The Collegian
Friday, August 12, 2022

Black-owned businesses and organizations in Richmond

<p>University of Richmond students can support Black owned-businesses by shopping online or ordering delivery. Featured from top left to bottom right: Soul Taco, Sun &amp; Selene, Brewer's Cafe and Chilalay.&nbsp;</p>

University of Richmond students can support Black owned-businesses by shopping online or ordering delivery. Featured from top left to bottom right: Soul Taco, Sun & Selene, Brewer's Cafe and Chilalay. 

Since the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, a common question often arises: What can I do to support the movement? 

One thing that University of Richmond students, among other people within the U.S., can do is support Black-owned businesses. With many restaurants and stores offering online ordering, students can support local businesses without risk of exposure to the COVID-19. 

The Collegian does not endorse activities that go against UR's Physical Distancing Framework.

Hungry? Here are a few restaurants to try: 

Soul Taco

Soul Taco has three different locations around Richmond. Its menu combines Southern flavors with traditional Latin American food for a one-of-a-kind dining experience that was featured on Food Network’s "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives."

Co-owner Trey Owens, a Richmond native, said he had focused on giving back to his community by organizing voter registration drives and discussing with the mayor how to allocate more funding to Richmond Community High School — his alma mater. 

“The support that I’ve been getting from the community is not lost on me,” Owens said. “I definitely appreciate the support, and I give it right back to the community. I am trying to do everything I can to get the city to be better.” 

Soul Taco also offers the option of online ordering.  

Brewer’s Cafe 

With two different locations, Brewer’s Cafe is a coffee shop serving a wide variety of espresso beverages, fresh-pressed juice and a menu of both breakfast and lunch sandwiches. Brewer’s Cafe has been serving its customers quality food for years and strives to be a place that embraces the culture of Richmond and its diversity. 

Ajay Brewer, once a stockbroker and now cafe owner, described how he opened the coffee shop with the hope of making his community stronger. 

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“It feels good to be able to be in my hometown and be a part of something productive and progressive,” Brewer said. “Improving the city that I grew up in makes me feel really proud.”

In the mood to shop? Here are a few stores to check out:



Chilalay co-owner Earl Mack said he has tried to keep a relaxed mindset — chilalay translates to "chill out" — through their first year of business enduring the COVID-19 pandemic and vandalism from protests in downtown Richmond. 

Chilalay is a clothing store located in downtown Richmond that designs limited private collections. It often collaborates with different artists and organizations in order to create a community of style, art and culture, according to the Chilalay website. Chilalay began as a pop-up store and now has a permanent location that holds local events for its different collections. 

Chilalay has the option of online ordering. 

Sun & Selene 


All of the jewelry pieces sold at Sun & Selene, located in Scott's Addition, are hand crafted by Brittanny DeRaffele in her in-house atelier.  

Sun & Selene is a jewelry brand of individually hammered, polished and finished jewelry, according to the company's website. The owner, designer and jeweler, Brittanny DeRaffele, started the brand in 2017. She was inspired by modern-day goddesses and uses natural gemstones and recycled metals to create her jewelry, according to the company's website.

Sun & Selene has the option of online ordering. 

Here are other local nonprofits you can support:

Girls for a Change 

Girls for a Change is a nonprofit organization located in Central Virginia looking to inspire young women of color, according to the Girls for a Change webpage. Members participate in social change projects in their communities, creating an environment of powerful and engaged young girls, as outlined on its website. Girls for a Change has opportunities to further girls' financial literacy and leadership skills all while getting involved in their own communities and the community that the sisterhood builds. Girls for a Change accepts donations and has many volunteer opportunities, as listed on its Make a Change webpage.

Richmond for All 

Richmond for All is a coalition of organizations and people advocating for equality and justice in the city of Richmond. Focusing on housing, education, justice and democracy rights for every individual, Richmond for All is a member-funded and member-governed nonprofit organization, as defined on its website. There are numerous opportunities to get involved within the organization such as becoming a member of Richmond for All or making a donation towards Richmond for All's cause, as listed under the Get Involved portion of the website. 


SisterFund is a community of Black women who come together, uniting their resources to invest in nonprofits and community-based organizations that work to create a better future for African American women and girls, as written in their mission statement. 

“SisterFund consists of Black women who leverage their resources to impact the level of their giving to non-profit organizations that focus unapologetically on Black women and girls,” SisterFund Chair Evette Roots said. 

SisterFund recently collaborated with the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, a public charity that partners with and funds different local philanthropic organizations. Together, its goal is to increase equality in all systems throughout the city of Richmond, like educational, economic, legal and others, Roots said. 

Contact lifestyle writer Corinne Flaherty at

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