegan Organics
Vegan restaurant franchise Gangster Vegan Organics recently opened a fifth location in Riverdale, Maryland. The Black-owned vegan restaurant serves organic and mostly raw hip-hop-inspired dishes. Co-owner Taneea Yarborough says healthy vegan foods are needed now more than ever during the pandemic. “I think there is a need for vegan food right now, particularly when we talk about immunity. People are interested in boosting their immunity and they are longing for a more plant-based meal option,” she told The Hyattsville Wire.
Learn more about Gangster Vegan here.
Atlanta-based vegan burger joint Slutty Vegan opened in the summer of 2018. The founder and owner—Aisha “Pinky” Cole—opened Slutty Vegan to give “under-informed communities” access to healthy, plant-based foods. In an interview with Forbes, Cole said the rise to success hasn’t been easy. “I was born to immigrant parents in Baltimore, Maryland. My father was sentenced to life in prison the day I was born. I grew up watching my mother work multiple jobs and learning about business through prison calls from my father. It was very complex but I learned a lot about life.”
Learn more about Slutty Vegan here.
Oakland-based, Black-owned business Hella Nuts makes vegan meat from walnuts. Mother-daughter duo Chef Mieko and Chef Kamari founded the company. Hella Nuts (patent pending) vegan meat resembles traditional meat. It can be used in a wide range of dishes like tacos, shepherd’s pie, and pasta.
Learn more about Hella Nuts here.
Nestled in the heart of North Carolina, celebrity chef Chef Velvet founded the all-vegan soul food restaurant, Veltree. Veltree’s mouthwatering menu offerings include chic’n and waffles, cornbread, and rice with gravy.
Learn more about Veltree here.
In addition to being vegan, Azla is the first Ethiopian restaurant to open in South Los Angeles. Mother and daughter duo, Chef Azla and Nesanet, founded the restaurant in the summer of 2013. In addition to selling vegan, nutrient-dense food, Azla is also committed to building the community through arts and cultural programming.
Learn more about Azla here.
DaJen Eats is a vegan cafe and creamery located in Eatonville, Florida. Jenn Ross founded the vegan eatery, which serves vegan Caribbean food. Ross, who is originally from Jamaica, came to the U.S. when she was 16 years old. She started Dajen Eats in a humble gas station before opening her own brick and mortar store.
Learn more about Dajen Eats here.
The Southern V
Husband-and-wife team Tiffany and Clifton founded The Southern V. The vegan restaurant serves up vegan comfort food favorites in the heart of the Buchanan Street Business District in Nashville.
Learn more about The Southern V here.
This Compton-based business brings affordable and healthy vegan versions of classic foods to inner-city communities in need. Compton Vegan’s offerings include plant-based shrimp, catfish, gumbo, and steak. Former SpaceX inventory clerk and teacher, Lemel Durrah, founded the vegan catering service in 2017.
Learn more about Compton Vegan here.
The New Vegan
The New Vegan offers good nutritional, plant-based dishes to the Delray Beach area. The restaurant specializes in making healthy, plant-based dishes because of their many health benefits. The restaurant also believes in educating the community on the benefits of eating vegan.
Learn more about The New Vegan here.
This 100 percent vegan and Black-owned restaurant serves up plant-based versions of classic Louisiana-style soul food dishes, such as Creole nachos and crispy okra. The owner and chef, Tamearra Dyson, was raised vegetarian. She has been creating her signature vegan dishes since she was 18 years old.
Learn more about Souley Vegan here.
Maya Madsen started out baking her delicious vegan cookies at home to sell in local farmers’ markets around San Diego. Fast forward to today, and the founder of Maya’s Cookies now has her own storefront, which opened in the fall of 2020. Now, Madsen says she’s got her eyes on expanding nationwide. “For future locations, I have my eye on the East Coast,” Madsen told Eater. “To be honest, I keep dreaming of Atlanta. With a blossoming black vegan community in Atlanta, I think we’d find a warm Southern welcome for our delicious vegan cookies. Fingers crossed!”
Learn more about Maya’s Cookies here.
Vegan Recipe Book
After learning about food allergies, particularly those caused by dairy and gluten, Charlie Fyffe launched his own dessert company, Charlie’s Brownies. The Los Angeles-based, 100 percent vegan, organic, and allergen-conscious brand was forced to temporarily close amid the pandemic. But Fyffe didn’t let that stop his entrepreneurial spirit. He recently launched his own plant-based recipe app, Vegan Recipe Book. It features a number of allergen-friendly recipes, including raw and cooked dishes.
Learn more about Vegan Recipe Book here.
Kareem Cook, Claude Tellis, and John Lewis founded Vegan Smart, a nutritional shake, in 2013 to create a healthy product and raise awareness for common health problems like obesity, heart disease, and pre-diabetes. In addition to distributing their product to major retailers, the trio also ensured Vegan Smart was available in underserved and low-income communities, which are often most impacted by food deserts and food-related illnesses.
Learn more about Vegan Smart here.
Symphony Chips started out as a spice company in 2010. Dondre Anderson and daughters Amina and Amari founded Symphony Chips, which use a blend of more than 28 herbs and spices. The Atlanta-based company sells two varieties of chips: Original and Smoked.
Learn more about Symphony Chips here.
This family- and Black-owned restaurant has four locations in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Vernon and Lynn Woodland founded the eatery in order to “serve delicious vegan food that stirs the soul and be a place for cultural community building.” NuVegan Cafe offers classic soul food staples like BBQ ribs, collard greens, country fried steak, and mac and cheese.
Learn more about NuVegan here.
The Lip Bar
Melissa Butler founded the Detroit-based cosmetics company in 2012 after being frustrated by beauty standards. With the help of her high school friend, Rosco Spears, Butler left her career as a stockbroker on Wall Street to create the vegan, cruelty-free, and all-inclusive line of cosmetic products. After being rejected on Shark Tank, Butler’s company is now sold in Target stores and has been featured in numerous publications, including Teen Vogue and Essence.
Learn more about The Lip Bar here.
Eat Project Pop
Chauniqua Major founded Eat Project Pop after seeing a lack of healthy popcorn brands on the market. The Orlando-based popcorn company is organic and gluten-free and features simple, non-GMO ingredients.
Learn more about Eat Project Pop here.
Rapper Jay-Z backs this Black-owned, vegan cookie brand. Denise Woodard created the company after wanting to make healthy, allergy-friendly snacks her daughter, Vivienne, could eat. “The most rewarding part has been seeing Vivi’s entrepreneurial spirit come out. This girl literally pretend sells leaves and twigs to her friends at the park. That, and having her recognize “Mommy’s cookies” in grocery stores,” Woodard said in a statement.
Learn more about Partake Foods here.
Southern Roots Vegan Bakery
This Black-owned vegan bakery sells a number of delectable desserts like doughnuts, fudge brownies, cinnamon rolls, bundt cakes, and of course, cookies.
Learn more about Southern Roots here.