It’s important to honor businesses owned by people of color within our vicinity at all times. Gentrification within Portland has resulted in the closure of many black owned businesses. So many individuals bring a piece of culture to Portland, making it easier for people from all walks of life to find some reminder of home here, and for people to be able to locate people who look like them. We must help uphold businesses in Portland that are owned by black people, so here’s a breakdown of some great ones!
WomenFirst Transition & Referral Center:
A women’s center focused around providing a safe space for women in recovery, women in transition, and women seeking help overall. Their program includes peer mentoring, life skills training, community support, and more. This business is owned by Shannon Olive and located at 21440 SE Stark St. in Gresham.
A sneaker inspired coffee shop / art venue. They combine some of what Portland is best known for, creating their own take on what it’s like to own a coffee shop in the heart of Rose City. The shop is owned by Ian Williams and located on 408 NW Couch St.
This is a catering business owned by Melinda C. Sandifer. She creates diverse customized menus to fit occasion and dietary needs. In her story on MercatusPDX, she states, “I am a woman who started in the food industry in the ’80s when there weren’t many women of color, I wanted to change the outlook on the stereotypical views of women and women of color[…]” She doesn’t have a venue, but her number is (971)-258-2433 and her email is email@example.com.
Hyatt and Associates:
A business of local consultants intent on helping a community they’re passionate about. They’ve stretched their branch out by finding experts with the same focus, helping people launch their projects. This company is owned by Jesse Hyatt and located on 121 SW Salmon Floor 11.
A business created to give people a platform. They give the underrepresented a chance to be seen and heard. Their goal is to create products that can make people feel represented. They showcase black people’s cultures by bringing them to light in a positive way. Owned by Kayin Talton Davis, you can find their merch at soapboxtheory.com.
Blue Voice Enterprises:
A multimedia design organization that develops technology that’s inclusive and works within their goal to better humanity. Founded by Michkael Baker and located at 19405 SW Rosa Rd in Aloha, OR.
Mamancy Tea & Chocolate:
The owner of this tea and chocolate shop, Anne Johnson, originated in Kenya. Her goal was to bring back the welcoming connections she got in home to those who’ve come here from other countries. You can find her shop at 2831 SE Cornelius Pass Rd Ste #210 in Hillsboro.
Lovely Coils LLC:
This hair care company’s purpose is to encourage people to maintain and nourish their natural hair. April Etuk created this company to help her daughter love her natural hair by handcrafting products without harmful chemicals. Her website is LovelyCoils.com.
This company specializes in the photography and editing industry. The company is owned by Tojo Andrianarivo, who is a professional photographer. He works with national and local platforms to showcase beautiful work. You can find his work at tojofotos.com.
FiMi Kingston LLC:
This Jamaican based seasoning company provides flavors made with natural ingredients. The owners Craig and Nhu Haynes are very involved with their community, and a portion of their profits goes towards education in Jamaica, Vietnam, and Oregon. They are located at 12575 SE 127th Court in Happy Valley.
Merchant Concepts, Inc:
They specialize in assisting people with payment and business consultation. William Mitchell has built a very service oriented company that ensures that their clients are getting the help they need. You can find them at 1314 NW Irving, Suite 610 in Portland or their website, merchantconcepts.com.
Portland is going to continue to become more diverse with the amount of people we accumulate every day. It’s important that we create space for everyone, especially business owners. Branch out, look for companies founded by black people, uplift those in your community trying to start a business, and do your research. BlackPDX, MercatusPDX, and ILoveBlackFood are all websites that can supply you with more businesses built by black communities. Be someone who contributes to cultures that surround you in a positive way and makes Portland a place where people of color can be successful.
Caption:Downtown Portland, where some of Portland’s most well-known black owned restaurants are located. Picture credit: Benjamin Massello.