KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City couple started a new business to connect the community with local products. The Black Pantry Kansas City has gained a lot of popularity in a short time. The store sells food, body care, and more.  

Owner Brian Roberts handpicks the local items. He says they all have something in common. 

“It’s about allowing people within the city to support Black businesses and making it easier for them,” Roberts said. “During Black Out Tuesday when we wanted to support Black-owned businesses but there weren’t enough Black businesses to support within a specific area without driving all over the city, so that was kind of my frustration.” 

Brian and Andrea Roberts started in the back of a trailer and now different local businesses host them every month. 

“It turned into this pop-up deal where I support them, they support me and the business model has been working ever since,” Roberts said. 

 The owners of Big Mood Natural Wines found The Black Pantry on Instagram. Richard Garcia co-owner says they offered to share their space for a Valentine’s Day pop-up.  

“We have to keep this conversation going and I think actually doing things is more important than saying things or reposting on Instagram. “I think sharing space and promoting people in the community other Black business owners is vital.” 

Big Mood is one of several businesses across the city that have allowed TBP to set up shop. This gives local business owners like Adrian Franks, owner of Smokey By Nature BBQ sauce a space to sell his products.” 

“It really helps people see what other products are out there and it’s not just Kansas City products, but products from all over the country,” Frank said. “It brings awareness and eyes to those products so people can see different things.” 

Customers like Brandon Reason say TBP offers a convenient way to shop local. 

“I thought it was a really cool idea for me to pop in and get some things that our local stores maybe don’t have,” Reason said. “It’s supporting small business, supporting local, supporting black owned, it’s all encompassing.” 

The owners at TBP hope to grow to into a storefront to create more opportunities to promote small businesses on a larger scale. 

 “All these people have provided a platform for me to do business and support my mission. I want to be able to grow a platform for people who may not be able to do what I’ve done and say hey I’ll bring you along on this journey,” Roberts said. “With my little impact I’m able to encourage people to take the next step in this Black Lives Movement which is more than just going out in the streets.” 

The Black Pantry has a pop-up planned for Saturday February, 20th at Cafe Cà Phê in West Bottoms. Follow The Black Pantry Kansas City on Instagram to stay up to date on their pop-ups.