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A Perfect Day Exploring Black-Owned Businesses in Brooklyn, NY

Written by Anna Zervos

Brooklyn is home to over 2.5 million people, around 40 percent of which are African American. Lucky for me, that meant I was spoiled for choice with the amount of spectacular Black-Owned businesses to check out. I set out to the Bed-Stuy area and was not disappointed. Not only were the spots themselves amazing, but everywhere I went the people were so kind and welcoming (which is not the usual case in New York City). I had one of the best days yet since I moved to Brooklyn and I thank all the wonderful restaurant/store owners for giving me a day I will never forget! Scroll down to read about the #paoworthy spots I discovered.


Cafe on Ralph

Bed Stuy

“What a cute place!!!! The interior design is on POINT! I want to live in there. The cafe serves food all day and the green bowl was suuuuper fresh and yummy. Ingredients are so fresh and homemade and there are lots of veg options. The staff is so nice (shout out to my new friend Shane working behind the counter). Lots of free street parking and outdoor seating perfect for Covid life. 10/10 love this spot.”


Brooklyn Tea

Bed Stuy

“The perfect spot for all of your tea needs!!! Black-owned and the owner is the nicest woman ever. They have sooooo many types of teas that you can take home (I got an ounce of the hibiscus green tea). But you can also order teas to be made on the spot. I got the matcha latte with oat milk and honey and it was sooooo goooood. Also Beyoncé just posted about them so they are getting serious press right now and are all around killing the game. All of their food and baked goods are vegan too! Love love love!”


peace & RIOT

Bed Stuy

“Awesome home/gift/fashion store in a really hip area. From cards to pillows, jewelry, skin care, and T-shirt’s they’ve got it all. It’s connected to another little clothing store that has all “Brooklyn-themed” clothing. It was too hot outside but I will definitely be back to buy that Brooklyn Girl long sleeve shirt.”


Brown Butter Craft Bar & Kitchen

Bed Stuy

“Ohhhhhh baaaaaby look at this bad boy. Unreal homemade buttermilk biscuit with egg cheese bacon and avocado only for 11 bucks (that’s cheap for BK). It was seriously magical. They’re only open until 2:30 so make sure you go for brekky or lunch. The street it’s on is also super cool and artsy so grab your sandwich and walk around a bit. Will definitely be back here!”


Natty Garden

Clinton Hill

“Huge plant and flower shop without outdoor and indoor plants! They have planters, soil, and really anything your plant-loving heart might want! Very reasonably priced (got my cute plant for only 10 bucks) and they were playing fun music loud outside.”


Island Pops

Crown Heights

“Cutest little ice cream shop that sells yummy flavored ice pops (mango, guava etc.). It was actually so refreshing and yummy especially bc it’s 90 degrees out. Only 3 bucks and a perfect midday snack! You can tell it’s a local fave and they have a bunch of regular ice cream as well.”

Meet Anna!

Pao Username: @anna

Bio: What’s up! I’m Anna and I’m the CEO and Co-founder of Pao😎💥

Fun Fact: I trained 13 years in ballet!

Her fave part of Pao: I love discovering hidden gem spots that I can’t find on any other platform.

Download Pao now and add Anna to check out the 900+ spots that she’s uploaded!

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Anna Zervos


Anna graduated from UCLA in 2017 where she studied psychology and cognitive science. Her passion for travel, design, and psychology fuel her passion for Pao. On the Pao team she is in charge of feature development, business strategy, UI/UX, and big picture marketing strategies. Anna has been to over 40 countries and plans to keep that number growing. She hopes to inspire people to get outside their comfort zones and eventually give back to people who aren’t able to.

Favorite food

Tacos, burritos, nachos, quesadillas

Favorite band

The 1975

Favorite movie genre

Psychological horror/thriller

Favorite hobby

Singing and playing guitar

Favorite place in the world

Antipaxos, Greece

Sara Zervos


Sara is has a PhD in Economics and spent 22 years in the finance industry managing teams and over $20bn in assets. She is Pao’s CFO and CTO, and also spearheads business development and AI initiatives. She has traveled to over 57 countries, adores animals and the outdoors. Sara loves to connect with people and help them learn and strive to be their best selves.

Favorite food

Peanut Butter

Favorite band


Favorite movie genre

Sci Fi

Favorite hobby

Salsa Dancing

Favorite place in the world

Kauai & New Zealand are tied