Black-Owned Businesses in Sonoma County
While we often talk about the diversity of experiences in Sonoma County, more importantly is the diversity of people and cultures that contribute to Sonoma County. It’s the diverse farmers, makers, artists, and business owners who’ve made Sonoma County what it is today. We recognize the contributions of Sonoma County’s Black-owned businesses, winemakers, chefs, and many others who are integral to the fabric of Sonoma County, and want to celebrate that diversity.
Below, discover Black-owned businesses in Sonoma County, as well as additional resources at the bottom, to bookmark for your next trip to Sonoma County Wine Country.
A wide-range of Black-owned restaurants and cafes can be found throughout Sonoma County. In Santa Rosa, there's Abyssinia, serving Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine. Described as "an adventure for the taste buds," Abyssinia specializes in unique East African dishes using fresh ingredients from local farmers' markets.
Also in Santa Rosa is Cafe Frida Gallery, where visual art, music, poetry, film, and dance intersects with good coffee and food near downtown Santa Rosa. Others in Santa Rosa include Sonoma Crust and Big River Coffee Company. May we recommend coffee at Big River Coffee Company followed by beignets at Sonoma Crust for "Beignet Sundays."
Nearby in Sebastopol is Pack Jack BBQ, a classic roadside Texas-style barbecue restaurant. The Harris family, who is originally from Texas, have been smoking barbecue low and slow in Sonoma County for years. Pack Jack BBQ has a rustic, family vibe inside, and an outdoor patio that makes for a nice outdoor lunch spot during the warmer months in Sonoma County.
Other chefs include Mimo Ahmed, who is the pastry chef at the popular Sonoma Valley restaurant Glen Ellen Star. The young pastry chefs cookes up delicious treats like house-baked sourdough boule and brown-butter fig cake.
In Petaluma is Street Social, which Jevon Martin and Marjorie Pier opened in 2020. Housed in the historic 145-year-old Lan Mart Building, Street Social highlights seasonal and local fare with influences from around the country. Pair Jevon's delectable culinary creations with Marjorie's craft cocktails.
Also in Petaluma is the recently opened Table Culture Provisions, which comes from Chef Stéphane Saint Louis, who's worked in some of the world's top kitchens. He and business partner Chef Steven Vargas originally started it as a fried chicken pop-up, but it's now a full-blown restaurant featuring an ever-changing menu. As they put it, "Good food, fun food."
Black-Owned Wineries and Winemakers
More than 425 wineries make up Sonoma County Wine Country. Black winemakers, vineyard managers, and winery owners are an important part of the wine community of Sonoma County that was named 2019 Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast. This includes people like Brenae Royal, a Black vineyard manager, who helps make Monte Rosso Vineyard so renowned. Royal was recognized last year as one of Worth.com’s 50 Women Changing the World and named one of Wine Enthusiast's top 40 under 40 tastemakers.
Other Black winemakers are making award-winning wines in Sonoma County. Chris Christensen, from Bodkin Wines, was named one of the San Francisco Chronicle's "Winemakers to watch" in 2017, and in 2020 also named one of Wine Enthusiast's top 40 under 40 tastemakers. Bodkin boasts 14 wines that scored 90+, and is home to America's first sparkling Sauvignon Blanc.
L’Objet Noir Wines, comes from winemaker Danny Glover, who spent years working at Sonoma County wineries before starting his own. Glover makes a number of varietals, specializing in Pinot Noir. You can buy bottles of both Bodkin Wines and L’Objet Noir Wines online.
Fog Crest Vineyards, owned by Rosalind Manoogian, produces stunning Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from their Russian River Valley vineyard. Purchase their wines online or visit their tasting room in Sebastopol.
Another Black-owned wine label, P. Harrell Wines, come from Paula Harrell, specializing in wines made from Dry Creek Valley grapes. Her wines are available online for purchase, too.
Finally, located on the Sonoma Plaza is Corner 103, which is a unique tasting experience from founder Lloyd Davis. Recently, Corner 103 was voted Best Tasting Room by USA Today 10Best's readers. Originally from New York City with a career in finance, Lloyd followed his passion for wine to Sonoma County, where he has been making award-winning wines for years. A seated wine tasting at Corner 103 features five award-winning Corner 103 wines. Reservations can be made online.
While this represents just a few of the many great black-owned Sonoma County wineries and restaurants, there are so many other businesses. Here are some additional resources: