Top 5 Minority-Owned Small Businesses to Support
By Emily Ip
During the pandemic, there was a great push for supporting small businesses which were heavily impacted by the shelter in place order. Now as we crawl back out into the world, it’s important to keep that momentum going and continue to support minority-owned small businesses. Below you’ll find a roundup of little gems studded throughout the Bay Area that are surely worth a try.
Third Culture Bakery: Berkeley
Third Culture is a bakery featuring mochi muffins, donuts, waffles, coffee, and a variety of teas like oolong, matcha, and roasted matcha. Chefs Sam Butarbutar and Wenter Shyu created Third Culture as a tribute to their blending of cultures, drawing inspiration from their childhoods in Indonesia and Taiwan. If you ever find yourself in Berkeley, don’t forget to drop by Third Culture Bakery for buttery, delightfully chewy sweets, and a caramel roasted matcha latte to wash it all down with.
Excelsior Coffee: SF
Lea Sabado and her husband are the founders of Excelsior Coffee, located in the heart of a diverse, working-class district in San Francisco. The couple’s goal is to share their passion for a good cup of coffee, San Francisco’s history, and vintage cars and motorcycles through the decor and overall vibe of their cafe. Excelsior also offers a pastry menu consisting of ube, pandan, and halo halo-flavored sweets - an homage to Sabado’s Filipino heritage.
Souley Vegan: SF & Oakland
Chef Dyson grew up eating and cooking vegan food, and eventually left her career in the medical field to pursue her true passion: serving fresh Louisiana Creole cuisine. “Chicken” and waffles, fried okra, jambalaya, homemade cornbread, and beignets are a few of the most popular items on her 100% vegan menu. Souley Vegan is a must-try for anyone craving Southern comfort food — without the meat and dairy.
South American-born native of British Guyana, Maurice Dissels is the founder and executive chef at Oyo. With a background in culturally diverse kitchens, Dissels was inspired to start a restaurant of his own. Oyo’s menu boasts a wide variety of tasteful dishes, many of which are allergy-friendly. Tapas, oxtail stew, jerk chicken, paella, and truffle pumpkin soup are some of the most popular dishes on the menu.
Pineapple King Bakery & Yelp
Pineapple King Bakery on Irving Street is near a variety of Asian eateries located in the Sunset District. The small, Chinese-owned bakery survived the pandemic, delivering their buttery buns to nearby hospitals. The bakery’s specialty - pineapple buns - originated from Hong Kong. Contrary to their name, the baked goods don’t contain any pineapple inside. Instead, the buns boast a simple flavor profile reminiscent of bread and butter. Pineapple King bakes up custard-filled twists on this classic bun, as well as all of the typical pastries found at Chinese bakeries.
These are just a select few small businesses I chose to highlight, so I hope that you’ll give them a try, and venture out on your own to support some more!