EatOkra was founded in 2016 as a comprehensive, user-friendly black-owned business directory app that makes black food and beverage the focal point. We knew that as we grew and expanded as a company, it would become increasingly difficult to maintain a directory that consisted of multiple industries. Food made sense to us, because everyone needs to eat, and it has cultural significance. Gathering and food play a key role in defining our sense of community, and EatOkra provides users with a tool that gives them an opportunity to locate these communities and support them in some way.
Since our initial release, we have connected over 150,000 users to more than 2600 black-owned restaurants, bakeries, cafes, food trucks, bars and wineries across the country. Still, we know there’s so much more work to do, and we simply cannot do it without your help.
Fueled by the energy surrounding so many on-going discussions on the preservation of black lives and black spaces, eatOkra started as just a conversation about our desires to give something of substance back to our community. We chose food because food is customary. Nothing embodies this idea of community more than the act of feeding someone or coming together to eat or be fed.
Yes, we considered the economic advantages of supporting black restaurants and black business owners, which is definitely a plus; however, more than anything, our mission is to provide a food-themed directory that encourages fellowship through one specific avenue, black food.