Food
These LGBTQ+-owned food and snack brands will give you so many options.

10 LGBTQ+-Owned Food Brands To Upgrade Your Snacking Game

These mouthwatering bites will leave you wanting more.

Andriy Onufriyenko/Moment/Getty Images

Get ready to mix up your snacking routine for Pride Month and beyond, because there are plenty of LGBTQ+-owned food brands to give you good reason to stray from your regular ol’ 2 p.m. snack. What better way to lift up LGBTQ+-owned small businesses than by putting your money where your mouth is — and getting to enjoy some sweet and savory bites on top of it. To help get you started, check out these 10 LGBTQ+-owned food brands that’ll satisfy your taste buds and give you a chance to support small businesses all across the country.

Pride Month isn’t the only time when you should think about supporting LGBTQ+ spots, but it’s as good a time as any to bring these businesses and their owners to the forefront. According to the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 report (the most recent numbers available) on America’s LGBT Economy, out of 28 million U.S. small businesses, only 909 were certified LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs) as of October 2016. While LGBTQ+-owned businesses made up less than 1% of the U.S. small businesses in 2016, they still contributed more than $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy.

Shopping small also puts money directly into the pockets of the communities that these companies call home. In a December 2019 press release about Small Business Saturday, the U.S Small Business Association’s New York District Director Beth Goldberg noted that for every $100 spent at a small business, $48 of it is recirculated in the local economy, versus the $14 put back in the local economy if you spend your $100 at a national retailer.

It’s always a good idea to support small businesses in your community when you can, but to get you started, check out some of these exciting small businesses from across the country. Here’s everything to know about these crave-worthy companies and their mission to lift up LGBTQ+ voices and stories one bite (or sip) at a time.

We only include products that have been independently selected by Elite Daily's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

01

Couplet Coffee

Los Angeles-based Couplet Coffee founder Gefen Skolnick created the at-home coffee brand after realizing making coffee for friends took a lot of time. “So many of [my friends] thought I was so bougie for having an elaborate routine and set up,” Skolnick tells Elite Daily.

“[The] whole mission at Couplet is to bring great coffee to more people by making specialty coffee fun and approachable.” She especially wants to bring in people she feels are ignored by the industry, specifically queer and minority communities. Skolnick loves that the brand helps to demystify brewing coffee at home while “curat[ing] events with a focus on unification and community in the queer space.” And as a bonus, she says the colorfully designed coffee packages, complete with rainbows, “[bring] joy to our lovely community at Couplet.”

You can get Couplet Coffee online or stop by one of the physical locations in the Los Angeles metro area; Santa Monica, California; New York, New York; or Edgewater, Colorado.

02

Third Culture Bakery

Partners Sam Butarbutar and Wenter Shyu launched their first bakery in Berkeley, California, in 2016, and Third Culture Bakery was born. Beginning as an effort to meld cultural treats — Burtarbutar is from Indonesia and Shyu is from Taiwan — they bonded over similar ancestral flavors, such as mochi, and combined ingredients like rice and matcha. Their standout treats are the Mochi Muffin and Butter Mochi Doughnuts, available locally in Berkeley, throughout the San Francisco Bay area, and online. According to their website’s “about” page, the founders' principal hope is that their bakery represents a “chosen family” and becomes “a symbol of diversity, inclusiveness, and acceptance.”

Third Culture Bakery also commits an annual budget to give back to local communities “through nonprofits, engaging in wellness partnerships for our staff and community, and more,” according to their website. Some of the nonprofits they support include The Trevor Project and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

03

Lick Honest Ice Creams

Austin, Texas-based Lick Honest Ice Creams brings natural ingredients and crave-worthy flavors to locals and online patrons. Co-founders and partners Chad Palmatier and Anthony Sobotik cite their upbringings in small rural communities as the spark to the idea behind Lick Honest Ice Creams. “[We] came to appreciate the need for local, small-town ice cream shops that worked directly with a family-owned dairy and made seasonal flavors with locally sourced ingredients,” Palmatier and Sobotik tell Elite Daily. After they moved to Austin, that’s exactly what they created, opening Lick Honest Ice Creams in 2011. “Being able to do something you love every day for work is really an amazing feeling! What's even better is that we're making a product that brings people such joy,” Palmatier and Sobotik share.

The founders love how their process working “directly with the farmers and food producers” means their ice cream tells a story: “We still make everything that goes into our ice creams ourselves, and we use our own proprietary ice cream base.” You can buy a cone or a pint from a Lick scoop shop in Austin or San Antonio, Texas; a grocery store partner seller in several Texas cities; or online from Goldbelly.

04

Pipcorn

Jen Martin, along with her brother Jeff and sister-in-law Teresa, launched Pipcorn in 2012 after the group fell in love with heirloom popcorn kernels. In 2015, Pipcorn scored a $200,000 investment deal via Shark Tank, and the snack brand took off from there. “We wanted to recreate the snacks we loved as kids using better ingredients,” Martin tells Elite Daily. The founders’ favorite part of their snacks is the use of heirloom corn and clean ingredients, which per the website, include “non-GMO sunflower oil, organic cheese, orange color from paprika and no artificial anything.” From Pipcorn’s unique Mini Popcorn to their Cheddar Cheese Balls and Crunchies, the bites are reminiscent of childhood faves with fewer ingredients. You can buy Pipcorn at grocery stores like Target, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Whole Foods or online from the Pipcorn website,

“As a trio of minority founders, I think we each bring our own different perspectives that allow our customers to find a little bit of themselves in what we do and stand for,” Martin adds.

05

Explorer Cold Brew

The CEO of Explorer Cold Brew, mountaineer Cason Crane was the first out LGBTQ+ person to climb the Seven Summits, according to ABC News. Crane’s love for cold brew coffee was first ignited during his travels and became a pandemic project — one he dabbled in until he founded Explorer Cold Brew in Brooklyn, New York, in 2020. The coffee brand uses “a single-origin washed coffee from Ethiopia,” the locale assumed to be the birthplace of coffee. One of the unique features of Explorer Cold Brew is the ability to select your caffeine level out of four choices: no caffeine, low caffeine, regular caffeine, and extra caffeine. Explorer Cold Brew also has a partnership with Charity: Water, an organization that helps provide clean water access for those in need.

You can buy Explorer Cold Brew online from the official website or from online retailers like Amazon. You can choose from cold brew bundles, single bottles, or even try out the brand’s coffee subscription service.

Crane is also the founder of the Rainbow Summits Project, an organization that combines mountain climbing and advocacy for The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ+ youth suicide prevention organization.

06

Proteau: Botanical Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Before founding Proteau in 2019, John deBary (aka JdB) was already an experienced bartender and hospitality expert when he came up with the idea for a more accessible aperitif. “I was a bartender for a long time, and obviously, the focus is on drinks with alcohol, and I always felt it was a little bit weird,” deBary tells Elite Daily.

He drew inspiration from his favorite flavor profiles, such as Italian amaro and strawberries, which led to the creation of the Rivington Spritz. He also sells a Ludlow Red, a botanical drink with flavors of blackberries and black pepper. “I really am proud of the fact that they’re ready to drink, and they’re completed,” deBary says. “The feedback I’ve gotten from people is just like, ‘I don’t even care that it doesn’t have alcohol in it; it’s just something I love to drink. And that’s that.’”

DeBary’s influence as an openly gay man helps bring attention to LGBTQ+ influence in the industry. “It would be very safe to assume that there were thousands of really talented queer bartenders throughout the centuries,” deBary told Out Traveler in May 2021, adding, “If it looks anything the way it looks now, there has to be.” You can buy the two booze-free sips on the official website or from select New York City retailers like Boisson and Food52.

07

Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce

Andre Springer founded Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce in 2013 under the name of his drag persona, thanks to a chance experience at Bushwig, a two-day drag festival. When asked to perform at the event, Springer said the performance would need to involve food. Fast-forward to the help of a graphic designer, Springer created Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce, and turned it into a business after getting incredible responses at Bushwig.

Springer tells Elite Daily that “supporting a queer Black-owned business that makes a quality product” is what he loves most about the sauce lineup. He adds that his primary inspirations for it were “drag, art, my grandmother, my love for spicy food, and all-around something good and fun to do.” Using whole ingredients and quality chili pepper varietals, Shaquanda’s sauces reflect a unique taste in each batch, per the brand’s “about” page on the website.

Spring told BuzzFeed in a 2019 interview that he hoped his hot sauce line would show people “you can be openly queer and own a food business.” And what brings him joy still, he tells Elite Daily, is: “That I can show up on a shelf in drag.”

You can buy sauces from the official Shaquanda Will Feed You website, on Amazon, or find the hot sauces in select stores in Brooklyn, New York City, and Barryville, New York; Gulfport, Florida; and Santa Ana and Los Angeles, California.

08

Bokksu

Founded by Danny Taing in 2015, Bokksu offers a couple of ways to get your hands on authentic Japanese snacks — a monthly subscription snack box or a one-time order of specific snack collections. Tiang’s quest to bring Japanese snacks to the United States began when he couldn’t find his beloved bites in the states, which led him to his goal of empowering traditional Japanese vendors.

“Our mission at Bokksu is to empower Japan’s traditional snackmakers by sharing their authentic food and stories with the world,” Taing shared on the brand’s website. With Bokksu, you can get items like a premium snack subscription with 20 to 24 snacks and tea or buy individual snacks on its marketplace page.

09

Wunderkeks

Wunderkeks co-founders and husbands Hans Schrei and Luis Gramajo moved from their home in Guatemala (where Schrei originally launched Wunderkeks) to Austin, Texas, where they began selling their sweet treats at farmers markets. The magic of their cookies took off, which the pair credits to the nostalgia and childhood wonder that desserts evoke. “Sweets are products filled with that nostalgia, joy, and happiness that bring you to a moment in your life where you felt safe!” Gramajo tells Elite Daily.

Wunderkeks cookies are “the perfect balance of a cookie that is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside,” according to Gramajo, who hopes, along with Schrei, that customers feel at home when they eat them. “We share our story; we open our hearts to them so they can feel safe around us and tell us their story … we understand that those spaces are different for everyone — that’s where the beauty of what we’re building here comes from,” Gramajo shares.

10

The PB Love Company

Mario Esparza founded The PB Love Company in Denver, Colorado, in 2015. It’s an all-natural brand that sells peanut and almond butter. Esparza’s main mission is to “feed people, be sustainable, be real, make profits, and most importantly, make people happy,” per the brand’s “about” page on its website.

A 2019 Pride Month post on the brand’s Facebook page thanked the Denver community for its support: “As an LGBT owned business here in the great Mile High City, we want to send our gratitude and love to our community who has shown us great support since day one,” the post read, adding, “Our ability to connect with the many walks of life through our food is one of the things that continues to inspire and motivate us.”

Customers can choose from Classic Crunchy, Classic Creamy, Classic Creamy with Sea Salt, and Salty Peanut for the peanut butter to a Smooth or Cinnamon Almond almond butter. There are also plenty of buying options — you can buy a trio set, or single jars, or enroll in a subscription of three, six, or 12 months. For those outside of Denver, Colorado, buying online is the only option. But if you live locally, The PB Love Company sells its nut butters at select boutique and specialty stores, as well as at local farmers markets and events.