By Kristin Dvorak | Photos courtesy of Curtis & Cake, Marla Bergh Photography for Marie Hunter Beauty & Café CODA
Please help us in supporting the black-owned businesses that add so much to our community.
Madison’s premier jazz club, Café CODA, has steadily been hosting virtual events on the weekends due to the impacts of COVID-19. When their doors are open for business again (on June 21, according to their owners), rest assured you’ll find yourself moving and grooving to traditional, contemporary and creative music. Enjoy sips from their distinctive drink menu complete with a great wine list, unique spirits, French press coffee and more. You can find details about upcoming events and RSVP on their Facebook page.
www.cafecoda.club | 1224 Williamson St. Madison, WI
The number of five-star reviews online won’t surprise you as you bite into one of Cocovaa’s expertly crafted pieces of chocolate. Flavor combinations ranging from apricot and caramel to coconut and lemongrass are what truly set this chocolate-making mama’s treats apart from the rest. Find updates about new flavors, no-contact pickup options and more from owner Syovata Edari on Cocovaa’s Facebook page.
www.cocovaa.com | 1815 E. Washington Ave. Suite 100 Madison, WI
The Just Veggiez menu is where fair food and vegan dreams collide. Think saucy hot wings, BBQ sandwiches and gyros with a plant-based twist. This local pop-up was founded by James Bloodsaw in 2018 after he saw space in the Madison restaurant scene for an entirely plant-based menu. With his children as his biggest critics, Bloodsaw has been able to perfect American favorites with vegan ingredients. For updates on when, where and what they’re serving, follow Just Veggiez on Facebook.
www.facebook.com/justveggiez | P.O. Box 259891 Madison, WI
Curtis & Cake
Delicious? Check. Gorgeous? Check. Ethically sourced ingredients? Check. Curtis & Cake (named after famous soul singer Curtis Mayfield) makes small-batch sweets inspired by the flavors of the American South. Add to that the most delicate and thoughtfully placed embellishments and you’ve got yourself an edible piece of art for any special occasion. To make it that much sweeter, owner Monica O’Connell prepares a few scratch cakes each week and gives them away to deserving recipients come Friday afternoon. She calls this the Curtis & Cake Project. For more about her cakes and services, be sure to follow Curtis & Cake on Facebook and Instagram.
www.curtisandcake.com | 108 E. Milwaukee St. Fort Atkinson, WI
Marie Hunter Beauty
Founder KéNisha Ruff believes in simple, clean beauty, as we all should. It’s with this concept at the forefront that Ruff established the framework for Marie Hunter Beauty’s nontoxic cosmetics, skincare and fragrances. From the packaging to the product, each aspect of Marie Hunter Beauty is carefully created with eco-friendly and naturally derived ingredients like argan oil, rosehip oil, vitamins C and E, shea butter and more. Support MHB by shopping online, in-store and of course, following along with company updates on Facebook.
www.mariehunterbeauty.com | 2317 International Ln. Suite 206 Madison, WI
Happily Ever After Children’s Boutique
Style your kiddos for summer and the upcoming school year by making an eco-conscious fashion choice and supporting a local biz. Shop secondhand at Happily Ever After Children’s Boutique. Happily Ever After is an upscale children’s resale boutique that sells new and gently used items like clothing, books, shoes, Melissa & Doug puzzles, décor and more. You can also sell your gently used items. For more information about this family friendly boutique, give them a follow on Facebook.
www.happilyeverafterchildrensboutique.com | 708 S. Whitney Way Madison, WI
The Sophisticated Lady
Valencia Riley, also known as The Sophisticated Lady, is another proponent of simple, clean beauty. What began as a personal journey to soothing eczema and psoriasis led to the development of a company dedicated to nourishing all skin types. The core ingredient in many of The Sophisticated Lady’s products is organic shea butter, which has historically been known to protect the skin from UV rays, provide essential fatty acids and nutrients necessary for collagen production, and reduce inflammation. In addition to shea butters, Riley also makes beard oil, sugar scrubs, bath bombs and other self-care products. Did we mention it all smells great? Shop online and some love to The Sophisticated Lady on Facebook.
www.thesophisticatedlady1.com | Madison, WI
AT YOUR SERVICE
Kneaded Relief Day Spa & Wellness
Kneaded Relief, located in Fitchburg, is a full-service wellness spa that specializes in therapeutic treatments like massage, facials, hydrotherapy, personal training and more. Following Dane County’s lead post-quarantine, the spa reopened on Monday, June 1 to serve its customers with some (arguably) much-needed pampering and relaxation. Stay up to date with hours and services on Facebook.
www.kneadedreliefdayspa.com | 5500 E Cheryl Pkwy Ste. 126 Fitchburg, WI
ArrowStar Photography is owned and operated by Shalicia Johnson, a treasured member of the BRAVA Magazine family. Johnson specializes in newborn, child, family and event photography. Due to the impacts of COVID-19, many photographers had to put business completely on hold; however, ArrowStar is back behind the camera – from a safe distance, of course. Her services are available in-studio, as well as on-site. Show your support to this amazing photographer by following her on Facebook.
www.arrowstarphotography.com | Madison, WI
Madison Black Chamber of Commerce
The Madison Black Chamber of Commerce works with Black-owned businesses to “provide tactical solutions that help our businesses reach their clients, and continue to help elevate their brand in the process,” explains CEO and president Camille Carter. The organization also lends business development expertise and technical assistance to the companies they serve.
Carter is proud of the Black Chamber’s recently-launched Soul Food Sundays, an online marketplace that people can order to-go meals from Dane County Black-owned businesses (the next ones take place on March 7 and April 17). “We worked with closely with that market sector … to launch a solution of an online marketplace for our food service professionals to be able to connect with their clients [to order] online and with [food] pickup.” Read more details about Soul Food Sundays on the Black Chamber’s website or Facebook page.
Marla Bergh Photography
Marla Bergh Photography is another great local photographer and creative services guru who specializes in styled photoshoots and content development for culinary and lifestyle brands. That doesn’t mean that family photos and headshots are off limits, though! This team does it all. MBP has worked for some big clients, such as Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, the aforementioned Marie Hunter Beauty and many, many more. View Bergh’s work on Instagram.
www.mberghphotography.com | 834 E. Washington St. Suite 302 Madison, WI
Foster Funeral Home
Foster Funeral Home & Cremation Services has been a cornerstone in the communities of Rock and Dane County for a long time. The thought, respect and care that goes into each of their services is truly unmatched. Foster is proud to embrace traditional values and diversity in honoring the spirit of life and each person they serve. For more information, you can follow Foster Funeral Home on Facebook.
www.fosterfuneralhomes.com | 2109 Luann Ln. Madison, WI
* We realize that every black-owned business in the Madison area is not listed here, but we’ve done our best to point you in the direction of some lovely restaurants, shops and useful services. If we’re missing someone important to you, please email the writer so we can update this list.