Go-To Black-owned Businesses in Atlanta for AUC students

Encouraging AUC students to support Black-owned businesses will allow them to recognize the significance of diversity and economic inclusivity in the world of business. The photo is from 44th & 3rd Bookseller.
Encouraging AUC students to support Black-owned businesses will allow them to recognize the significance of diversity and economic inclusivity in the world of business. The photo is from 44th & 3rd Bookseller.

As the country collectively celebrates Black History Month, an abundance of the population wishes to highlight and support Black-owned businesses. These businesses are typically privately owned, therefore resulting in higher prices. However, supporting them remains crucial to their success, as it will promote social and economic mobility. As Atlanta is a predominately Black city, Atlanta University Center (AUC) students have several options to choose from when it comes to supporting Black-owned businesses that the community knows and loves.


Be Coffee Tea Wine Cafe

Be Coffee Tea Wine Cafe is a Black, female-owned cafe located in the AUC across from Morehouse School of Medicine. The establishment opened in 2023 by Spelman College alumna Sherry Darby. She noticed the West End community evolving and was eager to be part of the change. In addition to offering a mouthwatering selection of homey meals, such as tomato bisque and grilled cheese sandwiches, Be Coffee Tea Wine Café stands as a culinary utopia that seamlessly blends the classy nature of a tea room and the coziness of a coffee shop.  Their menu showcases a wide array of items, selling everything from handcrafted lattes to baked goods. Darby even concocted a drink dedicated to her alma mater, dubbing it “The Spelhouse”: a matcha latte with chai. Be Coffee Tea Wine Café provides an oasis for all students and the West End community, whether studying for finals or hanging out with friends. “I think it’s more important than ever to own the businesses in our community. I think other ethnicities try to paint the picture for us, but it’s crucial that we paint our own picture and control the narrative. If we continue to embrace a sense of community, I think we’ll really be successful,” Darby said.


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44th & 3rd Bookseller

The cultural bookstore, 44th & 3rd Bookseller, is a family-oriented, Black-owned business located in the AUC. The business was founded in 2017 by Warren, Cheryl, and Alyce Lee with a mission to be a source of literature that is true to the rich culture of excellence experienced and expressed in the Black community. Not only does 44th & 3rd Bookseller sell a wide selection of books by Black authors, but the store also arranges book signings, in-store events, and monthly book clubs.  

According to Warren Lee, the number “44” honors Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. The “3rd,” stands for life, literature, and legacy, the themes the bookstore reflects. Their bookselling concept originated from Cheryl Lee’s graduate thesis, which examined the challenges faced by small Black-owned bookshops and suggested strategies for their survival.  

“We wanted to put the store in an area in which we knew would be beneficial to the community. Because we are a store that focuses on the diaspora and Black authors, we figured the AUC is the perfect place to be. Supporting our Black-owned business means supporting the legacy of black authors, and we wanted to be able to make that information accessible to young Black leaders,” Cheryl Lee said.


Wadada Healthy Market & Juice Bar

Standing as Atlanta’s first Black-female-owned vegan grocery shop and juice bar, Wadada Healthy Market & Juice Bar’s mission is to support the health and well-being of the community. Pennsylvania native Jeanette Sellers opened this West End establishment to cater to the needs of her village and cultural expression. More than 90% of the suppliers and products are from Black-owned companies.  The juice bar menus feature a variety of delectable foods and herbs that are all organic and natural. The specialties include sea moss gel, fresh-pressed juices, organic teas, and superfood smoothies. In addition to beverages, vegan meals and sweets that still incorporate herbs with health benefits are readily available. This shop is ideal for AUC students who live in dorms and are prone to illness. “Our specialty is sea moss smoothies. Most of these superfoods that I use have traditionally been used in Africa and the Caribbean and tropical indigenous areas that heal and have been used to boost great health in their community,” Sellers said.

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