At DoorDash, supporting Black communities and Black-owned businesses is an ongoing commitment—and not just during Black History Month.
This month across Canada, we're launching #BlackFoodEnergy Fest, which is all about celebrating, supporting, and amplifying Black chefs and Black-owned and led restaurants. Many of these chefs and businesses are committed to lifting up their local communities however they can — which is where #BlackFoodEnergy Fest comes in.
From February 1st to the 28th, customers have the opportunity to give back to local businesses in their community. By using the promo code BLACKFOODENERGY23 when making a purchase at participating #BlackFoodEnergy restaurants, they’ll be entered for a chance to win 1 of 5 Community Prizes which include a $1,000 DoorDash gift card— and a chance to pay it forward by gifting a #BlackFoodEnergy business of their choice with a $1,000 Community Grant.
#BlackFoodEnergy Fest restaurants will be promoted throughout the month of February in the DoorDash app, as well as through influencer marketing, social media promotion, and media coverage. DoorDash will also be partnering with Tre Sanderson — the first Black Top Chef Canada winner — to help promote the festival and spotlight #BlackFoodEnergy restaurants across the country.
To me, #BlackFoodEnergy is bringing different cultures and flavours together to create something unique and inspiring. It means absolutely delicious food with so much soul, so much love, and an incredible story.
Supporting Black-owned and led businesses with access to capital
DoorDash recently partnered with the Black Opportunity Fund to provide $130,000 CAD in #BlackFoodEnergy Innovation grants to Black Canadian food entrepreneurs and restaurateurs. In total, this provided grants of $10,000 CAD each to 13 different entrepreneurs.
The 2022-2023 #BlackFoodEnergy Innovation Grant winners are:
Efty Dishes Restaurant (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Halisi Café (Middle Sackville, Nova Scotia)
Ago's Boat Fish and Chips (Waterloo, Ontario)
Energy Shack Juice Bar (Scarborough, Ontario)
Boukan/ Edible Bliss (Toronto, Ontario)
Royaltea Coffee (Scarborough, Ontario)
Grumpy's Smokehouse (Brampton, Ontario)
Juke Fried Chicken (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Uncle Brian's (Edmonton, Alberta)
Laghos African Kitchenette (Regina, Saskatchewan)
Di Reggae Grill Restaurant (Steinbach, Manitoba)
Maquis Yasolo (Montreal, Quebec)
Les Casse-croûtes Quick Stop (Montreal, Quebec)
How to support Black-owned and led businesses
Be a customer.
Prioritize supporting Black-owned businesses. You can find Black-owned businesses near you using DoorDash with the Black-owned tag or by doing your own online research. If you’re a Black-owned business, apply here to get the Black-owned tag on DoorDash.
"I can't think of a better platform than DoorDash Canada to support and push Black-owned businesses forward," said Tre Sanderson, winner of Top Chef Canada. To many Black merchants, the importance of community and supporting each other cannot be overstated.
We were raised as a community. It's a village.
Join the digital chorus.
If your wallet’s feeling thin these days, there are also a lot of non-monetary ways to support local businesses. It’s all about boosting their marketing efforts and becoming a passionate part of their social community—showing you care, online.
Follow your favorite Black-owned restaurants and chefs on social media, and like and share their posts. Additionally, if you’ve enjoyed their food before, make sure to write some thoughtful five-star reviews on Yelp, Google, and DoorDash to encourage others to dine there.
Give what you can.
There are also ways that you as a business can support Black-owned businesses in your area. This includes partnering with a Black-owned business to offer a special item or promoting a Black-owned business on your social media platforms.
Learn more about the broad spectrum of cultures within the Black community.
The Black community in Canada is incredibly diverse, with people whose families have lived here for generations, and others who have recently immigrated from countries all over the world. In supporting Black-owned businesses, we also need to celebrate the incredibly unique, diverse perspectives, cultures, and cuisines they share.
For example, Christelle, Nathalie, and Angel Ndaye, owners of Mbia Grill, use their restaurant to bring people together from all walks of life. A true family-owned Congolese restaurant based in Montreal, “we reach out to the world through our culture with food,” says Christelle. “I wanted to create a place Congolese people can be proud of, but also to reach out to other communities and make them discover our food.”
Fatima Mustapha, owner of Feast of Africa, immigrated to Winnipeg from Nigeria. She wanted to share her culture through food, and likes that her business now allows her to do just that. “When I first came to Canada there weren't as many ethnic stores and spices as we have today. I remember when I first saw plantain and chicken feet here. Oh my, I was so excited and happy,” she said. Fatima started with a butcher shop and grew her business to an African buffet. Now, Feast of Africa makes everything from fried rice to stewed beef and chicken suya.
Along those same lines, Patrice Gilman and Deirdre Coleman, owners of Gladys Caribbean Kitchen in Winnipeg, find inspiration in serving authentic cuisine that is true to their Caribbean roots. With cooking methods learned from Patrice's grandmother Gladys, everything they serve is made from scratch. “We are big on not cutting corners and being true and authentic – doing it the way our grandparents did it.”
Celebrating Black History Month at DoorDash
Beyond honoring the Black entrepreneurs of yesterday and today, we’re also using Black History Month as a moment to offer additional practical support for Black-owned businesses. Here’s some of what we’re doing:
Boosting in-app visibility. Prioritizing Black-owned businesses on the DoorDash platform with marketing campaigns and additional promotional placement this month.
Increasing access to opportunity: DoorDash has created Entrepreneurship & Access programs in the US and Canada, which are designed to help level the playing field for restaurant-owners of color, as well as women. The programs offer a range of financial benefits, including education and training.
Amplifying Black voices: Working with Black chefs and restaurateurs across Canada to celebrate and amplify Black food culture with our #BlackFoodEnergy initiative.
As a company, we are committed to continuing taking action through our product, our platform, and our resources—and we hope you’ll join us.