This Black-Owned Ice Cream Brand Was Founded More Than 100 Years Ago

Baldwin Richardson Foods with a storied history that dates back to its inception in 1921 as Baldwin Ice Cream in Chicago, has evolved into a titan within the food industry, largely thanks to the visionary leadership of Jolyn Robichaux. The company’s journey from a popular local ice cream producer to one of the most prominent African-American-owned food companies in the US is a testament to strategic expansion and leadership acumen.

Jolyn Robichaux, stepping into the leadership role in 1992, was pivotal in steering Baldwin Ice Cream Company into new territories, marking a new chapter in its rich history. Her foresight and strategic planning were crucial in 1997 when Baldwin expanded its horizons by acquiring Richardson Foods. This acquisition was not just an expansion but a transformation—birthing Baldwin Richardson Foods (BRF). Richardson Foods brought to the table well-known retail brands such as Nance’s Mustards & Condiments, Mrs. Richardson’s Toppings, and Richardson Root Beer, enriching BRF’s product lineup and market appeal.

Under Robichaux’s leadership, BRF underwent a significant transformation, evolving from a retail-focused entity to a comprehensive provider of retail and food service ingredients. This transition wasn’t just about changing the product lineup; it involved cultivating robust partnerships with major quick-service restaurants and casual dining chains, thus broadening BRF’s impact in the food industry.

The company, under her guidance, ceased operating stores and selling ice cream, pivoting towards specializing in the manufacturing of syrups, fillings, sauces, and toppings for desserts and other foods. This pivot was strategic, enabling BRF to meet the changing demands of the market and setting the stage for future expansions.

By 2001, Robichaux’s vision for growth led BRF into the industrial marketplace, supplying ingredients to food manufacturers and marking another significant milestone with the acquisition of The J.M. Smucker Company’s Industrial Products Division. This move not only expanded BRF’s operational footprint but also its capabilities and product offerings, cementing its status as a leader in the food industry.

Over the two decades following Robichaux’s leadership, Baldwin Richardson Foods has seen remarkable growth, continually enhancing its offerings and capabilities. The company’s success is largely attributed to its commitment to fostering enduring partnerships, innovating solutions, and anticipating industry trends.

Today, Baldwin Richardson Foods stands as a testament to Jolyn Robichaux’s enduring legacy, thriving as a distinguished black-owned food company known for its quality products and dedication to meeting diverse customer needs. With a foundation built on over a century of excellence, BRF is poised for continued innovation and success in the food industry.

Learn more about the brand via its official website at


Father And Son Duo Open Newest Black-Owned Caribbean Restaurant In New Jersey

Meet Parris and Tristan Jordan, a father-son duo who opened Bacchanal Junction, the newest black-owned Caribbean restaurant in Bloomfield, New Jersey. With a wealth of experience in hospitality and a deep-rooted passion for Caribbean culture, the Jordans bring a fresh and vibrant dining experience to Bloomfield and East Orange.

The menu blends Caribbean cooking traditions with a modern twist, featuring dishes like Shark Bites, Jerk Salmon, and Stewed Kingfish with Creole Sauce. Guests can also look forward to island-style drinks such as the Hibiscus Buccaneer and the Caribbean Kiss Pisco Sour.

Bacchanal Junction adds a touch of tropical elegance to the area with its stylish decor and warm welcome, promising to delight locals and visitors alike.

Behind Bacchanal Junction are Parris and Tristan Jordan, a father-son duo with extensive experience in hospitality. Parris, known for his work in consulting and hotel development, has led projects worth over $20 billion, including renowned Caribbean destinations like Atlantis and The Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman.

Tristan, armed with a degree in Hotel & Tourism Management from New York University, shares his father’s passion for Caribbean culture and cuisine. With his background in asset management, he brings a fresh perspective and dedication to quality to Bacchanal Junction.

“At Bacchanal Junction, we’re on a mission to celebrate the rich tapestry of Caribbean flavors and culture,” Jordan told “From savory jerk chicken to succulent seafood dishes, every bite tells a story of tradition, innovation, and passion.”

Learn more about the restaurant via its official website and be sure to follow the brand on Instagram @BacchanalNJ

Also, you can support the business by visiting its location at 558 Arlington Avenue, Bloomfield, NJ 07003


Meet The Black Woman Who Created Patti Labelle’s Pies, She’s An HBCU Grad

Patti Labelle did not create her infamous pies that are sold at Walmart. Kinna Thomas, a proud HBCU graduate of Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, created the pies. That’s right! Kinna is the mastermind behind the beloved Patti Labelle Sweet Potato Pie which has become a viral sensation and a bestseller in Walmart stores nationwide for more than 8 years now.

Up until 2020, Kinna held various positions at Walmart including Senior Buying Manager and Merchandising Director and her job was to ensure top-notch bakery products reach over 4,500 store locations.

She honed her leadership skills and embraced the values of collaboration and confidence while in college, she told HBCU Pulse. Kinna furthered her education with two Master’s degrees from Webster University. Her education laid the foundation for her remarkable career trajectory.

Starting out as a buyer of fine jewelry, her focus on quality and customer satisfaction smoothly transitioned into the food industry. She has since garnered several prestigious awards, including the Buyer of the Year for Walmart Stores, Inc., and has been featured in numerous publications and media outlets.

Reflecting on her partnership with Patti LaBelle, Kinna highlights the rapid development from idea to reality. Despite the unexpected cultural phenomenon, she remains focused on delivering quality products that resonate with customers.

“I’m not worried about who knows my name. I am concerned about having my team of people deliver great quality foods and brands relevant to the customer experience at the best value possible. The only recognition that matters to me is helping the customer. The rest of that stuff will take care of itself,” Kinna said.

Kinna aims to inspire others through speaking engagements and business conferences, sharing her experiences and insights. Her focus remains on purpose-driven opportunities that contribute to business growth and development.

After working at Walmart, she went on to work at Target for almost three years as a Senior Executive of Merchandising but is now working as the Vice President of Merchandising Operations and Business Development at CVS Health.

Be sure to follow Kinna Thomas on Instagram @TheRealKinna


Entrepreneur Makes History, Opens Newest Black-Owned Gelato Shop In Philadelphia

Galen Thomas, an African American entrepreneur and culinary artist, has opened Cloud Cups, the first and only Black-owned gelato shop in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A native of West Oak Lane with a passion for gelato, Galen’s shop promises a delightful experience with its diverse array of flavors and immersive atmosphere.

Cloud Cups boasts a spacious 2,000-square-foot venue, accommodating up to 50 customers. The shop features a cozy lounge area, a retail section, and an upcoming gelato-making workshop, according to Eater. Designed with a whimsical “cloud” aesthetic, the shop showcases dreamy floors by Raheem Spataccino and colorful murals by renowned graphic artist Justin Richburg.

For Thomas, who graduated from Frozen Dessert University and Carpigiani Gelato University, this marks a significant milestone in his five-year journey in the gelato industry. What started as a humble scoop truck has now become a flagship location, complete with tastings, events, and more.

Thomas credits much of his success to the late Charisse McGill of French Toast Bites, who supported him along the way. To honor her legacy, he’s crafted two special flavors featuring her famous French Toast Bites.

Cloud Cups delights customers with a rotating selection of 36 gelato and sorbet flavors, including traditional and experimental varieties. Vegan and non-dairy options are also available, catering to diverse preferences. They’ve also teamed up with local businesses like the Cheesecake Lady and Bean 2 Bean Coffee Company to create unique flavors that celebrate Philly’s culinary diversity.

In addition to indulging in delectable treats, customers can browse specialty merchandise, including graphic t-shirts and gelato-scented candles made by Thomas’ fiancée. Cloud Cups also plans to host gelato-making workshops soon.

Learn more about the brand via its official website

Be sure to follow them on Instagram @CloudCupsGelato

Also, you can support the business by visiting its locations at 3525 I Street, Kensington, Philadelphia, PA.


Two Sisters Make History, From Food Truck To Restaurant In Under 15 Months

Food enthusiasts Jo Neishia Johnson and Kiara Simons, the founders of Two Sisters And a Deviled Crab, the latest Black-owned culinary sensation in Jacksonville, Florida, have proudly gone from having a food truck to now owning a restaurant in under 15 months. Even more, they’ve just celebrated their two-year anniversary in business. To commemorate this milestone, the restaurant offered complimentary champagne during brunch, provided photo opportunities, adorned the venue with celebratory decor, and unveiled new merchandise for sale.

Remarkably, within just 15 months, their passion for crafting delectable dishes led them to open a full-fledged restaurant in Orange Park Mall. What is the deviled crab you may ask? The sisters are originally from Tampa and the deviled crab is a staple in the community. As they moved to Jacksonville in their adult years, the two sisters decided to bring the taste they grew up with to their new city. From countless recipes, they were able to capture the nostalgic taste and the rest is history.

Jo Neishia expresses her gratitude to the community, stating, “I am humbly grateful for all of the people who continuously support Two Sisters and A Deviled Crab. Because of you, we are celebrating two successful years of being too bougie, in business! In this second year, we are placing a major focus on growth.” Her sister Kiara Simons adds “These first two years have by far exceeded our wildest dreams for our company. However, because of our rapid growth, we are now confidently planning to expand to our second location by 2025 and want to have a total of 5 locations within our first 5 years. I want to sincerely thank all of our current and future customers for their support.”

Notably, Two Sisters And a Deviled Crab has already captured the attention of online audiences, with local influencers visiting to showcase and celebrate the restaurant’s eclectic cuisine. The buzz surrounding the establishment is a testament to its unique offerings and commitment to delivering a memorable dining experience. The journey from a food truck to a bustling restaurant within 15 months is a testament to the dedication and passion of the Two Sisters And a Deviled Crab team. As the team looks ahead to the future, expansion plans are in full swing, with the anticipation of opening a second location by 2025.

Learn more about their restaurant at

Also, be sure to follow their brand on Instagram @2sisters_jax

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Black Entrepreneur’s Deli In New York City To Make $1.2M In Sales, Opens 2nd Location

Meet Joshua Dat, the Guyanese owner of Datz Deli in Queens which offers a unique twist on classic New York deli favorites, Dat’s Caribbean-inspired creations. Within just a year, Dat turned a $70,000 investment from his savings into a culinary sensation with nearly $1.2 million in sales and the opening of a second location.

“I wanted to be different,” Joshua said in an interview with CNBC. “I wanted to give people something new to try.”

The star of Datz Deli’s menu is the DatMacPatty — a unique combination of Jamaican Beef Patty, Mac and Cheese, and a choice of flavorful toppings. They also serve other patty options such as oxtail, beef curry, jerk chicken, and side dishes ranging from fried plantains to jalapeno poppers and spinach. For dessert, Dat serves up fried Oreos with caramel or chocolate drizzle.

Their innovative menu quickly gained popularity, going viral on social media. Datz Deli has become a social media sensation, with over 86,000 Instagram followers and hundreds of TikTok videos showing off its unique offerings.

The family-run business, with Dat employing his parents, siblings, uncle, nephew, and a few close friends, is not just a hit online but also a financial success.

“We’ve always been hard-working people,” he says. “It’s all just such a humbling experience and such a blessing. I’m so grateful for everything happening.”

Learn more about the store via its official website

Be sure to follow them on Instagram @DatzDeli190

Also, you can support the business by visiting its locations at 190-01 Hollis Avenue, Queens, NY 11423, or 69 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002.


Couple’s Black-Owned Pancake And Syrup Products Now Being Sold In Costco And Walmart

Meet Marquita and Deven Carter, the African American couple behind Blanket Pancakes & Syrup. Their pancake and syrup products, born from a quest for healthier breakfast options, have landed on the shelves of major retailers like Costco and Walmart. Starting from humble beginnings, they are now hitting $1 million in sales in less than 5 years.

Marquita and Deven, based in North Carolina, aimed big from the start. Even with just the two of them, they structured their business like a big enterprise. Marquita, the CEO, and Deven, the COO, poured their hearts into every aspect, from marketing to operations.

“When we started the company, we saw bigger and we treated it as such,” Marquita told the US Chamber.

“If you see yourself as just a mom-and-pop operation, you’re going to limit yourself,” Deven added.

The idea for Blanket sparked during Marquita’s high-risk pregnancy when she sought natural ingredients for her favorite breakfast. They crafted homemade recipes, free from artificial additives like high fructose corn syrup, which they initially shared with family and friends.

They eventually started selling in local farmers’ markets and expanded to offering homemade pancake mixes and syrups. The business name, Blanket, conveys warmth, coziness, and security — qualities they want customers to feel when enjoying their products.

Their journey gained momentum when word of mouth led to local stores, and TV exposure, and grew into regional chains and retail giants like Walmart, Costco, and more. Despite challenges in securing credit, they persevered, tapping into personal savings to fulfill orders.

Now, with over $1 million in sales, they’re eyeing broader horizons. Seeking investors via platforms like StartEngine, they aim to scale production, expand marketing efforts, and meet the growing demand.

Along their entrepreneurial journey, they have learned important lessons such as setting ground rules as a married business couple, asking for help, and prioritizing the right partnerships. The Carters believe in doing the right thing and focusing on their vision, confident that Blanket Pancakes & Syrup will become a household name.

“There is no reason why Blanket Pancakes & Syrup will not be a household name just as big as any other brand out there,” Deven said.

Learn more about the brand via its official website

Also, be sure to follow them on Instagram @BlanketPancakes


Couple Opens Milwaukee’s Newest Full-Service Black-Owned Grocery Store

Maurice “Moe” Wince and his wife, Yashica Spears, have made history by opening Milwaukee’s newest Black-owned grocery store, Sherman Park Grocery Store. Since it was launched a year ago, it has quickly become a go-to spot for the neighborhood, addressing the lack of healthy food options.

Maurice, a lifelong resident of the city, recognized a need for better food access when he noticed people relying on nearby gas stations for snacks like chips and Twinkies. Inspired to change the narrative, he and community members initiated conversations following the 2016 civil unrest in the neighborhood.

“I’ve lived my whole life in this city. Now we have a unique opportunity to change the narrative of the environment here by providing food access and education,” he told Milwaukee NNS.

In July 2022, their ideas became a reality with the opening of Sherman Park Grocery Store through the efforts of Wince, Embassy Center MKE, and other community leaders. It stands as one of Milwaukee’s few full-service African-American-owned grocery stores.

With eight employees and partnerships with organizations like Employ Milwaukee, the store aims to address not only food access but also employment opportunities in the community. Wince’s familiarity with food access issues in the city, gained through organizations like Feeding America, led to the creation of the store.

Sherman Park Grocery Store welcomed nearly 4,000 neighbors in its first 30 days, addressing the food desert challenge prevalent in Milwaukee’s Northwest Side. Despite initial success, challenges persist, especially with decreasing FoodShare programs post-pandemic.

“The food assistance programs are shrinking, but the need hasn’t gone anywhere,” Maurice said.

To continue addressing food access needs, Sherman Park Grocery Store operates Feed My Sheep Global Services, a nonprofit providing assistance through gift card purchases for essential groceries.

Both Maurice and Yashica say they are committed to supporting aspiring entrepreneurs in the community, collaborating with UpStart Kitchen, a culinary incubator next door. It serves as a launchpad for culinary artists, whose goods are sold at the grocery store.

Learn more about the store via its official website

Be sure to follow them on Instagram @ShermanParkGrocery

Also, you can support the business by visiting its location at 4315 West Fond du Lac Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53216.


Black Family’s Premium BBQ Sauce Debuts In Ace Hardware Stores Across 5 States, Now In 100+ Retail Locations

Meet Andre, Mona, and AJ Cooper, the father, mother, and son who are the owners of Legacy Gold BBQ, a Black-owned brand that is now a household name in Northeast Florida and beyond. Their products, which are formulated based on unique Southern recipes and are available in four variations, are now available in Ace Hardware stores across five states – Florida, Georgia, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Their sauce is free of MSG, free of high fructose corn syrup, and made with gluten-free ingredients.

The Cooper family decided to create the brand because they wanted to fulfill the dream and honor the legacy of Andre’s father, Bob, who was a renowned BBQ Pitmaster. Since their launch in mid-2022, their sales have exploded across the Southeast Region of the United States and beyond.

Bob and Liz Cooper were the proprietors of several BBQ restaurants in Jacksonville, Florida beginning in 1965. Their quality smoked meats and signature sauce soon became the focal point of family, community, social, and church gatherings across the city. While serving as a baker on commercial oil tankers, Bob developed the tasty southern recipe, and after retiring as a merchant marine he parlayed his culinary skills into a string of family-owned businesses serving the finest of BBQ fare. “My father was acclaimed for his friendly and engaging personality and his skills serving open-pit, hickory wood-fired BBQ, slathered with this sweet, tangy, and smoky sauce,” states Andre.

As his businesses thrived, he was approached with a proposal to offer his premium line of sauces in retail stores, but as a busy entrepreneur and patriarch of a large family – he passed on the offer. Later, upon reconsideration of such a great opportunity – the offer to do so was no longer available.

He continues, “Because of this closed door, I was armed with an insatiable desire to help extend my dad’s legacy of offering exceptional customer service and premium BBQ products to the public, so the most natural means of accomplishing this was to share his unique recipes with the world. Our retail partnerships with Ace Hardware stores in Florida, Georgia, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, have been the fulfillment of a dream come true and we believe it rightly honors my dad’s legacy.”

Bob passed away in 2007, but in January 2023, the first batches of Legacy Gold BBQ sauce were bottled and now many retail partnerships are forming to offer this treasured recipe to the masses just as he had always dreamed!

Currently, the products are available online at and in more than 100 retail locations across the U.S.

Follow the brand on Facebook and Instagram.


This Black Woman-Owned Whiskey Brand Has A Valuation Of Almost $1 Billion

Meet Fawn Weaver, the 48-year-old CEO and Founder of Uncle Nearest, a Black woman-owned premium whiskey brand that has been making waves in the spirits industry since its launch in 2017. Since then, she has led the brand to become the top-selling Black-owned spirits globally and one of the fastest-growing American whiskey companies, now valued at more than $900 million.Breaking away from the usual trend of white male-led whiskey companies, Uncle Nearest stands out. Weaver recently achieved a significant milestone with the success of a capital raise for its French subsidiary, bringing the total capital raised to $220 million and valuing the company at an impressive $900 million.

The brand, named in honor of the first-known African American master distiller, Nearest Green, has expanded its reach to over 30,000 stores, bars, hotels, and restaurants across 50 U.S. states and 12 countries. The distillery in Shelbyville, Tenn., and a newly acquired property in Cognac, France, are part of the brand’s global presence.

Weaver attributes the company’s remarkable growth to her unique investment approach. Instead of relying on traditional venture capital or private equity firms, she secured funding from a diverse group of individual accredited investors. This strategy, she believes, aligns with her long-term vision of cementing the legacy of Nearest Green alongside other whiskey greats.

“Now, I am in these rooms that people talk about. But in the beginning, when I was looking for capital, I wasn’t in these rooms. What happened is I went out, and I was networking everywhere and pounding the pavement at grocery stores, liquor tastings, trade shows, and golf clubs,” Weaver told Fortune.

With a cohort of 170 investors, including notable figures like Craig Leipold and Steve Mosko, Weaver is determined to retain control of Uncle Nearest. She remains focused on expanding into other spirit spaces, including cognac and tequila. Her ultimate goal is to ensure Uncle Nearest remains a beacon of diversity and innovation in the spirits industry.

“It’s to become the acquirer and to make sure that in my lifetime, we continue to exist as the first spirit conglomerate that was not founded or led by a white male,” she said.

Learn more about the brand via its official website

Also, be sure to follow them on Instagram @UncleNearest