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Local Black Owned Business Spotlight 

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Upon the Bicentennial of the United States in 1976, President Gerald Ford first recognized Black History Month and encouraged Americans to honor the neglected accomplishments of African-Americans in every area of endeavor throughout America’s history. Ten years later Congress designated February as National Black History Month, paying homage to Black History and cultivating awareness of the struggles for freedom and opportunity.

A great way to honor Black History Month is to support local Black-owned businesses in your community. If you don’t know where to start, here are some fantastic examples of Black-owned businesses in the state of Utah that deserve a visit.

Sauce Boss Southern Kitchen

At Sauce Boss Southern Kitchen, head chef and owner Julius Thompson serves soul food classics including blackened pork chops, shrimp and grits, black-eyed peas, and candied yams. Thompson has drawn inspiration for his menu from the meals he remembers his grandmother and aunts cooking in the kitchen. This inspiration has led Sauce Boss to be recently voted Utah’s best soul food in 2022. The restaurant was even featured on Diners Drive-ins and Dives in 2021!

A’La Mode

Located in Sugarhouse, this women’s boutique owned by sisters Angelique and Jasmine Gordon strives to help everyone feel good in their own skin. Both sisters have a background in fashion and beauty and offer affordable personal styling by appointment or walk-in. The Sugarhouse boutique also has an ample collection of clothing complementing all styles.

Sheer Ambrosia

Born in New York City and raised in North Carolina, founder Sherrita “Rita” Magalade fondly looks back upon the time she spent in New York on family trips that led to her appreciation of other cultures. This appreciation steadily grew as she worked in a Greek-owned restaurant learning to make baklava throughout high school and college. Rita’s love for baklava led the baker to start her own company which is now a thriving national business that sends artisan handcrafted baklava straight to customers’ doorsteps from Draper, Utah.

Raised on her family's farm in the South during the racial segregation era, Miss Essie learned how to cook exquisite barbecue utilizing a family recipe that had been handed down for generations. Eventually, that recipe was passed on to her grandson Marcus Jones, who now produces his family’s barbecue sauce recipe for customers in a variety of flavors like True Honey, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Southern Style. All which can be found and purchased at local Smiths grocery stores. The company also offers barbecue catering, serving up country-style ribs, tri-tips, and smoked chicken.

Utah Black History Museum

The Utah Black History Museum is dedicated to promoting 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 a bus which will be touring the state throughout the month, displaying the unacknowledged endeavors and triumphs of African-Americans. This exhibit can also be scheduled to provide a tailored experience to a group eager to learn about Black history.