I wasn’t at all surprised in discovering that Black entrepreneurs own and operate so many awesome bakeries across the country. Yes, there is an incredible sweet potato pie baker in Patterson, New Jersey, and there’s a James Beard Award nominee in Dallas, with delicious blondie Christmas Trees, just in time for the holidays and there’s a talented mother-daughter team, hailing from Trinidad and based in Prince George’s County, Maryland that produces the most scrumptious, rum-soaked Black Cake, also just in time for the holidays. I so appreciated the diversity of backgrounds and specialties that I uncovered down this sweet bakery rabbit hole. These three are just a taste of the glorious bunch below.
As for the wine makers, I didn’t have a clue that this group was as vast and diverse as the bakers. I’d heard about the McBride Sisters, but I didn’t know about the Nichols twins and The Guilty Grape. I also discovered some serious vino award winners, like the sommelier-owned Maison Noir Wines and Theopolis Vineyards, owned and operated by a dynamic Texas and California trial lawyer. Then I discovered some award-winning South African vineyards, owned by Black South Africans. That led me to then look for Black-owned wine shops, stateside, that carry these international delights.
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There’s so much out there. More than I could fit in this piece, but not to worry, there will always be more Black excellence to come. Now, get into this sugar and wine, and everything will be just fine.
LilaLue Sweets is named after founder Ashley Bouknight’s grandmother, Lila. Born in 1917 in rural South Carolina, Lila became a cook and worked at the University of South Carolina. She sold prepared meals and homemade whiskey on the side to provide for her family. The company’s small-batch, made-to-order desserts are from family recipes, many of them include a touch of top-notch whiskey to pay tribute to Lila. Lilalue Sweets Whiskey Pecan Brownies (available with or without nuts)
Now this was destiny in the making. Two sisters, who knew not of each other until adulthood, each raised in an iconic wine region, Monterey, California and Marlborough, grew up loving everything about wine. Once they found one another, they learned of this shared interest and decided to make wine together. McBride Sisters is now the largest Black-owned wine company in the US and one of the most inclusive, socially aware and sustainable. Their Black Girl Magic gift box is on sale now! McBride Sisters Black Girl Magic Trio with Gift Box
If you’ve got no time to bake a beloved sweet potato pie than visit Mr.Tod’s site now. Touted as “one of the best mail order pie companies in America,” Mr. Tod’s savory, southern style desserts deserve all the recognition (New York Times, Oprah, Food Network, Today Show, just to name a few) for their excellence and homestyle tastes. Do check out all of his dessert offerings, the cobblers and cheesecakes look divine. Mr. Tod’s 10″ Sweet Potato Pie
ASLINA BY NTSIKI BIYELA
South African winemaker Ntsiki Biyela graduated with a degree in Viticulture and Oenology (wine making) from the University of Stellenbosch in 2003. The following year she landed a job as a junior winemaker at the boutique winery Stellekaya, becoming South Africa’s first professional Black female winemaker. In 2009 she was named South Africa’s Woman Winemaker of the Year and in 2017 she launched her own brand, Aslina, named for her grandmother and “guiding light.” There’s so much more to this incredible story. Look her up and more importantly, try one of her wonderful award-winning wines. Aslina By Ntsiki Biyela Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
KESSLER BAKING STUDIO
Clyde Greenhouse (#bowtiebaker) was a 2020 James Beard Nominee in the “Outstanding Baker” category. Translation: he’s got the chops to be recognized by the best. His Dallas-based Kessler Baking Studio creates handmade baked goods daily, using meticulous selected ingredients. They offer a wide variety of cookies, brownies, specialty treats and confections and never use preservatives, artificial flavors or colors. Kessler Baking Studio Christmas Tree Blondie + Brownie Sampler 4-pack
THE GUILTY GRAPE
Twins Nichelle and Nicole are here to disrupt the wine industry with their focused, visionary brand. They want to party and celebrate with you, starting with wine. They source their wines from some of the best micro-vineyards in California. The twins want to specifically speak to those wine lovers that have been ignored by the industry. Their Cabernet and Peach Mango Bubbly are to sigh for. They also offer gorgeous accoutrements, including this decanter and stemless geometric glass set. The Guilty Grape Decanter & Amber Diamond Wine Glass Set
Pastry chef Auzerais Bellamy founded Blondery, a direct-to-consumer virtual bakery that reflects her passion for making the perfect blondie and making her profession a better place for women and people of color. Her tight focus on four core flavors and rotating seasonal flavors allows her to maintain exceptionally high-quality standards. Don’t be dismayed if you see “sold out,” by Blondery’s offerings. They restock every Tuesday, so plan accordingly. Blondery is a limited-release bakery that ships nationwide with complimentary shipping.
Blondery OG Cake Jar Bundle (4 jars)
Here’s some amazing wine by an amazing woman. Founder Theodora R. Lee, also known as “Theo-patra, Queen of the Vineyards,” was a dynamic Texan and Californian trial lawyer before breaking into wine. Now she owns and operates Theopolis Vineyards, and that vineyard has produced some award-winning blends, including their Petite Sirah and Rose Petite Sirah. Theopolis Vineyards Estate Grown Petit Sirah
SWEET MAE’S COOKIE CO
“Sweet Mae” is Tiffany Biddle’s late, beloved great-grandmother and her online baking business is the direct result of an ancestry of gifted cooks and bakers. Her premium stuffed cookies “with a thick Southern accent,” come in a variety of delicious options, including Sea Salt Chocolate Chunk and Lemon White Chip. Holiday orders cease on December 17th, so order now for the cookie-lovers in your life. Sweet Mae’s Stuffed Cookie 4-Pack
LOVE CORK SCREW
Love Cork Screw’s wines are seriously delish. Check out their Movin On Up Cabernet or their We Go High Rose. Founder Chrishon Lampley has traveled to vineyards around the world to produce her approachable, solid blends. She also has some affordable wine club offerings, a gift that keeps on giving). They range in price from $25 a month for one bottle to $225 for 7 bottles over six months.
Love and family and food. It’s great when these three come together. Camella’s is named after a beloved mother and grandmother, to the mother-daughter owners, Karen and Nyanna. Beyond their famous fruit cakes, they also craft gourmet hot sauces, marinades and more. Everything is made in small batches, including locally sourced materials. Fresh ingredients are key to their creations, so artificial colors or preservatives. Now get that black cake before they sell out! Camella’s Kitchen 9″ Round Caribbean Fruit Cake
MAISON NOIR WINES
Sommelier Andre Hueston Mack founded the Maison Noir lifestyle brand in 2007. He has created distinct wines for some of New York’s best restaurants, and now you can taste such distinction in your own home.
Mack describes his 2020 Bottoms Up as “predominantly Riesling with Müller-Thurgau, Pinot Blanc, and Gewürztraminer playing a small supporting role…(with) chin-dripping peaches, aromatic citrus, great acidity, and just a kiss of sweetness.” Now who doesn’t want a few bottles of that? Maison Noir Wines 2020 “Bottoms Up”