A bakery called Blackstreet Bakery just launched in Portland at the Mississippi Street Fair, and as Live Kindly cited, the owners are touting the cupcakery as a “Black-led vegan pop-up bakery” whose hope is to fulfill a social justice mission to “honor the history of Mississippi Avenue as a major part of Portland’s Black community and to expand economic opportunity for Black people in baking.” Aiming to empower people of color in the local area and specifically the baking industry, this new treat shop is opened in the wake of a controversial incident.
Blackstreet Bakery was organized by a social justice, non-profit group called Brown Hope. The idea for the bakery happened after an incident earlier in 2018 where a black female was refused baker service at a local shop in Portland, Back to Eden. The woman who was denied service came in just after closing, as did several white customers. Customers with a fair skin color were not denied service from Back to Eden. The organizer of Brown Hope and Blackstreet Bakery, Cameron Whitten, spoke with reporters at Portland Mercury, that the company’s desire is to take an issue of what was a “painful and difficult experience” and create something good out of it with a positive message against discrimination.
“After that, a community member reached out and wanted to help fund an initiative to support Black vegan baking. It’s an opportunity to take a painful and difficult experience and turn it into a new business opportunity.”
Brown Hope states, “to be Black, Brown, and Indigenous, is to be beautiful, caring, and resilient.” The organization seeks to use cultural, educational, and community programming to aid those who have suffered incidents of racism, reports Live Kindly; Blackstreet Bakery and Brown Hope wish to influence action for change.
Creations at the bakery have bakers working with plant-based goods. One dessert being served in the vegan bakery is banana cream mini-pies. They also have hush puppies, avocado chocolate mousse, and chocolate chip cookies along with their cupcakes. And sufficient revenue is reportedly going to be used to pay what’s stated as a living wage to help “grow the business into a sustainable long-term venture.
The bakery’s social media account lists off some of the menus items, such as their touted “famous coldbrew coffee” to help wash down sesame-scallion twists, chickpea rugelach, and apricot-pecan rolls just to name a few of the other various food items. If customers aren’t feeling a sweet tooth, Blackstreet Bakery also serves up fried pickles.