Latest News

Juneteenth Local Business Spotlight Series

2024_URFC_Juneteenth 1920x1080

Juneteenth National Independence Day is a federal holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the state of Texas on June 19, 1865, with the first celebrations of the event beginning the following year. Juneteenth was officially recognized as a federal holiday just two years ago. While the specific date pays tribute to the emancipation order, Juneteenth is a celebration of African-American culture and an observation and respect towards the African-American experience in the United States.

Utah has a number of Black-owned businesses and Real Salt Lake encourages you to celebrate Juneteenth by visiting them and learning more about the holiday. We’ve put together a list of five places you can check out Monday, but there are countless others to choose from based on what you’re looking for.

  1. Taste of Louisiana

Retired U.S. Army veteran and Louisiana native Jerrell Carter started this food truck with the ambitions of enhancing the food culture in Utah. Menu items include fried fish, chicken, shrimp, baked cheese grits, red beans, and rice, with an emphasis on rich flavor and seasoning. Entrées, savory sides and desserts are also on offer.

2. Miss Essie’s BBQ

Raised on a farm during the days of segregation in Arkansas, Miss Essie learned how to cook barbeque while feeding her seven children as a single parent in Arizona. She later passed her 100-year-old family recipe to her son and grandson Manuel and Marcus who created Miss Essie’s Southern BBQ, LLC. Located in Murray, Miss Essie’s has been featured in the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News for its world-class BBQ, which is available in house and for catering.

  1. Good Company Theater

Founded and operated in 2012 by sisters Alicia and Camille Washington, Good Company Theater stages excellent and wide-ranging theatrical productions, building relationships between audience members and artists. Based in Ogden, this theater company has a unique and diverse casting policy, enabling actors and actresses of all ethnic and cultural backgrounds to audition for any role that is not explicitly listed with physical traits. Check out their website to see what shows are coming soon!

  1. Fit Factory Inc.

Owner and founder Shayne Scruggs played football at the University of Utah from 2002 to 2004 and won the Fiesta Bowl. Following his playing career, Scruggs shifted his focus and priorities to personal fitness, opening up Fit Factory Inc. to help tackle modern physical fitness problems. This gym goes beyond just throwing weights around, focusing on individual needs and offering on-demand fitness instruction which you can consume from the comforts of your living room.

  1. Sandra’s Ethnic Hair Care Salon

Sandra’s Ethnic Hair Care Salon provides clients with a relaxing ambiance, catering to ethnically diverse hair styles. Sandra’s number one priority is her customer’s individual needs, doing everything she can to ensure that they leave the salon feeling like a million bucks. Services include color, style, cuts, relaxers, washes and wigs.

For a broader list of Black-owned businesses in Utah, visit

2024_URFC_Juneteenth 1920x1080