The best food comes with a little soul and a whole lot of persistence. Nana Kwamena Takyi-Micah, owner of Micah Specialty Foods, understood this when he launched his business in 2014. Inspired by his mother and his Ghanaian upbringing, he wanted to find a way to provide the American public with flavorful African foods. “I wanted to create an opportunity where we can actually have African food products in grocery stores for people like myself,” he says. With culture and creativity in mind, here are three Black-owned culinary businesses we love.
Tasty Treats By Sue: Chantelle McCann creates customized treats that can satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth at Tasty Treats By Sue, an at-home business McCann started in 2017. Customers can text or contact her on Instagram to order a number of delectable sweet and savory treats, including a pineapple stuffed with a variety of requested ingredients such as rice, shrimp, peppers, onions and pineapple salsa. Most of her treats, such as her banana pudding made with layers of butter cookies, secret cream filling and bananas, are even conveniently served in mason jars. ”[My customers] say it’s nothing like their grandmother’s pudding,” she says. 216-482-7963, instagram.com/tastytreats_bysue
Crosby's Corn: This gourmet popcorn shop has 35 flavors such as red cinnamon, spicy white cheddar and blue raspberry guaranteed to make your taste buds pop. A fan favorite, you’ll love the salt and vinegar cheddar popcorn popped fresh daily. “The problem with the popcorn is that we can’t keep it,” says co-owner Jana Crosby. “Once customers know that there’s fresh popcorn, they try to come in and buy the whole batch.” 540 E. 105th St., Cleveland, 216-854-8116, crosbycorn.com
Micah Specialty Foods: Takyi-Micah’s all-natural marinade, Ghana Supreme Sauce, can be used as a salsa, a marinara or a cocktail sauce. The sixth-generation specialty sauce carries a kick made with tomatoes, onions, green and habanero peppers, garlic and ginger. Takyi-Micah creates the low-sodium, gluten-free sauce from scratch using his mother’s recipe. Each 12-ounce bottle can be ordered online or at local grocery stores such as Narrin’s Spices & Sauce at the West Side Market. “My customers always respond, ‘Oh, wow, you really can use it on everything,’ ” he says. Various locations, 216-396-8755, micahspecialtyfoods.com