Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. This day in 1865, Major General Gordon Granger of the Union brought the news to Texas that the Civil War had ended and all slaves were free. The news was two years late, as the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. Consequently, the news came as a shock to more than 250,000 slaves in Texas who were unaware of it.

There are many theories as to why it took so long for news to get to Texas (none of them terribly reasonable), but the event has rightfully become a day for African Americans to celebrate freedom and to cherish their culture and heritage—including food! 

With that in mind, we bring you G. Hughes BBQ Sauces and Ellis Isle Tea, two African American vendors we are thrilled to carry. See our “We Love Local” article for even more in your neighborhood!

G. Hughes Barbecue & Dipping Sauces

Guy Hughes, an award-winning “pit master,” brings us his family of signature sauces as part of his sugar-free line crafted in Boardman, OH. Over the years, Hughes took his family’s secret recipe for barbecue sauce and added his own “special” ingredients to create his signature product. He then honed his barbecue skills: technique, temperature and, of course his famous sauce. As Guy won more and more rib cook-off’s, his reputation grew. He had numerous requests for his sauce and began to bottle it. As he grew older, he saw the need to create versions for those who wanted to experience his sauces sugar free (bless him). Flavored with a unique blend of spice and sweetness, and completely sugar and gluten free, his sauces have become our go-to — flavor is just waiting to happen!. Find G Hughes sugar-free barbecue sauces in Original, Maple Brown Sugar Barbecue, Hickory and Sweet & Spicy, as well as his Honey Mustard Dip and Ketchup!

G Hughes

Ellis Isle Tea

Ellis Isle’s been on the scene since 2008, but the original family tea recipe spans back centuries when Pop Ellis first worked it up. And, while he was happy to share his refreshing Jamaican tea with anyone who was thirsty, he made it clear his recipe was to be “sold, not told.”

It was fearless founder Nailah Ellis], who finally turned the family secret into a global success. Starting with small batches sold from the back of a car, it quickly became much bigger business. Thanks to Nailah’s drive, determination and hustle, Ellis Isle now operates a full-scale, state-of-the-art production facility.

And, that success has a lot to do with Ellis Isle being all-natural. Made with simple, real ingredients like hibiscus, rosehips, honey and mint. Available in Original Sweet and Unsweet teas.

Ellis Isle