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The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

The Editorially Independent Voice of The University of Akron

The Buchtelite

ZipsGuide: Celebrate Black History Month by supporting Black-owned businesses in Akron

UA students, staff and faculty can support economic equity and black prosperity in downtown Akron all year round with the Akronite App.

Editors note: is a community engaged collaboration between the Public Relations Writing course at The University of Akron and Downtown Akron Partnership. The stories on are written by University of Akon students and permission is granted for other outlets to syndicate them and/or utilize them as a media kit. Click here to see the original story.

UA Alum Da’Shika Street is doing big things at Street Craftery in Downtown Akron. Photo courtesy of Street Craftery.

During the month of February, The Akronite app offered a 15% reward on their “Blimp” rewards system if the customer shopped at a black-owned business in Akron. 

The Akronite mobile app, launched by The City of Akron in summer 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, is a rewards program that encourages Akron community members to shop locally.

While offering extra rewards to shop black-owned supports economic equity and black prosperity in Akron in and of itself, the Akronite app is also providing another service to the community.

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The app offers an updated list of 65 black-owned businesses, many of them in the downtown district, making it much easier to intentionally support black entrepreneurs.

ZipsGuide partner Downtown Akron Partnership also has a list of 31 Black-Owned Businesses in Downtown Akron to reference when shopping downtown.

Need a haircut? There’s a black-owned business for that. A tattoo? A caterer? A financial planner? A paint-splatter self-care night? Yep,  those too.

Black History Month may take place in February, but its mission to promote economic equity is important all year round. is proud to highlight black-owned businesses in Akron including: Essential Dipped Delights, Akron Honey , Glam Scents, India Ink, We Care Tees and Street Craftery.   

The owner of Akron honey speaks with customers inside of Northside Marketplace. Image courtesy of

“Working with the students on last fall, it was wonderful to get to know some of the black (and largely woman!) owned businesses in downtown,” Julie Cajigas, professor of practice, said.
“I would love to see all our Akron community members making a concerted effort to support black-owned businesses,” Cajigas said.

These businesses and many more can be found on the Akronite mobile app as part of their “Blimp” rewards system.

Akron Honey Company is a black-owned business with hives in Akron, providing the community with gourmet, local honey. Akron Honey is committed to offering unique flavors and honey of the highest quality. Flavors ranging from habanero hot honey to hibiscus honey give their customers a unique culinary experience. Find them in Northside Marketplace.

Graphic provided by

Essential Dipped Delights was founded by owner and dessert artist Takila Nuss in order to show her children how to be entrepreneurial. The shop features a range of dipped fruits as well as innovative desserts like cheesecake stuffed apples and banana pudding cookies. Nuss is often on hand, making goodies to order, and the shop also has a cooler case full of grab-and-go goodies “while supplies last” that can be purchased at the main Northside Marketplace checkout.

Glam Scents sells handcrafted wax candles, melts, incense bars, room spray, accessories, gift cards, hand soap and more inside Northside Marketplace at 21 Furnace St. in Akron. Akron native Ebony Jones launched the business just over year ago to offer relaxation and opportunities for self-care to the community.

India Ink Tattoo Co. is the only black female owned tattoo business in downtown. Inside Northside Marketplace, India specializes in realistic portraits, black and grey realism, and color realism tattoos. Owner of India Ink, India, prides herself on standing out and making sure all are welcome in her shop. India Ink Tattoo Company is located inside of Northside Marketplace at 21 Furnace st. In Akron. 

Street Craftery is a place where people can come and express their creativity and artistic ability or share a memory with friends or family. Street Craftery’s guided paintings thrive on giving customers lasting experiences, great memories, and a fun custom art piece to take home. Street Craftery is located on Main St. In downtown Akron and is open every week from Tuesday to Saturday. 

We Care Tees We Care Tees is  on a mission to bring the cool back to caring by encouraging its customers to look good, do good and give back. The apparel company offers tees made of high-quality materials with designs that let the wearer showcase their personality and values. We Care Tees is located inside Northside Marketplace at 21 Furnace St. in Akron. 

This video by Pritt Entertainment Group offers an overview of the Akronite App.

The Akronite App: Get Some Blimps and Save

The Akronite “Blimp” system is very simple to navigate. Just download the app, sign up and opt into the rewards offer. Each Blimp that the customer earns is equivalent to one dollar and can be redeemed at any participating business. 

The Akronite app fully reimburses every business for each Blimp redeemed, and blimps can only be redeemed in Akron, putting money back where into the community. 

Download the Akronite app today to start earning rewards on local shopping. 

Support Black-Owned in Akron

Happy Black History month, and if you haven’t gotten out to support black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in Akron, there’s no time like the present to get started.

If you’re reading this any time after Feb 29, 2024 (leap day!), go sign up for the Akronite App anyway. You’ll be supporting your neighbors every time your shop and keeping your money in the community. 

About the author: Anthony Nichols is an Akron Community Internship Program (ACIP) intern with Downtown Akron Partnership, funded by The University of Akron EX[L] Center for Community Engaged Learning.

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