FYI Philly celebrates Philadelphia's Black-owned restaurants, business owners

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Monday, March 1, 2021
FYI Philly celebrates Philadelphia's Black-owned restaurants, business owners
From restaurants to skincare to fashion, we put a spotlight on Black-owned businesses around the region.
The sauce is so good it's now flying off the shelves of national retailers.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Sequoya & Jaylin's BBQ Sauce is spicing up grocery shelves around the city

When single mother Josette Adams turned to cooking as a way to provide for her young children, Sequoya & Jaylin's Barbecue Sauce became a labor of love.

Her son, Jaylin, was born with cerebral palsy and needed care around the clock, so she had to leave her job in the banking industry.

She started making and selling cakes, dinner platters, and her homemade barbecue sauce to make ends meet.

Sadly, Jaylin passed away before the age of 3, but his image -- along with that of his sister Sequoya -- continues to grace the label of the sauce.

Adams now has the sauce on, and Jeff Brown's Shoprites are featuring the sauce in his stores' meat departments around the city: Fox Street, Cheltenham Mall, 52nd & Parkside, 24th & Oregon, and coming soon to Island Ave. and Roxborough.

Sequoya & Jaylin's Gourmet Foods | Instagram | Facebook


Christie Desir is bringing all of the fruits of her life's journeys into a unified wellness mission.

Former Miss Universe spreading message of wellness in Philadelphia

As Miss Universe Haiti, Christie Desir traveled the world, and that's where she learned all about coffee. At Callowhill Greens, she's bringing all of the fruits of her life's journeys into a unified wellness mission, with take-home smoothie kits and a monthly wellness box.

The tagline of Callowhill Greens is 'for your well being' and it's the intention behind every product.

"The secret to beautiful skin is a healthy gut," Christie says, "it's just really about using food for your skin."

Callowhill Greens | Facebook | Instagram

1800 Callowhill Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 19130

The soul food staple has expanded the menu with pizza and new hours to continue dishing out great eats to the community it has served for more than 40 years.

Coatesville staple adds pizza to menu

Allen's on First has been serving Coatesville diners for more than 40 years.

Dionna, Scarlett and Charrisse Allen are the third-generation owners dishing out food in the same Chester County storefront. The three sisters all have full-time jobs and run the restaurant after they are done work.

A selection of soul food has been the signature collection on the menu for years.

The recipes started with the Allen's grandmother and have been tweaked through the years. Dionna is the primary chef creating her own take on classics like fried fish, chicken wings, chitlins, greens, potato salad and mac and cheese. The soul food menu is only available Friday and Saturday.

In December they added pizza to the menu. Scarlett and Charrisse took on the task of mastering the recipe. The new addition has allowed them to open the restaurant seven days a week. They are open for take-out and delivery-only.

Allen's on 1st | Facebook | Instagram

374 South 1st Avenue, Coatesville, PA 19320

Former inmate turns his life around with launch of luxury shoe brand

The Philadelphia rapper knew he had come up with a way to turn his life around so he turned to something that went hand in hand with his rap career; fashion.

Bungee Brand LLC | Instagram

2930 Jasper Street, Suite #204, Philadelphia, Pa. 19134

Voltaire Blain, Chestnut Hill's best-dressed man, and D'Iyanu want to upgrade your look -- whether it's formal style or African-inspired attire.

D'Iyanu and Style by Blain put fashion forward

Voltaire Blain has been called Chestnut Hill's best-dressed man.

He loves the compliment, but his passion is to make others more fashionable.

His shop, Style by Blain, features some of the top shoes for men. He also has a collection for women, but he considers the store a "guy's club."

He carries Aldens, what he considers the best shoe in the world, and partners with the brand to customize exclusive styles that are only available at his store.

Gaziano and Girling are an investment in style and Paraboot is another brand he carries. A partnership with tailor Thomas Tillman has turned the shop into a head-to-toe stop for style. Thomas specializes in made-to-measure and bespoke tailoring.

D'Iyanu is building a fashion brand in Norristown, Pa. Addie Elabor and her brother Dara Ajayi have created a brand focused on their African roots.

The family came to the U.S. from Nigeria when Addie was 6. She created D'Iyanu in 2014 as a women's-only brand and quickly expanded to include selections for men and children.

During the pandemic they moved into loungewear and hope to eventually include home goods. The brand is meant to blend style and culture using traditional African prints in modern fashion.

D'Iyanu | Facebook | Instagram

910 East Main Street, Suite 202, Norristown, PA 19401

Style by Blain | Facebook | Instagram

8433 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118

Thomas Tillman Bespoke | Facebook | Instagram

"We know there's a lot of Black Americans that don't know where they come from. That's what I want people who wear my jewelry to feel. Feel like this is familiar, like this feels like home."

Kpelle Design creates inspiring women's jewelry with roots in West Africa

Grant Blvd, a black-owned clothing boutique located on the 3600 block of Lancaster Avenue in West Philadelphia, won a $10,000 grant from Beyonce.

Grant Blvd. | Facebook | Instagram | Black-owned business fund

3605 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia, Pa. 19104


We shine a spotlight on black-owned businesses that specialize in self-care, from artisan soap and candle-makers to a shop stocked with all kinds of wellness products.

Black-owned businesses that specialize in self-care

From artisan soap and candle-makers to a shop stocked with all kinds of wellness products, we shine a spotlight on Black-owned businesses that specialize in beauty and wellness products.

When COVID-19 hit, they started offering virtual skin consultations and at-home facial mask kits. Their goal is to disrupt traditional beauty standards, empower women and help others uncover their inner glow.

Freedom Apothecary in Northern Liberties is a Black and Brown, woman-owned business carrying only women-owned wellness products. Co-owners Bonkosi Horn Morrisa Jenkins stock their retail shop with holistic beauty and lifestyle products, like their in-house Green Tea Body Butter and Lip Conditioner, perfect for Philly's winter weather.

Gold and Water Co. is a boutique soapery that promotes wellness advocacy. Owner and Founder Chartel Findlater handcrafts her creations, including beard balm and bath salts, in small batches out of her studio in Kensington. She started the company in 2018 after a challenging break-up.

Mount Airy Candle Co. CEO and Head Candlemaker Marques Davis, and Mount Airy native, started his homegrown candle-making business as a passion project in 2018. With the help of his family, Davis hand-pours soy candles in small batches, blending fragrance oils infused with essential oils to create custom scents.

Gold and Water Co | Instagram

Freedom Apothecary | Instagram

736 North 2nd Street

Mount Airy Candle Co. | Instagram

We take a look at local shows celebrating Black performers in the arts.

FYI Loves the Arts Roundup

Philadelphia Contemporary has created a new online series called Talking Breakfast, inviting viewers into the world of an artist by giving a glimpse of their morning routines.

The digital series is free and fulfills Philadelphia Contemporary's mission to reflect the city's diversity by highlighting cross-disciplinary artists.

Philadelphia Contemporary: Talking Breakfast |Website

Philadanco dancers putting on a free virtual show.

The performance is called Dancers' Choices, Choreographers' Choices, and it's part of a yearlong project at the University of Pennsylvania's Wolf Humanities Center, exploring the topic of choice.

Lead dancers from Philadanco will perform a piece by Dawn Marie Bazemore that pays tribute to Oshun, a deity of the Yoruba people in southwestern Nigeria. Tradition holds that the goddess is the protector of humanity.

University of Pennsylvania, Wolf Humanities Center Presents: Dancers' Choices, Choreographers' Choices | Website

March 3, 5pm

Alvin Ailey dancer making Philadelphia choreography debut at virtual Annenberg Center performance

March 11th is the world premiere of Redefine US, from the inside OUT, a performance choreographed by Hope Boykin.

"We're really excited to have her and it'll be her and four or five other dancers," explains Chris Gruits, Executive and Artistic Director of the Annenberg Center, who says Boykin has been using her work to address a lot of current events around race and identity "So I think this piece is going to be a direct kind of response to that."

The University of Pennsylvania Annenberg Center's 2021 digital season includes everything from tap dancing to big musical bands and an independent film series.

University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg Center | |Spring 2021 Digital Season

Through May 27