How to Celebrate Black Lives Matter in Los Angeles

Hello fellow Angelenos, during these times many of us are in search of local, family-owned businesses. Fostering diversity in our team, members and partners has always been a core value of ours. With the launch of Amaze, we’re taking it a step further and aspiring to have at least 10% of the businesses on our app be minority owned. Below are a few of our fave black owned businesses that we think you’ll love too. 

Boketto Cold Brew 

Owner Benjamin Westley

First up is this little coffee shop where you can get a quick cup of joe. Located on Broadway, Boketto Cold Brew offers award winning roasts made fresh every week. And the best part, there are no additives or preservatives!
Boketto was initially created by Benjamin Westley while he worked as a Head Concierge at a high end office building. His boss needed something to ease tenants of their stress, thus Westley decided to create a barista service that required buying beans in bulk. When this amenity was no longer needed, Westley supplied beverages to the coworking space in the office and began to receive many compliments on his drinks. Overtime, he started going through 25 gallon kegs of coffee a day, and that is when he knew he had to turn his coffee and tea service into a full time business.

If you want coffee on the go, Boketto also offers Cold Brew Bikes for parties, events, and street vending. They have keg accounts at coworking spaces, production companies, and cafes. Finally, they offer a subscription service where you can receive 1.5 Liter pouches. Taste some of the best cold brew roasts in LA at Boketto, where you can sip on delicious perfection.

Cafe Ruisseau 

A few customer favorites

Established in 2005, Cafe Ruisseau has become one of LA’s finest coffee shops. Located in Playa Vista, CA, and with an additional location in Santa Monica, CA on the way, this coffee shop has truly made its mark in the City of Angels.

Owner Edward began his business in the early 2000s. His family would help out with the widely popular coffee cart delivery service that customers continue to appreciate. As soon as the first Café Ruisseau shop opened, people started buying drinks regularly and the café became a popular hangout spot due to the relaxing outdoor cabana in front of the shop.
Customers love the welcoming atmosphere and dog friendly environment. They keep coming back for the positive vibes and specialty coffee drinks and pastries. The customer favorite is the Honey Lavender Latte. This drink is a sweet combination of honey and lavender crafted with care and accented with a heart shaped dollop of steamed milk. Another feature that makes Café Ruisseau so unique are their vegan options. Customers can choose to customize their milk to any non-dairy option for no additional cost! Plus, there are tons of vegan treats available.

Cafe Ruisseau is definitely one of a kind. With hardworking employees, caring staff, delicious drinks, and a breathtaking atmosphere, this shop is legendary!

Smakk’d Refreshers

16oz. Smakk’D Refreshers

Since 2016, Smakk’d Refreshers has been serving the most creative and tasty custom drinks. Originally as a little addition to Taco Mell in Los Angeles, this business knows a thing or two about hard work and innovation.

Shequoia ‘Coya’ Henderson, the owner of Smakk’d Refreshers first began by making fresh strawberry lemonades for customers at her brother’s restaurant, Taco Mell. After some time, the lemonades became a big hit. Customers would grow hooked and kept coming back for more. Eventually, they decided to expand and make other custom drinks, such as their most popular refresher, the Cotton Candy Koolaid.

What makes these refreshers so unique? Well, according to the makers of these tasty beverages, the refreshers and teas are in a league of their own. SmakkD Refreshers can customize almost anything and make it super addicting. Whether it is using sugar or sugar alternatives, their drinks continue leaving customers wanting more.

Last but not least, coming this September 2020, SmakkD Refreshers will officially be receiving their first ever storefront in Lakewood, CA!

Southern Girl Desserts

Sweet Potato Cupcake

Next on the list is a little dessert shop that will satisfy your sweet tooth, Southern Girl Desserts. This beauty is located in Baldwin Hills Crenshaw has been serving loving customers since 2007. Founded in their one-bedroom apartment in Inglewood, owners Catarah Coleman and Shoneji Robison have been crafting baked goodies based on their family recipes since the early 2000s.

It all started when the two ladies moved to Los Angeles to be in the entertainment industry. They both attended Florida A&M University and first met in LA in 2005. They were introduced to each other by a fellow sorority sister who thought they would make good bakery business partners. Six months after Catarah started Southern Girl Desserts, Shoneji stopped by to chat about a potential collaboration. Little did Shoneji know, Catarah would end up asking her to be business partners, a question to which she immediately agreed. From that point forward, they have continuously been growing their business alongside each other.

Taking simple, yet whole ingredients and turning them into deliciously amazing treats is what makes Southern Girl Desserts so special. Using their unique family recipes, they create a sense of nostalgia for so many of their customers. Desserts such as their peach cobbler and banana pudding take people back to their childhood and remind individuals of their own families. Tasting one of Southern Girl Desserts’ treats is like stepping inside your grandma’s kitchen and smelling the wonders of freshly baked goodies for the first time. These generational and legendary recipes are what inspire the creation of their most popular menu items, the Sweet Potato Cupcake and the Pecan Pie Cupcake.

In all, Southern Girl Desserts brings some sugary Southern-focused flavors to Los Angeles. The Dessert Diva owners “are just two Southern girls who love to bake and want to share that love with others.” Being recognized on E! Network and featured on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars,” this bakery shop is a must!


Chef Keenan Handy 

Craving some fresh BBQ but too lazy to turn the grill on? Hambone’s got you covered! Take a trip to Bellflower, CA or Huntington Beach, CA to experience the magic Chef Keenan Handy has to offer.
Hambone’s, the most popular BBQ in all of Bellflower, first began over twenty years ago. Growing up, Keenan Handy learned about the art of cooking and smoking meat from his parents. In 1992, at only age twenty two, Keenan used the knowledge he acquired to open his very own restaurant in Compton, CA called Hole N The Wall BBQ. Over the years, Hole N The Wall blossomed into the famous Hambone’s Bar and Grill that people know and love today. In 2015, the restaurant expanded and opened a new restaurant in Huntington Beach.

What customers love most about Hambone’s is their consistency and quality. Their food is not only tasty, but provides generous portions for affordable prices. Using only the finest ingredients and highest quality of meat, Hambone’s believes it is of utmost importance to ensure customer satisfaction.

While regulars find it hard to crown one dish as the most popular, there are a few top hits on the menu. Customers really enjoy the Baby Back Ribs, Loaded Fries, and Smoked Pastrami Sandwich. These entrees are usually paired with the Mac n Cheese and Cornbread. But it is recommended that you save room for Hambone’s delicious Banana Pudding or Peach Cobbler for dessert!

Currently, in Huntington Beach Hambone’s is open for dine in, pickup, and delivery, while in Bellflower, they are only open for takeout and delivery. Although California isn’t the first state people usually think of when it comes to BBQ, this fine restaurant offers authentic BBQ you cannot find anywhere else. They are a smokehouse with deep roots in Los Angeles, and find it a privilege to serve the people of Southern California Real California BBQ!

Celebrate Black Lives Matter and support local Black-Owned business today! And don’t forget to download the Amaze app to explore your neighborhood and discover true hidden gems.