A Family Affair: Black Family-Owned Businesses in Detroit
Story by Biba Adams
Detroit has likely had Black, family-owned businesses for as long as there have been free Black people in the city. Segregation was a driving force in why Black businesses were necessary in the area known as Black Bottom.
However, changing times and shifting demographics opened the city up for anyone to live and work–as well as open businesses to serve the community that remains more than 80% African American.
There are so many Black-owned businesses in the city, Visit Detroit has compiled a list of a few legacy businesses that you should know.
This 5,000-square-foot men and women’s specialty retailer, has been a popular fashion mainstay on Detroit’s west side since 1995. The store features distinctive apparel and fashion merchandise for the city’s most discerning fashion-forward trendsetters and tastemakers.
This Midtown bookstore owned by Janet Webster Jones offers an array of unique non-fiction books on history and culture, health and well-being, metaphysics and spirituality, and books by and about women. She and her daughter, Allison are there to help you find great reads.
House of Pure Vin is a wine shop and tasting room in downtown Detroit. Shop their wide range of wines in-store or online or join the Wine Club to get hand-selected bottles of wine delivered to your door each month.
This national brand has a flagship store in downtown Detroit and features an incredible array of vegan and cruelty-free makeup and offers a wide range of shades and produces brand imagery featuring people of all ages and complexions.
Flo Boutique carries men’s and women’s clothing by local, national, and international designers. This business has been around for years giving Detroit's most eclectic and fashionable folks clothes that accent their style. It's owned by Felicia Williams-Patrick and named after her mother and her sister-in-law Sheila often mans the checkout counter.
Spectacles is always changing, yet always there. There is a story behind every last item found in this quaint urban boutique, and product knowledge is one of the key aspects that the shop employees pride themselves on. Like owner, Zana Smith says, Spectacles is the place for those who "like to stand out."
The Peteet family has been selling cheesecake for over a decade in the Detroit area. Their famous flavors are also available for wholesale. Every cheesecake is made from scratch resulting in a rich, creamy flavorful dessert.
This family-owned company dates back to 1976 when couple Cassandra and Jeffery Thomas made an irresistible sweet potato cookie recipe. They eventually expanded to offer their far west Detroit neighborhood not just desserts, but sweet potato waffles and pancakes, soups, sandwiches and more.