Despite the population of people of color growing in Rhode Island over the last decade, those who go on to own their own businesses continues to lag the national average.
Only about 7.4 percent of the state’s 21,000 businesses have BIPOC owners, which is less than half of the nation’s 18.3 percent average, according to a study commissioned by Rhode Island Commerce in 2022.
Here are some BIPOC-owned businesses that you can support all year long.
What are some BIPOC-owned restaurants, cafés, bars, and food trucks in Rhode Island?
- Four/29 Brunch and Supper Club is a food-service management and catering company with the mission of “encouraging humanity and enhancing community one meal at a time.” 302 Wickenden St, Providence, R.I. dinewith429.com
- 10 Rocks Tapas Bar is dedicated to exploring and sharing Cape Verdean culture through their tapas, live entertainment, and through their craft cocktail program. Bonus: They host regular open-mix jazz nights and Thursdays are dedicated to live authentic Reggae with Natural Elements, both of which are coming back soon. 1091 Main St., Pawtucket, R.I. 10rockstapasbar.com
- Afrique D’Lounge is a bar and restaurant serving Liberian cuisine in the heart of Federal Hill. Call for reservations. 145 Dean St., Providence, R.I. 401-563-8265.
- The AI Vegan specializes in vegan soul and comfort food (the AI stands for Afro-Indigenous). Founded and owned by Bree Smith, they deliver 100 percent vegan food to your doorstep. theaivegan.com
- Bake Eat Love: Enjoy decadent and unique desserts from the home-grown owner, Johnson & Wales graduate Crystal Sparkman. 1005 Main St., suite 8231-a, Pawtucket, R.I. facebook.com/BakeEatLove
- Bangin Wings calls itself the “highest rated” chicken wing restaurant in Rhode Island. Try their waffle fries, popcorn chicken, blueberry lemonade, and more. 258 Greenville Ave., Johnston, R.I. Bangin-wings.business.site
- Black Beans PVD is “where soul food is only the beginning,” according to their owners. Check out their pop-ups at blackbeanspvd.com.
- The Black Leaf Tea and Culture Shop launched in 2019 by Amber Jackson. She blends tea, culture, and community right here in Rhode Island. Shop her online store at theblackleaftea.com
- Brooklyn Coffee, Tea and Guest House This part-time cafe, part-time event space has it all. Browse their art gallery while sampling their coffee, and keep an eye out for their live performances and fundraising events on their website. 209 Douglas Ave., Providence, R.I. brooklyncoffeeteaguesthouse.com
- Bugg’d Out BBQ is a catering service providing authentic, pit-smoked BBQ. Choose from a delicious variety of catered packages at buggdouttbbq.com
- Cakes by Eboni Movie night brownies, coconut guava cupcakes, and custom cake orders. 881 Waterman Ave., East Providence, R.I. cakesbyeboni.square.site
- Chi Kitchen Foods makes traditional fermented kimchi. Owner Minnie Luong said that all of their products are loaded with beneficial probiotics, and the ingredients are free of MSG and preservatives. Shop online at chikitchen.com.
- Deddeh’s Kitchen in Upper South Providence is located in a catty-corner building that could easily be missed with its foundation-to-rooftop black exterior. But their kitchen specializes in cassava leaf and well-seasoned jollof rice with fried plantains. 418 Pine St., Providence, R.I. facebook.com/DeddehsKitchen
- The District was voted “Best Pizza in R.I.” three times. They offer live music on the weekends. Book indoor and outdoor dining or curbside pick-up through their website. 54 South St., Providence, R.I. thedistrictri.com
- Flames Restaurant features a cafeteria-style spread of delicious meats, rice, and vegetables. 734 Eddy St., Providence, R.I. 401-331-2225
- Garden of Eve Enjoy authentic Haitian cuisine from chef Yveline Bontemp, a graduate of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank’s Community Kitchen program. 405 Harris Ave., Providence, R.I. gardenofeveri.com
- Glorious West African Restaurant Chef and owner Augusta Marsh-Socree draws from her West African background to deliver glorious Liberian cuisine from her heart to your plate. 1230 Elmwood Ave., Providence, R.I. gloriousafricanfood.com
- The Glow Cafe and Juice Bar On a health kick? Head over for fresh juices, fruit smoothies, protein bowls, and vegan Jamaican patties. Eatdrinkglow.com
- Humming Bird Newport offers a taste of the Caribbean, with all dishes now available for pick-up. 104 Broadway, Newport, R.I. hummingbirdnewport.com
- Incred-a-Bowl is a food truck that serves a variety of cuisines, from Asian fusion bowls to burrito bowls and gyro wraps. Find their location at incredabowl.square.site
- Island House Restaurant is known for its Jamaican cuisine and soul food, this restaurant doubles as a catering company, and also shares authentic recipes on their website. 242 Broad St., Providence, R.I. islandhouserestaurantri.com
- Ja Patty founded by Conroy Outar and Alison Rosario from a love for Jamaican culture and cuisine, check out a spot focused on “flavor, not spice.” 560 Mineral Spring Ave., Pawtucket, R.I. japatty.com
- Kabob and Curry in Providence is known for their paneer and pepper makhani, okra masala, and tofu mango curry. 261 Thayer St., Providence, R.I. kabobandcurry.com
- Kebbeh African Restaurant, owned by Kebbeh Mccants who was born in Liberia, specializes in okra dishes and pepper soup and rice. 850 Admiral St., Providence, R.I. kebbehafricanprovidence.com
- Kin Southern Table + Bar offers “food, service, and soul” through classic Southern dishes that are “made with love.” Read more about the owner Julia Broome here. 71 Washington St., Providence, R.I. kinpvd.com
- Little Maven Lemonade started as a lemonade stand and now sells bottled lemonade flavors from around the world. Read more about founder Mariana Silva-Buck here. littlemavenlemonade.com.
- Little Sister is a Puerto Rican café turning out breakfast pastries, elaborate brunches, weekly wine tastings, and invite-only tasting menus. They were recently named a James Beard Foundation awards semifinalist. 737a Hope St., Providence, R.I. littlesisterpvd.com.
- Maxine Baked serves delicious treats baked from scratch by Shantel Maxine Neal. Keep an eye on her website for where you can find her pop-ups across Rhode Island.
- Mokban Korean Bistro is a contemporary space in downtown with specialty cocktails like soju mojitos and traditional dishes like stone pot bibimbap with a fried egg on top. 217 Westminster St., Providence, R.I. mokban.com
- Pan-a-day Takeaway offers take-out from third-party services such as GrubHub and Uber Eats. 7 Parade St., Providence, R.I. 401-273-1506
- Petit Bakery is a Haitian-American bakery and take-out restaurant. A family owned business, they encourage community to enjoy their “taste of Haitian heaven.” 234 East Ave., Pawtucket, R.I. Thepetitbakery.com
- Rasoi in Pawtucket features staple dishes such as grilled rice crepes with jackfruit masala and tawa shrimp. 727 East Ave., Pawtucket, R.I. rasoirestaurant.com
- Sarcastic Sweets is a mobile food truck founded by Johnson & Wales graduate Nina Reed. Check out these “edgy, unique, and flavorful” desserts at 2 Glasgow St., Providence, R.I. sarcasticsweet.com
- Sly Fox Den Too is owned by chef Sherry Pocknett, a Wampanoag chef who specializes in cooking indigenous foods using sustainably raised, hunted and fished animals. She was named as a semifinalist for a James Beard Foundation award in 2023. Read more about her here. 4349 South County Trail, Charlestown, R.I., slyfoxdenrestaurant.com
- Sura serves up specials like bundae jjigae with spam, hotdogs, tofu, scallions, onions, and kimchee to fine special hand rolls like the “Yellowstone” with salmon, avocado wrapped in a frozen mango peel. 232 Westminster St., Providence, R.I. suraprovidence.com
- Syroya’s Sweetsations offers desserts for all occasions, specializing in custom cakes, cheesecakes, pies, and chocolate covered confections. 250 Main St., Suite 5, Pawtucket, R.I. Syroyassweetsations.com
- Toyin African Restaurant is a casual quick-service style eatery by chef Toyin Bankole that opened in 2020 and where she is serving mostly ready-made dishes from her native Nigeria. 45D Central St., Providence, R.I. facebook.com/Toyin-African-Restaurant
- Troop serves ‘eats, beats, and drinks’ with funky decor. It was also named ‘the most beautifully designed bar’ in Rhode Island by Architectural Digest. 60 Valley St, Providence, R.I. trooppvd.com
- The Village Restaurant is a Nigerian restaurant opened by Toyin Wilcox, who aims to introduce Nigerian cuisine to food-lovers through her passion for cooking. 200 Main St., Pawtucket, R.I., and 100 Fountain St., Providence, R.I. Thevillagerestaurantri.com
What are some BIPOC-owned distilleries in Rhode Island?
- MXR Cocktails bartender Michael Silva provides everything you need to mix your own delicious drinks at home. Shop online at mxrcocktails.com
- White Dog Distilling is a bar and distillery run by four partners who call themselves “the pack.” Check out their homemade spirits and DIY cocktail kits on their site. 560 Mineral Spring Ave., Pawtucket, R.I. whitedogdistilling.com
Are there BIPOC-owned bookstores and gift shops in Rhode Island?
- Ohanga, in Cranston and Newport, is a store and incubator for creators that features work by New England-based artists that have a story to tell. Read more about the store’s founders here. 225 Goddard Row, Newport, R.I. or 51 Hillside Road, Unit 9004, Cranston, R.I. ohanga.com
- Stages of Freedom sells art, books, and gifts in support of their mission to provide swimming programs for Black youth in the community, programming about Black life and culture, and to empower Black youth in Rhode Island by “providing cultural opportunities and access to museums and live performance.” 10 Westminster St., Providence, R.I. stagesoffreedom.org
Are there BIPOC-owned farms in Rhode Island?
- Abundance Farm says they grow in order to give back. This community farm in West Providence hosts community clean-ups and sells fresh vegetables. 135 Parade St., Providence, R.I. instagram.com/abundance_farm_ri/
- African Alliance of Rhode Island is a collective dedicated to growing community health through “food and stories, uplifted by our culture.” Enjoy their home-grown vegetables, products for sale at farmers markets, and virtual conversation series at africanallianceri.org
- Quaintly Farm is a Black-owned urban farm in northern Providence. Run by the Quatia Osorio and her five children, she offers urban farm stands for barter and sale within her community. 58 Chatham St., Providence, R.I. quaintlyfarmri.business.site
- Roots2Empower is an enterprise founded by Tarshire Battle that provides agriculture training to formerly incarcerated people across Rhode Island. Read more about the farm and workforce development programs here. roots2empower.org
Are there BIPOC-owned real estate companies in Rhode Island?
- Fab Living Realty is a full service real estate company owned by broker Fabiola Brunache. 272 Broadway, Suite 5, Providence, R.I. fablivingri.com
What are some BIPOC-owned beauty and fashion brands in Rhode Island?
- Be Woke Enterprises is an online store providing customers with unique accessories, notably their eye-catching bow ties. bewoke-enterprises.square.site
- Diva Dogg Grooming is a professional pet-grooming and pampering business. They are a kennel and crate-free environment. 531 Smith St., Providence, R.I. Divadogggrooming.com
- Geri’s Bluffing Boutique Geraldine Barclay-King sells bags, totes, home decor, and accessories inspired by her West African roots. 40 South Main St., Woonsocket, R.I. bluffingboutique.com
- Headgear by Doctor Alesh sells satin lined scrub caps, satin lined scrub bonnets, and synthetic work wigs at getheadgear.store
- Kpelle is an online boutique named for The Kpelle Tribe — the largest ethnic group in Liberia, where the founder and designer is from shopkpelle.com
- Lola’s Fashion Boutique sells a curated collection of jewelry, dresses, shoes, and handbags online. 120 N. Main St., Providence, R.I. facebook.com/lolafashionboutique/
- Nubian Nailz offers luxurious manicures, pedicures, and other nail treatments. 319 Pocasset Ave., Providence, R.I. facebook.com/NUBIANNAILZRI/
- Painted Karma is a custom vintage store “where furniture comes back as art.” Husband-and-wife duo Duran and Kirsty Searles breathe new life into antique and vintage pieces. 22 Kersey Road, Wakefield, R.I. paintedkarma.com
- Soulita is a Rhode Island-based, organic skincare and soap business founded by Lexus R. S. Fernandez, a ruptured brain aneurysm survivor, in 2019. They use a blend of essential oils and botanical extracts to address skin concerns. Soulita.com
Where are BIPOC-owned theaters and entertainment spaces in Rhode Island?
- Mixed Magic Theater is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating more-literate and arts-active communities by presenting diverse stories and images. 560 Mineral Spring Ave., Pawtucket, R.I. Mmtri.org.
- Public is a Black and Latinx-owned space that is centered around the arts. The owners host events, meetings, workshops, and classes. 1 Aleppo St., Providence, R.I. publicshopandgallery.com
- Valiant Arts from artistic Director Claude Michelle Aubourg offers a broad range of dance class and children’s theatre, mostly staffed by Black instructors. 560 Mineral Spring Ave., Pawtucket, R.I. Valiantartsri.org.
Are there BIPOC-owned gyms and fitness centers in Rhode Island?
- Afrobeat Fit hosts online, on-demand dance, fitness, and wellness workshops. Using music and movements derived from Africa, they say they seek to connect BIPOC communities and those of the African Diaspora. afrobeatfit.com
- American Muscle Corps is a fitness facility that offers private training sessions for individuals or small groups. 545 Pawtucket Ave., Pawtucket, R.I. Amcstrong.com
- Fit First R.I. is a personal training service that aims to “provide safe and effective fitness training and dietary regimen to ensure that you achieve your goals.” 1655 Elmood Ave., Cranston, R.I. fitfirstri.
- RBF Fitness and Nutrition is a gym founded by Robert Foster catering especially to busy parents. 25 Coronado Road, Warwick, R.I. rbffitness.com
- So Fit Cycle has two locations in Rhode Island where they offer cycling classes. 1276 Bald Hill Road, Warwick, R.I.; 685 Boston Neck Road, North Kingstown, R.I. sofitcycle.com
Know of another BIPOC-owned business in Rhode Island that should be added to the list? Email information to the Globe Rhode Island team at RINews@globe.com
This article has been updated to include additional businesses.
Alexa Gagosz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.