We feel that there are times when we must speak out— silence is complicity, and complacency is not an option.
We are committed to holding ourselves and each other accountable beyond posts and donations, which are only the bare minimum in terms of doing the work of anti-racism. We hope that through this we can come to a place where equality reigns and justice is for all.
As a small business, we are a part of our local community. Our mission is to support and promote artists, creators, and other small businesses from the state by curating a selection of Maine products to feature in our shops. We support local and we hope to influence others to shop small within their societies as well.
It’s a time for us to to highlight, remind, and refer our Maine visitors and residents to the black-owned businesses located throughout the state; we could all use a boost in business and we want to share the love with our fellow stores, as we come together to bring the “bustle” back to our streets.
If you find yourself visiting Portland, Maine, there are an abundance of shops, markets, restaurants and other black-owned businesses that deserve attention. These are just a few:
Portland Trading Co. – located right up the street from us on Market Street, is owned by Kazeem Lawal. As the blog The Mainer eloquently put, “If you don’t know him, exactly, you might feel like you do. At the very least, you’ve seen him walking down the street and thought, that guy looks sharp.” Visit his shop to discover beautiful Maine made and designed clothing as well as unique gifts and accessories from New England. You’ll walk out feeling more stylish than ever.
Indigo Arts Alliance – located on Cove Street, is a place where freedom of expression and personal transformation through creativity is encouraged. Indigo Arts Alliance embodies a Black-led, multiracial approach to the rich intersections of citizenship, community-building, and creativity. More than ever, our world needs people who can help us imagine more compassionate, generous, and welcoming human societies. Indigo does that work. It is a great gift to the Portland community, to the region, and to our nation! Check out their website and join the conversation.
Rwanda Bean Coffee – located on Stevens Ave in Portland and Cottage St in South Portland, this coffee shop donates 50% of their profits back to their farmers in Rwanda. They strive to provide healthcare to all the farmers they work with and their families. They recognize the importance of an education, and are working to build a school and a curriculum with teachers. “As you are about to take that first sip of our delicious coffee—just stop and pat yourself on the back. Remember, every sip you take helps someone in need. There’s no better way to start a day than with a great cup of coffee and a good deed.”
Knitting Nook – found just across the Casco Bay Bridge on Sawyer Street in South Portland, you can relax in this knitting shop with some tasty foods and enjoy the ambiance that facebook reviewers have given 5 out of 5 stars. Knitting Nook is a yarn shop/café with an entertaining environment where the fiber artist can obtain supplies, guidance, camaraderie, sustenance and impeccable customer service
Kings & Queens Hair Studio – located in Brunswick, just a city away from our Front Street location, is the place to go for pure hair finesse and artistry. Located just outside of Bowdoin College in the heart of Maine Street, this barber shop and hair salon offers premium haircuts, fades, and hair color services to Cumberland County. They are proud to provide a family friendly, multi-ethnic, multi-generational grooming experience to our patrons in Brunswick.
When you find yourself strolling the streets of Portland, take a moment to visit the mural on Center Street and see the beautiful artwork created by local artist, Ryan Adams. It’s striking and haunting, paying tribute to George Floyd and the many lives that were wrongfully taken from this world.
Better Letter Hand Painted Signs – Ryan Adams is also a partner of this Greater Portland based company. (If you hang out on their home page for a moment you’ll recognize a TON of local businesses) After years of working together, four artists (Will Sears, Tessa O’Brien, Ryan Adams, & Rachel Adams) officially joined forces under the Better Letter umbrella in 2018, and have been slinging brushes together ever since. The team shares a mutual desire to improve the visual experience of their surroundings through design and quality craftsmanship, and to have a positive impact on their communities.
Casco Bay Cleaning Services – Need your home or office cleaned? Check out Casco Bay Cleaning out of Portland! They use state of the art tools and customize superior cleaning services to your needs, and any routine cleaning can be performed daily, weekly or monthly, or one time deep cleaning sessions.
Visit Black Owned Maine to find a more comprehensive list of businesses, services, and restaurants.
We are all in this together; its time to unite our voices for the greater good of this country and the greater good of humanity.