Shopping at Community Commons.
Bloomington has a collection of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color)-owned businesses that reflect the diverse backgrounds of our city’s residents. While you’re visiting Bloomington, visit some of these shops and restaurants to support a local business and get a taste of what makes our destination unique.
For a deeper look at some of the businesses mentioned in this article, view the City of Bloomington's Stories of Solidarity video series on YouTube.
MALL OF AMERICA BUSINESSES
RuvaAfricWear: A local business that celebrates African history and heritage through everyday clothing. The store is well known for the men’s and women’s fitness and athleisure collections that incorporate prints from various African countries.
La Michoacana Purepecha: Known for quality flavors and fresh ingredients, this business has taken Mexico’s No. 1 natural frozen treat and created a unique offering and concept, giving Minnesotans a chance to enjoy a traditional Mexican treat.
Final Cut Sports Barbershop: Need a haircut? Final Cut Sports Barbershop offers a stellar team of professional barbers who deliver every service with care. The perfect spot for all ages, styles, and hair types.
Original Popcorn House: You’ll want to “pop” into this gourmet popcorn shop to experience all the sweet and savory flavors that are continually changing. Made from scratch with fresh ingredients, you can truly taste the difference.
Blasted Ink: Commemorate your visit to Mall of America with a tattoo. This newly opened tattoo parlor offers color, realism, fine line, and more from incredibly talented artists with a variety of specialties. Their goal is to design thoughtful, original tattoos while providing a comfortable and clean atmosphere where everyone is welcome.
Community Commons: This collection of small BIPOC-owned businesses opened in 2020 and serves as an incubator for local entrepreneurs to sell their goods at a cooperative retail space. Mall of America provides free real estate, retail fixtures, and marketing for the businesses. Tenants rotate, but currently include Safari Pride Coffee, House of Queens, and Mars Jameson.
Other shoptions at Mall of America include Nicola’s Wig Boutique, Arwa Fashion, Ebisu, and United People Apparel.
GREATER BLOOMINGTON BUSINESSES
Agape African Market: A staple throughout Bloomington and the south metro for more than 20 years, Agape African Market is a family business that brings people from all walks of life together. Agape stocks a vast assortment of goods including East and West African food, clothing, candy, and more. The combination of warm customer service, great food, and fair prices has earned them many repeat customers.
Mhiripiri Gallery: Owners Rex and Julie created Mhiripiri Gallery as a passion project in 1986 to bring exotic paintings, prints, and Zimbabwe Shona stone sculptures to Bloomington. They make it a point to have relationships with the artists whose works they carry. To do this, Rex and Julie use their buying trips to connect with said artists and build a bond while they look for pieces to have in the gallery.
Luro Boots: For the past 11 years, Luro Boots owner Gilberto Diaz has curated his shop to be fun, colorful, and full of Western styles. Visitors can get styled from head to toe in vaquero (cowboy) pieces and an assortment of other options.
El Guanaco Bakery y Café II: As a Salvadoran bakery, El Guanaco provides unique and authentic foods that resonate with the community. Try the perfectly cooked pan dulce, tasty pupusas, Salvadoran tamales, and fresh-baked goods from the bakery case.
You can also grab a delicious bite to eat at Penn Lake Roast Beef, Sunrise Donuts, Mandarin Kitchen, or Chan Oriental Market, get a new style at Bruce Penn Lake Barbers or Mouna’s Hair Braiding Salon, and purchase a beautiful bouquet at Maz-In Flowers.