On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the founding of the United States in 1976, President Gerald Ford first recognized Black History Month and encouraged Americans to honor the neglected achievements of African Americans in all areas throughout American history. Ten years later, Congress designated his February as National Black History Month to honor black history and raise awareness of the struggle for freedom and opportunity.
A great way to celebrate Black History Month is to support local Black-owned businesses in your community. If you don’t know where to start, here are some great examples of black-owned businesses in Utah that are worth a visit.
Sauce Boss Southern Kitchen
At Sauce Boss Southern Kitchen, Head Chef/Owner Julius Thompson serves classic soul foods such as black pork chops, shrimp and grits, cowpeas, and candied yams. Thompson draws inspiration for the menu from memorable meals his grandmother and aunt used to make in their kitchens. With this inspiration, Sauce Boss was recently named the best soul food in Utah for 2022. This restaurant was also featured on Diners Drive-ins and Dives in 2021!
Owned by sisters Angelique and Jasmine Gordon, this women’s boutique in Sugar House strives to make everyone feel good in their own skin. Both sisters have backgrounds in fashion and beauty and offer affordable personal styling by appointment or walk-in.The Sugar House boutique also has an extensive collection of clothing to complement any style.
Born in New York City and raised in North Carolina, founder Sherita “Rita” Magaredo looks back fondly on her time spent in New York on family vacations, which led to her appreciation for other cultures. This reputation grew steadily as she worked at a Greek-owned restaurant where she learned to make baklava in high school and college.Her love for Rita’s baklava was a testament to her bakery opening her own company. was the impetus for the establishment of Today, the company has become a thriving national business, shipping artisan-crafted baklava directly to customers’ doorsteps from Draper, Utah.
Growing up on her family’s farm in the South during segregation, Miss Essie learned how to cook exquisite barbecue utilizing family recipes passed down through generations. Eventually, the recipe was passed down to her grandson Marcus Jones. Marcus Jones now creates Family BBQ Her Sauce recipes for customers in a variety of flavors such as True Honey, Apple Her Cider Her Vinegar, and Southern Style. All of these can be found and purchased at your local Smiths grocery store. The company also offers barbecue catering offering country-style ribs, tri-tips, and smoked chicken.
Utah Black History Museum
The Utah Museum of Black History is dedicated to advancing the understanding and appreciation of both local and national black history and is a great place to start if you want to learn more about black history during the month of February. . The museum utilizes buses that tour the state throughout the month, showcasing the unacknowledged efforts and triumphs of African Americans. The exhibit can also be scheduled to offer a tailored experience for groups wanting to learn about black history.