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From the Ground Up: Orange County BIPOC Businesses on the Rise

By Melanie Romero

Off The Page Series


In Orange County, the business sphere has, for decades, been a foundation of its own radical history—countering white, wealthy, and conservative. Although not new to the region, Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) businesses have evolved with a new generation of foodie entrepreneurs creating names for themselves across trends and categories. These mindful owners have gone out of their way to launch a business from the ground up, and also open doors for patrons to learn about investing in their inclusive endeavors and our diverse local community.

Able Coffee Roasters (Fullerton)

Owned and managed by Anthony Palmeri & Adeel Asif, who worked in special education prior to founding the coffee roasting company, Able Coffee Roasters employs individuals with disabilities. Here, they’re brewing more than just coffee; they’re brewing inclusivity and community! Stepping inside the blue-hued storefront, the establishment resembles a typical coffee shop: burlap sacks of coffee on exhibit, a glass display of enviable pastries & desserts, an amalgamation of students and workers hunched over their laptops while on the WiFi. But, the most spectacular sight is witnessing Able’s employees doing more than just taking orders; they’re preparing coffee, replenishing the beans, greeting with a smile. It’s a pleasure to see how our community comes together at Able to support a labor force that is often excluded from the conversation.

Beale’s Texas BBQ (Huntington Beach)

Beale’s Texas BBQ is the one of Orange County’s only remaining Black-owned restaurants that, as its name states, cooks what it knows best: BBQ. Surprisingly, Brett Beale, the owner of Beale’s Texas BBQ, wasn’t born and raised in Texas; he’s a Santa Ana native. Growing up with a single mother, he watched her cook from the sidelines, and those childhood memories turned into a passion for the grill. Once only a backyard griller, he turned to Bill Cannon, the president of the Texas BBQ Rub. It seems as if Beale’s investment with Cannon proved successful as he’s now grown Beale’s Texas BBQ into a local hotspot – not to mention, during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prepare to get your hands on 24-hour smoked brisket, hot links, pulled pork, and chicken!

Overflo (Buena Park)

Located at The Source, Overflo boasts a reputation for soft serve, cream pancakes, and gelato-topped waffles. If your sweet tooth is feeling extra sweet, add on some toppings: caramel drizzle, strawberry sauce, red bean, Oreos, nutella, and tiramisu to name a few. And, as if Overflo could get any sweeter, a portion of their sales will be donated to help children in need; as a partner of the Good Neighbors Project, their aim is to help bring good changes to the world, which includes providing support for underfed children in vulnerable places. So, do yourself a favor and satisfy your sweet tooth; Overflo’s mission is as sweet as its menu.