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Celebrating Black History Month with Black-Owned Businesses!

Celebrating Black History Month with Black-Owned Businesses!

Urban Hydration is starting off Black History Month hot, with our collaboration with Smokey John's Bar-B-Que & Home Cooking, a local Black Owned Business in Texas. We donated 1,000 2oz Aloe Vera hand sanitizers to a special lunch that they prepared in honor of Black History and Black Culture and Black Excellence.

 The second generation owners shared a bit about the history of their special “Shoebox Lunches”.  They explained,  “In 2020, we celebrated Black History Month by showcasing the “shoebox lunch.” We explained how this simple concept became a necessity during the Jim Crow era, when Black people could not eat in white-owned establishments in the South. Whether traveling by car, train, or bus, it was commonplace for Black Americans to pack shoebox lunches. We learned that while many people were unaware of this practice, several of our customers were quite familiar with it. They shared their stories and the stories of their family members who had fond memories of enjoying a delicious meal packed in an actual shoebox. Black Americans have always found a way to turn dark circumstances into bright spots. As second-generation restaurant owners, we are proud to share this legacy of Black ingenuity and celebrate our progress as a people.” 


For 2021, they decided to elevate the quality of the lunch even further, by creating the “Shoebox Lunches: Black Entrepreneur Edition” and partnering with several local black owned businesses to share space in the tasty shoebox lunches, and include some of their best products.

 Each shoebox features a sampler of products including:

  • Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que Sauce
  • Smokey John’s Bar-B-Que Rub
  • Cookie Society Gourmet Cookie
  • Mama Moore’s Gourmet Popcorn
  • Urban Hydration Vanilla Hand Lotion
  • Olphactory Scented Candle
  • Then|Now Commemorative Booklet

Urban Hydration couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of such a creative and impactful collaboration that is celebrating the black experience. Here is more insight about our awesome partner and owner of Smokey John's.

What is the most rewarding aspect of owning a restaurant that most people wouldn’t expect? (Besides the free food)

 We impact so many lives - our team members and their families, our customers and their friends and families, even our vendors. How the food we serve, the services we offer, atmosphere we cultivate and the attitude that we demonstrate have the potential to have a positive impact in so many lives. 


What do you love most about working with your family?

 As brothers we challenge each other, we trust each other and we never want to let the other down. We make each other laugh and we make work a labor of love. 


Why is giving back to your community so important to you and your family? What are some initiatives you’re currently working on?

 Giving back is second nature. It’s like a reflex. Our dad - the founder and the company namesake - was one of the most generous people ever. He taught us that you can’t out give God. We believe the true blessings of success are the opportunity to give back. The Shoebox Lunch: Black Entrepreneur Edition is our current project to shine a light on other black business. We hope to expose our customers to these excellent businesses that are owned by the amazing black owners


If you had a million dollars to invest in your business today, how would you utilize it?

 If we had a million dollars to invest in our business we would buy land/building to build/ renovate to become our hub for catering, a R and D kitchen, and storage for equipment. Continue to develop topnotch training for our team members.


Now, more than ever, it is important to  support a black businesses. This is a great opportunity to learn about five, in one purchase! You can find this deliciously filling and purposeful box at smokeyjohns.com.




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