How To Spend A Day In Black-Owned Minneapolis, Minnesota
By Rachel George
Earlier this year, the city of Minneapolis hosted its first Black Business Week, highlighting its eclectic community of black entrepreneurs and at least 950 legally registered black-owned businesses. Dedicated entrepreneurs are actively working to keep the Twin Cities’ history, heritage, and soul food scene alive with museums and staple restaurants like Funky Grits and Breaking Bread Café (both temporarily closed for renovations and improvements).
If you only have 24 hours to spend in Minneapolis, celebrate the history and heritage of the African American community by checking out these black-owned businesses.
Vist the first African American museum in Minnesota.
Last year, thanks to two extraordinary women. Minnesota filled a communal void by opening the doors to the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery. Here you can learn about black female heroes, the development of the NAACP in Twin Cities in the early 1900s, and other contributions to African American culture through workshops, exhibits, and Saturday reading circles for children.
Get your soul food fix in the heart of Minneapolis.
Want soul food made with love, buffet-style? Look no further than Mama Shelia’s House of Soul, located on the corner of 38th and Bloomington Ave.
Try soul food, vegan style at the city’s first black-owned, plant-based restaurant, Trio Plant-Based.
Build your own Soul Bowl at this counter-service restaurant in North Loop Food Hall, offering Carribean and traditional soul food reimagined with a twist. Customers love famed chef Gerard Klass and his eclectic menu with music-inspired names. Fantasia fried chicken, Return of the Mack & Cheese, Jill Scott collard greens, D’Angelo’s candied yams with brown sugar, with a Beyonce Lavender Lemonade drink, pictured below.
Shop for beauty products with Birchbox.
Stop by the Walgreens in the Mall of America to create your own beauty box with samples and products from Birchbox, a black-owned beauty subscription, for $15. Their pop up features a mix of products curated by beauty experts for a fun, easy to navigate beauty experience. Customers will be able to handpick five samples to take home in an exclusively-designed box.
Discover rare imported Indian arts and textiles from around the world.
Khazana is an art gallery, boutique, and gathering space showcasing well-crafted silk shrugs, paintings, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, and naturally rolled Shiva Linga stones which are said to increase vitality and pranic healing energy.
Owner and storyteller Anju Kataria spent years collecting unique objects and handcrafted fabrics from Indonesia, the Philippines, and India, where she grew up. This space also hosts book signings, workshops, yoga sessions and showcases for artists.
Unwind with a hot cup of tea at this award-winning tea house.
Heritage Tea House & Cafe in Twin Cities has over 20 loose leaf tea flavors (herbal, green, black, matcha) to help you relax from the day. Serial entrepreneur and three-time business owner, Raeisha Williams, wanted to share her family’s love for tea, mentioning black-owned, women-owned tea houses dating back to the 1800s. At night, the place turned into a lounge with cultural events and live music performances.