Black-owned businesses to support right now

Meredith Abdelnour, Arcade Editor

bright blue outside of ice cream 504
Ice Cream 504 offers a variety of flavors at their Jena Street location. (Josh Jessiman)

The pandemic has been hitting small and local business owners especially hard. Consider shopping at these small Black-owned businesses to help support the New Orleans community during this time! 

Community Book Center

The Community Book Center has been serving the New Orleans community for 37 years. This local, Black-owned, independent bookstore features African-centered books, art and gifts. 

Ice Cream 504

Ice Cream 504 is located just off Freret street and has delicious flavors such as king cake, pecan and maple. Owner Michael Southall crafts all of the ice creams in small batches with an old-fashioned churn. 

Vegan Wit’ a Twist

This inventive restaurant offers classic meals such as burritos, burgers, tacos and wraps, but everything on the menu is completely vegan. 

Material Life

Material Life’s goal is to promote Black artists and creators and highlight African-American history. Owner Carla Williams curates her shop based on her tastes, and sells books, clothes, fine art and photography, but her collection is always changing. 

The Cupcake Collection

Although Mardi Gras might look a little different this year, king cake is one tradition that’s here to stay. Celebrate Mardi Gras this year by getting your king cake fix from this family-owned business on Magazine street. King cake cupcakes are available from Jan. 26 to Feb. 16. The Cupcake Collection also offers a variety of other delicious flavors, such as cafe au lait, campfire s’mores and sweet potato. 

Loretta’s Authentic Pralines

Loretta Harrison, owner of Loretta’s Authentic Pralines, was the first Black woman to own her own praline company in New Orleans. This shop sells pralines in various flavors such as coconut, peanut butter and chocolate. They are also currently selling king cakes to celebrate the Mardi Gras season. 

Meals From The Heart Cafe

This healthy cafe in the heart of the French Quarter promotes vegan and gluten-free food with their vast and varied menu, featuring everything from blueberry pancakes to crab cake po’boys. With a goal of environmental sustainability, a farm-to-table model and a dedicated owner in Chef Marilyn Doucette, Meals From The Heart Cafe is a hidden gem in New Orleans. 

Willie Mae’s Scotch House

Willie Mae’s Scotch House, established in 1957, has been with the New Orleans community for a long time. The critically acclaimed restaurant is still in the family, currently being run by Willie Mae’s great-granddaughter Kerry Seaton Stewart. Food Network has recognized the restaurant for having “America’s Best Fried Chicken.”