When in Anchorage, Check Out These Black-Owned Businesses
We’ve rounded up a list of some fantastic Black-owned businesses to stop by while you’re visiting Alaska’s largest city.
Food & Beverage
Anchorage is known to have one of the highest concentrations of coffee shops per capita, so you’ll have an abundance of choices for your morning brew. The Drip, located in Anchorage’s Spenard neighborhood, is known for serving up Instagram-worthy coffee that packs a punch in personality and flavor. Owners Mychal and Rafael Moore started the business during the pandemic and chose to make a splash with the rich purple color of their stand. A color they hope leaves customers inspired and uplifted as they take their drinks to go. Their candy frappes will satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth, and smoothies and energy drinks offer something for the non-coffee drinkers in your group. Of course, they also make fantastic classic espresso drinks. Stop by on your next visit!
Eva’s CupCakery is a sweet stop you won’t want to miss. A love of travel led owner Eva Perry to enlist in the United States Air Force, an adventure that took her all over the world and eventually to Anchorage. Since retirement, her lifelong dream of owning a bakery has come to fruition and now she has a storefront in Anchorage’s Fairview neighborhood. Flavors like sweet potato, sour cream pound cake, red velvet, and hummingbird showcase Perry’s Southern roots, and an always rotating selection of flavors keeps customers coming back again and again.
A community-minded restaurant serving sweet and savory waffles, Waffles and Whatnot is a tried-and-true hit the entire family will enjoy. The restaurant began as a picnic table on Anchorage sidewalks and its popularity led owner Derrick Green to upgrade to a food truck. Green concocted his original batter recipe wanting to create something both delicious and nutritious while his wife was undergoing chemotherapy. Now with a brick and mortar location along Muldoon Avenue in Northeast Anchorage, Waffles and Whatnot has been featured on the Food Network, in Entrepreneur Magazine, and USA Today. Try it out, and if you love it, you can even take home their signature waffle and pancake mix as a souvenir.
At Sweet Creations Lollipop Boutique, you will quite literally feel like a kid in a candy store. Owner Missy Simms set out to create a neighborhood candy store in her hometown Mountain View neighborhood that would feel like the places she and her friends flocked to as children. In addition to an extensive candy collection, Sweet Creations offers personalized packages including custom and made-to-order candies, candy arrangements, chocolate bouquets, and more.
Arts & Culture
Akela Space gallery is a must-visit location in downtown Anchorage and a great way to experience Anchorage’s local art scene. The gallery curates monthly shows featuring contemporary Alaska artists, kicking off on the first Friday of each month as part of downtown Anchorage’s art walk. It also hosts a variety of community pop-up events, intimate concerts featuring local musicians, and more. Akela Space is co-owned by Jovell Rennie and Young Kim. Both are local photographers and creators. Rennie is the lead behind the storytelling project “Black in Alaska” which shares positive stories about Black Alaskans.
We can’t think of anything much more brilliant than a vending machine stocked with the essentials for anyone traveling with young children. Founder and CEO Jasmin Smith is a mother of twins and came up with the idea for Baby Vend after running out of diapers in the middle of the mall one day. Her vending machines, stocked with anything a parent might carry in their diaper bag, can now be found at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC), 5th Avenue Mall, Anchorage Museum, and the Dimond Center.
Want to immerse yourself in Anchorage cultures even more, be sure to check out our blog post on how our city is one of the most diverse cities in the U.S.