As Retail Reopens, Shop These Black-Owned Stores around Boston
From a bookstore, to a dispensary, to a pop-up market, spend your dollars at these wonderful local businesses.
Phase Two of the grand reopening plan for Massachusetts rolled out last week, and that included the cautious return to in-person shopping at nonessential retail. Under the new guidelines, stores can operate at 40 percent occupancy, or eight people per every 1,000 square feet. As shoppers fasten their face masks and head out into the city to indulge in their first impulse buys in months, here are seven local Black-owned shops to support.
What’s better than strolling the aisles and thumbing through pages of potential reads at a good bookstore? The shelves at this Nubian Square shop are filled with works from authors of color—and as titles like How to Be an Antiracist and White Fragility have rocketed to the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list in recent weeks, they’ve also flown off the shelves at Frugal Bookstore. While Boston’s only Black bookstore owners, Clarrissa Cropper and Leonard Egerton, restock the texts in highest demand, make sure to purchase and pore over the reams of other excellent works they have on hand. They’ll reopen for in-person browsing starting on Wednesday, June 17, from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
57 Warren Street, Roxbury
If you live in constant fear of showing up to an event in the same outfit as someone else, and facing a “who wore it best” moment, shop at Final Touch, which promises that their “in-store product collections are limited to 3 pieces of any style.” Peep the colorful cache of fashions for any gender through the glass storefront, and head inside to find an ensemble that’s sure to break you out of your uninspired groufit funk. Their official reopening day is Monday, when you can browse from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
17 Warren Street, Roxbury
Reframe your face with some new lenses from this Lower Mills supplier. Owner and experienced optician Bobin Nicholson can fit you with glasses (or contacts) that match your prescription and your personality. Just call (617-296-0066) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for an appointment before heading over.
2271 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester
The doors to this long-awaited city milestone, co-founded by Kobie Evans and Kevin Hart, opened just four short months ago. Not only is the recently opened pot shop Boston’s first Black-owned recreational cannabis dispensary, it’s the first recreational dispensary full stop for the city. After a coronavirus mandated closure, it’s back in business with its normal hours—11 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. Pick up gummies and pre-rolled joints, and be sure to consult the staff with any product questions.
430 Blue Hill Avenue, Dorchester
This downtown store’s claim to fame may be niche, but it completely delivers. As one Yelp review puts it: “Most legendary Kung Fu video store of all time.” The racks are packed with hard-to-find martial arts movies, and other shelves showcase apparel and paraphernalia.
365 Washington Street # 2, Downtown Crossing
Opened three years ago by Roxbury residents Kai and Christopher Grant, this Pan-African pop-up market bustles with local artisans, makers, and other vendors selling everything from hair wraps and jewelry to body butter and clothing. The mission? To “help eradicate Boston’s $247,500 Wealth gap” by supporting many Black-owned businesses under one roof.
2136 Washington Street, Roxbury
The hands behind these stunning silk and cotton headwraps, scrunchies, and other hair accessories are mother-and-daughter duo Imani McFarlane and Delmeshia Haynes, who craft the wraps in their Seaport studio. “For the young woman looking to reconnect with tradition, to the hair-loss thriver looking for restoration; our headwraps are healing,” reads the website, where you can shop all of their handmade products. They’ve also added a selection of gorgeous face masks, so you can go ahead and replace the ones you assembled out of ratty old sheets in a panic after watching a YouTube tutorial.