Shop Baltimore’s Black-Owned Businesses
Treat yourself to some of the best Baltimore has to offer with these beloved Black-owned shops.
Small businesses are at the heart of Baltimore’s economic community. Black business owners are using their shops to inject the city with culture, knowledge, creativity and style. Add these exceptional Black-owned shops to your itinerary for clothing, housewares and sweets.
Taharka Brothers Ice Cream
Locals will recognize Taharka Bros. by its simple packaging: a white container with a hot pink label that shows the brand’s logo, “Made in Baltimore” and handwritten flavor. The ice cream flavors, like Mintflix & Chillz, Matcha Mochi and Honey Graham, are deliciously complex. Pints are sold in grocery stores around town, but the best way to experience Taharka Bros. is to visit their mainstay scoop shop inside the historic Broadway Market in Fell’s Point or Cross Street Market in Federal Hill.
This husband and wife duo started making plant-based ice cream for their lactose intolerant children and grew it into Cajou Creamery, a whole line of dairy-free ice cream made from cashew, almond and hazelnut milks. Find them at their retail storefront, 411 N Howard St., and in Whole Foods Markets throughout the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area.
Cloudy Donuts, a Black-owned vegan doughnut shop with locations in Lauraville and Federal Hill, operates with the goal of transcending stereotypes about vegan diets and provide cleaner food alternatives to communities of color. Their selection changes seasonally, but recent delicacies have included brown butter chocolate chip, chai sugar, blood orange and mango chili lime.
Crust by Mack
It was only two years ago that Amanda Mack and her husband Jarrod moved their pop-up bakery business to a brick-and-mortar stall in Hampden’s Whitehall Mill, but demand for their goods was so high, they quickly outgrew the space. They’re opening a larger space on Pratt Street along the water, where they’ll serve a delectable array of sweet and savory pies, tarts, pastries and more. Recent mouthwatering creations include sweet potato handpies, bourbon vanilla shortbread, salmon breakfast biscuits and strawberry tarts.
Natasha's Just Brittle
At Natasha’s Just Brittle, crunchy brittle and melt-in-your-mouth chocolates are on the menu, but so is outstanding quality. Natasha’s treats are made with real, wholesome ingredients and a satisfying dose of hometown pride.
Aunt Kelly's Cookies
Growing up in Baltimore, Kelly Simmons spent any spare change she had on butter crunch cookies. Eventually, with the help of her grandma, she perfected her own recipe and opened Aunt Kelly’s Cookies to share her love for baking with her hometown. Located on the historic Antique Row of Mount Vernon, this Black-owned business is the only local bakery offering the famous butter crunch cookie, among other flavors, baked fresh daily. Head on over and get ’em while they’re hot!
A 2022 member of Kroger’s GoFresh and Go Local Accelerator, Hiatus Cheesecake takes a simplified approach to a classic dessert, which they bake daily from scratch with premium ingredients. They offer a wide range of innovative flavors, from Oreo to Ginger Lemon to Sweet Potato Fantasy, Mojito and more, and the sizes range from a teeny-tiny 2.75 inches to a standard 10-inch cake. Hiatus can also help you raise money for your school, group or charity through their Forks to Funds campaign, which donates 35% of cheesecake profits to your cause. You can order cheesecakes online or find them at select grocery stores around the city, including Eddie’s of Roland Park and the Harbor East Whole Foods.
Doll House Boutique
The whimsy of playing dress up isn’t just for children. At Doll House Boutique, you’re encouraged to find your style by trying on their fun fashions. From couture to casual, the Mount Vernon-based shop has something for everyone. Need a little extra help finding your thing? Book a consultation with owner and designer Natalie Karyl and she’ll find the right pieces to make you feel all dolled up.
It’s all in the name: L.R.L is a message-driven clothing brand committed to showing their Charles Village community love, respect and unwavering loyalty. They call their products “vibes,” a testament to the positivity radiating from their bright beanies, bucket hats, hoodies and more—all of which feature L.R.L’s iconic red heart & peace sign logo.
Founded in 2008, Different Regard has been elevating Baltimore’s style with chic, ready-to-wear and made-to-measure clothing. Owners and stylists Steven White and Dominick Davis want everyone of all ages to experience the luxury of wearing a well-tailored garment at an affordable price.
Illicit Rag Vintage
At Illicit Rag Vintage in the Govans neighborhood, owner Danyell Williams sources vintage gems so great that her spot was ranked the city’s best vintage boutique by Baltimore magazine in 2020. As a tween, Williams fell in love with the timelessness of vintage garments and she’s been thrifting, upcycling and fashioning new artistic designs ever since. The shop also occasionally hosts after-hours open mic poetry nights led by popular Baltimore creatives.
With Keepers Vintage, an online boutique, FIT alum and Baltimore resident Erica Bentley, pairs an impeccably curated selection of vintage clothing and accessories for men and women with sustainable lifestyle and handmade items. Her goal is to empower customers to take care of themselves and the earth by shopping secondhand and treating themselves to high-quality, one-of-a-kind pieces.
Anyone who says sweatpants can be stylish hasn’t visited Ouftur Couture in Charles Village. From futuristic prints and retro graphics to cheeky logo placements and pop culture references, Ouftur’s streetwear is sure to draw attention no matter where you wear it. Plus, Ouftur’s collection includes kids and unisex items. They sell out fast, so follow them on Instagram to stay on top of their release schedule.
Known for their iconic “Black America Caps,” NuLanguage believes that clothing is a powerful tool for communication and political activism. Through their detailed and vibrant unisex designs, Nu advocates for equality and creative self-expression. Popular sweatshirt designs include the graffiti-inspired airbrush and the speckled logo prints.
Books & Paper Goods
Drama MaMa Bookshop
Drawing on Baltimore’s rich literary history, Drama MaMa owner Alisa Brock curated a space built to inspire the next wave of budding authors. Sip on a latte while you browse for a newly released novel, re-read a classic, or write your own in one of Drama MaMa’s custom journals. For a fun experience, come to one of the bookshop’s “Wine & Bind” book binding events to make your own.
Inspired by international travel and global design, Paper Herald opened in Mount Vernon in 2021 with the goal of bringing high quality stationery, paper goods and writing instruments to Baltimore. Boasting a modern and sleek aesthetic, Paper Herald’s materials are made around the world, but we’re partial to the letterpress illustrations of beloved Baltimore landmarks like the Domino Sugars sign and Washington Monument.
Everyone's Place African Cultural Center
For more than three decades, this Black-owned family bookstore has provided a place for Baltimoreans to gather and discover the different cultures of the African diaspora. Beyond books, Everyone’s Place sells clothing, fabric, jewelry, skin products and more. This Druid Hill destination also hosts events and invites local BIPOC artists to sell their work in-store.
Decor & Homeware
Phina's Fine Linens
KSM Candle Co.
KSM Candle Co. offers vegan-friendly candles, incense, sprays and just about anything else you need to create an inviting atmosphere in your home. Take a little of Baltimore home with you, courtesy of the dozens of ready-made scented candle options, or create your own custom scent at a workshop.
Since opening in 2013, Nubianhueman has connected conscious consumers with more than 600 Black-owned artists and brands based in more than 35 countries. Inside the retail space/small business incubator/creative hub’s Mount Vernon location, you’ll find innovative beauty products, home decor and fashions, including visually compelling t-shirts that celebrate Black culture. The storefront is also an available event space, perfect for small gatherings such as happy hours, panel discussions and meetings.
Sankofa African & World Bazaar
Authentic African art, sculptures and clothing are all available at Sankofa African & World Bazaar. After a brief hiatus, the Baltimore gem reopened with a new location and renewed drive to expose the world to Africa’s rich culture. Shop owner Esther “Mama KiKi” Armstrong, a native of Ghana, recently parlayed the shop’s success into the opening of the Sankofa Children’s Museum of African Cultures.
Pandora's Box Boutique
Unlike the Pandora’s box of Greek mythology, only colorful home goods and one-of-a-kind Charm City souvenirs sit inside this vibrant Federal Hill shop. Think quippy oven mitts, empowering stickers and pins, and dish towels depicting iconic Baltimore symbols. It’s the perfect place to stop after grabbing a bite from Cross Street Market, located just across the street. In the summer months, treat yourself to a snowball from The Ice Box out front.
Jamyla Bennu had trouble finding products for her highly textured hair that were natural and organic, so she decided to make her own. That hobby grew into Oyin Handmade which she has run with her partner, Pierre, for nearly 20 years. Their store in Greenmount West welcomes visitors to sample products and consult with staff on the perfect regimen for achieving healthy, natural hair.
The Escape by K
Me-time, on your time—that’s what The Escape by K provides by bringing luxury wellness and beauty services to your home or hotel room. Whether you’re looking to get glam for a special event, want to unwind with a Swedish or hot stone massage, or need a routine brow tint or lash extension, The Escape’s vetted providers will have you looking and feeling your best.