We Talked To Savor Seattle’s Founder On Supporting Black-Owned Businesses Through Their Solidarity Boxes feature image


We Talked To Savor Seattle’s Founder On Supporting Black-Owned Businesses Through Their Solidarity Boxes

Founder Angela Shen tells us about what this curated box of goods means for the community.

There’s no better way to support Black-owned businesses in Seattle than supporting 12 at the same time - and you can do so by ordering Savor Seattle’sSeattle Solidarity Box.” It’s complete with treats, snacks, drinks, and DIY meals from local Black-owned restaurants, bakeries, and vendors.

You’ll see things like Junebaby’s pimento cheese, coffee beans from Boon Boona, Marjorie’s plantain chips, gnocchi and pomodoro sauce from Osteria La Spiga, KJ’s Cakery cookie sandwiches, and much more - from kombucha to popcorn. This isn’t the first Seattle Solidarity Box from Savor - the original one launched on June 4th, and was such a huge success that doing more boxes was clearly a no-brainer.

We talked with founder and CEO of Savor Seattle Angela Shen about her experience putting the box together and what it’s been like since the launch of Seattle Solidarity Box 2.0.

INFATUATION: How did the Seattle Solidarity Box originally start, and how did you come up with the idea?

AS: “It happened very quickly the first night of the protests. We were thinking about the small businesses who have already suffered tremendous heartbreak. And we first thought about starting with the International District - I’m a person of color and if the opportunity is there to use your platform, then you should use it. With Savor, we’ve always been food ambassadors. Now, we have the chance to amplify underrepresented voices in our community. All the food boxes we’ve done before have just focused on Pike Place Market. But within 36 hours after the first protests in Seattle, we thought it would be meaningful to put together a box [featuring Black-owned restaurants] like we’ve done with the Market and then donate a portion of the proceeds.”

How did you connect with the businesses?

“I had a relationship with Donna Moodie (owner of Marjorie Restaurant), as we had taken a class at UW together a few years ago. I shared my idea for the Solidarity Box with her and asked for her insights on who else I should talk to. I remember cold-calling Edouardo Jordan [of Junebaby], who had no idea who I was! He was very supportive and jumped right in. Him being in the box is also tremendously beneficial to the other small businesses in the box. In many ways, his acclaim helps to raise the tide and floats all the boats higher! I feel honored to work with people like him who have such a strong work ethic and desire to do good for the greater community.”

What’s next for Savor?

“We have a Food Network Stars box coming in middle August that will go to benefit FareStart. Every curation we do going forward will have an appropriate philanthropic arm. Even though we can only directly support a couple of businesses that are directly featured, we can still give back to a local cause.”

Are there any other businesses or restaurants you love, and either didn’t get a chance to feature this time or want to feature in the future?

“There are so many [laughs]! That’s the challenge too, that’s why we kept bringing the solidarity box for Solidarity Box 1.5 and 2.0. There’s a tremendous well of Black-owned businesses that we couldn’t feature in round one. Every iteration we keep discovering and finding more. Either it’s gonna come back in Solidarity Box 3.0, or for Black History Month, or for curations that aren’t tied to race. There’s lots of great business and stories to be told.”

Besides buying one of the Solidarity Boxes, how do you recommend supporting Black-owned businesses or people rallying around a cause that they feel passionate about?

“We all want our communities that we live in today to look like and to feel like they did before COVID. If that’s what you want it to look like a year from now, small business owners and struggling businesses need your help because they’re not gonna make it otherwise. So, if you can, patronize their stores. If you can’t, then write a review, show your support on social media, write something about them, share that. Be an ambassador and a voice to amplify their voice. I will echo one of my industry counterparts, The Intentionalist, who has the hashtag #spendlikeitmatters. Spend intentionally and spend your money like it matters.”

Savor Seattle is a Pike Place-based company that used to host food tours around the market before it closed. Since then, they have been putting together boxes full of Pike Place favorites so you can bring the experience home, from fresh seafood to flower bouquets.

If you’re local, each Seattle Solidarity Box costs $149.99, and if you’d like to ship a box to somewhere else, each box is $89.99 (since it includes seven of the 12 businesses). But no matter what option you choose, $5 will go to support the Seattle branch of Black Lives Matter.