Founded in 1997 after a merger, Baldwin Richardson Foods Co. is one of America’s largest black-owned food companies in the U.S. Headquartered near Chicago and with its manufacturing facility near Rochester, N.Y., its three retail brands include UnToppable Tastes of Baldwin Ice Cream, Mrs. Richardson’s Dessert Toppings and Nance’s Mustards, Wing Sauces and Condiments which it supplies to food manufacturers and restaurant chains.
Eric Johnson, second from right, president and CEO of Baldwin Richardson Foods Co. (AP Photo / Chitose Suzuki)
Carol’s Daughter started off as a kitchen hobby, where founder Lisa Price mixed oils and natural moisturizers and presented them as gifts to her friends. The Brooklyn-based company offers natural products for the hair, skin, and body from its online and retail stores, and at large retail chains, including Macy’s and Sephora.
Photo of Lisa Price, company founder (Photo courtesy of Carol’s Daughter website)
Launched last year by television producer Candi Carter in Chicago, It’s Hip Hop, Baby! is a start-up business specializing in multicultural educational DVDs that teach key developmental concepts to children ages two to six. The videos use music, dance, and a cast of energetic children to connect to children across the developmental spectrum.
Photo of Candi Carter, with her son and muse, Emerson. (Photo courtesy of Candi Carter)
The late John H. Johnson started his publishing empire in 1942 with a $500 loan on his mother’s furniture. Sixty-eight years later since its days as Negro Digest, Johnson Publishing Company, Inc. has grown into one of the world’s largest black-owned publishing companies. It is best known for Ebony and Jet magazines. Beyond publishing, the company also has subsidiaries in cosmetics, television production and fashion. Headquartered in Chicago, the company also has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., London, and Paris.
John H. Johnson, head of Johnson Publishing Co., sits in his Chicago office in Dec, 2001 before his death in 2005. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren)
Founded in 2004 by designer Lentheus Chaney, HIM Enterprises stands for “He Is Magnificent”. The company’s tagline is “Modern Luxuries for the Modern Man”, as exemplified by their indulgent line of fragrances and skin care products. Chaney entered the online publishing world recently with the urban lifestyle portal, Urban Lux Magazine.
Cover for Urban Lux Magazine’s year-end “Holiday Ice” issue (Photo courtesy of Lentheus Chaney)
Bringing a “timeless modern” look to the world of bridal and evening couture since 2001, Amsale Aberra founded her fashion design line AMSALE out of a desire to provide classic styles to women with modern sensibilities. Her New York-based studio boutique creates top-quality, hand-sewn, custom-designed dresses at a range of prices to make any woman look and feel glamorous – including celebrities like Vanessa Williams and Vivica A. Fox.
Fashion designer Amsale attending a New York City gala. (AP Photo / Jennifer Graylock)
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According to the most recent U.S. Census, there are a million black-owned businesses in the U.S., which generate more than $100 billion in sales. As enterprise globalizes, there is increased concern among some Americans about making sure that products made in America succeed. From start-up businesses that began a year ago to a multinational corporation that’s been around for eight decades, here is a mix of businesses who share one thing in common: they are American-based, black-owned businesses who make their products in the U.S.
Between 1997 and 2002 (the latest Census survey of businesses that is available), the number of black-owned businesses grew by 45 percent, more than four times the national rate for all businesses. As black-owned businesses and black America’s almost $1 trillion combined GDP continue to grow, we can expect to continue to see some of those businesses keeping their operations in America