Juneteenth Business Spotlight Series presented by Visit Utah

Originating in Galveston, Texas, Juneteenth is a holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. First celebrated on June 19, 1866, the holiday also celebrates African-American culture and is often considered the “oldest African-American holiday.” On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, recognizing the day as a federal holiday.

Real Salt Lake and Visit Utah encourage you to celebrate Juneteenth by visiting Black-owned businesses in your community. Here in Utah, we’re blessed with plenty to choose from. Here are five places to check out this Saturday.

Julius Thompson, the Sauce Boss, learned all about cooking from his grandmother who lived in both Chicago and Utah. His restaurant Sauce Boss brings a fresh flavor to soul food recipes passed down from generation to generation. Based in Draper, you can sample some of your favorite comfort foods, from fried chicken to catfish to po’boys. Thompson is also an accomplished author who writes her own autobiography which describes her struggle with poverty as well as 12 children’s books available for purchase.

Based in Park City, 11Hauz brings the taste of Jamaica to the Wasatch Mountains. Chef Sheron Grant brings her own twist to authentic family recipes she learned from her grandmother who raised her alone in Mount Salem, Jamaica. 11Hauz divides its food into four sections, “Finga Tings, Full Yuh Belly, Green Tings and Fresh From Yard”, so there’s definitely a style of food for whatever you’re craving. From jerk chicken to curried tofu, 11Hauz has a taste of Jamaica for everyone.

Raised on a segregated-era farm in Arkansas, Miss Essie learned to cook barbecue while feeding her seven children as a single mother in Arizona. She later passed on her 100-year-old family recipe to her son and grandson Manuel and Marcus who created Miss Essie’s Southern BBQ, LLC. Located in Murray, Miss Essie’s has been featured in the Salt Lake Tribune and Deseret News for its world-class barbecue, which is available at home and for catering.

Since 2008, Mahider has been giving Salt Lake a taste of flavorful Ethiopian cuisine. Mahider’s recipes have been passed down from generation to generation, with dishes such as Kitfo and Shiro Wot. Their authentic menu will transport you to the streets of Ethiopia and offer you a unique cultural experience. Mahider also has something for everyone, serving vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Based in downtown Salt Lake City, Yoko Ramen brings a new take on the traditional Japanese dish. Named after the city of Yokohama, the restaurant has garnered critical acclaim from the Salt Lake Tribune, USA Today and even won the City Weekly Best of Utah ramen award. Using only fresh, local produce, Yoko also serves salads, chicken sandwiches, gyoza and wings.

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