To mark February’s Black History Month, here’s a list of much loved Black-owned businesses here in Qatar.
The month of February is observed as Black History Month [BHM] in the United States, allowing millions to celebrate Black culture, history, and communities. More recently, BHM has been officially recognised in Ireland, the Netherlands, and is a major event that is marked in the month of October in the United Kingdom.
While Qatar does not officially observe BHM, the country has a radiant Black community that call this place home. We’ve compiled a list of 3 brand new Black-owned businesses here in Qatar.
1. C.R.E.A.M Bakery
Starting off with some sweet treats, C.R.E.A.M Bakery was launched at the height of the pandemic in 2020 by Sudanese Aza Elnimah and her partner Bayan Dahdah. The trendy brand owes its vision and aesthetic to African American culture. The bakery is “where Hip Hop meets dessert.”
The most unique aspect of this business is its product naming – all of which are inspired by popular African American musical artists and their songs, such as the “Fudgees” brownies inspired by Fugees, “Dear Mama” cookies that pay tribute to 2pac, and “Sticky Icky Toffee Pudding” that gives a nod to Snoop Dogg.
“Black History Month originated as a Black American tradition, and our business is indebted and influenced by black American ingenuity. As a member of the African diaspora, I’m grateful for the culture that Black American descendants of slaves have built and shared with us,” said Elnimah.
2. Lavanda Cafe
This colourful cafe is proudly Black-owned and serves an array of options on its menu, from drinks to pastries to breakfast items. The cafe was opened pre-COVID, but had to close temporarily due to the pandemic.
“I started this business because I personally enjoy eating and dining out in restaurants, so I decided to open a business that I could relate to and understand as I found myself in restaurants and cafes so often. I want to bring the same joy and happiness to my customers that restaurants bring to me whenever I visit,” said Lavanda’s owner.
3. Skin by Lamees
This Black-owned business caters to all your skin needs. Based in Qatar and run by Sudanese owner Lamees Mutasim, Skin by Lamees makes home made facial scrubs that promote radiance.
This brand prides itself on being a clean beauty brand, with its scrubs being organic, natural, and clear of all additives and chemicals.
Founder Mutasim says she has always loved homemade beauty recipes. However, she noticed that many Sudanese women, as well as other dark-skinned women, were using skincare products that focused on whitening skin and were full of chemicals.
When the pandemic began, she decided to channel her love of homemade beauty and launched Skin by Lamees, creating scrubs that aimed to bring out someone’s inner glow.
“I’ve always made body scrubs and given them to my friends and family to use and see the glowing effect of the scrubs without any chemicals. I think it’s beautiful how our skin colour is when we use natural products just to make it glow, and not whiten it,” said Mutasim.
Have some more to share? What are you favourite Black-owned businesses?