The team at Cool Mom Picks has always dedicated ourselves to amplifying small businesses of all kinds, and to showcase diversity in the brands, books, advice, and even recipes we feature. But we know that over the past few months, there’s been two great changes we’re seeing everywhere.
First, there’s an increased desire to support small and community-based businesses impacted by Covid-19. Second, there’s an an increased commitment to support Black-owned businesses, which struggle disproportionately to succeed in the first place, and have been hit extra-hard by the Covid impact.
We have aways sought out gift recommendations from diverse companies. But with Father’s Day just a few of weeks away, we thought it it was the perfect opportunity to specifically curate some favorite edible (and drinkable) gift ideas from Black-owned food companies we love. Just order online, and deliver right to your favorite dad, stepdad, granddad, godfather, or other father figure in your life!
While you’re at it, check out these ways you can support Black-owned restaurants in your community with take-out meals for Father’s Day, cool merch as gifts, orr gift cards to be used at a later date.
What’s most important though: This isn’t a one-time kind of thing that fades in a month or two. If you tend to order from the same places every time you need a gift, look at this as an opportunity to seek out some incredible new brands and shops, and diversify your list of resources. You are guaranteed to find a few new favorites!
Just a quick note first: Recent spotlights like this one have increased demand on smaller businesses — a good thing! — but they may also be temporarily overwhelmed by the support, and still hindered by Covid impact. Consider a gift card or beautifully designed IOU card if shipping is delayed, and be patient with customer service. Right now, all small businesses are doing the best they can. – Christina + Liz
Top photo: Dope Coffee
15 Father’s Day food gift ideas from Black-owned businesses
Spices, marinades, and other condiments from Black-owned businessesPhoto: Erin Martin for @spicesuite on Instagram
Activist, home cook, educator, and mom Angel Anderson’s highly rated Spice Suite may be located in DC, but lucky dads anywhere can get an entire box of mixed spices shipped to them, to elevate their game in the kitchen or at the grill. Each Spice Suite SpiceBox contains six half-cup jars of cool blends like Cajun Coffee Rub, Citrus Sorrel, and Smokey Porcini. But hurry! While there are lots of cool spices from this shop, the SpiceBox is only available for a limited time. ($100)
Is Dad as excited about grilling season as we are? Then Indiana’s JohnTom’s Barbecue Sauce Gift Pack makes a great Father’s Day gift with one bottle each of Original, Sneaky Hot, and Hoosier Heat all in a cardboard carry box. The sauces have a a terrific backstory too: Founder Lathay Pegues came up with the delicious formula for JohnTom’s by testing and retesting batches of sauce until he could replicate his late grandfather’s unwritten recipe. Clearly he got it right, since it was named Best Barbecue Sauce recently by Indiana Monthly. Order now, then stick a bow on the top and you’ve got a finger-licking Father’s Day gift. ($25.99)
Charleston Gourmet Burger Co.
If Dad is always on the quest to make the perfect burger, grab this Burger Bash Alfresco Marinade and Sauce Combo Pack from Charleston Gourmet Burger Co. and watch him get to work at the grill. Created by burger and entertaining enthusiasts Chevalo and Monique Wilsondebriano, each pack includes their special burger sauce plus a big bottle of burger marinade — enough for 64 burgers (A.K.A. “summer” in our household). He’ll also get five trial-sized burger marinade bottles so he can spread the burger love with a few friends — and maybe even restock when he goes through them. ($39.97)
Trade Street Jam Co.
If you don’t typically see your dad right on Father’s Day or he can wait a bit for a food gift that’s worth it, pre-order Trade Street Jam Co’s Welcome to Trade Street Gift Set for a later June delivery. The company began in Charlotte, NC before moving north to Brooklyn, and their sweet six-pack of jams includes unusually tasty flavors like Blackberry Mulled Merlot, Smoked Peach, and Strawberry Chipotle & Fig. They’ll make his morning toast yummy, but will also dissolve beautifully in drinks and sauces too. (On sale for $65)
Coffee and tea gifts from Black-owned businesses
If he can’t get his day going without a cup of coffee, treat him to the Dope Coffee Man of Great Taste gift set. It features four coffee samples to try (also seen at top), as well as other goodies including a delicious concentrated organic coffee syrup, which you can also buy separately. Based in Atlanta, Dope Coffee not only roasts their own beans but uses coffee by-products to make body-care products for men and women. And that Dope coffee mug is pretty cool (dope?) too. ($55 for gift set, $14 for mug, $7 for syrup)
Whether he’s a seasoned tea drinker or a brand new sipper, Brooklyn Tea Gift Set makes a great gift for Father’s Day. With four bags of loose-leafed teas — you pick the variety — plus an infuser, they taste delicious hot or iced. Though you may not be able to replicate the peaceful zen of their Bedford Stuyvesant Tea Room, maybe gift him a pair of noise-cancelling headphones so he can close his eyes and pretend. PS They have some great merch too — maybe a daddy-and-me onesie and tee set for a new dad or grandpa on Father’s Day?. ($35)
Wines & spirit gifts from black-owned businesses
Maison Noir Wines
Much more than a cool label, Oregon’s Maison Noir Wines was recently named a James Beard Award 2020 Semi-Finalist in the Best Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer. Launched in 2007, sought-after sommelier André Hueston Mack gives traditional varietals a modern twist with names like “Love Dunk” and “O.P.P.” (That’s uh, Other’s People’s Pinot. What were you thinking?) Buy a few bottles to toast to a father in your life, or grab this Mix Case of 12 wines so he can enjoy the rest of the summer. (Single bottles from $25; case $185 including 3 bottles of each varietal featured)
Brown Estate Vineyards
Want to give a wine snob dad a big bottle of “wow” for Father’s Day? This big and bold magnum of Brown Estate Vineyard’s 2015 Chaos Theory blends Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel grapes from the Napa Valley to create a highly rated wine/ Launched in 1996 and still managed by the Brown Family, Brown Estates Vineyards in Napa offers a wide range of wines, from light and fruity, to dark and full body, so you’re bound to find a wine to suit his taste. ($110; single bottles from $25)
McBride Sisters Wines
Cheers to the first two African-American sisters to establish their own wine company! This Bright & Fresh Bundle of five wines from McBride Sisters Wines is ideal for hot summer nights after Father’s Day when Dad wants something a little lighter to drink on the back porch or with his feet in the lake. I love the variety in this set which includes one bottle of bubbly, just to make Father’s Day a little extra special. The label was launched by half-sisters Robin and Andréa, and born from their mutual love of good wine. Now in its tenth year, the winery is a perfect example of Black girl magic. ($82.41 or single bottles from $16.99)
Edward Lee “Mac” McDonald Wine is the founder of the African-American Association of Vintners, and happens to make some much-lauded Sonoma wine of his own under the Vision label. If a wine of the month sound good to your dad, The Vision Cellars wine club is a terrific option to keep the love coming. He’ll get shipments of their newest wines three times a year, and can choose between not Noir, or red and white wines at a discount. If he happens to be in the Sonoma area, he can also take advantage of invitations to special events like the Vision Cellars Visionary Green Cook-off.
Uncle Nearest Whiskey
Want to gift a bottle of whiskey with a remarkable history? Check out Uncle Nearest Whiskey, based on the recipe and process of the first known African-American master distiller — who happened to be an enslaved man in Tennessee. Though Nathan “Nearest” Green taught his process to Jack Daniel in the late 1800’s, guess who got all the notoriety? Uncle Nearest’s story wasn’t widely shared until recently and we love that it’s finally getting the attention it deserves.
The brand itself was created in 2017 by CEO, historian, and author Fawn Weaver who is committed to bringing Uncle Nearest’s name, and the quality of the product, to the forefront of Tennessee Whiskey . And it looks like it’s working — Uncle Nearest just won the 2020 World Whiskies Awards from Whiskey Magazine for best Tennessee Whiskey. A bottle makes a great gift–and story–for Father’s Day. (from $49.99)
Sweet gifts from Black-owned businesses
Philip Ashley Chocolates
As pretty as gemstones, Philip Ashley Chocolates are exquisite on both the outside and the inside — just like Dad, right? Developed by designer chocolatier Chef Phillip Ashley Rix and shipped from Tennessee, flavors include such outrageous combos as Browned Butter Bourbon Pecan, Nutella Espresso, Sweet Potato Walnut Praline, and Cherry Pomegranate Molasses. Just be sure they’re picked up as soon as they’re delivered to keep them cool and fresh. (12 piece box for $36.75)
PS They also offer other sweet treats that make great Father’s Day food gifts, including a cool collab with Uncle Nearest, who’s mentioned above. Check out their super premium chocolate collection made with the distiller’s premium-aged whiskey.
The Furlough Cheesecake
Want a great story to serve with some rich cheesecake on Father’s Day? The Furlough Cheesecake was launched at the start of 2019 during the government furlough (remember that?) when two government employees — who also happened to be sisters — decided to pivot, and sell their own delicious cheesecakes online. Well, it was a hit, to say the least. Within weeks, they’d been featured everywhere from Ellen to The Oprah Magazine website and it turned into a bona fide business.
Purists will love their Original flavor cheesecake, though I think their Chocolate Swirl (shown) and Banana Pudding Cheesecakes look pretty incredible. Check out their website to see the other four flavors they offer.
Oh, and no, the sisters did not return to their government jobs. (Cakes range from $19.99; and during COVID-19 lockdown, each order will includes a slice of their lemon cheesecake to remind you to make “lemonade out of lemons”. Sweet! )
Maya’s Vegan Cookies
Vegan dads, we’ve got you covered! San Diego’s Maya’s Cookies may be entirely plant-based, but all reports are that they’re delicious enough to win over any dad this Father’s Day. Check out their variety gift boxes packed with marble fudge, chocolate chip s’mores, caramel pecan, and funfetti cookies. The shop is helmed by a mom of three boys (you know we have a soft spot for mom-owned businesses), and Maya’s cookies regularly top all the SoCal “best of” lists. (Mixed cookie boxes begin at $14)
The Black Cake Company
I’d only recently learned of The Black Cake Company, and now all I can think about is their dense and decadent Caribbean Black Cake. Made in Brooklyn from Angela Price’s recipe using plenty of burnt sugar, dried fruits, rum, wine, and spices, this special occasion cake should make dad feel like he’s won the Father’s Day food gift lottery. And, heck, maybe you can promise to take him to the Caribbean next year — when we all can travel again. ($45.50 and up)