St. John’s celebrates Black entrepreneurs

Local and international lovers of music, food and fashion gathered to acknowledge Black-owned businesses.

The local community in St. John’s showed up for the Black Owned Market in high numbers. The fashion and food vendors seemed to be the favourites among the crowd. Shadae Henriques/Kicker

Shadae Henriques

Centra NL in collaboration with the Black Business Initiative hosted the Black Owned Market on Feb. 16 at the St. John’s Farmer’s Market.

“This is the first year we have had such a huge number of Black-owned businesses,” organizer Nicole Obiodiaka said. “It is insightful to see how much the Black business scene has grown across the different industries.”

The aroma of various Caribbean and African dishes and treats from businesses such as Caribbean Corner, Jummy Treats and Olaf’s Kitchen filled the air.

The crowd of supporters dispersed to the different booths, eager to examine the products on display.  

One Nation Apparel’s booth was filled with inclusive sizes of vibrant coloured clothes adorned with Kente prints.

Lumorva Candle and Decor offered hand-crafted candles and home decor promoting body positivity.

Capearla Beauty Palour displayed Afro-themed jewelry and accessories. Hair care, skin-care and nail enhancement services are advertised on every flyer handed out.

Obiodiaka says seeing so many people from the community coming together to support the event meant a lot and she is excited that more people are trying out different things from the local Black businesses and hopes that it continues.

Local teenagers Zamir Young and Andrew Bruce both say they are happy about the diversity in St. John’s.

“I think it’s nice to spread awareness and get together,” Bruce said.

Young said, “It’s nice and I love the diversity here, and I really like the jerk chicken as well here. It’s amazing!”

While supporters purchased colourful crafts from the various booths, a DJ played Afro-beat music that had many people dancing along.

A competitive group of young men played a game of cornhole with triumphant shouts echoing through the air.

Families danced together while kids eagerly stood on the 360-photo booth machine to capture videos and pictures.

The MUN Stem Cell Club is on a mission to register more Black donors.

While celebrating all these black-owned creations the MUN stem cell club reminded people that they could save Black lives.

“The Canadian Blood Services registry is composed of less than two per cent of black individuals so it’s really hard for black individuals who need a transplant to find a match within the registry,” said Nawar Adedalhalem, a member of the Stem Cell Club.

Abedalhalem said Black people in need of transplants usually must go into their communities looking for matches, which can be difficult. So, the club aims to bridge the gap by increasing the number of members on the registry.

Individuals can contact the Canadian Blood Services or visit its website to register and donate or get in contact with the MUN stem cell club at to attend the next stem cell drive it conduct.

1 Comment

  1. It is good to see black entrepreneurs been highlighted. It’s also a plus for St.John’s a diversity of goods and services.

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