Get to know some of Fresno’s best Black-owned businesses.
By Dave Fountinelle | firstname.lastname@example.org
February is typically the time when corporations, advertisers, and the media spotlight the many entrepreneurs, influencers, business leaders, and creators in the Black community for Black History Month. We at Fresno Flyer want to use our platform to shine a light on a few of the many exceptional Black-owned businesses in Fresno as well, in hopes that our readers will support them not just in February, but all year long.
While we have always encouraged our readers to shop local and support valley businesses, we believe it is especially important to support Black-owned businesses for these reasons:
Black businesses typically have less startup capital, access to funding, and face greater barriers to entry compared to their white-owned counterparts, making it harder for them to succeed.
Black businesses were – and continue to be – much more adversely impacted by the pandemic. According to the 2020 McKinsey Report, twice as many Black-owned businesses failed during the pandemic than white-owned ones. Even now, almost three years after the lockdowns have ended, Black business revenues trail the national average by nearly 30%.
Supporting Black entrepreneurship is essential to closing the historical racial wealth gap and providing true equity of opportunity in our society.
Of course, it also helps that all of the businesses on our list offer exceptional products and services as well. When you support Fresno’s Black-owned businesses, you will enjoy some of the best food, fashion, art, and entertainment the valley has to offer. With that, here are a few of the Black businesses every Fresnan should know about.
1230 Fulton St, Fresno
Offering fresh ingredients and high-quality menu items, including real ice cream milkshakes and all-beef hot dogs, as well as a host of healthy options such as turkey burgers, fresh salads and low-carb lettuce wraps, Take 3 made a name for itself among downtown Fresno workers who made it their go-to lunch spot. Word quickly spread and soon the humble burger spot was earning accolades all over the city, including a Fresno Bee People’s Choice award in 2021.
Their centerpiece, of course, are the burgers. Take 3 lets customers create their own personal masterpiece using a variety of toppings including guacamole, bacon, bleu cheese, and grilled onions, to name a few. They can even swap the ground beef patty for a turkey burger or fried chicken option. The sides are on point as well. Fries and onion rings are both served crispy and delicious, and the “Bruce Lee” loaded chili fries topped with chopped bacon are a big hit with customers.
Take 3 is currently closed for reorganization with plans to reopen very soon. Loyal customers and curious foodies are encouraged to follow Take 3 on their socials to find out when they will be back serving up the best lunch grub in downtown.
2220 Herndon Ave, Ste 102, Clovis
Owner Dom Matthews opened his first BBQ restaurant in Gustine back in 2019. He decided to bring his signature wood-smoked BBQ to Clovis in 2022 and has been treating BBQ lovers to some of the valley’s best brisket, tri-tip, ribs, and hot links ever since.
Completely self-taught, Matthews took the Texas BBQ style and added his uniquely Californian twist. The results are mouth watering to say the least, with customers lining up out the door.
In addition to their delicious post oak smoked meats, Kemp BBQ also offers sides including creamy three-cheese mac n cheese, red potato salad, spicy ranch beans, and buttery rice pilaf. And what BBQ plate would be complete without hand-whipped banana pudding?
To stay up to date on all of Kemp BBQ’s offers, including limited specials like their beef “dino ribs,” follow them on their socials.
Smoothies, Salads, Acai Bowls, & more
802 E. Olive Ave, Fresno
With their large selection of low-calorie, healthy, energy boosting, and body nourishing foods and beverages, Tower Blendz has become a popular spot in the Tower District for people looking for something that is not only unique, but also delicious, and guilt-free.
Tower Blendz is more than just invigorating breakfast smoothies, refreshing acai bowls, crisp and delicious salads, mouth-watering wraps, and rejuvenating teas. They also offer health and nutritional education and community engagement through faith-based events to promote a healthy lifestyle. Tower Blendz is more than just a great spot for great food that’s good for you, too. They are changing people’s perceptions of what healthy foods can taste like, while also working to support better nutrition and healthier communities in Fresno.
You can view the Tower Blendz menu, and get lots of tips for healthier living on their socials.
Triumph African Restaurant
Traditional West African Food and Market
5730 N. First St, Ste 109, Fresno
Triumph African Restaurant offers a variety of traditional West African dishes, including jollof (a spicy rice), egusi (a hearty meat soup made with ground melon seeds), and fufu (a starchy ball made from cassava, yams, or plantains). They also serve beef and chicken Suya, which are spiced and smoked meat skewers, as well as meat pies, rice, yams, plantains, beans, fish and more. Triumph African Restaurant offers a delicious culinary experience for Fresno Foodies looking for a unique alternative to the standard dining fare.
In addition to the restaurant, Triumph is also a West African market, offering customers all of the traditional ingredients they’ll need to recreate the various dishes from their menu at home. They also carry a full selection of traditional West African beverages and desserts as well.
Online ordering is available through their website, and more information about both the restaurant and market can be found on their socials.
4712 N. Blackstone Ave, Fresno
Fasika is the Amharic word for Easter, and it refers to the 55-day period where Ethiopians celebrate their most important festival of the year. The festival begins with 8 weeks of fasting to honor the death of Christ, and concludes with a huge feast to celebrate his resurrection.
Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant celebrates the “feast of feasts” with a reverential approach to their traditional dishes, meant to evoke the happiness of the Ethiopian people in the hearts of everyone who passes through their doors.
Appetizers include Sambusas, which are triangle-shaped flatbread stuffed with meat or lentils, garlic, onions, vegetables and spices, and Shiro Wat, a mix of highly-seasoned ground chickpeas and berbere (red chili powder) sauce. The menu also includes many vegetarian options such as Gomen (collard greens cooked with garlic, onions and oil), Azifa (a cold lentil dish with onions, garlic, and jalapenos), sauteed string beans, and much more. Carnivores will no doubt enjoy their tender, marinated beef, chicken, lamb, and fish plates, ranging from mild “tibs” to spicy “wat” varieties.
Fasika’s Kenyan offerings include kebabs of thick, juicy grilled beef and chicken, as well as heaping plates of grilled, marinated chicken and beef. Along with an impressive list of vegetarian dishes that are as healthy as they are delicious.
Dine-in and to-go orders are accepted and their full menu of mouth-watering dishes is available on their website.
Full Circle Brewing Company
Micro Brewery and Live Entertainment Venue
712 Fulton St, Fresno
In 2016, Arthur Moye – a CPA with a passion for homebrewing – took a huge leap when he decided to sell his practice and purchase the Central Valley’s oldest running brewery. Backed by a host of passionate community investors, the rebirth of Full Circle Brewing Company began. In the seven years since then, Full Circle Brewing Co. has become one of Fresno’s most popular microbreweries and beer pubs. It also sports one of the city’s hottest live entertainment venues, attracting a diverse array of musical acts, comedians, and performance artists from all over the country.
Full Circle Brewing Co. beers are available in a number of retailers and big box stores all over California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. So valley beer lovers can bring their favorites home, or sample one of their many IPAs, lagers, shandies, ciders, and more, while enjoying live entertainment from some of the country’s hottest touring acts.
To keep up with their ever-changing menu, place an order, or check out which live shows are coming their way, follow Full Circle Brewing Co. on their socials, or visit their website.
Chef Paul’s Cafe
American Comfort Food
952 F St, Fresno
No list of must-try Black-owned restaurants would be complete without including Chef Paul’s Cafe. Voted one of the top “must-try” Black-owned restaurants in the US by Buzzfeed. Chef Paul Pearson has been serving customers some of the best American soul food you’ll find west of the Mississippi.
Pearson cheerfully serves up his award-winning fried chicken and waffles, mashed potatoes and gravy, fried catfish, seafood gumbo, mac n cheese, collards, chicken fried steak, hot links, ribs and more. (Blankets and pillows not included). The 73-year-old chef greets every customer with a smile and a ‘hello.’ Pearson’s warm and welcoming personality is as much of an attraction for his loyal patrons as the scrumptious menu.
Regular customers know that it’s best to get there early to beat the lunch crowd. At noon, it’s not uncommon to see a line of hungry customers out the door. Even celebrity supermodel and actress Tyra Banks has ventured to Fresno’s Chinatown to enjoy Chef Paul’s delicious cuisine.
Chef Paul’s Cafe is open Wednesday to Sunday, from 11:30am to 4:00pm, and is open until 6:00pm on Thursdays.
Planet Vegan Burgers
Planet Vegan Burgers began in 2019, debuting their plant-based burger food truck at Gazebo Gardens. Over the next three years, Planet Vegan Burgers amassed a loyal following with their delicious vegan takes on everything from burgers and fried chicken sandwiches to tacos and fried mozzarella sticks.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck Planet Vegan Burgers in June, 2022, when a fire in their food truck caused an explosion that left co-owner Joe Ellis badly injured with burns on 35% of his body. Since then, Ellis has undergone multiple surgeries and extensive rehabilitation, while the food truck community rallied together and a GoFundMe campaign raised thousands to help his recovery.
Planet Vegan Burgers hopes to return in 2023, with the same amazing menu of all-vegan American diner classics that made them one of Fresno’s most popular food trucks. Follow Planet Vegan Burgers on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news and updates, and to help support their speedy return.
King Kulture Clothing
Online Apparel Store
“Bigger than business, more than merch, King Kulture is a movement.” Those are the words King Kulture Clothing uses to describe itself on the company’s website. Their mission is more than just building a successful business selling high-quality branded clothing. King Kulture Clothing wants to empower other Black entrepreneurs and help uplift Black communities in Fresno and the Central Valley. Whether they are selling clothes and merchandise, or hosting community events all over Fresno, King Kulture Clothing is committed to Black empowerment and helping to create real opportunities for positive change.
It is with that goal in mind that King Kulture Clothing partners itself with other up-and-coming Black businesses. Owner Isaiah Maxwell created King Kulture not just as a showcase for his own clothing brand, but as an online market where other Fresno entrepreneurs can network and grow their own businesses as well. King Kulture Clothing is always looking for other local entrepreneurs to connect and do business with.
King Kulture is more than just a clothing brand, it is a mindset and a lifestyle. All of their original designs are available on their website, along with the hottest styles from other local urban fashion brands.
Women’s Clothing and Accessories
1675 W. Lacey Blvd, Hanford
Keba’s Boutique is a body-positive women’s clothing and accessories store that carries a wide variety of styles and sizes from XS to 4XL. Jeans, dresses, jumpsuits and rompers, fashion sets, fitness outfits, tops and bottoms, intimates, jewelry, and so much more are available both online and at their Hanford location.
In addition to Keba’s Boutique’s everyday low prices, they also offer monthly giveaways and their “bestie program,” where customers can enjoy up to 15% off by bringing in a friend’s in-store or online receipt within seven days of their purchase.
To check out Keba’s Boutique’s massive inventory of clothing, shoes, and accessories, keep updated on their sales and enter their monthly giveaways, visit their website and follow them on Instagram.
Iron Bird Fitness
Full-Service Gym, Personal Trainers, and Fitness Classes
814 E. Olive Ave, Fresno
Iron Bird’s mission is to build a healthier community by creating a space that will empower and equip its clients to live a sustainable lifestyle through fitness, nutrition, and a positive mindset. It is with that objective in mind that Iron Bird provides a fully-equipped gym, along with friendly and knowledgeable personal trainers, to assist clients in creating a personalized lifestyle plan that will empower them to achieve their health and fitness goals.
Iron Bird takes a comprehensive approach to health and fitness for their clients, dubbed “The Iron Bird Process.” It is a 4-step program that begins with strength training, followed by nutritional coaching, then monthly testing and measurements to chart progress, and lastly massage and bodywork to aid recovery. Iron Bird’s staff is committed to giving their clients the best, total lifestyle program available in the Central Valley.
For more information, including registration details, visit the Iron Bird website, and stay connected through their socials.
NoLa Designer Cuts
1901 Fulton St, Ste 111, Fresno
For nearly a decade, Troy Simeon entertained Fresno Grizzlies fans as Parker T. Bear, the team’s official mascot. When the pandemic hit, and live events were suspended, Simeon found himself in hibernation. Rather than give up and return to his hometown of New Orleans, Simeon decided to start a new career as a barbershop owner. In 2021, Simeon opened NoLa Designer Cuts on Fulton St in downtown, just a few blocks from his old employer.
“Fresno is my home… I embraced this community and the community embraced me back,” Simeon says.
In addition to providing customers with the latest in men’s hairstyles, Simeon is also dedicated to giving back to the community that has supported him. NoLa Designer Cuts has partnered with various Fresno businesses, including Tioga Sequoia Brewing Co. and Tower Blendz, to give away backpacks, school supplies, and free haircuts for kids in need.
Fresberg Cartoon is the brainchild of Roshell and Franky Franklin, two local artists and content creators who came up with a fun and entertaining way to teach parents and kids interesting facts about important events and individuals in Black history, as well as some valuable life lessons. Fresberg Cartoons tell the stories of famous Black celebrities, politicians, and civil rights leaders in funny and informative animated shorts on their YouTube channel. From contemporaries like artists J Cole and Niki Minaj, athlete Patrick Mahomes, and Vice President Kamala Harris, to historical figures such as George Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X, Fresberg Cartoons presents fun facts in a humorous way that is both educational and engaging. Fresberg cartoons also uses humor to break the ice on important subjects like bullying, leadership, and more.
You can view all of the Fresberg Cartoons videos on their YouTube channel.
Social Media Sidekick
Social Media Marketing Firm
Shatera Sangster is the founder and CEO of Social Media Sidekick. A Fresno State graduate with a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis on marketing, Shatera spent nine years working with clients in various industries before finally deciding to go into business for herself as a social media marketing consultant.
Shatera developed a unique perspective on digital marketing, influenced by the shift from traditional broadcast media to social media across various platforms. During the pandemic, many businesses were forced to pivot to online sales to stay open, and Shatera put her marketing strategy into action, helping a number of local businesses transition into the digital marketing space.
Shatera’s approach to social media marketing not only helped many local businesses avoid closure during the pandemic, but positioned them to succeed in the new online marketplace and social media advertising landscape that rose from the ashes of the pre-pandemic economy.
Social Media Sidekick’s goal is to assist businesses and entrepreneurs with all their digital marketing needs including graphic design, social media, ads, campaigns and more.
For more information, contact Social Media Sidekick through their website or their socials.
339 W. D St, Ste F, Lemoore
In 2017, Tommy and Rachel Nix decided to go to an escape room experience to celebrate their 10th anniversary. Afterwards, the couple were inspired to create their own escape room business to bring the fun and challenging experience to Lemoore. Their creation, Lemoore Labyrinth, is a room escape game where participants solve a series of unique puzzles to move closer to the task at hand.
The Diamond Heist opened in 2017 and NixWorx’s Lemoore Labyrinth escape room was born. The Porch Pirates room opened next, followed by Outbreak. Lemoore Labyrinth quickly became the talk of the town, with groups of friends and families booking the rooms for unique and exciting nights of fun.
Pandemic social gathering restrictions forced Lemoore Labyrinth to go on hiatus, but they reopened in 2021 and have been going strong ever since. Lemoore Labyrinth is open seven days a week, and are booking now through their website.
MKG Tax Consultants
Tax, Accounting, and Audit Service
4021 N. Fresno St, Ste 107, Fresno
With tax season here, most of us could use some tax advice, help with filing, and so on. MKG Tax Consultants is a diversified digital finance company focused on serving low-income and moderate income communities while promoting financial education.
Among the services MKG offers for individuals are tax preparation, tax debt resolution, financial planning, wealth management, and alternative banking solutions. For businesses, MKG provides assistance with incorporation, bookkeeping and payroll, retirement planning, and more. MKG can help businesses and individual clients plan for retirement, reduce their tax liability, get the maximum tax return, and build credit.
MKG can provide small business capital, cash pass visa cards, and even help with buying a home. They offer a number of tax resolution and client advisory services to help low and moderate income families achieve financial security and build generational wealth. For more information, visit the MKG Tax Consultants website.