It’s Back! Because Black Lives STILL Matter.
It is back! In the few weeks that we sold the original Seattle Solidarity Box, we were able to sell 1,524 boxes, paying out $110,000 in direct payments to 13 black-owned small food businesses and donated over $13,000 to Black Lives Matter – all thanks to customers like you! Because of the demand, we heard you, and have brought this awesome box back – Seattle Solidarity Box 2.0 – now featuring even more black-owned small food businesses. As before, $5.00 for every box sale will be donated to Black Lives Matter. Ready to meet the producers?
Chef Edouardo Jordan has taken the culinary world by storm since his rise to culinary stardom in 2015. After graduating from the University of Florida with degrees in both sports management and business administration, Jordan then attended culinary school and later took on roles here in Seattle at acclaimed restaurants such as Herbfarm and Sitka and Spruce, and was chef de cuisine at Bar Sajor. After opening Salare in the Ravenna neighborhood in 2015, Chef expanded with the incredibly popular Junebaby and Lucinda Grain Bar, earning him two James Beard awards and recognition as one of the top chefs in the country. His focus on shining light on the roots of Southern cuisine is an exploration and acknowledgment of the black community’s culinary contributions to American cuisine. By bringing to light the diversity of the cuisine’s origins, it shifts the lens with which we often associate Southern food and particularly soul food. Junebaby’s website states this idea beautifully: “ Seen through the eyes of most Americans as interior, unsophisticated, and unhealthy, Southern food reflects hard times and resourcefulness and is nothing short of beautiful. It is a cuisine to be respected and celebrated”.
The Seattle Solidarity Box 2.0 includes Junebaby’s pimento cheese. You’ll love both of these artisan-made products so much that we are sure you’ll be adding them both to your regular pantry staples in no time. Follow Junebaby on Instagram @junebabyseattle
Lowell Profit Jr. first started brewing kombucha for his friends and family in Arlington, WA. The distinct flavors and fizzy refreshing quality of the drink was an immediate hit with the community, and soon they started sharing the product through their local gym. “The name Glory is a powerful name which people from all walks of life can relate to. We then decided to call it Glorybucha because we believe there is an inner glory in our product and customers say it makes them feel glorious’” Lowell said. As with many small businesses during the statewide shutdown, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on Profit Jr.’s business. Their distribution network went down by 50% since a majority of retail outlets were closed. Despite it all, Lowell and his team push through by remembering their why: “We believe in promoting health and wellness through our product and our loyal customer base keeps us moving forward,” Lowell said. “ We hear testimonials of customers all the time of how Glorybucha has changed their life”.
Glorybucha pairs well with so many things – try it with your Atomic Corn or anytime you crave a fizzy and flavorful beverage! Follow Glorybucha on Instagram @glorybucha
If you are a fan of the Seattle restaurant scene, then you likely already know about Marjorie, Chef Donna Moodie’s Capitol Hill restaurant. One the most popular items on the menu are her plantains, cut thin and fried to the likening of a chip. Both her restaurant and retail plantain brand are named after her mother. Donna wanted to bring to retail a product that was both elegant (like her mother) and perfect as a hostess gift. Chef Donna recommends replacing crackers and enjoying her plantain chips with cheese, or use them to dip in fresh guacamole or Doolie’s Salsa.“ I could eat plantains everyday!” she said. Follow Marjorie on Instagram @marjorieseattle
If you love spicy dips, then you have to try Doolie’s salsa! Creator Abdul Mohamed was 5 years old when his family fled war-torn Somalia to the United States as refugees. He grew up eating his grandmother’s recipe of jalapeño and coconut salsa made by his mother, and when he was older he would make it for friends. Soon, he realized that if his friends and family liked it, maybe others would too and he created Doolie’s Salsa, selling it at farmers markets, sampling it at local grocery stores, and wherever else he could. His hard work paid off as the product gained attention. You‘ll find the salsa topped on fish tacos at Salty’s in West Seattle, and you can also find Doolie’s Salsa in fine food retailers, including QFC and you can find a full list here.
If you need some inspiration, try adding some when cooking eggs, mix it with guacamole for an incredible dip, or enjoy with tortilla chips or plantains from Majorie! We just know you’ll love this awesome Seattle product. Follow Doolie’s Salsa on Instagram @Dooliessalsa
Boon Boona Coffee
Are you really from Seattle if you do not like coffee? That question is always up for lively debate, but what isn’t debatable is how good the coffee from Boon Boona Coffee really is. Founded by Efrem Fesaha in 2012, Boon Boona is Seattle’s East African coffee connection. Growing up in Seattle, he was familiar with both the city’s urban coffee culture and the traditional coffee ceremony performed by Eritreans and Ethiopians. Fesaha was so inspired by his travels to Eritrea researching coffee that upon his return he built the business we know and love today. The path was not easy, as he was initially denied by banks for business loans, but he was able to pivot by sourcing and distributing unroasted green coffee beans to home roasters and the East African community. Today, his roastery and café in Renton, Washington allows everyone to experience the traditions of the East African coffee ceremony and learn more about the coffee beans of Africa. Follow Boon Boona Coffee on Instagram @boonboonacoffee
Thompson’s Point of View was a family owned southern Creole restaurant located in the heart of Seattle’s Central District. The food was fantastic, but one item stood out to all who ate there: their Hallelu-jah! chicken wings. The wings were coated in a delicious “Hallelu-jah” Sauce – the name coming from what someone yelled after trying the sauce for the first time. The Hallelu-jah wings were so popular with guests that people would visit just for that item. “One busy summer evening, when the restaurant was open, we ran out of Hallelu-jah! Sauce. We had more than a few customers stopped in just for our most popular menu item,” Gail said. “When we explained we were out of sauce, several customer reactions… ‘Awe man, you serious?’ and proceeded to leave. They had come specifically for the Hallelu-jah! wings. That day a management decision was made that we were never to run out of Hallelu-jah! Sauce again”.
After the passing of Gail’s husband, Carl Thompson, Jr., she decided to close the family restaurant after 20 years of service. However, former customers and friends continued to request the Hallelu-jah Sauce. She decided to grant their wishes by producing the sauce herself, and soon JuneBug’s Hallelu-Jah! Sauce is born. The name JuneBug is named after her husband, his nickname throughout life. In the South, a son who shares the same name as his father is often referred to as JuneBug.
If you haven’t tried this sauce yet – stop reading this blog and go open this bottle up for a taste immediately! Hallelu-jah! Sauce is great to cook with or sauce up some crispy fried chicken wings! If you need some inspiration, then check out JuneBug’s online cookbook, which you can find in the link below. Follow Junbug’s Sauce on Instagram @junebugssauce
HerbanFarm was founded in 2012 by Ras Peynado and specializes in growing peppers and herbs. Ras has an incredibly special connection to Pike Place Market; his mother worked as a vendor for many years, eventually becoming the Market Master and Farm Program Manager. His Father was a fourth-generation farmer in Jamaica, and after a trip to the island country, Ras decided to follow in his parent’s footsteps. In 2010, he started growing herbs at an urban farm he built from the ground up and has expanded to peppers in both indoor and outdoor environments. He and his small team plant, tend and dry all his herbs using organic farming practices, which are then used to create a variety of herb blends, sauces, infused honeys and more. Follow HerbanFarm on Instagram @herbanfarmnw
Listen to more of Ras’s journey navigating through the closure of Pike Place Market during the statewide shutdown in this video produced by Savor Seattle.
Atomic Corn is brought to us by My Sweet Lil Cakes, an awesome black-owned small food business in Capitol Hill that is flipping the script of the classic American corn dog! Atomic Corn takes their hotcakes on a stick approach – taking high quality ingredients and using them to produce uniquely creative culinary delights – and applying that approach to popcorn. Jesse Lee Marshall and Sheena Fuson started the business together, but now Jesse runs the business with his oldest son, Elijah while Sheena consults on recipes and operations. Atomic Corn is popped to order and their out-of-this-world flavors range from sweet (“Haley’s Comet” cookies n’ cream and “Strawberry Burst” Laffy Taffy) to savory (“Celestial” sour cream & onion and “Galaxy Garden” veggie with parmesan). Follow Atomic Corn on Instagram @mysweetlilcakes
Hot Chocolat Artisan Firehouse Chocolates
If you’ve never enjoyed a confection from Hot Chocolat, then get ready for a flavor explosion! Founder and CEO Chef Michael Poole has always had a love and passion for food, but it wasn’t his first professional career choice. He was a firefighter for over 30 years, often cooking for his fellow firefighters in the firehouse (His firehouse cooking was so good, he even competed in a firehouse chili cook off on the Rachael Ray Show!). It wasn’t until later he decided to focus on his passion for cooking and for chocolate, attending Le Cordon Bleu in France and receiving Le Grane Diplome in cuisine and pastry. Since becoming a chocolatier, his chocolates have earned him numerous awards and recognition. If life is a box of chocolates, I hope its a box from Hot Chocolat. Follow Hot Chocolat on Instagram @hotchocolats
Osteria La Spiga
Seattle has seen many restaurants come and go over time, but few can claim to have endured twenty plus years in an ever-changing city. That’s exactly what Osteria La Spiga, Capitol Hill’s go-to spot for Northern Italian fare and fabulous late-night cocktails, has done with style. Owners Chef Sabrina Tinsley and her husband Pietro Borghesi will be celebrating 22 years of the restaurant’s success this coming October 5th. Chef Sabrina’s passion for food blossomed during college, as she began to start cooking for herself and started to get creative in the kitchen. That led to later spending time traveling the world, where she found her love for Italian cuisine, specifically the food of the Emilia-Romagna region. Chef Sabrina and her husband had run successful businesses in Italy before moving to Seattle, and her talent had been recognized on two different Food Network shows. FOllow Osteria La Spiga on Instagram @osterialaspiga
KJ’s Cakery Bakery
Did you know that one of the first bakeries to sell cake pops online in Seattle was a black-owned food business? Taylor Made Pantry was baker Kathy Jo Miller Taylor’s first business that specialized in cake pops, but later decided to expand in a new direction, focusing more on uniquely designed custom cakes and desserts, today called KJ’s Cakery Bakery.
KJ’s passion and love for baking comes from her mother and grandmother baking decadent cakes for Sunday dinner. “They passed down wonderful recipes like Red Velvet, Carrot, and German Chocolate to name a few,” KJ said. She loved watching her grandmother and mother bake, and while she didn’t always know she would be a baker, she did know that she wanted to one day own her own business. This year, KJ was able to open her first brick and mortar store, KJ’s Cakery Bakery Sweet Shop – but after only 4 months into the shop’s opening, COVID-19 hit.
Bringing awareness to a new brand is hard as is, much less during a pandemic. Pop-ups had to stop, meaning KJ had to get creative and operate her business in a new way. Her drive to keep operating led her to working with UberEats and DoorDash, which helped keep things afloat. She applied for SBA and business relief loans and grants to no avail. Thankfully, she received help from A Pasty Party’s fundraiser and grant money from Facebook.
KJ’s Cakery Bakery Sweet Shop is currently open, taking orders online and available for store pickup. Her motivation in pushing forward is in serving her community by leading by example. “Empowerment begins and ends with accountability wrapped in transparency,” KJ says, quoting her own slogan she plans to trademark. “I want to inspire others to become empowered to do what they love and be accountable for mistakes that will pivot them forward with transparency that motivates continuous improvement”.
Follow KJ’s Cakery Bakery on Instagram @kjscakerybakery
Pot Pie Factory
Move over, frozen pot pies from the grocery store! In Seattle, if you love pot pie, then you’ll want to know about Pot Pie Factory, founded and operated by Chef Logan Niles. Chef Niles cooked for over 30 years in New York City and is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park. After moving to Seattle, she set her sights on starting Pot Pie Factory while raising her 14 year old son. What makes Chef Logan’s pies stand out is that everything is made from scratch – the buttery crust, the rich sauce that brings everything inside the pie together – her choice of ingredients are intentional when making her pot pie creations. On their website, you can even find pot pie options for those who are vegan, halal, gluten-free and more.
Pot Pie Factory was a big hit during the first Seattle Solidarity Box. It has been no surprise that her kitchen has been busy ever since with such support and praise, all of it well deserved. Follow Pot Pie Factory on Instagram @potpiefactory
Support small business voices
We hope this blog has helped you to discover something new about your new favorites businesses and their products. More than that, we hope you know that your purchase of a Seattle Solidarity Box makes a significant impact on our diverse food small business community. But remember that supporting small businesses of color cannot just be a trend or a one-time thing to do. Black lives matter, and we need to be intentional about recognizing it. Donna Moodie of Marjorie summarizes it best: “Don’t make it something you do as a trendy, feel good, right now thing. Support Black owned businesses all the time. Support BIPOC businesses and initiatives. Talk about the challenges that these businesses face all the time, and encourage your friends to join you in supporting. Speaking well of and showing up for Black-owned businesses… ALL THE TIME!”