Among the aspects the City of Chicago most prides itself are its rich diversity and culture. That is never more evident than the large number of ethnic groups and the extraordinary collection of minority and women owned businesses. Even more impressive is that many of these small businesses encounter more economic and social challenges, and more so during the coronavirus pandemic. To celebrate the diversity and culture of Chicago, here is a brief introduction to five of the best minority and women owned small businesses to show your support in Chicago.

Batter & Berries

2748 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL  60614
(773) 248-7710

Expect a wait if you plan to visit Batter & Berries. But once you smell some of the freshly cooked items coming out of the kitchen, you know it’s worth the wait. Established in 2012 by Dr. Tanya and Craig Richardson, Batter & Berries is best known as the home of the World-Famous French Toast Flight. But there is so much more to order. Other delectable treats include Green City Omelette, Pina Colada French Toast and the “We’re Moving On Up” Executive. Limited dining seating is now available from Friday to Monday. Delivery and pick-up is available through Uber Eats, GrubHub and DoorDash.

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BFF Bikes

2113 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL  60647
(773) 666-5153

Launched in March 2014 after a successful crowdfunding campaign, BFF Bikes is the first women-focused bike shop in Chicago. It’s also reportedly the first of its kind in the entire Midwest. Located in the Bucktown neighborhood, BFF Bikes is the brainchild of best friends/competitive cyclists Annie Byrne and Vanessa Buccella, Like other notable bike small businesses, BFF Bikes is a one-stop bike shop, with road and hybrid bikes, apparel, accessories and bike maintenance. Additionally, this very popular female-centric bike shop offers group training rides and instructional classes.

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3500 N. Elston Ave.
Chicago, IL  60618
(773) 654-1460

In a city full of outstanding restaurants, every now and then an exceptional spot elevates itself to elite status. Among those is Parachute, a small 40-seat restaurant founded by spouses Johnny Clark and celebrity chef Beverly Kim. The reaction to this hip restaurant with inventive, family-styled Korean-American cuisine was almost instantaneous. It was awarded Eater Chicago’s 2014 Restaurant of the Year and a finalist for the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant.

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Serrano Legal Solutions LL

33 N. Dearborn St., Ste. 400
Chicago, IL  60602
(707) 552-0823

Founded by Lisette Serrano in June 2014, Serrano Legal Solutions is a respected boutique law firm that specializes in Family and Parentage law. Ms. Serrano is very active in the community serving as a volunteer attorney First Defense Legal Aid (FDLA) and serves on the board of the Puerto Rican Bar Association. Serrano Legal Solutions offers very reasonable billing methods including a very modest flat rate for consultation time in 30 minute increments.

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1931 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL  60622
(312) 526-3825

Seating and take-uut orders are currently available at Soulé, in West Town. Known for its superb creole-infused soul food, this top Chicago small business is led by owner and Chicago native Bridgette Flagg. Opened in 2017, the Southern-style restaurant has attracted several celebrity guests. The list includes Scottie Pippen, Serayah McNeil and Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson. Popular dishes include fried chicken, lamb chops, fried catfish, jerk shrimp and dirty rice. The restaurant is open for reservations Tuesday through Sunday.

About The Author:

Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS Local from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS Local websites, including CBS New York, CBS Los Angeles and CBS Chicago. His other stories have appeared in the Daily Meal,, CBS Radio, Engadget and He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University.

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