Retailers Highlight Black-Owned Brands

The Goods Mart creates a specialty box of healthy snacks sourced from Black-founded businesses.

August 10, 2020

NEW YORK—Manhattan c-store The Goods Mart is among the retailers that have pledged to devote at least 15% of their shelf space to products from Black-owned businesses, and inspired by the movement, the SoHo c-store’s founder Rachel Krupa created what she dubbed the Black Founded Snack Box, which recently caught the attention of the Wall Street Journal.

The seven products in the box are all from Black-owned businesses, and like the other goods Krupa sells in her store, none have artificial flavors or preservatives or GMO ingredients. The 15% pledge prompted Krupa to review the 200 brands she carries in her store, which specializes in better-for-you fare, and increase the number of Black-owned brands on her shelves to 20 from three before.

“Now is the time to elevate the Black-founded brands so they can become the household names that our generation and future generations have as their staples,” Krupa, 40, told the Journal.

Ideas 2 Go featured The Goods Mart in the 2019 video series. With roughly 400 square feet of retail space, the store is quintessentially New York: a small footprint that maximizes every inch of space for its 200-plus SKUs. The Goods Mart focuses on curation and community. The store has a tip jar where customers can donate to specific local causes, and they can sign up to participate in community events such as cleanups at local parks.

Krupa shared that her shop was looted in June following peaceful protests over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, but she bears the thieves who broke into her store no ill will.

“I think the kids were just angry,” she said of the teenagers spotted on video of the incident. “If they felt any relief by throwing a garbage can through my window, well, you need to do something with that energy.”

During the early days of the pandemic this spring, The Goods Mart created the Goods Surprise Snack Box, filled with snacks and shelf-stable beverages, NACS Daily reported. Customers could donate a box to the Food Bank for New York or to the staff at Memorial Sloan Kettering and Mount Sinai. In addition, 10% the sales of each box benefited the Restaurant Worker’s Community Foundation.