* Editor’s note: As the Triad, along with the rest of the United States, mourns the tragic, and quite frankly, unjust deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, I wanted to use YES! Weekly’s platform to dedicate this week’s #8GR8 list to spotlight and celebrate some of the Triad’s favorite black-owned businesses.  

1. Stock up on some soap, body butter, or essential oils at Black Belt Soap Co.! According to the website, Black Belt Soap Co. “is dedicated to producing premium, wholesome products for the entire family.” Owner and founder Temeka Carter started out by making her own soaps and essential oil blends as gifts for her family. According to the website, "When sharing these gifts with family, I was reminded that my great grandmother,  Joretta Spencer, who lived to be 100 years old, also made natural soaps. I was encouraged to share my natural skincare products with others, hence the development of my company." The company is also philanthropic, as it donates a “part of our proceeds to support underserved communities in The Black Belt region of Alabama, which continues to be defined by the legacy of slavery and the plantation agriculture system. Alabama’s Black Belt characteristics include low taxes on property, high rates of poverty and unemployment, low-achieving schools, and high rates of out-migration. The Black Belt is home to a large proportion of Alabama’s African American population and has a high number of single-parent households,  high teen birth rates, and poor access to health-care services.” For more information about Black Belt Soap Co., visit the website and stay connected via FacebookTwitterand Instagram. 

2. Treat yourself to some yummy goodies from The Sweet Truth Bakery, located at 2723 Farmall St. in Winston-Salem. Owner Faith McKnight started cooking and baking when she was 8 years old and continued to do so when she was enlisted in the U.S. Army. The Sweet Truth started out as a home-bakery but expanded to a brick-and-mortar location within the last year. (The Sweet Truth was the subject of YES! Weekly’s cover story on May 1, 2019.) According to the website, The Sweet Truth sells whole specialty cakes, cake slices, cake pops, pies/cobblers, bars, brownies, as well as homemade tea and Caribbean sorrel. The Sweet Truth is currently holding a Raffle Contest, where two lucky winners will receive half a dozen of baker’s choice cupcakes! Like, share and comment on the posts on social media to enter, and the deadline to enter is Sunday, June 14. For more information, visit the website and keep up with The Sweet Truth via Facebook and Instagram.

3. Greensboro folks can treat themselves to some sweets by the family-owned bakery, Savor The Moment! Located at 1117 Coliseum Blvd., this bakery offers a wide variety of their Signature Crunch cheesecakes, custom cakes for weddings/birthdays, French macarons, bagels, cupcakes, pies, pastries, ice cream (and milkshakes), as well as coffee (hot, iced and frappes). Due to COVID-19, Savor The Moment now offers curbside pickup! For more information, visit the website or keep in the loop via Facebook and Instagram. 

4. For those hankering cheesecakes specifically, look no further than Uncle Cheesecakes, located at 3800 Tinsley Dr. in High Point! Uncle Cheesecake, aka Chef MonkonJay, aka Daniel Gray, is a veteran, firefighter, and local celebrity after he garnered attention from competing on the cooking show, Chopped, in 2018. Uncle Cheesecakes offers over 70 flavors of cheesecake in 4-inch, 8-inch, 9-inch, and 10-inch sizes. For more information, visit the website or keep up with him on Facebook and Instagram. 

5. Wash down all that sweetness with a cup of Joe from Cam’s Coffee Creations, located at 101 N. Chestnut St. in Winston-Salem. Cam’s Coffee was the subject of the YES! Weekly cover story on March 28, 2018.) Cam’s Coffee was created by a 9-year-old (now 11) who wanted to help students that had developmental disabilities. According to the website, “Camden, affectionately called Cam, suffers from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), causing both cognitive and physical delays. Simple tasks, such as tying shoes or holding a pencil, are extremely difficult for Cam. As he aged, he became increasingly aware of his shortcomings, and his self-esteem suffered greatly. We started a pop-up style coffee business as a hobby to help him elevate his strengths and to be empowered with the knowledge that he is a person of value.” Cam’s was also the first Winston-Salem organization that created “gainful employment opportunities specifically for individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities.” To shop and learn more about Cam’s mission, visit the Cam’s Coffee Creations websiteand stay connected via social media (FacebookYouTubeInstagram).   

6. Summertime is almost here, which means the backyard could use a good mowing, so be sure to call Hope Lawn Care for all of your landscaping needs! According to their Facebook page, Hope Lawn Care’s motto is “caring for people while we care for your lawn.” Hope Lawn Care is owned/operated by Sarah and Mike Avery, and their business is a social enterprise that seeks “to raise economic mobility amongst high-risk populations through job training in a lawn care setting.” Hope Lawn Care offers services such as “lawn maintenance, hedge trimming, weeding, mulching” as well as laying pine needles. Hope Lawn Care made headlines at the beginning of June after the neighbor of a client called the Winston-Salem Police Department to report the crew members for being in the neighborhood doing yardwork while black and brown. Give Hope Lawn Care a call at (336) 588-5315 to learn more about pricing and services, and be sure to follow them on Facebook.

7. Grab your booze for this weekend from NextStop, located at 1700 Stanley Rd. in Greensboro! Owned by Jeremy Nelms since 2016, NextStop offers craft beer, mixers, fine cigars, and premium wine for an in-store purchase or via deliveryFor more information, visit the NextStop Facebook page.

8. Check out Mother’s Finest Urban Farm for fresh produce, tonics, honey, Elderberry syrup, and healing salves! Owner and “farm mother “Samantha Foxx is an urban farmer and beekeeper based in Winston-Salem, who grows and makes all of her products on 2.5 acres of land in an urban setting. According to the website, Foxx’s “education and experience has to lead her innovative path on a journey as one of the leading healing forces of Holistic Remedies, Farming, and Beekeeping. Servicing the community with authentic love and support for the healing and growth of her family, friends, and village.” Foxx also offers beekeeping classes, in addition to her CSA Box membership program, which is a weekly box composed of “fresh produce, fresh farm eggs ( as available), recipes and individual or family activities, and informational pamphlets.” For more information about Mother’s Finest, and for a complete list of products and pricing, visit the websiteand to keep up-to-date with Mother’s Finest Urban Farms, visit the Facebook page. 

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