Caribbean cuisine, vegan delicacies, an array of desserts and Afro beats – Black Owned Food Market at Artscape Wychwood Barns in Toronto was the place to be last month to take in the cultural foods and sounds from the African diaspora.
The event was organized by Black Owned Unity, a social enterprise that creates opportunities and supports the Afro-Canadian community with the goal of economic development. The organization’s aim is to raise the next generation of Black business leaders by giving young entrepreneurs access to the tools and resources they need to get ahead. This was their first large food market, a culmination of a couple of years of work, and it was a big success with a few thousand food lovers visiting, said Sepo Achampong, director of Black Owned Unity.
“This event gives entrepreneurs in the Black community a platform to grow their business by giving them access to a wider customer base. It’s especially important for younger business owners who are looking to gain more exposure and grow their brands. It also allows members of the community to find products and services they cannot find elsewhere,” said Achampong.
The food industry was the focus of the event this weekend and it was just a taste of what’s to come this summer. The Black Owned Summer Market at the Exhibition Place on July 27 will feature businesses from all industries, including food. Achampong said the previous summer featured about 130 vendors from various industries including fashion, art, professional services, financial services, beauty, health and more.
You can find more info about the Black Owned Summer Market here.
Story by Amar Shah, former journalist with CBC and CTV News.