Get us in your inbox

Prick - specialist shops in London
Photograph: Prick

Black-owned shops in London that should be on your radar

Support Black-owned businesses in London with our list of shops and salons

Written by
Vivienne Dovi

Nothing says ‘I support Black businesses’ quite like putting your money where your mouth is. So we’ve pulled together a few recommendations from London’s ever-increasing list of Black-owned shops. We’re so used to running to the newest pop-up store in the capital or falling down a rabbit hole while shopping online, but there is something special about visiting a brand with a permanent space that you can always return to.

While many of the businesses below – which range from up-and-coming to more established brands, and offer a mixture of services and products to take home – will have to shut up physical shop during lockdown, you can add them to your online bookmarks now for all your Christmas shopping needs. And then make a beeline for them as soon as they’re able to open up safely again.

London Black-owned shops and salons

  • Health and beauty
  • Beauty salons
  • Brixton

The eponymous Ama Quashie opened this stylish place in 2018 as the first natural nail salon in Brixton – featuring polish brands that are up to 90 percent natural, vegan and cruelty-free. Now you can invest in nail treatments while knowing you are doing good for the world. Vibing to R&B, soul and hip hop soundtracks during your treatment is all part of the experience.

We love a great success story, and Black Cowboy Coffee offers just that. Started as a small stall, founder John Otagburuagu stepped it up a notch and invested in a horsebox trailer to sell hot and iced drinks. Now you can buy the same goods at a new permanent café at Elephant Arcade. If you love the taste, you can even buy coffee beans to take away with you.

  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and sweets
  • Brick Lane

From a stall at Borough Market to now having two locations on Brick Lane, this popular chocolate shop uses Ghanaian cocoa beans to impress you with a massive selection of decadent chocolates – think apricot truffles and mango pearls. If you can only visit for one item, though, choose its showstopping hot chocolate, topped with generous shavings of milk, dark and white choc.

Over the last few years we’ve had the pleasure of following Nia’s journey from cutting hair to becoming a natural hair influencer and growing an empowering online community – so we’re in full support of her new venture as a salon owner. The intimate space in Crouch End works on all types of curls and treats your hair how you would treat it yourself: gentle, but thorough. 

This was the first-ever independent Black bookstore and publisher in the UK and has been trading for more than 50 years. After a stint of uncertainty, the shop bounced back in 2017 by raising more than £10,000 to renovate and build a website. When you go to the Finsbury Park space, you’ll be greeted by Black icons all over the wall and with books from Africa, the Caribbean, Black Britain and more.

Inspired by global influences from founder Isatu Funna’s travels, Dar Leone primarily houses reinterpreted West African home goods, jewellery and lifestyle objects in a cute boutique and design studio in Islington. We’re in love with colourful vintage West African textile prints that you can buy by the metre and will cost you around £65.

  • Shopping
  • Florists
  • Dalston

Plants are great and all, but they can demand so much attention. Thankfully, Prick resolves this by only stocking low-maintenance specimens – cacti, in particular. If you need tips on how to look after your new babies, Gynelle Leon’s quasi-greenhouse in Dalston stocks plant guidebooks, too. At the moment, the store is only open on Saturdays, when you can snag your first perennial for as little as £4.

Based in Peckham Palms – an Afrocentric retail space supporting hair and beauty business owners of colour – this salon has one mission only: to make you look snatched. You can get your hair, nails and lashes done in one spot before taking a picture or video in front of the salon’s well-known flower wall in the hope that you make it on to its popular Instagram page. Fellas, they’ve got you on Fridays with a dedicated men’s day.

This children’s bookshop is carrying the publishing industry on its back, providing an inclusive space for children to find characters who look just like them. What started as a pop-up store now has a physical venue in Brixton that stocks stories that are diverse in race, gender, social mobility and more. This is definitely a great place to source gifts for future generations.

Telling you that there is a hot doughnut bar here, where snacks are cooked to order, should be enough to make you leg it down to Treats Club. This business has been around since 2018 as an online operation, but found a permanent home in Hackney’s Netil Market in July 2020. Doughnuts with customisable glazes and toppings are the highlight, but you can also order ice-cream bars and shakes, too.

    You may also like
    You may also like

    The best things in life are free.

    Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

    Loading animation
    Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

    🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

    Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!