Ever get tired of visiting the same old restaurants and shops? If you’re looking to spice things up and try something different, then you should consider visiting your local minority-owned businesses. Orange County is an exceptionally diverse place steeped in Asian and African American culture, among others, that can provide you with a unique shopping or dining experience that you just cannot find anywhere else.
In our current economy, hampered by the pandemic, many of these small businesses have suffered greater setbacks than major retailers and brands and have been more likely to close their doors amidst the uncertainty. Visiting them now is not only a fantastic way to experience something new, but you would be helping these small businesses keep their doors open while promoting cultural diversity. Check out this list of locations that we have created just for you!
Beale’s Texas BBQ
If you are craving some BBQ goodness, then we’ve got just the place for you. Beale’s Texas BBQ is a popular spot among locals, and despite being a Texas-style BBQ place, the owner, Beale, is actually from Santa Ana. Raised by his single mother and watching her cook from a young age, Beale has spent his life honing his cooking skills and working with famous BBQ pitmasters.
Many of the recipes that he serves to his customers have been passed down through the family from his grandmother, who was originally from Mississippi. If ribs, brisket, pulled pork, and smoked chicken sound like a delight to you, you won’t want to miss out on this place. They are open seven days a week and offer a variety of meal deals, so what are you waiting for!
Cloud 9 Bakers
If you prefer to have a variety of menu options for your family or solo outing and love baked food, we recommend checking out Cloud 9 Bakers. This is one of the few places where you can enjoy gluten, dairy, soy, and wheat-free and organic products in southern California, making this the perfect place for diet-conscious visitors.
You will find a range of foods served here, from breakfast dishes like waffles to cupcakes and a variety of sandwiches. They even have several seasonal offerings depending on the time of the year, so be sure to return and support this small, family-run minority-owned business!
If you love trying something experimental, Little Sister should be on your list of places to visit. This Asian-owned restaurant loves to blend Asian food with French, British, and Dutch cuisine, creating a unique menu from the mesh of cultures. You can enjoy a variety of meals, from sandwiches with your choice of bread to noodle dishes like pho.
There are plenty of meat lover options and seafood as well, so whatever you love to eat, you are sure to find something here. Little Sister is always looking to try new things and create unique experiences using fresh and seasonal ingredients. If you love Asian and European cuisines, this should be high on your lists of places to grab a bite!
If you find yourself in need of a skilled photographer in southern California, then consider contacting Payom, the photographer who runs Nopshi Photography. Based out of Orange County, Payom loves capturing the beautiful scenery around her and chasing good lighting. If you need a skilled photographer to handle your maternity, family, senior, or engagement portraits, then consider hiring her as your photographer.
Even if you don’t have a formal shoot in mind, Payom also shoots a lot of creative and fun photos, so be sure to consult with her about what you have in mind. Like most small businesses, photographers depend on the support of their community to fund their solo businesses, so consider hiring an independent photographer for your photo shoots from now on!
K.O. Dog Training
Are you a dog owner? Have you ever thought that you might need some professional experience to help train your dog? If this describes you, then we recommend taking a look at K.O. Dog Training. This husband and wife team loves working with canines and interacting with the owners, so much so that they do not hire outside trainers to assist them on the job, as they want to interact and get to know every dog they are contracted out to train.
Whether you need help teaching your dog basic obedience or guidance on managing unruly puppies, K.O. Dog Training has your back and will help you every step of the way to building a better relationship with your pets. Additionally, they even offer some advanced training courses like service dog training and behavior modification, so whatever trouble you might be experiencing, odds are they have a program that is perfect for your needs.
To top off this list, we have none other than Aosa Coffee, a local favorite among coffee lovers and caffeine addicts. Located inside Huntington Harbor Mall, this Black-owned coffee shop began its life as a sustainable fabrication shop before converting into a coffee lover’s spot. Despite the change, they maintain their mission of using sustainable practices to promote a healthier lifestyle and environment for all.
As for their coffee options, they offer drip, pour-over, cold brew options, and espressos, in addition to several different kinds of tea, such as matcha and chai. If you find yourself hungry while waiting for your coffee, Aosa offers Acai bowls to complement your drinks. Aoso was particularly affected by the pandemic and was temporarily forced to close its doors for a short time, so be sure to support them now that they have reopened!
Support Your Local Minority-Owned Businesses
With so many small businesses experiencing difficulty over the past few years, it is important to visit them and support them in their livelihoods. Minority-owned businesses have so much character and personality to offer that you just can’t find in major brands and companies, so supporting them not only helps them flourish but also helps promote cultural diversity in your community! This list is just the tip of the iceberg, so what are you waiting for? Go out and find new experiences!