There’s something special about Charleston, South Carolina.
Maybe it’s the city’s southern charm, or the fact that it’s a beautiful coastal city along the east coast with picturesque beaches and delicious food. Or perhaps it is the rich Black history that could fill your weekend or week long itinerary with historic and cultural attractions.
Regardless of your reasons for visiting Charleston, there’s something for everyone. But because it’s “Black owned everything” season, it’s important to recognize how Charleston’s Black residents changed the city’s food culture, art, music, agriculture, faith, and national reputation. So if you’re thinking about paying the city a visit, it’s important to pay homage (and dollars) to some of its sacred (and fun!) Black owned businesses.
What do you get when you combine your favorite spirits with the art of twerking? If you answered “a fun as hell dance workout” — you would be correct. If you want to add some spice into the bedroom or show off your moves in the club (whenever outside opens up) Tipsy Twerk
will have you twerk ready at any moment once the beat drops. So whether you’re looking for something fun to do in Charleston for a birthday, or bachelorette or simply want to burn some extra calories — they provide the fun, and all you have to do is show up. “If I can add a little fun in someone’s life, then my purpose is fulfilled,” says founder Domonique Grant. “That’s my favorite part. To make them feel awesome, no matter what they're going through in life. The company has not only made their mark on Charleston, but along the East Coast — also servicing Atlanta, GA, Tampa, FL, Washington, DC and Norfolk, VA.
Fresh Future Farm
Numerous studies show that food insecurity disproportionately affects minority communities. Germaine Jenkins’ mission is to transform desert communities (typically found in Black-owned neighborhoods) with quality food and produce at reasonable prices. Fresh Future Farm
, her Black-owned grocery store and farm in North Charleston is doing this — with a model that focuses on community. The grocery store accepts EBT payments and offers sliding scale pricing to ensure all residents can afford groceries. So the next time you’re in Charleston and looking to stock up on groceries for your Airbnb or rental, make sure you pay Fresh Future Farm a visit.
Alphonso Brown is the owner and operator of Gullah Tours and author of A Gullah Guide to Charleston. The popular tours explore all of downtown Charleston, with places, history and stories relating to Black Charlestonians. Gullah is the language that was spoken (and still is) by the area’s first Black residents. The company’s tour guide is fluent in Gullah and speaks the dialect throughout the tour.
Bourbon N Bubbles
Lamar Bonaparte is a Charleston native, originally opening Republic Garden & Lounge back in 2012 on King Street before opening Bourbon N' Bubbles
in November 2018. The luxury restaurant and bar is the ideal destination for a unique selection of bourbon, champagne, hand-crafted cocktails, and à la carte eats. Some of the delicious bites at Bourbon N’ Bubbles include deviled eggs, tuna tartare, salmon, and filet mignon.
A downtown yoga studio owned by Kennae Miller, Transformation Yoga
focuses on serving marginalized, underserved and underrepresented communities. The studio is currently sharing resources on their Instagram with ways to engage with calls of action, and offering outdoor classes for guests to social distance while indulging in self-care and meditation.
The Cocktail Bandits
— also known as Taneka Reaves and Johnny Caldwell — are local entrepreneurs and authors of the book Holy Spirits! Charleston Culture Through Cocktails
. And what will make any visit to Charleston complete? Cocktails, of course. The curators of cocktails (who typically host happy hours and pop up events throughout the city pre-COVID-19) have taken their experience virtual.