It was about time we put together a list of our favorite black-owned businesses in Amsterdam. It’s time to put our euros where our mouths are and empower our local community. Feel free to add in the comments down below any business you love and we may have forgotten. The more the merrier.
It started with a picture of a chicken & waffles box on my feed. It was the first time I spontaneously decided to try food based on an Instagram recommendation. We were still in isolation, my boyfriend and I, and somehow this American classic felt like the perfect Sunday treat for us. I went ahead and ordered, for the first time, a brunch box from Water & Brood, which I picked up at the location. The dish was crispy, juicy, and full of texture. It became an absolute favorite. Then I learned about the story of the place and how involved the owners are in the local BML scene. We immediately decided this is a business we want to support. Their terrace in the Weesperplein area is open again (yey!), with the option of takeaway.
Water & Brood
Nieuwe Kerkstraat 84, Amsterdam
+31 (0) 6 410 780 60
The first time I ordered from Mooshka was on my birthday. I was happy to find them on the affordable app TooGoodToGo so I could pick up a tasty injera and carrot cake that would have gone to the bin otherwise. I kept ordering from time to time. Mooshka was also my first pick when I first decided to have lunch outside, post lockdown. Seeing the place coming to life made me happy, sharing a Fried ‘n Tippy with a friend even more: brown rice noodles with grilled portobello, fried plantains, leeks, bell peppers, and green peas. Yum! This fusion of soul food with a black ethnic background and modern twist will feed the vegan souls out there.
Van Woustraat 110, Amsterdam
Shortly after lockdown commenced, I started dealing with hay fever, intensified by the amount of dust coming in the house from a construction site across. I thought of getting some air-purifying plants, but damn, I had no idea how I could keep plants alive in my room! Yes, I am known for being a lady plant-killer. Coincidentally, I saw an online training on plants for beginners with @plantmom.amsterdam. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but there I was one evening, taking notes, fully immersed in a well-structured workshop prepared by Monai, who is from NYC and has been living in Amsterdam for a while. I am proud to report that I managed not to kill any of the five babies that now live in my room. If you want to learn how to grow plants, head out to her handles, and know that she also has an online store from where to buy all things greenery. Stay tuned for her crowdfunding campaign, too, as she’s getting ready for the launch of her physical shop in Amsterdam West! Btw, did you know there are very few plant shops owned by PoC (People of Colour) in Europe? Hers will be the first one in NL.
Labyrinth was the chosen spot for a belated celebration of birthdays, my friend Linda’s, and mine. It was the perfect occasion to try one of the last cocktail bars that I still had on my bucket list (check the pictures on the header). That cold evening of January we sat at a table with two girls we didn’t know. The cocktails warmed us up along with the emotion-fueled poetry night that was taking place. By the end of the evening, we all had a deep conversation about the society we live in and how we experience culture and art in a city like Amsterdam. I realized we were doing an exercise of acknowledging how our ethnic backgrounds, culture, and ultimately privileges, influence the way we perceived these topics. Kudos to the owner and Cameroon-born mixologist Samuel Kingue Ebelle and his partner Lincie Kusters who put a lot of heart into everything they do, from the food and drinks to the events. “Eclectic, warm and friendly Labyrinth loves diversity and embraces creativity.”, they say. Their atmosphere and crowd reflect just that.
1075 VT Amsterdam
+3120 845 0972
In between African music and dance performances, and some spicy soul food, I spotted a colorful stand of headbands and wraps. I fell in love with the patterns. We were at the Kwaku Festival 2019, and the girls behind Talking Prints were so friendly as to teach me how to wrap the scarf around my head correctly, so I brought my favorite home with me. I’ve been wearing it quite often ever since for some color on grey Amsterdam days. The accessories are produced sustainably by a group of women from a rainforest area in Suriname, where no other work was available. Talking Patterns can be found both at festivals and the Tropenmuseum. You can also order from their online shop and learn how to wrap your scarf on their cool YouTube channel.
♥ Other power businesses to support:
Bakery: Majeiteit Taart
Vegan Food: TerraZen Centre
Guided tours: Black Heritage Tours
Personal Trainer: Amina Zena Fitness
Tour Guide: Wanderlust Mama & Co.
Book Store: Mendo Books
Personal & business growth: Creative Women Collective
Elise Gherlan is a Photographer and UX/UI Designer from Transylvania, Romania, living in NL for over 8 years. She gets her energy from working with sustainable businesses and with people that want to make the world a better place. She is passionate about culture, diversity, art and design, and she is always open to having a chat over a hot chocolate!
Find her on Instagram: @visuelise
Check out her work: emgphotovideo.com