• Kierstyn Pare

Black-Owned Businesses in YQG

Earlier this week I posed a question on our Instagram account that asked people what the names are of their favourite Black, Indigenous and People of Colour owned businesses in YQG. I got no responses. This was a red flag. I’m grateful for LowEnd Co for releasing a list of some incredible Black Owned businesses and I’m going to share some of those with you today.


Let’s start with Lowend Co shall we? Lowend Co is Windsor’s number one streetwear and vintage clothing company. Established in 2017, what originally started as an Instagram page selling unique vintage pieces has now evolved into a storefront on Pelissier Street downtown Windsor. According to their website, “Lowendco is the first shop of it’s kind in the city, offering buying, selling, and trading options to every sneakerhead and hype-lover on the Southside of the Detroit River.” Their aim? To bridge the gap between the different styles of Windsorites while keeping the prices as fair as possible. I haven’t gotten a chance to check them out yet, but I do follow them on social media and have plans to very shortly!


The next business I want to talk about is Bliss Skateboard Shop owned by Sasha Senior. Bliss Skateboard Shop… is well, a skateboard shop. Sasha dove back into skateboarding after having her two sons and decided to open up a shop that would strengthen the connection between the Windsor and Detroit skateboarding community. She’s done just that. Located on Sandwich Street, Bliss Skateboard Shop will satisfy all of your skateboarding needs!


Now if you’re in the mood for some delicious food and treats… I’ve got two (of the many!) businesses here in Windsor-Essex you’ll have to try. The first one is Caribbean Island Spice. Caribbean Island Spice is your source for authentic Jamaican Cuisine. I can’t say I’ve had a lot Jamaican food myself but I’m adding this to my take-out list. Right now you can order their food online and you can order through their new app EZ Dine. Straight from their website, EZ Dine is designed to do away with the long, tedious wait times completely. With Ez Dine, users will be able to select a restaurant, reserve a table, add each guest to the “Dine In” group, and modify their meals to their exact specifications. That order will then be sent straight to the restaurant’s POS system/or an Ez Dine supplied iPad where the kitchen will begin preparing the order. Based on the preparation times, users will receive up to the minute push notifications sent straight to their mobile phones confirming the order being received, started, and completed. Users can then coordinate their arrivals just in time to enjoy a nice, hot meal. Our application brings the convenience of fast food to the world of casual dining.


Spoontastic treats is the second food business we’re showcasing and they are your one-stop-shop for delicious treats. From chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered pretzels to cake pops and cookies… I’m sure you’ll fall in love. Stare at their Instagram account long enough and you’ll start drooling too. I actually got to try Spoontastic Treats at the Downtown Windsor Farmer’s Market in 2018 and I’ve been in love ever since.


Lastly, before we get off the food train, I want to talk about Cook Up. Cook Up Inc is a food business incubator that provides individualized entrepreneurial support services, access to commercial kitchens and market opportunities to eliminate the barriers aspiring entrepreneurs face when building food businesses. Strategically organized as a social enterprise, their goal is to promote inclusive entrepreneurship, equity in business ownership, connection building and sustainable economic development. As such, we focus on nourishing the entrepreneurial spirit of persons who have been impacted by racial, social and economic inequality who aspire to lead businesses as chefs, bakers, caterers, farmers market vendors,food truck operators, and packaged food & drink makers. I had the privilege of talking with Trish and Delna, the co-founders of Cook Up Inc and their passion just absolutely shines through. I can’t wait to see the impact they are going to make.


The next two businesses we’re going to talk about this week are in the fitness related realm.


First on the list, Border City Boxing Club. Border City Boxing Club is an authentic boxing gym located on Drouillard Road. They are home to many world, Canadian and North American champions. I had the amazing experience of taking a class there a few years back and it was hands down one of the best workouts I’ve ever had… plus a great way to let out some anger. Currently they are only open to members but once the government gives them the go-ahead, they will be open for walk-ins.


Last on the list, Raw Sports Training Facility. Raw Sports Training is a strength, speed, power and agility facility that provides young athletes the opportunity to develop fundamental skills and techniques in all sports and skill levels. Their goal is to promote the values of teamwork, in a safe and structured environment, while pursuing discipline, respect, and self-confidence to all their young athlete members.


Second last on our list is This Greenhouse – an online botanical shop mixed with a little bit of jewelry. It’s no question that plants are a hot item these days – people are planting them outside while also putting them in their homes. This Greenhouse has you covered. PLUS, there’s some really cute jewelry she sources too. You can find This Greenhouse inside Emerson Supply Co in Downtown Essex.


Annnnd last but not least, The Bloomfield House. The Bloomfield House is a community collective, participating in grass roots community outreach initiatives. Their mission is to provide a safe and accessible space for human growth through community outreach. The Bloomfield House takes a people centred approach to holistic community organizing; it is their belief that healthy people create healthy communities and all meaningful work begins from within. They are practicing a creative approach to community improvement and general well-being by exploring the creative arts and using these mediums as a narrative to inspire a dialogue that will speak to the social reality of people living or invested in marginalized communities. They offer classes like Art, Spoken Word Poetry and Drum Classes. Something to definitely check out. I’ve linked them in the blog post!


There’s been a lot… of stuff going on in the news lately. My only recommendation for this week is to listen, learn and support your local Black-owned businesses. Until next week, keep being amazing Windsor-Essex!


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