Celebrate Juneteenth by Supporting These Black-Owned Brands

Last Update: June 27, 2024

Do you know the history behind Juneteenth

The first Juneteenth celebration happened on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, when enslaved Americans first heard the news that slavery had ended. Because Texas is located so far away from the rest of the South, it took two years for news of the Emancipation Proclamation (which was signed in 1863) to reach the state. This prompted communities in Texas to hold emotional celebrations full of food, festivities, and togetherness. 

Today, we celebrate Juneteenth as a day of joy and remembrance; marked by barbecues, parties, and parades all over the country, it’s a time to come together and honor Black culture in America.  It’s also a day to educate all Americans about the history of slavery, and the obstacles that Black Americans continue to face. 

In honor of Juneteenth, we’d like to encourage our members to support the Black-owned brands we carry at Thrive Market, whether that means adding a current favorite product to your next order or discovering a new brand you hadn’t heard of before. Here are some of our favorite Black-owned brands that you can shop this month and all year long. 

Founded in 2003 by Olowo-n’djo Tchala (who is originally from the small village of Kaboli in Northern Togo) and his partner, Prairie Rose Hyde, Alaffia is a personal care brand that uses ingredients indigenous to West Africa, like African black soap and unrefined shea butter sourced from fair trade cooperatives. The brand also partners with the nonprofit organization Global Alliance for Community Empowerment to support women and their communities in West Africa by investing in fair trade, maternal care, child education, and combatting climate change. 

Learn more about Alaffia: 

How Alaffia Empowers Women in West Africa
How Alaffia Developed Its Roots: Q&A with Founder Olowo-n’djo Tchala

After earning his MBA and beginning his career in the commercial food industry, A Dozen Cousins founder Ibraheem Basir began to notice a disconnect between the natural foods he was eating in his day-to-day life in Berkley, California and the flavorful, traditional Creole and Caribbean foods he grew up eating in Brooklyn, New York. He founded A Dozen Cousins to help bridge the gap between the two worlds, offering ready-to-eat, legume-based dishes inspired by those cuisines and made using only wholesome ingredients. Since the brand’s inception, Basir has made it part of A Dozen Cousins’ mission to support like-minded nonprofit organizations and to empower people of color to enter the natural foods industry as a founder and board member of Project Potluck

Learn more about A Dozen Cousins: 

Get to Know These Black-Owned Brands
Wondering How to Entertain Your Kids This Summer? We Asked Our Brand Founder Parents for Their Best Tips 

Founded in Brooklyn, New York in 2012, Pipcorn is a family-owned snack food brand that prioritizes real food (and occasionally upcycled!) ingredients and natural flavors. The brand started when siblings Jeff and Jen Martin and Jeff’s wife, Teresa, began experimenting with heirloom popcorn kernels sourced from a family farm in Indiana. Since those early days, Pipcorn has expanded its offerings to include multiple flavors of its signature heirloom popcorns, as well as cheese balls, dippers, crackers, and other crunchy snacks made from heirloom corn flour. The brand often features other Black founders on their own blog as part of their Black Founder Spotlight series.

Nubian Heritage 

This natural skin and body care brand was born in Harlem, New York in 1991. Founders Richelieu Dennis and Nyema Tubman, both Liberia natives and new college graduates, were unable to return to their native country due to civil war, but they were also having difficulty finding jobs in the U.S. They partnered with Dennis’ mother, Mary, to begin producing and selling soaps and salves using African black soap and shea butter. Today, the brand is sold in major retailers around the country, and the founders pioneered a community commerce program to help support the women-run cooperatives in Northern Ghana that they source their ingredients from. 

Yolélé founder Pierre Thiam grew up in Senegal, where he was exposed to the diverse and vibrant world of African cuisine, but as an adult working in high-end restaurants in New York City, he realized that those flavors were often missing from most menus. This inspired him to open his first restaurant, also called Yolélé, in Brooklyn in the early 2000s, and later to write his first cookbook based on those recipes. Thiam founded the Yolélé brand with a mission to share African ingredients and flavors with the world, including easy-prep packages of fonio (an African “supergrain”) as well as crunchy snacks made using fonio. Yolélé sources all of its ingredients from rural West African smallholder farmers using biodiverse, regenerative, and climate-resilient farming systems. 

True Moringa 

True Moringa co-founders Kwami Williams and Emily Cunningham met in 2013, when the two traveled with MIT’s D-Lab to Williams’ home country of Ghana. While on the trip, the two learned about the challenges smallholder farmers face daily, and they returned to the U.S. with a newfound motivation to create a proprietary extraction system for farmers to use when extracting moringa oil from seeds. Since then, they’ve created a line of pure moringa oils, superfood powders, and skincare products that help to support farmers in Ghana. 

Shea Radiance 

Funlayo Alabi and her brother, Shola, began experimenting with making natural skincare products in their kitchen in an effort to help heal their family’s eczema. They quickly discovered that unrefined shea butter sourced from West Africa helped to nourish and soothe the skin unlike any other ingredient they’d tried, and Shea Radiance was born. As their brand has expanded to include skincare, bodycare, and haircare products, they’ve maintained close partnerships with the women-owned farms that create their shea butter in an effort to support their businesses and provide them with financial independence.

Foy is a hemp extract brand founded by brothers Moose and Yon Haile. Formerly managers for professional athletes, the two witnessed firsthand the benefits that hemp extract provided their clients — as well as the imbalance in the world of cannabis, as tens of thousands of Black Americans are still incarcerated even as related products become more mainstream. The brothers have made it a cornerstone of their brand to make the industry more equitable and to source their own hemp sustainably from farms across upstate New York. 

Learn more about Foy: 

To Foy’s Moose and Yon Haile, CBD’s Benefits Extend Beyond the Body

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Amy Roberts

Amy Roberts is Thrive Market's Senior Editorial Writer. She is based in Los Angeles via Pittsburgh, PA.

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