What do a cotton candy business, vegan cheese maker and west African hot sauce startup have in common?
These are all specialty food businesses owned by Black entrepreneurs in Toronto that you’ll find at the Black owned pop up market this Sunday, June 17th at Wychwood Barns.
As the founder of Black Foodie, and someone who makes a conscious effort to buy from black owned food businesses, I’m excited to be taking part in this day long community event. I joined first as vendor then as a host at the last event and was amazed by the turnout and the dope black entrepreneurs I connected with. What I was most impressed with was the hidden gems I would never have found had an event like this not existed. I ended up finding the cutest ankara print baby bib, which was the perfect gift for the newest black foodie in my family. And last weekend I tried some of the most delicious vegan cheese courtesy of the Black owned market network.
For the founder, Sepo, the Black owned market event idea came as he was launching a Ghanaian inspired fashion brand. He quickly realized that there was a need in the community for spaces that promote black businesses. As he prepared a launch event for his clothing brand he opened up space to other black owned businesses to join in- and from the market was born. With the help of a committed team, this event has grown from reaching 300 locals to expecting 3000 shoppers at their upcoming event this weekend.
I chatted with the founder of the market to see what inspired him to grow this event. Sepo replied,
Black Owned Unity as the name implies, was started with the goal to unite the black community around the idea of economic empowerment. We believe that we are stronger together, so we create spaces that give black businesses the opportunity to generate sales and brand exposure, and one of the main ways we do this is through the Black Owned Market.
As the resident foodie for the Black owned market event, I’ve got a special preview of some of the Black food vendors that will be taking part this weekend. Check it out: