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Southern Black-Owned Businesses

  • , by Hannah Lee Leidy

The South's small business owners brim with innovation and talent. And, if they're on the Local Palate Marketplace, you can count on a particular degree of culinary flare, too. These five black-owned businesses in Charleston, Nashville, Atlanta, and beyond are leaders in their craft.

Rhonda Cammon of Perfectly Cordial, a Southern black-owned business

Perfectly Cordial 

Rhonda Cammon, a long-time force in Nashville’s craft beverage scene, introduced Perfectly Cordial in 2020 as a way to make cocktails healthier and tastier—no booze necessary. She initially began experimenting with ways to diversify the nonalcoholic drink offerings at bars beyond just soda and lime. Drawing on her childhood in Florida, Cammon uses tropical fruit flavors and Caribbean spices to concoct mixers flavored with pineapple and coconut water, mango and Mexican chili, pear and cardamom, and more. In the words of the Local Palate’s editor in chief, “whatever Rhonda Cammon’s pouring, I’m drinking!” 


Sam Holmes of Holmes Sweet Home a Black-Owned Southern Business


Holmes Sweet Home

Samotria Holmes fell in love with crafting treats as a young girl and grew up preparing desserts alongside her grandmother. After a career in technology sales, she traded software for sugar and embarked on creating brittles, candies, and various other treats from wholesome, top-quality ingredients. Many even happen to be naturally gluten free, soy free, and vegan! As an avid marketer for her brand, Holmes can often be found at partnered businesses, showcasing her products. 






Quintin Middleton of Middleton Made Knives

Middleton Made Knives

The South’s premier culinary bladesmith Quintin Middleton crafts sleek, hand-made steel knives out of his forge in rural Saint Stephen, South Carolina. Middleton fell in love with making knives as a young boy (he credits it to watching “Conan the Barbarian”) and honed his skills practicing on his mother’s shower rod and other household items. His youthful pursuits evolved into a six-year apprenticeship, which led to him creating handmade chefs knives for Middleton Made Knives. His high carbon steel knives sparked a following from professional chefs, including Sean Brock, Mike Lata, Michael Anthony, and more.



Stacey West, founder of the Southern Black-owned business, Suga's Pimento Cheese,

Suga’s Pimento Cheese

Stacey West, or chef Suga, gained a following of Atlanta Sunday brunchers who fell in love with her pimento cheese grits. After numerous requests for just the pimento cheese, West started selling the original and jalapeño pimento cheeses recipes around the metro area. This snowballed into her line of eight flavors, including four vegan options, making hers the only vegan pimento cheese in the South. 







Lillie's of charleston gift pack with Lillie's hot sauce, dry rub, and barbecue sauce


Lillie’s of Charleston

Inspired by their father’s adoration for barbecue and the family matriarch Aunt Lillie, the siblings in this Southern Black-owned business introduced their line of hot and barbecue sauces that add flavors of home to meats and side dishes. Their father first debuted the sauce in 1985 at his restaurant the Rib Shack, and the kids continue the family’s legacy celebrating flavors and meals that ensure no one ever leaves "feeling unwanted, unloved, or hungry." 

Marketplace Recipes

  • Bacon Fat Cornbread in a Skillet

    , by Hannah Lee Leidy Bacon Fat Cornbread

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  • Cup of New Orleans Roast Coffee

    , by Katherine Reiss Southern Coffees and Teas to Beat the Chill

    Read more 

  • Cook the Book: The Comfortable Kitchen

    , by Laurel Bryant Cook the Book: The Comfortable Kitchen

    Read more 

  • Savory Black-Eyed Pea Griddle Cakes

    , by Hannah Lee Leidy Savory Black-Eyed Pea Griddle Cakes

    Read more 


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