17 Food and Beverage Small Businesses That Are Making Our Stomachs Growl

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Welcome to Small Business Week! Join us in celebrating local shops, mom-and-pops, and more.

You're going to want to grab a napkin or two because you're about to drool over what we have to show you. In honor of Hunker's Small Business Week, we'd love nothing more than to spotlight some of our favorite food and beverage brands that are making delicious waves in their respective industries.

You'll want to bookmark the following food and beverage small businesses ASAP.

Inspired by the food she ate in the fly restaurants (which attract diners like flies) in her hometown of Chengdu, China, Jing Gao founded Fly By Jing in 2018. Now, they sell different spices, sauces, and crisps that pack a flavor punch.

Celeste Perez and Adrienne Borlongan founded Droplet — a sparkling, stress-balancing adaptogen drink — with the idea of "self-care in every sip." Their goal is to create products that help consumers feel balanced and calm, minus the harmful ingredients.

The Murphy family launched Enspice in 2019 to offer spices packed with nutrients. However, three years prior, it all started with the Enspice Children's Foundation, which provides nutritious meals to in-need children across the globe.

4. Omsom

"We started Omsom to bring proud, loud Asian flavors to your fingertips any day of the week, sitting in your pantry right between the tomato sauce and olive oil," writes founders and sisters Vanessa and Kim Pham. "No more diluted dishes, no more cultural compromise. Real deal Asian cuisine and communities are too damn delicious to deny."

Maritza Abreu created Pisqueya in 2016 to bring her Dominican family's hot sauce recipes to the rest of her community. This was after her parents lost their beloved restaurant, Puerto Viejo, in a fire. Once the establishment was rebuilt, Abreu quickly realized just how much their customers loved their sauces and the idea for Pisqueya was born.

Founded by Lola Dweck of Lola's Cocina, Lola's Mercadito sells gourmet and artisan goods that pay homage to Mexican culture. She sells salsa, jam, sugar, Mexican vanilla, and more, and the proceeds from these products go toward supporting women in business, education, and leadership.

Erica Barrett founded SoCu Kitchen (aka Southern Culture Foods) after going to the grocery store for pancake ingredients and thinking, "Why do I have to grab so many ingredients and — come on — why is my bill $30 for one recipe?!" Now, Barrett sells her own pancake and waffle mixes along with coffee, seasonings, grits, and more.

"I wanted to create an easy way to get my Indian snack fix delivered directly to me," writes Indifix founder and CEO Zain Ali. "I spent time hand-selecting over 200+ Indian snacks & treats and employed my American friends to try each one & almost all were an absolute hit ... A box full of authentic Indian goodies delivered to your door wasn't just the homesick Indian students' dream, but also a way for others to explore the incredible flavors of India, all from the comfort of their home."

This led to the creation of Indifix, an Indian goods subscription service that also sells individual boxes for consumers' enjoyment. For every box purchased, Indifix will also donate at least one meal to an Indian child in need.

Chef Ashley Rouse's Brooklyn-based company offers fruit jams that are vegan and low in sugar, but high in flavor. Rouse also teaches jam classes to children at underprivileged schools and hopes to one day use her leftover jams to feed those in need.

"We are often asked how we got started with beekeeping. Our journey with bees began largely when we moved to Hunterdon County from Montclair, nearly five years ago," writes founders and couple Summer and Kam Johnson. "Zach, our youngest child, has asthma and suffered from very bad seasonal allergies, which naturally worsened when we moved to Kingwood Township and its rural surroundings."

After figuring out that raw honey significantly helped with Zach's allergies, the family became beekeepers set on producing honey with zero additives and pesticides. Zach & Zoe Sweet Bee Farm (named after their children) is the result of this.

Childhood friends Rod Johnson and Pernell Cezar's goal was to create a coffee company with purpose. That's why BLK & Bold donates 5% of its profits to organizations dedicated to eradicating youth homelessness, improving workforce development, and supporting youth programming.

In 2005, the McBride sisters (Robin and Andréa) developed the McBride Sisters wine collection and since then, it has become the largest Black-owned wine company in America. The McBrides aim to maintain sustainability and social awareness, while inspiring women to reach for their goals.

After being bought by the Chicksaw Nation in 2000, Bedré Fine Chocolate has become the only fine chocolate brand created by an Indigenous tribe. "Given our strong ties to our culture and community, we make an effort to give back to the land and people who support us," reads the company's Our Story page. "Bedré Fine Chocolate enjoys contributing to educational, health and wellness programs and also supports the endeavors of a number of philanthropic organizations within the Chickasaw Nation."

In 2014, Ayeshah Abuelhiga started Mason Dixie to serve comfort food (like scones, rolls, and biscuits) without processed ingredients. She was inspired by her immigrant parents, who served quality homestyle meals out of their carry-out restaurant and convenience store.

Chief Chai Officer Farah Jesani established One Stripe Chai Co. in 2015 so that she could bring Chai back to its South Asian roots. In particular, Jesani wanted to create a chai brand that paid homage to her Indian heritage.

The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation started Séka Hills in 2010 to sell the products they farm on their homeland in California's Capay Valley. These foods include olive oil, nuts, wine, honey, hummus, and more.

In 2011, Anthony Sobotik and Chad Palmatier opened Lick Honest Ice Creams to sell ice creams made with pure ingredients. Their milk and cream come from a family-owned dairy farm located in Central Texas, while their sauces, cakes, marshmallows, cookies, and syrups are made by hand in their company kitchen. The brand also offers national delivery through Goldbelly.


When Anna Gragert isn’t trying to create a groundbreaking third-person bio for herself, she's working as the senior lifestyle editor at Hunker. Her email: anna.gragert@hunker.com

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