In addition to historic disenfranchisement and limited access to capital, Akron Black-owned businesses have been disproportionately affected by the immense challenges of the past few years. Recognizing this history means that we have the opportunity to begin to address the inequities Black business owners and the Black community have faced and continue to face, while working to build a downtown that truly is open and welcoming to all.
Read on to discover these businesses, then come downtown and stop in. Supporting our local businesses truly makes a difference by keeping dollars local, creating jobs, and building a strong community.
Can you think of a business missing from this list? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
Health & Beauty
Let's Heal Massage Therapy
Relax and unwind with a massage from licensed massage therapist Sonya Lee at Let’s Heal Massage Therapy. Lee offers multiple types of massages, including relaxation, aroma touch, deep tissue, and hot stone massages. Visit Let’s Heal Massage Therapy on Facebook to learn more about Sonya’s services and to read reviews from happy customers.
Originally created to problem-solve health issues relating to the skin, scalp, and mouth, Goods offers organic multi-use wellness and beauty products made in small batches using plants and completely natural ingredients. Shop whipped body and hair butter, shave and beard oil, floral bath soak, and more online, or pick up Goods products at Akron Coffee Roasters and Asterisk Coffee Bar.
The Experience Barber & Beauty Shop
The Experience Barber & Beauty Shop provides haircuts, razor fades, beard trimming and shaving, and styling in a relaxing and welcoming shop located on the corner of Mill Street and Broadway. You can expect professional service, competitive prices, and high-quality services for men, women, and children. Walk-ins are welcome or book an appointment on their Facebook page.
Hair Geek Studio
Owned and operated by Sapreea English, Hair Geek Studio offers numerous beauty and hair services including haircuts, silk presses, coloring, braiding, loc retwists, lace frontal sew-in weaves, and more. English also offers hair maintenance classes such as Loc N’ Learn, a class dedicated to the proper care, washing, and retwisting of locs. Visit the Hair Geek Studio Facebook page for information on booking an appointment.
Reach your fitness and health goals at Summer Ready Fitness. From group fitness classes to virtual workouts to personal training, Summer Ready Fitness has services to fit every schedule and experience level. The trainers have years of experience and work hard to create an individualized fitness plan to keep you on track and motivated. View their services and check out their class schedule to get started.
India Ink Tattoo Company
Located inside Northside Marketplace, India Ink Tattoo Company is the only Black- and female-owned tattoo shop in Akron. They specialize in black and gray designs, as well as realistic color designs. Their website offers easy booking and price transparency, and they even offer gift cards. Check them out online or in person at Northside Marketplace.
Clothing & Accessories
Step into UNKNWN for a truly elevated retail experience with a big-city feel. UNKNWN is more than a concept retail store: It's an apparel lifestyle brand and community venue, too. Store manager Dominique Waters strives to connect customers not only with the clothing and shoes for sale, but with the community and each other, through workout classes, exclusive product releases, and communal experiences. Visit UNKNWN on Main Street.
Bizzy Beads Boutique
Kimberley Camp, owner of Bizzy Beads Boutique, has always had a love for jewelry – and it shows. Her hand-crafted earrings, bracelets, and necklaces are truly one-of-a-kind. She’s best known for her polymer clay miniature food earrings, which are extremely detailed and adorable. Shop her online store or check out her jewelry in the Northside Marketplace.
Art by Design
Drawing inspiration from her surroundings, owner of Art by Design Linda Moore creates unique handmade jewelry and accessories. Her work incorporates semi-precious gemstones, Czech glass beads, and precious metal components using bead stringing, wirework, and metalsmithing techniques. Custom orders are available upon request by emailing email@example.com or you can purchase her jewelry in the Northside Marketplace.
7th Floor Clothing
Childhood friends and owners of 7th Floor Clothing Frank Miller III & Preston Clark describe themselves as “two kids who are living their dream creating ‘walking art’ for the world.” Best known for their ‘Kiss the Trophy’ dad hat worn by Akron native Lebron James, the streetwear brand has been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, and Crain’s Business, to name a few. Shop their exclusive t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, and more on the 7th Floor Clothing website, or check out their store with its stylish selfie opportunity in the Northside Marketplace.
We Care Tees
We Care Tees is a t-shirt company with a mission. The Akron-based clothing company is “bringing the cool back to caring” by donating 10% of the profits of its sales to non-profits like the United Disability Services. Inc. and other charitable organizations. Their t-shirts feature Akron-inspired designs, as well as other fun sayings and graphics. You can buy We Care Tees merchandise on their website or at the Northside Marketplace.
Located in Northside Marketplace, Lilly’s Pad sells darling artisan baby toys and gifts. Browse their collection of bibs, teething rings, teething necklaces, pacifier clips, and other baby care products. If you’re looking for a custom gift, they even have birthdate stuffed animal keepsakes available for order. Stop by the Northside Marketplace or visit Lilly’s Pad on Facebook.
FLX Athletic Wear
FLX Athletic Wear is a fitness clothing brand dedicated to giving back to the community. They have a collection of t-shirts, tank tops, hoodies, leggings, shoes, and more that are guaranteed to help you look and feel your best. Check out their clothes in the Northside Marketplace.
Art & Culture
Totally Tangled Creations
April Nicholson-Couch, the artist of Totally Tangled Creations, creates intricate Zentangle-inspired wall art, bowls, serving ware, t-shirts, coloring books, and so much more. Zentangle is a drawing style made up of intricate doodles that form beautiful patterns that grow and evolve as the artist works. Every piece of Nicholson-Couch’s work is unbelievably detailed and truly one-of-a-kind. Visit Totally Tangled Creations’ on Facebook to check out her unique work, or stop by Summit Artspace or Northside Marketplace to check it out in person.
Jaron M. LeGrair Studio
The Jaron M. LeGrair Studio is a voice studio that provides comprehensive voice training for singers and speakers. Owner and founder Jaron M. LeGrair has multiple degrees and studied voice, speech, and hearing sciences, making him an experienced and well-rounded teacher. His mission is to encourage boldness, creativity, and awareness of the voice. Book a session, buy merchandise, or check out his guided vocal warm-ups on the Jaron M. Legrair Studio website.
Street Craftery is a creative destination for DIY projects, splatter painting, and more. Located on South Main Street, they offer craft projects for people of all ages and even welcome private celebrations and corporate events. One particularly fun highlight of Street Craftery is the area in their shop known as Splatter Alley--a place where anyone can don protective gear and go to town with splatter paint on a canvas. Learn more about Street Craftery on their website.
Food & Drink
Located on Main Street and veteran owned, Perfect Pour specializes in martinis, bourbon, and burgers. Stop by for a wide array of craft cocktails and beers, and be sure to try their fried green tomatoes, specialty burgers, salads, and more.
Big Mamma's Burritos
Big Mamma's Burritos specializes in creating fresh, delicious burritos, bowls, and chips loaded with uniquely mouthwatering blends of mexi-cali goodness. They make every burrito count and take just 34 seconds to make each one. Visit them on Main Street to try their food for yourself.
DeJuan's Downtown Akron
DeJuan's is located on the corner of Main and Exchange Streets and offers casual dining with a fine dining feel. They boast prime cuts of meat, seafood, and unique specialties such as an all-turkey menu section. They also have an "intermission" during the afternoon, a time when exclusively their bar is open. For a VIP DeJuan's experience, consider becoming a member for a monthly fee that allows you to receive special discounts, access to a complimentary seafood appetizer bar, attendance to special events, and more.
Inspired by her mother’s recipes, Tanya Green founded Juliabelle's Seasonings with the mission of sharing the rich, vibrant traditions of southern cooking. Made from 100% natural, hand-blended ingredients, her seasonings, rubs, and rice and bread mixes have just the right amount of heat. Shop seasonings and discover new ways to spice up your favorite dishes on Juliabelle’s website. You can also find Juliabelle’s Seasonings at the Northside Marketplace.
Essential Dipped Delights
Essential Dipped Delights is a gourmet dessert company specializing in unique desserts, perfect for gifts, special occasions, corporate events, or your everyday sweet tooth fix. They serve marshmallow pops, banana pudding cheesecake bowls, chocolate-covered strawberries, and so much more. Visit Essential Dipped Delights in the Northside Marketplace or online to get a quote for your event.
After working at a juice bar, Taylor McKinnie discovered she had a knack for creating protein shakes that were delicious instead of chalky. McKinnie started Mizz Shakesum not only to help people get the necessary nutrients for building muscle and losing weight but also to share nostalgic flavors like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and popsicles. You can purchase Mizz Shakesum drinks at the Northside Marketplace.
Akron Honey harvests and produces true “hive to jar” honey right here in Akron, Ohio. The company has a strong focus on sustainability and mindfulness and works to educate local students on the importance of respecting honeybees. Akron Honey not only offers classic raw honey, but also flavor-packed variations like Bourbon Barrel Honey, Hibiscus Honey, and Habanero Hot Honey. You can buy honey and merchandise online or find Akron Honey in a store near you, including the Northside Marketplace.
The Tea Lady
The Tea Lady offers morning tea, afternoon tea, brunches, and more in her elegant and inviting tearoom. Dine on delicious tea sandwiches, pastries, and of course, infused hot tea. Book a teatime and spend quality time with friends, family, or little ones. You can also purchase tea and tea accessories online.
D.P. Dough, located on East Exchange Street, specializes in late-night calzones. With flavor combinations ranging from pineapple and ham to bacon, tater tots, and cheese, D.P. Dough has calzones sure to crush any craving. They also serve wings, chicken tenders, loaded tots, and breadsticks. Order online or visit the downtown Black-owned franchise today.
Ernie's Catering has a range of offerings--from some of the best barbecue around to sandwiches, salads, fruit plates, and burgers. As the name implies, they offer catering for lunches and special events, in addition to having grab-and-go lunches available for anyone to enjoy. Learn more about Ernie's and check out their menu online.
Urban Gourmet is located in the City of Akron Municipal Building and serves made-to-order breakfast and lunch.
Charles Tyler Law Firm
Charles Tyler Law Firm provides exceptional legal services to Ohio families and individuals. With 16 years of legal experience, Tyler is knowledgeable with family law, criminal defense, bankruptcy, school law, personal injury, estates, and creations of 501(C)(3) organizations. Learn more about their services on their website.
Hopson Communications & Coaching, LLC
Located at 195 S. Main St., Hopson Communications & Coaching, LLC, is a business coaching, consulting, and public speaking firm that offers training programs centered on professional development for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and professionals.
Lynda Harvey Williams & Associates, LLC
Since 1991, Lynda Harvey Williams & Associates' compassionate lawyers have been working to ease their clients' stress by providing meaningful legal support in family law and civil litigation cases, as well as criminal cases. Learn more about their services and schedule a free consultation on their website.
Located at 388 S. Main St., Woods Associates offers services in financial planning, investment analysis, and estate and retirement planning to help clients work towards building and preserving their assets while helping them work towards their financial goals. Learn more about how Woods Associates can help you manage your finances on their website.
Capital Talent Development Group
Capital Talent Development Group's mission is to help those who have been historically underserved and underrepresented advance in the labor market. They do this through services centered on workforce development and social capital building. Call 330-400-4036 to learn more.
As the name suggests, Blaak Media is a media company that focuses on creating photos, videos, and branding material for creatives, small businesses, and nonprofits. Their portfolio includes masterful promotional videos, music videos, audio recordings, portraits, and group photo shoots. Check out their website to see for yourself.