Blog NKCDC Celebrating Local Black-Owned Businesses

From bookstores to gyms, bakeries to art studios, local Black-owned businesses contribute immensely to the economic, social, and cultural fabric of Kensington, Fishtown, and Port Richmond. These businesses provide key goods and services to residents, supply jobs, pay taxes, foster community connection, and enrich our local neighborhoods in many other ways.  

Yet, it’s important to acknowledge that in the city of Philadelphia—a city that is approximately 43 percent Black—only 2.5 percent of businesses are owned by Black entrepreneurs. A history of unjust social policies and lending practices greatly account for this disparity. Addressing these inequities is essential to the prosperity of all communities across our city.

At NKCDC, we’re committed to help building a more equitable future for Kensington, Fishtown, and Port Richmond and that means empowering local Black entrepreneurs.  

Here’s a list of local businesses that we celebrate and encourage you to support. If there’s a business not on this list, that you’d like to see included, be sure to let us know. Our team is continually looking to learn more about the diversity of businesses in our area, so that we can do all we can to support their growth.  

Active Mom Fitness

Active Mom Fitness is a community of moms in all stages of motherhood that find strength in one another and gain confidence through exercise. Owner Ashley Reid is an advocate for healthy moms and healthy families. Her training programs are designed to help moms handle the physical demands of pregnancy and motherhood. Although in-person group trainings are currently suspended, due to Covid-19 restrictions, Active Mom Fitness virtual group sessions and private training sessions are still available.

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse 

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse is a can’t miss spot for comic book lovers in Philly! Not only does the shop provide an eclectic selection of comic books, sci-fi novels, toys, and apparel, owner Ariell Johnson has created a welcoming and inclusive community space for local geeks to connect. Amalgam hosts Nerdy by Nature open mic nights, Dungeons & Dragon meetups, and a monthly book club called Girls in Capes that explores issues of gender, race, and sexuality in geek culture. 

The Art Dept  

The Art Dept believes it’s essential for everyone to have access to creativity. As a Black-founded organization, their team sees creativity as revolutionary space that provides agency. They also understand that ownership of one’s story in the face of systemic oppression and violence is critical to resistance. In a culture that uses race and poverty as mechanisms of control, the Art Dept’s work is about creating space to empower those who feel oppressed in our society to make their best creative work. 

Cancer Who?  

Cancer Who? is a 501(c)3 non-profit that supports cancer patients and their families. Founders Al & Marjani understand firsthand the mental and physical toll that cancer can take on a family. After going through multiple cancer experiences in their own family, Al and Marjani started Cancer Who? as way to support others and let them know that they are not alone in their fight. Cancer Who? makes house visits, attends weekly and monthly events, and even offers support with chemo, radiation, and doctors appointments. 

DanceFit 

DanceFit is a boutique dance fitness studio that turns fitness into a party. From Zumba to ballet to cardiyoga danceflow — DanceFit offers a dynamic set of group classes for dancers of all levels of experience. Owner Bria Moss-Wilkerson, who also runs a DanceFit location in Chestnut Hill, has created a friendly, fun, and welcoming space for all to enjoy in Fishtown. Although COVID-19 has forced DanceFit to close for studio sessions, Bria and her team have pivoted to provide OnLineOnDemand, and Outdoor classes for patrons. 

Franny Lou’s Porch

Franny Lou’s Porch in East Kensington is much more than a coffee shop—it’s a space for neighborhood connection and community activism. The shop hosts a number of monthly events and pop-up markets. Owner Blew Kind has worked in coffee service since she was 14 years old, and opened her first coffee shop when she was just 22. She enjoys the industry because it brings her closer to her neighbors. 

Greener Little Seeds  

Greener Little Seeds is an eco-friendly child development center offering child care, preschool and school age vertical learning services to eco-conscious families in the local community. The center offers a sustainable early childhood educational experience and serves whole organic foods for newborns and children up to 12 years of age. 

Harriett’s Bookshop   

Harriett’s Bookshop on Girard Ave in Fishtown celebrates women authors, women artists, and women activists. Shop owner Jeannine Cook holds a deep appreciation for the role that books can play in prompting community dialogue and activism. Her bookshop provides an important space in the local community for neighbors to connect, read, discuss, learn, and grow together.

Jay Marable Photography 

Jay Marable is a Philly native and photographer. For the past fifteen years he has steadily advanced what was once a simple passion into a full-time business. Marable has been dedicated to his craft and rigorous in mastering technical know-how as a photographer over that span of time. As a photographer, he seeks to capture images that engage viewers and give them a sense of “being in the moment.” 

Joyfantastic Design  

Joyfantastic Design founder Addye Durant is a one-of-a-kind and dynamic creative. Growing up, art, music, and fashion was always a part of Addye’s life. Her mother was a tailor and seamstress, as well as a painter and sculptor, and always encouraged Addye and her sister’s creativity. At the young age of four, Addye started making her own tee shirt designs and customizing accessories.   

Today, Joyfantastic apparel is a hit in Philly! Addye’s designs have been sported by local icons including Ariell Johnson of Amalgam Comics, King Britt, and Questlove. In addition to designing apparel, Addye also does freelance graphic design and creative production.

She has also published a children’s book called The Day We Found Our Yay about three young girls who harness the magic of their uniqueness and creativity. Addye has also created accompanying stickers, coloring packs, and apparel for kids

Lovelymambib Hair & Beauty

Lovelymambib Hair & Beauty salon in Harrowgate offers high quality, unique protective hairstyling and beauty services. The studio puts love and careful attention into their service and also sells natural products like Lovely Naturals Moisturizing Hair, Skin & Body Oil.  

Night Owl Vegan 

Night Owl Vegan is a local source for delicious, healthy, and affordable vegan meals founded by Chef Sherimane Johnson. Chef Johnson’s motivation for starting Night Owl Vegan is rooted in her own experience as a Type 2 Diabetic — she knows firsthand the importance of healthy eating and the benefits that fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grain can contribute to an individual’s overall health. 

Chef Johnson and her team not only prepare vegan meals, they deliver them right to your doorstep. Their vegan meal service includes 100% plant-based breakfast, lunch, and dinner choices, packaged and ready to enjoy at your leisure. Chef Johnson is also the owner of NaturallySweet Desserts. 

  

Pound Cake Heaven  

Pound Cake Heaven is a family-owned and operated bakery located on Kensington Ave. Owner Pam Thorton also runs two other locations in Yeadon and West Philadelphia. All of Pound Cake Heaven’s delicious products are made from scratch and by hand, using the freshest ingredients. The bakery specializes in birthday cakes, wedding cakes, deep dish pies, cupcakes, and cookies. They also do custom cake designs. It’s recommended to place your orders at least a few days in advance —Pound Cake Heaven is always in high demand!  

Q & A Wholesale Smoke Shop

Q&A Smoke Shop provides the needed supplies for medical and recreational marijuana use. Staple products at the shop include Q&A’s extensive lighter collection and glass collection. Q&A Smoke Shop now also has an event area for small gatherings. For Covid-19 safety measures, all customers must have temperatures checked (under 99.5 degrees) and sanitize their hands before entering the shop.  

Radical Hearts Print Lab  

Radical Hearts Print Lab is fueled by designer Loretta Gary’s passion for progressive activism and the visual arts. The lab creates text-based graphic art and gift items made with radical ideals and revolutionary soul. Each item provides a beautiful and bold daily reminder of our individual and collective power.  

Even better, Radical Hearts Print Lab is now teaming with local organizations that make positive impacts in our community. Right now, if you purchase a “Courage” mug from Radical Hearts Print Lab, portions of the proceeds will go the Lutheran Settlement House. 

STARFIRE 

STARFIRE is a community-driven entrepreneur, artist, and advocate whose creative spark and enthusiasm is matched by no other. As a Mistress of Ceremonies, creative director, and educator, STARFIRE brings light, love, and inspiration to any space she enters. The driving mission of her work is to empower performing artists and creatives to discover, develop, and celebrate the power of their unique voice. 

Studio Six Two

Studio Six Two is a creative studio space located in East Kensington where artists and neighbors are welcomed to connect through the arts. The multi-functioning studio is a place to exhibit art and photography, host events and performances, hold classes, shoot photos, and record podcasts.   

The weight of Covid-19 shutdowns has been heavily felt by Studio Six Two and right now you can help them out by supporting their GoFundMe campaign. Funds raised from the campaign will help cover the studio’s rent expenses and utilities as they push forward through the pandemic.   

Studio Six Two intends to re-open for safe, limited-capacity use in the very near future. They’re also working on a garden setup outside of the studio, with the help of Black Girls with Green Thumbs. If you’re interested in renting the space or would like to learn more about Studio Six Two, please send an email to studiosixtwo62@gmail.com

Vitality

Vitality Wellness Collective on Frankford Ave is a space where neighbors can come to take time for themselves and care for their whole being. To help guide that process, registered nurse and holistic care enthusiast Anastasia Bailey has brought together a team of some of the best wellness practitioners in the city to provide zen services and vitality courses. Vitality offers a variety of services to help patrons discover the best versions of themselves like Ayurvedic coaching, acupuncture, professional mindset development, and guided healing hikes. 

Stay Connected

Is there another business that you’d like to see on this list? Send a message to Jessi Koch (jkoch@nkcdc.org) or Lee Nentwig (lnentwig@nkcdc.org) to ensure we add them on and get connected. The more NKCDC knows about the small businesses and artists in our community, the more we can do to promote their business, share resources, and do everything we can to help them thrive. 

If you’d like to learn about more Black-owned businesses in other Philadelphia neighborhoods, you can check out this list of 300+ Black-owned businesses across our city