EatOkra is a Black-owned, business directory app that guides its users to discover Black-owned businesses centered upon food and beverages. Founded in 2016 by Anthony and Janique, who serve, respectively, in development and operations/design, it was created to support Black entrepreneurs while providing potential consumers with alternative ways to use their resources of time and money.
The birth of EatOkra arose from simply wanting to give back to the Black community. However, it quickly became obvious that the app could be utilized as a tool to further preserve and promote Black life and Black spaces, especially in the current trying times.
While eating is a basic need, Janique and Anthony also understand its cultural value for many African-Americans. As they stated on their website, “Gathering and food play a key role in defining our sense of community, and EatOkra provides users with a tool that gives them an opportunity to locate these communities and support them in some way.” Accordingly, sharing a meal is a communal experience, whether it is supporting African-American farmers as they grow food to sell; drinking mango lemonade manufactured from a Black juicer; eating fare from a decade-old, neighborhood restaurant or grabbing a Blackberry Molasses Mimosa at a 5-star rated lounge.
On its site, EatOkra shared that it has been able to link “over 150,000 users to more than 2,600 Black-owned restaurants, bakeries, cafés, food trucks, bars and wineries across the country.” From a physical and economic vantage, being able to provide this valuable service that can build, sustain and expand the Black community.
Also available on the EatOkra site and app are ways that a supporter may donate to further the work of their team as well as purchase great merchandise. With mottos of “Do the Right Thing and Buy Black”, “Black on Black Food” and “EatOkra: I Sowed a Seed” emblazoned, you may buy tees (even for an infant!), aprons, totes and mugs.
Definitely check out this fresh (no pun intended … well, maybe, LOL), user-friendly app and get ready to support amazing Black-owned businesses. These businesses include EatOkra, whose fantastic mission is “to provide a food-themes directory that encourages fellowship through one specific avenue, Black food.”