ST. CLOUD — Greater St. Cloud is home to a wide variety of Black-owned businesses, from catering companies to hair supply stores to creatives and makers — and more.
February is Black History Month, an annual occasion that started as a week-long observance in 1925 and expanded to a month-long celebration in 1976.
In 2017, Native Americans and people of color owned 11.1% of the more than half a million businesses in Minnesota, which is nearly double the rate it was ten years earlier, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in 2021. In this designation, people of color includes Asian, Black and Latinx Minnesotans.
In 2017, Native Americans and people of color made up nearly 19% of Minnesota’s population between the ages of 20 and 64.
Here are some of the area’s Black-owned businesses you can support with your patronage.
Ashley’s Yummy Rollz
Owner and cook Ashley Williams operates Ashely’s Yummy Rollz out of south St. Cloud. The company caters a diverse array of food, Williams said, ranging from Nigerian to American and other places in between.
Her food can be savory or sweet, but there are two things it will always be, Williams said: “flavorful, and definitely made with love.”
To reach Ashely’s Yummy Rolls, email [email protected] or call 320-466-0222.
Back to Vintage
Quint Warren has created his own time machine in the form of his vintage store Back to Vintage is an homage to band tees, sneakerheads and those who love the one-of-a-kind feeling of wearing something no one else has.
His store is an introduction to vintage for the area, which is sparse on vintage clothing stores, particularly as the style’s popularity has surged in the last few years.
Back to Vintage is located at at 3807 W. St. Germain St., St. Cloud, and is open from noon to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Customers can buy, sell and trade vintage items in-store.
Bag Lady’s Kitchen
Diyon Lee has been serving up Chicago classics and soul food staples for years, and starting April 25, she’s also going to have a food truck around town.
Bag Lady’s Kitchen will continue its catering work as it adds the food truck to the business, which has been licensed since 2017.
“It’s a versatile food company,” Lee said. “We got something that everybody will like, from different cultures and backgrounds. I’ve been working really hard on this for a long time, and this year, my business is finally flourishing.”
She’s excited about the direction the business is taking.
Find Bag Lady’s Kitchen at www.bagladykitchen.com and on Facebook and Instagram.
Busy Moms Cleaning Service
Owner Angela Curriel established Busy Moms Cleaning Service in February 2020. Her first contract was with an apartment building, but she also does residential and commercial cleaning, including apartment move-in and move-out cleanings.
Curriel’s main target is mothers. She knows firsthand the pains of having a messy home (she has three children of her own), and wants them to know that it’s OK to be busy and stressed out. That’s part of being a mom, Curriel said. She wants to take some of the cleaning off your hands.
It’s been a few years since Shavawn “Chevy” Crume started selling food out of her home. This summer, she’s about to sell it out of a food truck, in addition to the catering work she does out of a commercial kitchen.
Chevy’s Pit LLC was licensed in April 2019. And while Chevy is known for her soul food, she’ll cater to your tastes; all you have to do is ask.
And if you’re like, “I’m just one person, but dang, that sounds good,” then Chi-Town Fridays is right up your street. Chevy’s is offering take-out and delivery of Chicago stapes, like Chi-Town hot dogs, Italian beef hoagies and more.
Order online at chevyspitllc.getbento.com/online-ordering/chevys-pit/menu.
Cinnamon Lifestyle stocks clothes for women with a mindset: They know what they want, and they go after it. Oh, and also, they’re a little spicy and a little sweet, co-owner Keyanna Dahlgren said.
At the end of February, Cinnamon Lifestyle will be closing its brick-and-mortar boutique at 30 5th Ave. S and returning to online sales, which is how the brand got its start. However, the pair said, they intend to start selling some of their own designs, too, with this transition.
Owners Dahlgren and Paige Cordie have been operating the brand for almost three years, and had a storefront for a little over a year.
Ellora’s Beauty Supply
Ellora’s offers plenty of hair products, including wigs, extensions, braiding hair, crochet hair, hair accessories and dye.
But the business is also home to DripBar Clothing and plans to rent out portions of the space to area entrepreneurs.
This eight-year-old business recently moved to a new location at 3320 W. Division St. that massively increased its size. It’s owned by Ellora Jackson and her daughter, Lenora Hunt.
Filsan Talent Partners
Filsan Talent Partners is focused on helping businesses attract and retain employees of color. Founder Hudda Ibrahim said the company does cultural audits and conducts research to assist employers in building inclusive spaces. Filsan works to help leaders make space for people to be their whole selves in the workplace, Ibrahim said. She’s operated the company for more than five years.
Filsan Talent Partners is in Midtown Square Mall at 3333 W. Division St. Suite 112A, St. Cloud, and online at filsantalentpartners.com.
The Hair Palace & Boutique
Arlesia Robinson has operated The Hair Palace & Boutique at 730 S. Benton Drive, Sauk Rapids, for a little over a year with the goal of catering to all of customers’ beauty needs. The business is a hair salon, barber shop and beauty supply store, as well as a place you can get eyelash extensions, facials and massages.
She also provides free or low-cost haircuts for those experiencing homelessness or struggling financially. Learn more online at hairpalaceboutique.com.
Itz N Fashion For Kids
Itz N Fashion is a relatively new brick-and-mortar iteration of a business St. Cloud resident Erica Cole started online. The store opened in May 2021 at 304 4th Ave. NE in DanTree Court, a strip mall in Waite Park across from Target.
The store exists to sell affordable, trendy clothes for children. Cole said she stocks up specifically on colors that stand out on different shades of brown skin. Store and product updates can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/ItzNFashionforKids.
In less than two years, New Orleans heritage restaurant Krewe has brought the flavors, feel and sound of The Big Easy screaming in to a St. Joseph space that’s often filled with diners (and oysters). The recipes have been passed down through generations.
Krewe’s companion bakery, Flour & Flower, serves up pastries, pies and breads, and supplies the restaurant with some of these goodies.
No Limit Painting
Antoinette Lee has operated No Limit Painting, LLC for three years, and serves as a teach-and-travel art educator. She has the all the supplies for a canvas-painting party; you just provide the space and the people.
She’s hosted events for businesses and schools, including a current residency at South Junior High School. She goes three days a week with the aim of helping students express themselves and learn that art is a form of communication.
No Limit Painting is a family-owned business, Lee said, with her children helping out at every event. To learn more, visit paintingwithnlp.com.
Slayed, Prayed & Cutely Covered
Reva Shylongteh said she knew she needed a boost, and she wanted to provide that for others, too. So she started selling prayer boxes and clothes and accessories for people to wear to church.
The prayer boxes are her most popular item, with a custom candle inside as well as a few other items meant for spiritual encouragement and support.
Find Reva’s wares at slayedprayedandcutelycovered.com.
Sistah’s Beauty Supply
At Sistah’s, you can find wigs, braiding and track hair, extensions, hair products and accessories. The business also provides hair braiding.
Sistah’s Beauty Supply is an ethnic beauty supply store, but owner Monica Faulkner said she has products for people of all colors, and also for chemo patients.
Monica Faulkner started Sistah’s Beauty Supply in 2011. The business is at 1252 32nd Ave. N, St. Cloud.
Farrah and Orly Reese are the sisters behind Sisters Loom, a year-old business that sells handmade stuffed animals, keychains, clay earrings, rings and greeting cards. Farrah, 10, and Orly, 7, take custom orders but also sell pre-made items.
You can see more of their work and reach out at facebook.com/sistersloom.
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