*This post is in partnership with OHIO FIND IT HERE.
For the last two weeks, I’ve explored my hometown of Toledo, Ohio by visiting black-owned businesses in the community. Admittedly, most of them were first time experiences. I’ve come to realize I can make a better effort in supporting local black-owned businesses. This post will highlight my personal experiences at 7 black-owned establishments in the Toledo area.
Jera’s Heavenly Sweets
Ste Pl 107
Toledo, OH 43604
I had my first taste of Jera’s heavenly Sweet a few years back at downtown Toledo’s Lunch at Levis Square. I was walking past her tent, I noticed these gigantic cookies laying on the table begging for me to buy them. There were all kinds of treats on the table but the Chocolate Chip Pecan cookie looked the inviting. I bought it and became a forever fan. You can just taste the love and expertise in every bite. This year Jera’s Heavenly Sweet celebrated three years of serving delicious treats in Toledo. I attended the celebration and enjoyed their Peanut Butter Marble Brownie and a Chocolate Chip Cookie. Both very delicious as expected.
Big C’s Smoked Barbecue
On Saturdays, I like to head down to the Toledo Farmers Market for fresh produce and flowers. Last week my mission was to visit Big C’s Smoked Barbeque. A word of caution, at first glance of the menu, you’re going to want to order everything on the menu. As I stood at the truck, along with several other hungry patrons drooling over the menu, you come to see just how much people can bond over good food. We all knew Big C was about to serve up something delicious. And that he did.
I ordered two items of the menu that made my taste buds dance. The BBQ Parfait, a cup filled with layers of pulled bbq chicken, mashed potatoes, melted cheese, coleslaw, with a cherry tomato on top. The layers of flavor in this cup were amazing. I also order their BBQ Split, a trio of baked beans, coleslaw, and bbq pulled chicken.
Johnson Produce Company
524 Pulaski Street
Toledo, OH 43607
In the heart of West Toledo, you will find Johnson’s Produce Company. The first thing I noticed on my first visit there, was the hearty pecans they had. I scooped up a few pounds for my mom. They were so good she had me bring her back a couple of days later for more pecans. I also picked up a few peaches. They were very sweet and perfect for my daughter’s Peach Pecan Ice Cream she made. You’ll find a very nice selection of fruits and veggies at a very reasonable price here at Johnson’s Produce Company.
I have been following the photography journey of James Dickerson on Instagram for some time now. I finally got to meet him a couple of weeks ago during Family Portrait Day. He was one of the featured photographers collaborating with Toledo Metroparks on this particular project. My daughter and I received a free 30-minute photo session with him. He was very professional and had a very calming spirit about him. He told me his photography style was black and white street photography. Walking around meeting people, listening to their stories, and catching those moments. He has a story to tell and the lens is his microphone.
Toledo Chicken & Waffles
39 Vance Street
Toledo, Ohio 43604
If you’re looking for the best Chicken & Waffles in Toledo, look no further than Toledo Chicken & Waffles. After devouring my food I was mad that this was the first time I had had it. Every aspect of my visit was stellar, from the customer service to the food.
Toledo Chicken & Waffles is known for its unique take of the classic combo Chicken & Waffles. They start with a Belgium waffle and top it with Whipped cream, fresh strawberries, and a white chocolate drizzle. The waffle is accompanied by their perfectly seasoned and fried chicken wings with their special sauce. Trust me, it’s delicious.
1179 Crissy Rd.
Holland, Ohio 43528
When I found out that there was a black-owned herb farm in the Toledo area, I just had to go see for myself. When I arrived at the farm, I immediately knew that I was going to have a very pleasant experience. The landscaping was beautiful and so serene. The pathway leading to the market was lined with various plants and herbs. A few hostas caught my eye. You could tell that they were cared for and handled with love.
I stepped inside the shop and was immediately drawn to the spice rack. Owner, Elizabeth Richardson informed me that they make all of their spices and spice blends in house from the herbs that they grow on the farm. They also offer an amazing selection of tea blends, candles, and body scrubs. All made right there on the farm. I left Fangboner Farms with a few treasures and started plotting my return. If you’re looking for a nice quiet getaway, consider booking their farmhouse Airbnb.
801 Nebraska Ave
Toledo, OH 43607
Yummies Too has been a staple in the Toledo community for over 20 years. Known for their delicious colossal fried shrimp, the family-owned establishment has continued to serve quality food throughout the years. The entrepreneurial journey started for Clifford and Jacqueline Russet 30 years ago with the opening of their barbershop My Barber’s Place.
A few years later, they expanded their business venture with the opening of their candy store as a way of giving back to the community. They eventually started selling chili dogs in the candy store which led to them expanding their food selection with the opening of Yummies Too. You can find all three businesses in the same building! My experience was very pleasant here. It felt like home and the food was amazing.