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


Black Mom And Son Duo Make History With New Vegan And Gluten-Free Skincare Line For Kids

Patrice Chappelle and her 13-year-old son, Bron, are the founders of MelanBrand Skin, a pioneering natural skincare company tailored for Black and brown kids. They developed an interest in creating such products when Bron was younger and suffered from extremely dry skin.

“In a market dominated by skincare products for babies and adults, there’s a glaring absence on the shelves for school-age children and teens,” states Patrice, who is an HBCU graduate of Fisk University. Alongside her teen son who serves as co-founder and Co-CEO, they are on a mission to fill this critical gap in the industry.

Reflecting on her own struggles as a parent, Patrice recalls the challenges of finding suitable skincare solutions for her son’s melanated skin during his younger years. “We searched high and low, only to find limited options beyond basic soap, water, and lotion – none specifically designed for kids, let alone those with melanated skin,” she shares.

Driven by this need and her personal journey, Patrice and her son embarked on a quest to create a natural, safe, and effective skincare line tailored explicitly for children and products that were vegan, gluten free, cruelty free, and free from parabens and phthalates. “We recognized the importance of addressing skincare from an early age, not only for appearance but also for instilling lifelong habits,” she explains. Each Starter Kit comes with a MelanBrand Skin my skin is beautiful affirmation as a daily reminder to love the skin that you are in, while taking care of it too.

With MelanBrand Skin, Patrice and Bron aim to revolutionize the skincare industry by providing accessible, high-quality products that cater specifically to the needs of Black and brown children. “Our focus is not just on skincare; it’s about empowering children to embrace and care for their skin with confidence,” she emphasizes.

As the demand for inclusive skincare solutions continues to rise, their products stand at the forefront, offering a transformative approach to skincare that celebrates diversity and promotes self-love.

To learn more about MelanBrand Skin products, visit the official website at

Also, be sure to follow the brand on Instagram @MelanBrandSkin

MelanBrand Skin, LLC proudly leads the skincare industry with innovation as a groundbreaking skincare company owned and operated by a Black mother-son duo. Its mission revolves around crafting safe and natural skincare solutions tailored for Black and brown children. With an unwavering dedication to quality and safety, the brand distinguishes itself from other brands, emerging as the preferred choice for parents seeking trustworthy and effective skincare for their little ones. MelanBrand Skin caters to a wide range of skin concerns, from the most delicate to the most challenging, including eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne-prone skin.

For press inquiries, contact


Founder Of Black-Owned Fragrance Brand Teams Up With JCPenney To Launch Luxury Collection

November Nichols, the African American founder and CEO of a fragrance brand called Chémin, has teamed up with JCPenney to unveil a new affordable luxury collection. The collaboration brings the line of gender-neutral perfumes and body products to more than 50 of JCPenney’s stores nationwide and their online platform.

Together with retail giant JCPenney, Nichols is dedicated to making Chémin’s products accessible to everyone while maintaining the same delightful scents and sensory experiences its loyal clients have come to love.

The Chémin collection is now available at JCPenney stores in various states, including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Texas, and Utah. The range includes not just perfumes but also a variety of natural body products such as body butters, crystal-infused body oils, Vitamin E sugar scrubs, charcoal scrubs, and lotions, according to Black Enterprise.

Founded in 2017, Chémin holds a special place in Nichols’ heart, paying tribute to her paternal grandmother, the “medicine woman” Mary Lena “Chémin” Portalis. Since then, the brand has been known for its focus on self-care, exploring the intersection of beauty, wellness, experience, service, artistry, and life. Aside from fine fragrances and body products, the brand also makes hand-poured soy candles and artisan handcrafted teas.

Chémin, which is the only Black brand with its own fragrance house, also offers a unique “Chémin Custom Fragrance Experience” where individuals, groups, and organizations can create their own signature scents through consultations and formulation sessions, and curate their palette of fragrance accords, taking home a bottle of their own creation.

Moreover, Nichols is committed to empowering artisans and increasing diversity in the fragrance industry. With the fragrance sector projected to generate significant revenue, she is optimistic that more minorities and women will venture into this lucrative industry.

Learn more about the brand via its official website at

Also, be sure to follow them on Instagram @MaisonChemin


Black Woman Pioneers Patented Design For Eco-Friendly Paper Plates With Built-In Cup Holder

Lisa Renee Bell, a trailblazing African-American female entrepreneur from Washington, DC, is the mastermind behind Bell Bowls, a line of disposable eco-friendly paper plates with a built-in cup holder. Designed and patented under her visionary leadership, her unique products represent a paradigm shift in the food storage industry, specifically when it comes to paper plates and sustainability.

Bell Bowls is not just another food container; it’s a game-changer. Engineered to hold both food and a lightweight cold beverage in one hand, it allows the other hand to remain free to savor every bite. This innovative and ingenious design underscores Lisa’s understanding of modern-day convenience and the evolving needs of consumers.

Notably, Lisa self-financed every stage of Bell Bowls’ journey — from development and manufacturing to its importation from China to the USA. Her unwavering commitment to the product’s ingenuity and her entrepreneurial spirit have been the driving forces behind her product’s inception and successful journey to the marketplace.

Bell Bowls’ launch has been strategically orchestrated to align with Bell’s vision of attracting big-box retail distribution companies. Her ambition is clear: to position her brand as an indomitable force within the US market and then set sights on global expansion. With the correct partnerships, her design is poised to disrupt the $20 billion US paper plates and cups market and make substantial waves in the expansive $100 billion global market.

For consumers eager to experience the unparalleled convenience and future of food containers and paper plates, Lisa’s product line is currently available for purchase on Amazon and can also be ordered at

For press inquiries, partnerships, or more information, please contact 202-744-6502 or


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


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


HBCU Grads, Founders Of Black-Owned Golf Brand Secure $3.4M In Funding

Eastside Golf, a lifestyle golf brand founded in 2019 by African American entrepreneurs Olajuwon Ajanaku and Earl Coope (both HBCU graduates of Morehouse College in Atlanta), has hit a big milestone as they recently secured $3.4 million in funding. The funding aims to help grow their brand and change people’s perspective on golf.

Since its launch, Eastside Golf has achieved outstanding success, with a 600% growth in the last two years. From only 2 employees and $100,000 in revenue in their first year, they now have a team of 16 people and have earned over $4 million by 2023, according to Shoppe Black.

What sets Eastside Golf apart is its distinctive apparel line, resonating not only within traditional golf circles but also capturing the attention of professionals, celebrities, and other athletes alike.

EP Golf Ventures, a partnership between the PGA of America and Elysian Park Ventures, recognized the brand’s potential and took the lead in the recent seed round. They emphasized their shared commitment to breaking away from golf’s conventional boundaries and to broaden participation and inclusivity in the sport.

With the secured funding, Eastside Golf has ambitious plans. The brand’s goal is to launch new product lines, including wholesale and women’s apparel, and double the number of pop-up events in major markets. The second-annual Eastside Golf Invitational is on the horizon during New York Fashion Week, showcasing the eagerly awaited “Spring Forward” collection at the PGA Show in Orlando.

Celebrity endorsements from NBA stars Chris Paul and Jayson Tatum, NFL legend Victor Cruz, musician DJ Khaled, and former President Barack Obama highlight the brand’s widespread impact. Collaborations with global brands like Jordan Brand and strategic partnerships with the NBA, MLB, and Mercedes Benz further underscore Eastside Golf’s influence.

Moreover, Eastside Golf is also committed to social causes, donating $150,000 to support HBCU golf. The founders envision expanding globally and creating brick-and-mortar locations, expressing gratitude for the support from EP Golf Ventures.

Learn more about the brand via its official website at

Also, be sure to follow the brand on Instagram @EastsideGolf


Media Mogul To Launch The Newest Black-Owned Brand Of Cold Brew Coffee

After a year of market testing and valuable feedback, media mogul Philip Balonwu is expanding his business portfolio with the upcoming launch of Afrovibes Cold Brew Coffee in February 2024. He says that it will be the most cultural beverage in the world.Philip, who is the founder of Afrovibes TV & Radio, says that his cold brew coffee brand is locally roasted and bottled by a coffee sommelier, ensuring the highest quality beans are used to create the perfect flavor profile that resonates with the community.

It is also is made with the highest quality ingredients promising to provide the right amount of energy to start the day. The relaunch in the first quarter of 2024 will introduce new flavors and an enhanced content experience, marking an exciting chapter in the Afrovibes brand’s journey.

A national tour is already being planned in cities like Houston, Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, promising a flavorful and content-rich coffee experience. Philip and his team have ambitious plans to broaden their reach by distributing to all major stores that carry coffee products. Additionally, they aim to expand distribution across different states in America, bringing the unique taste and cultural richness of Afrovibes Coffee to a wider audience.

For press inquiries or media interviews, contact Sharon C. Jenkins at or 832-778-3433.


Founder Of Black-Owned Tea Bar In Charlotte Opens Second Location

Sherry Waters, the founder behind the beloved Black-owned tea haven, The Pauline Tea-Bar & Apothecary, unveils its second location in Charlotte, North Carolina. This expansion promises more of what made the first spot a community favorite – organic herbal teas, delicious baked goods, and a serene atmosphere.

Named after her grandmother, Pauline’s first opened its doors in Charlotte’s Camp Greene neighborhood back in 2019. Sherry wanted to create a haven where people could connect and foster a sense of community. With its soothing teas, delightful baked treats, comfy seating, and overall tranquil atmosphere, Pauline’s has become a go-to spot for relaxation and camaraderie.

Following the success of the first location, Sherry decided to expand, announcing the second spot in November 2023. The expansion was made possible with the support of LISC Charlotte through the Fifth Third Bank Empowering Black Futures Initiative. This initiative aims to boost businesses and organizations in the area, providing more opportunities on Charlotte’s west side.

The new spot, Thrive Hub, is set to operate from a charmingly renovated yellow house at 1017 Beatties Ford Road. Sherry shared with Queen City Nerve that her vision for the expansion focuses on emphasizing community gatherings and highlighting the history of Black-owned teahouses.

To mark the grand opening, Waters has curated a weekend lineup packed with activities that showcase the space’s full potential. Expect a soulful saxophonist, chair meditation, a dash of history, tea tasting, and more. The second location promises to be more than just a place for tea – it’s a haven for community and connection.

Learn more about the tea bar via its official website at

Be sure to follow them on Instagram @ThePaulineTeaBar

Also, you can support the business by visiting its two locations at 2326 Arty Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28208, and 1017 Beatties Ford Rd, Charlotte, NC 28216