Urban Sanctuary is an all-inclusive membership-based yoga and wellness studio located in Five Points. Owner Ali Duncan strives to create an environment accepting of all cultures, shapes, and sizes. Duncan and the team here value fostering community through movement and connection. In addition to being an avid yogi, Duncan is also a life coach, energy healer, grandma to eight, and more. She works with her clients to provide meaningful support and guidance. The studio offers free yoga classes for Black, Indigenous, and people of color. They also host ritual series, aerial series, flow series, and more. The studio is making membership flexible for all yogis by offering an annual and monthly membership, as well as class packs and one-time individual passes so you can find out what works best for you.
Tattered Cover has been “bringing people together since 1971,” and added “largest Black owned bookstore” to its portfolio of credentials in December of 2020. The mission-driven company transferred ownership to childhood friends and long-time Tattered Cover supporters, Kwame Spearman and David Back. Spearman adds diversity and representation to the influential business. After years of separate education and professional journeys, the Denverites have joined forces to embark on a new one together. The bookstore emphasizes their core values of discourse, discovery, destination, distinction, diversity, and Denver to all who step inside one of the eight locations around the state.
3Moss North Therapy
Melissa Haile, founder of Moss North Therapy in Arvada, created this massage studio with a goal to cater to client’s specific needs and provide them with the most healing and relaxing service possible. Growing up with a family of healers, Haile has been surrounded by this magical practice for years. She has been a Licensed Massage Therapist and Practitioner of Asian Bodywork Therapy for over 20 years. The studio offers a variety of services including specialized healing practices such as amma therapy and female-focused massages.
4Shop at MATTER
Owners Rick Griffith and Debra Johnson created an independent retail for all things design and creativity. Located in Denver’s Ballpark neighborhood, Shop at MATTER has books, fine art, stationery, art supplies, home goods, and so much more. Shoppers can also browse their extensive online website and have items shipped domestically and internationally. Griffith and Johnson meticulously curate and stock their store with rare finds from all over the world. The store also fosters community by offering book clubs, such as their Well-read Black Girl Book Club, a club dedicated to Black women writers and readers.
Legend, Wanda James, is canoeing her way through the cannabis industry. History was made when James, along with her husband, Scott Durrah, founded Simply Pure in 2015, making them the first Black Americans licensed in the United States to own a dispensary, cultivation facility, and edible company. James advocates for racial justice in the cannabis industry and is “unapologetically critical of the industry that remains 97% white owned,” the Simply Pure website says. James’s passion is personal—her brother spent 10 years in person for $160 worth of marijuana. Four of those years he was forced to pick cotton in a maximum security privatized prison. Today, James uses her platform to fight for reform.
After living on three different continents, Mawa McQueen opened Mawa’s Kitchen in Aspen in 2006, bringing chefy secrets from all over the world. McQueen and her team feature locally sourced ingredients to create seasonal and bold dishes. One of Aspen’s few black owned businesses, Mawa’s Kitchen brings international cuisine to the mountains with Mediterranean, African, and French dishes. McQueen and the rest of the staff create a friendly environment, making it a favorite amongst locals and tourists.
Longmont’s Maker General is a haven for artistry and innovation. Entrepreneurs, Julie Benoit and Stephanie Sterling, are the brilliant brains behind the general store for all makers. The two cultivate a space for creatives to join workshops, classes, and purchase hand picked supplies for their projects. This includes DIY kits, fabrics, patterns, cross stitch and embroidery necessities, and Maker General limited gifts. Embroidery kits of Prince, Harriet Tubman, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are available in store and online.
8Black + Blossomed
There is more to Black + Blossomed than smelling the roses. The local floral design business sees humans and flowers alike–always growing and blossoming. Founder and owner Breigh Jones-Copin, advocates for mental health and restoration. She presents a safe, creative space to free people from social pressures. Florals are provided and delivered within 25 miles of downtown for any event or occasion: wedding, retail, or an everyday look. A retail space will be opening in Denver this year with offered in person events.
The East 25th Avenue staple, also known as the activists’ coffee shop credits their fresh brewed beverages to the continent of Africa. Every Sunday at 2 p.m. Whittier Cafe hosts a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony where beans are roasted and brewed in a “jebena,” clay pot. Partake in the original, intended coffee experience. Any day of the week, you can contribute to the cafe’s social justice fund: The Justice Tab. You can also support the only African espresso bar in Denver by ordering coffee shipped to the comfort of your home or book the coffee ceremony to be held in your home or business.
This upscale restaurant, ideally situated on Boulder’s Pearl Street, is chef owned and operated by Matthew Jansen. Mateo features simple dishes inspired by the Provence region in France using fresh local ingredients. Their menu consists of smaller plates like the salade laitue as well as more decadent dishes like the steak frites. Growing up in Boulder, Jansen has an abundance of knowledge and love for the town and shows that love through nourishing his guests with thoughtful dishes in a bright and euphoric atmosphere.