While Black History Month is now over, it’s important for us to remember that celebrating black history goes beyond one month of events, posts and education. At tgin we are all about supporting our black businesses year round. Being a black business ourselves and starting in Chicago we thought what better way to continue celebrating black history than by giving you a list of black owned businesses where ours got started and is currently located. Here is our list of our Top Ten Chicago Black Owned Businesses.
Chris-Tia Donaldson is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Thank God It’s Natural (tgin), a manufacturer of natural hair and skin care products, currently sold in Walmart, Target, Whole Foods, Sally’s Beauty, Walgreen’s CVS and local beauty and health food stores. In her role, she oversees all aspects of day-to-day operations, sales, and strategic partnerships. She is also a breast cancer survivor (diagnosed at the age of 36), and recently launched the tgin Foundation where she empowers women facing financial difficulties who are undergoing treatment while encouraging women to listen to their bodies.
Laforce Baker Founder and Executive Chef at Moon Meals is passionate about making meals more accessbile to people. After overcoming obesity and proverty growing up on the South Side of Chicago he started his company to help people who shared his struggles in hopes of inspiring and empowering them to charge of their health.
Creator Chrishon Lampley is a certified wine enthusiast who turned her passion into profit. After losing her popular art gallery, Three Peas Art Lounge in the South Loop, Lampley refused to give up. As curated of wine lists, blogger and enthusiast her calling of curating her own wines was a no brainer. Since its inception in 2013 Love Cork Screw has acquired over 50 locations including; Target, Mariano’s, Whole Foods as well as Chicagoland restaurants and bars and is constantly growing.
With over 10 years in business, owner Stephanie Hart knows a thing or two about baking! With a tagline like “Dangerously Delicious” you have to be able to live up to your name and Brown Sugar Bakery does just that with over 20 cake flavors, cookies, cupcakes, pies and more there is something to fit everyones sweet tooth.
John Clark Jr., founder and CEO of Reggios Pizza has celebrated over 40 years in the business, being the only frozen pizza distributor in Chicago. With over 110 employees not only distributing frozen pizza but also working at his restaurants across Chicago and in Chicago’s O’hare airport.
From starting with a team of only 6 people in 1997 to becoming a global investment services firm with more than 175 professionals, Loop Capital knows the importance of putting clients at the center of everything they do. With over 21 offices and headquartes in Chicago, this firm is constantly being recognized for their billion dollar deals and and top of the line service.
Native New Yorker and over 10 year resident of Chicago, Farissa Knox founded RLM Media just one year after moving to Chicago, talk about hitting the ground running! This married mother of two, grossed over $20 million to date with her boutique agency RLM Media. Specializing in media planning and buying Knox looks forward to growth and expansion in the near future.
Who doesn’t love a guilt free indulgence? With Jimmy’s vegan cookies you can have just that! Founder, Jimmy Prude has been in the business of mixing business with pleasure since 2011 by creating a dessert that was both satisfying and healthy. Since its inception Prude has been satisfying thousands of customers with his products in select Walgreens, wholefoods and featured at Chicago’s Hyde Park Farmer’s Market.
Literally working his way up from the mailroom, Charles Smith got his start in insurance at just seventeen years old. Purchasing his business in 2009, CS Insurance offers property and casualty insurance, group employee benefits, as well as risk management consulting. As one of Crains Chicago 40 under 40 receipents Smith is definitely making his name known in the windy city.
Insurance runs in the family for Joshua Mercer. His mother, Frances Wright who is also an insurance agent has owned her business for over 30 years. Located in the Beverly area and serving the areas of Chicago, Beverly, Evergreen Park, West Pullman, Riverdale, Morgan Park, Roseland, Pullman and Washington Heights Mercer is making his name known in the insurance agency. Aside from Insurance he also is the founder of Swish Dreams, a foundation that helps children learn math and reading through sports and statistics.
Before she became one of the most sought after and prominent event planners in Chicago, Nicole Marie got her start by volunteering and networking around Chicago, becoming a social butterfly and meeting some of the whose who around the city. She took an event planning course at Columbia College which helped her get started in her dream career. With tons of events and celebrity clients to add to her resume, Pittmon is only getting better with time.
As the go-to destination for corporate professionals, industry insiders, and influencers Chicago’s Southside lounge, Per.So.Na is the perfect atmosphere for cold drinks, good music and a relaxing ambiance. Not only is Per.So.Na easily making its way to being one of the top nightlife locations for young black professionals they also give back to the community. They’ve allowed #TheTakeBack, a Chicago-based, millennial-led anti-violence nonprofit organization to use their venue for fundraisers as well asmade donations to Chi Gives Back, the Susan B. Komen Foundation, and My Block, My Hood, My City.
Friends Gameli Dekayie-Amenu, MD, and Chantale Stephens-Archer, MD, started Quench Wellness just one year ago in January 2018 in the Chicago Southloop area with the goal of catering to each clients individual needs.With over 22 years combined in the health industry they believe realigning the mind, body and soul is how we can recenter, replenish and recharge. The office offers a wide array of services to their clients to do just that and are constantly brainstorming ways to assist their community in reaching their health goals.
There are so many amazing black owned businesses in Chicago and a multitude of ways to support them. Though black history month is over, these businesses are year round and constantly raising the bar. Be sure to visit their websites, establishments and tell a friend. Let’s show the world just how much black dollars matter.
What is your favorite black owned business in your city?