Did you know that August is Black Business Month? Since 2004, Black Business Month has been a designated time for shoppers to show financial allyship and support Black-owned businesses on a local and national scale. According to a 2021 census, about 124,551 businesses in the U.S. are run by Black or African American entrepreneurs. That’s approximately 10% of all companies in the country, but that number is severely limited because of the systemic inequalities that Black business owners face, which can block their access to financial support and fair wages. One direct action that shoppers can take to combat this is by seeking out and supporting Black-owned businesses. So in honor of this holiday, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite Black-owned and led businesses in the zero-proof community.
One of our favorite brands for ready-to-drink options, Mocktail Club makes premium canned cocktails inspired by global travel. Founder Pauline Idogho says that she wanted to include “bold and daring flavors that are typically not found in non-alcoholic beverages” such as cardamom, chili peppers, and lemongrass. Mocktail Club’s global mindset doesn’t stop at their flavors. The company also has a clear mission to better the planet. Ingredients are sourced from organic suppliers, and their packaging is sustainable in order to reduce their carbon footprint and limit waste. On top of that, they’ve partnered with Water For People, so a portion of their sales goes towards providing clean water access for people in developing nations.
Avec Drinks is another great ready-to-drink option. Founded by Denetrias “Dee” Charlemagne and Alex Doman, Avec was created with the intention of making the kind of mixers that modern customers deserve. Free of artificial ingredients and added sugars, Avec makes mixers that are fun to drink, and approach their recipes from a diverse, global background. They’re also a part of 1% for the Planet, an alliance of businesses that dedicate a portion of their proceeds to environmental causes.
Hella Cocktail Co. crafts incredible bitters and mixers. We love them so much that their Bitters & Soda Aromatic was featured in our very first box! They’re an MBE-certified business with high standards for equity and inclusion and a goal of “democratizing craft cocktails, breaking down the barriers that have kept so many from trying their hands at making great cocktails at home.” They even have an entire section of their website devoted to zero-proof recipes.
Established in 2017 by Chris Marshall, Sans Bar is Austin, Texas’s first alcohol-free bar. The idea came from Chris’s experience working as a counselor, where he saw a need for spaces where people who were sober or sober-curious could connect without the pressure of alcohol. In addition to serving up delicious alcohol-free drinks, they also host in-person and virtual events, including zero-proof cocktail workshops over Zoom! This bar was also where our founder Abbie had her first sober-bar experience, just 4 months after she quit drinking. Chris has been an integral voice leading the charge in the sober-curious community.
Wondering how else you can participate in Black Business Month? The easiest thing you can do is to shop locally and support Black-owned businesses within your own community - not just in August, but every month. Directories like the Black Business Green Book and Black Owned Association are helpful guides to finding all kinds of businesses in your area. Once you’ve found businesses that you love, remember to spread the word. Leaving positive reviews online and recommending it to friends and family creates an environment for Black businesses to grow and thrive.
Chris Marshall of Sans Bar