6 Local Black-Owned Businesses in BC You Should Know About
In honour of Black History month, we are sharing (some of) the many incredible black-owned businesses here in Vancouver. Black History Month recognizes Black Canadians and their communities who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate, and prosperous nation it is today. Black history in Canada has not always been highlighted nor celebrated, so we are here to bring awareness and recognition to a few of many amazing black-owned businesses here in our local metro Vancouver area.
Looking for more?
Visit Afrohub Market, a digital marketplace (and venture part of our CORE program!) that connects consumers directly with black-owned businesses to buy and sell products, procure services, network and build connections. Their aim is to diminish inequities which will increase sustainable, prospering Black-owned ventures globally.
Cicely Belle Blain is an equity, diversity and inclusion consultant, activist, public speaker and writer. Cicely Belle completed their Bachelor of Arts in Modern European Studies and Russian at the University of British Columbia where they were a recipient of the International Leader of Tomorrow Award scholarship and a finalist for the YWCA Young Women of Distinction Award.
Cicely Belle runs Cicely Blain Consulting – a social-justice informed diversity and inclusion consulting company with over 100 clients across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia including, the United Nations, the City of Vancouver and a multitude of influential businesses, institutions, municipalities and NGOs.
Farafena was founded in Vancouver by Oumar Barou Togola and Dylan Beechey. The company is committed to good food with purpose. Through social enterprise and direct trade, Farafena invests in women farmers in Africa to grow and harvest the purest grains and fruits – while building strong, healthy communities in Mali and Malawi.
Their equitable direct partnerships with the women farmers of Mali and Malawi helps them achieve financial independence, which includes earning that are well above the national average. Find their products on their website and in stores like Vegan Supply, Urban Fare, Whole Foods and more.
Karibu Soaps creates unique, handmade soap bars using natural, locally sourced ingredients. It also incorporates recyclable material like milk cartons and cardboard containers as moulds. The word Karibu means “Welcome” in Swahili, the native language in Kenya, where founder Ken was brought up before moving to British Columbia, Canada.
Karibu Soaps is a New Westminster-based micro-business passionate about creating unique handmade soap bars using locally sourced natural and plant based ingredients. Their focus is on keeping it safe and simple, crafting each item with just the basic natural ingredients needed for a clean, healthy product that is not only gentle and nourishing on the skin, but also long-lasting and pure.
Kasandy is a fair trade store, specializing in quality, handmade products made by artisans in Africa. Owner Jackee Kasandy is originally from Kenya and has two decades of experience working in the corporate world. Kasandy works closely with artisan entrepreneurs to improve, introduce or advance their product design and quality to meet the current market trends, build their businesses, and sustainably increase their income.
Kasandy introduces their customers to the global marketplace, expanding the reach of the small, micro-economy artisans of East Africa, to enable them to earn enough to support their families, business and community.
Salt N Sear provides to you an authentic culinary experience catered out of the Lower Mainland, with fresh ingredients, grown right from BC’s backyard. Owner and Chef Jacques Kabuya, discovered a love for cooking at the age of 5 when he and his mother moved to Canada from Lusaka, Zambia. From that early start, the love for good food and sharing that love with others grew into a passion for him. He has travelled the world, stepping foot on almost every continent in search of cultural flavours from around the world.
Salt N Sear services include weddings, fundraisers, private chef, corporate lunch, pick up, charcuterie boards, and bridal showers. Salt N Sear is dedicated to providing high end quality to any amount of quantity, catering for events large and small out of East Vancouver.
Run by Blanche Macdonald graduate Tatiana Tavares, Tat’s Haus is THE place to get pretty and pampered. Tatiana will bless you with beautiful lashes and creative, one-of-a-kind nails you won’t be able to help but show off. Their services range from makeup and nails to lashes.
With close to 10 years in the businesses, Tatiana believes that beauty services should have that fun intention behind it, rather than being considered a "'chore". A true artist, Tat's House showcases Tatiana's incredible work and talent.
Beyond our community, we are committed to sharing the stories of entrepreneurs in Vancouver who are making strides and changing the innovation economy.
The businesses we have spotlighted here are only some of the MANY incredible BIPOC businesses in Vancouver to get on your radar. By recognizing and supporting these local businesses we are able to create an immediate and meaningful impact on Black Canadians and communities within our ecosystem.
Join the conversation and share your favourite BIPOC businesses that you want to recognize in the comments of our recent Instagram posts!
Subscribe to our newsletter to hear about our upcoming programming, events, and announcements from our entrepreneurship@UBC ecosystem.