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Black Restauranteurs, Retailers, and and Artists Make South End Vibrant and Innovative

How to support Black business owners and artists in the neighborhood.

South End is a thriving, vibrant, and innovative neighborhood because of the small businesses and art that are part of our community. From tagging artists on social media to using your purchasing power at retail shops and restaurants, there are plenty of ways to support Black owned businesses and artists in South End

Meet the Black Owned Restaurateurs and Retailers in the Neighborhood:

Two Scoops Creamery

There's always room for another scoop. Two Scoops Creamery, famous for their unique (and sometimes blue!) ice cream flavors, was founded by three best friends who share a mutual love for ice cream. Marques Johnson learned how to make ice cream from his family, Jae Hatchett is the Managing Partner scooping up good vibes in stores, and Rich Moyer is a professional golfer and entrepreneur. 


Five13 Studio

Shop till you drop at Five13 Studio! Owner Jekia Benson, a forever fashion lover, began her career as an IT specialist slash stylist. She started growing the shop's online presence in 2013, before opening a brick-and-mortar shop in the Shops at the Winnifred in fulfillment of her college dream to own a boutique clothing store. Jekia continues to bring vibrancy to South End with her style and help in organizing signature neighborhood events!


Photo by LunahZon Photography

The Brown Sugar Collab

DeAnna Allen, owner of The Brown Sugar Collab, is an unstoppable force in the South End community. She works to envision the future of the neighborhood as a member of the South End Board Committee. The Brown Sugar Collab opened at the Shops at the Winnifred in 2020, with nearly all products found in the bath and body shop being made by businesses owned by women of color. Buy something from The Brown Sugar Collab and you support not only DeAnna's business, but other woman-owned business in the community as well!

Follow The Brown Sugar Collab on Instagram

1501 South Mint

1501 is a neighborhood hangout and craft cocktail lounge owned by Lezlie Briggs. Lezlie has worked in the restaurant industry since college. She is a fearless entrepreneur who says: “You never know until you do it.  Have your faith, be willing to take a chance.”


704 Shop

704 Shop is owned by three formed UNC Charlotte roommates, Scott Wooten, Jerri Shepard, and Christopher Moxley. Scott and Christopher are from Charlotte, and Jerri is from Statesville. The trio share a mutual love for their hometowns and created the apparel brand as a way to show pride in the Queen City. 


Kika Stretch Studios

Feel in tune with your body at Kika Stretch Studios, owned by former professional dancer Kika Wise. Kika Stretch has 14 locations, and Kika is one of just three Black women franchisors in the United States. 


Bentala Salon

Benny Watkins never thought that he would become a salon-owner. He started his career as a mechanic, following in his father's footsteps in his hometown of Rockingham, NC. He started cutting hair as a way to avoid weekly visits to the barbershop, and later made the tough decision to join the Army during operation Desert Storm. He was injured during his time in the military, and later used his mechanical engineering skills as a prop-master at Paramount. When it came time to start building a family, Benny enrolled in Dudley's Beauty College. He worked as a top-stylist in various salons before opening Bentala Salon in 2009, making it one of the longest-standing businesses in the neighborhood. 


Coterie Concept

Jekia Benson and DeAnna Allen, owners of Five13 Studio and The Brown Sugar Collab, had an idea to create a "black box" retail space in South End, where different businesses can pop-up to showcase their products for a short amount of time. Coterie Concept, made possible through an Innovation Fund grant, will allow businesses to test the waters of brick-and-mortar retail without the commitment, or limitations from banks and landlords. 

Follow Coterie concept on instagram

Click the photo to learn more about Paul Brewington of Brewington Farms (video by Carolina Farm Trust)

South End Market at Atherton

Pick up all your weekly grocery staples at the South End Market. The farmer's market hosts dozens of vendors at Atherton Mill every Saturday from 8 am-1 pm, including many talented Black farmers and artisans. See the rotating list of vendors.

Did you know? Black Americans own less than 1% of rural land compared to White Americans, who own more than 98% of land in the United States. Support local Black farmers to help create equity in land ownership in our communities. Learn more about racial discrimination in farmland ownership through the story of Justin Tillery, a Black farmer in North Carolina.


Photo by Scoop Charlotte

Uptown Yolk

Uptown Yolk is coming soon to South End! Subrina and Greg Collier are re-opening the restaurant in The Vantage building in 2022. Subrina and Greg also own Leah & Louise, the wildly successful restaurant in Uptown's Camp North End. Greg, with two James Beard nominations under his belt, will be chefin' up breakfast staples made with locally sourced ingredients at Uptown Yolk

Follow Uptown Yolk in Instagram

Meet the Black Artists Whose Work Brightens the Neighborhood:

Mustafah Greene

Mustafah Greene was raised in Brooklyn, NY and currently lives in Charlotte, using mostly recycled items to create art. He is the artist behind Black of the Heavens and of the Earth found at the Walker Zanger Slab Showroom, part of Brand the Moth's META Mural Residency Program

Follow Mustafah on Instagram

Lo'Vonia Parks

Lo'Vonia Parks brings her colorful energy and art to South End through murals, guided art tours, and doggy caricatures at Front Porch Sundays. She created the Edison Mural in South End, as her art style mixes history and pop culture with the goal of telling innovative stories. Lo'Vonia holds a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design.

Follow LO'Vonia parks on Instagram

Garrison Gist and Rel Mariano

Garrison Gist, known as Paint Can Papi, and Rel Mariano, or Trash Genius, are the masterminds behind the From Charlotte With Love mural found at Wooden Robot Brewery. Garrison is a Rock Hill native who played football at University of South Carolina, where he also received a BFA. Rel, also a rapper, was born and raised in Charlotte and always dreamed of big city life when he was young. After traveling to places like New York and Los Angeles, he realized that Charlotte will always be home. He strives to bring recognition to the wonders of Charlotte through his art and iconic phrase, "From Charlotte, With Love." 

Follow Garrison on Instagram

Follow rel on instagram

Georgie Nakima

Georgie Nakima's Stronger Together mural was her first in South End. A graduate of Winston Salem State University's Biology program, her art is inspired by science and geometry. Today, she "empowered to plant seeds of art and science together in hopes to carry conversations of well-being, nature preservation, and humanity."

follow georgie on instagram

Dari Calamari

Charlottean, UNC Charlotte graduate, and Air Force veteran Dari Calamari painted her first solo mural in 2019 as part of Brand the Moth's META Mural Residency Program. Her artist surname, Calamari, comes from the Latin noun calamarium, meaning "ink pot or pen case."

Follow dari on instagram

John Hairston Jr.

John Hairston Jr. was born and raised in Charlotte and is inspired by street art and hip-hop. He is an activist and often hosts workshops with various nonprofits in the region. His piece, Mario and Friends, can be found at Slingshot

follow john on instagram

Is there another Black-owned business or artist in South End that we should know about? Tell us!

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