February is Black History Month. A month to educate, celebrate and support Black history, businesses and culture. Whether you’re looking for the best shopping, food, art, cafés and more, there’s an abundance of inspiring Black-owned businesses to support in Ottawa this month and every month.
Two entrepreneurial sisters, Resa Solomon-St. Lewis and Tracey Solomon joined forces to create Afrotechture, a store that showcases and sells the work of Black artisans. Located in the heart of the ByWard Market square, you’ll find bath and body products, home décor, jewelry, dolls, snacks, and more. Learn about the co-founders, artisans, and the story behind the store here.
J’TM Resto Bar
J’TM Resto Bar is a Black-owned restaurant by day and bar by night. Stop by to experience one of their many signature dishes—steak frites, jerk dip, and more. Hoping to sip on something, too? Try a J’TM specialty cocktail, like the ‘Mint to Be’ or ‘Smoked Apple Whiskey.’ Ready to party the night away? This restaurant turns into a vibrant bar, complete with a DJ, bottle service, and good vibes.
Luxe Blooms Flower Café
Love flowers? Then you need to visit the Luxe Blooms Flower Café, a Black-owned business in the ByWard Market neighbourhood. You can order stunning bouquets crafted by a florist and have them delivered in the Ottawa area and beyond. You can also enjoy the flowers while sipping on one of their specialty coffees, smoothies, or cocktails. Want to take it up a notch? Order the high tea. With a wall of pink roses and the perfect “Hey gorgeous” neon sign, you’ll feel like the queen or king that you are.
Find everything you’re looking for at Anaya Arts, a Black-owned shop in both the CF Rideau Centre and Bayshore Shopping Centre. Fiona Khaemba, co-founder of Anaya Arts, started the brand with the vision of providing representation for Black women and has expanded her vision to include other communities as well. This is your one-stop-shop for wall art, apparel, and accessories. In need of the perfect gift? Treat yourself or your friends and family to something truly special. Anaya Arts works with artists from all over and even offers one-of-a-kind original pieces.
Celebrate life’s big moments with Labarang Designs. This Black-owned garment shop located in Centretown offers custom prom and bridal dresses. Stand apart in something completely unique to you as Labarang Designs captures your essence in one of their high-quality garments.
This Black-owned men’s fashion store in the Glebe neighbourhood takes things to the next level with trained stylists offering full-service ward-robing. Access the carefully curated items ranging from fine apparel, footwear, grooming, accessories, books and home goods. The Stomping Ground prides itself on being transparent and sustainable. How the items they sell impact the planet is “as equally important as how they look and feel.”
First Bite Treats
Croissants + waffles = Croffles. That’s exactly what you’ll find at First Bite Treats, a Black-owned bakery located in downtown Ottawa. Co-founders Elias Ali and Abdallah Jama initially wanted to open a doughnut shop, but instead, found the perfect recipe for what they endearingly call Croffles. These delicious treats come in a variety of flavours like Oreo and Biscoff. There’s also a weekly special that you won’t want to miss out on.
Resa Solomon-St. Lewis, co-founder of Afrotechture, is also the owner and award-winning chef of Baccanalle—a business that offers mouthwatering, made to order Caribbean food. With pick-up and delivery options available, dinner for the family is stress-free and full of flavour. Need an event catered? Baccanalle has you covered.
Ritual on Main
You’ll find Ritual on Main in a charming heritage building on Main St. in Stittsville. This trendy café owned by Chi Chi Houron serves delicious lunches, lattes, and local treats surrounded by neon signs and plenty of plants. Also part boutique, you can shop a curated selection of clothing and accessories. With its inspired interior, this is an Instagram-worthy spot to enjoy on both weekends and weekdays.