By diverting your purchasing power to more Black-owned businesses, you’re not only helping to strengthen local Black economies — it can also contribute to shrinking the racial wealth gap, foster more job creation for Black people, and help to hold larger companies accountable in regard to diverse representation.

“Supporting Black businesses also means supporting Black communities, as they are usually more than just places that offer goods and services,” Tayo Giwa said. “They are community spaces for meeting and connection. They are cultural hubs and platforms for local artists. They provide programs and resources that the community needs. Especially given these multifunctional roles, strengthening Black businesses helps strengthen our communities.”

Tayo and Cynthia Gordy Giwa are the husband-and-wife team behind Black-Owned Brooklyn. Their interview on Mashable can be accessed here:

Maxine and Gary Pope own “Touch of Velvet” in Lynn Haven.

Victor Hunt is the owner of Angel’s BBQ in Parker.

Erick Rogers stands outside The Bistro Southern Cafeteria in Springfield.

Show support for Black-owned restaurants

by Jan Waddy

PANAMA CITY — From barbecue and burgers to seafood, Southern cooking and sweets, Black restaurant owners are serving generous helpings of goodness in Bay County. Residents can show their support by frequenting the local businesses, ensuring they can continue to provide for the community and their own families — especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The following local eateries are Black-owned businesses:

Angel’s BBQ, 6034-B E. U.S. 98, Parker: After catering everything from festivals and weddings to family reunions and school banquets, Victor Hunt and his wife, Marissa, opened the Parker location in 2017 with take-out and covered outdoor seating. On Friday and Saturday, Hunt is offering Father’s Day weekend specials: Get an Angel’s BBQ sampler platter with five meats and two sides for $18 or a catfish dinner for $12 with two fillets and a choice of two sides. Specials also include fried chicken, fried pork chops and gourmet desserts. (He’s closed Sundays — “for church and family.”)

The Bistro Southern Cafeteria, 2900 E. 5th St., Panama City: Erick Rogers opened The Bistro’s Panama City location in 2017. The restaurant is catering a virtual celebration, with food pick-up from The Bistro from 5 to 7 p.m. before the fifth annual Juneteenth Celebration streams live online with DJ Marcus Kage from 8 to 11 p.m. June 19 from the G.W. Carver Interpretive Museum featuring artwork by Charly Palmer. Tickets, $18.65 at, include a link to the live show, an individual membership to the museum and Celebration Meal: Rib plate with mac and cheese, baked beans, potato salad, banana pudding and red soda or turkey wings with mac and cheese, yams, dressing, banana pudding and red soda. Additional plates available at check-out for $10 per plate.

Josiah’s Southern Cooking, 1003 N. Cove Blvd., Panama City: The restaurant has garnered a lot of regulars since owner Sharolyn Gaines started serving soul food with a smile more than five years ago.

Pit Stop BBQ, 499 W. Beach Drive, Panama City: Jasmine Boddie and her husband, David, pushed ahead with the restaurant opening in April amid the pandemic — selling over 700 plates in the first six days.

Sea Breeze BBQ, 1139 N. Tyndall Parkway, Callaway: Curtis Beard serves his family recipes for barbecue, smoked with oak wood, and homemade sauce at the food truck parked just off Tyndall Parkway. Sea Breeze also specializes in sweets, including banana pudding and sweet potato pie.

Smoke n Butts BBQ, 404 S. Arnold, Panama City Beach: Lonnie Andrews owns the mobile food trailer, which sets up at area events and serves everything from seafood and barbecue to gator.

Stuffy’s Cafe, 1302 Harrison Ave., Panama City: In 2013, owner Dwayne Martin set up the ’50s diner serving burgers and shakes.

Touch of Velvet Bakery, 1219 Ohio Ave., Unit F, in Lynn Haven: After 20 years of baking out of their home for restaurants, Gary and Maxine Pope opened the bakery in 2011 — named after the first cake they ever made.