Visit these local Black-owned businesses

Support stores with worthy causes during National Black Business Month.

Art is housed at the Black-owned gallery Band of Vices, which lies in the West Adams District. This gallery is among the numerous Black-owned businesses in Los Angeles to support during National Black Business Month. (Tomoki Chien / Daily Trojan)

Since 2004, National Black Business Month has been celebrated in August to commemorate the businesses that persevere through financial inequities and racial discrimination. Black business-owners have continued to face tribulations in recent years due to the Coronavirus pandemic — Black-owned businesses in the United States unfortunately dropped by more than 40% between February and April 2020.

National Today reports that about 10% of all businesses in the U.S., and about 30% of minority-owned businesses are Black-owned. In 2020, there were more than 260 Black owned businesses in the Greater Los Angeles Area, according to L.A. Times reporting.

USC students have plenty of opportunities to support Black-owned businesses that are a short walk or drive away:

Obet & Del’s Coffee

Part of the Black-owned coffee shop abundance in L.A. and Orange Counties, Obet & Del’s is a Black and Asian-owned, retro-themed coffee shop with plenty of plants and hot coffee. Obet & Del’s is famous for its tasty caffeine creations made with ingredients such as ube, star anise and tamarind.

Besides being a great spot to grab a Thai Town Latte to sustain you through assignments, Obet & Del’s represent L.A. values by constantly supporting and partnering with Black, Indigenous and people of color creators and organizations to host pop-up shops.


Compelled by the health disparities Black Americans face — leading other ethnic groups in deaths concerning preventable diseases such as diabetes and cancer according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cancer Society — a college graduate started the company through a mobile campaign, Keep Slauson Fresh.

From there, the company grew into a health-food store, raising awareness about food deserts in urban areas through collaborations with public figures, including D Smoke. 

SÜPRMARKT champions the importance of healthy eating and making organic produce more accessible. It aims to break down the barriers to leading a healthy lifestyle by offering pop-ups, monthly special events and grocery delivery services to residents of South Central. Definitely pay this business a visit.

Band of Vices

Band of Vices is located in the West Adams Arts District, featuring locally-based artists that convey personal and city landscapes. Aiming to bridge the gaps between Black artists and Black audiences, the owners of the art gallery are building a community that centers on the connection between creator and spectator.

Band of Vices partnered with the L.A. Lakers this past summer to initiate “In the Paint,” a program to spotlight BIPOC artists. For the next year, 15 artists will display and sell their work — with all net proceeds benefiting them and the program’s development. The program allows for exposure and a foundation to elevate their creative endeavors.

Reparations Club

The Reparations Club carries Black and queer authors, film books, cookbooks and art books, frequently inviting Black authors to engage in conversations and signings. The concept bookshop and creative space encourages visitors to find and learn more about the pillars of Black culture in L.A. and hosts fun activities like game nights and karaoke parties. 

“That was part of my inspiration was having to search a little too hard to find the things that reflected myself, my lifestyle,” said Jazzi McGilbert, the store’s owner, in an interview with KCAL news. “And so I wanted this space to be a place where it was just front and center, where you didn’t have to look too hard to find yourself.”

Happy Ice

Happy Ice sells delicious and colorful dairy, nut and gluten-free Philly water ice desserts. Whatever color or flavor you’re feeling, Happy Ice has the perfect cold treat for everybody.

“I want to help create that feeling for people worldwide, so the name Happy Ice fit[s] perfectly. I want Happy Ice to be a symbol of unity and a better future — our vision is for this shop to be a place of peace, happiness and laughter,” said owner Lemeir Mitchell in an interview with VEGWORLD Mag. “We aren’t just out here to sell a product, we are delivering happiness in a cup, and we are so excited to welcome Angelenos into our doors.”

If you don’t find one of Happy Ice’s trucks near campus, a flagship store is open on Melrose Avenue. Treating yourself is sweeter when you support a Black-owned business.

In L.A., Black-owned businesses contribute artistic and unifying aspects to the community. From big fashion statements to thought-provoking art, the businesses on this list provide the local area and residents around them a thoughtful and informative experience. Rooted in innovation and care, National Black Business Month is about acknowledging and supporting the Black entrepreneurship that contributes to communities across the country.

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