Explore our (non-exhaustive) roundup of Alexandria, VA’s Black-owned restaurants, retail, beauty and wellness businesses for all your gifting needs (or for treating yourself). Below, local business owners share how they’ll help you find the perfect gift, decompress when you feel stressed, savor a festive meal and more. Keep reading to get inspired.
Studies show that spending time unmasked indoors at businesses such as restaurants and gyms significantly increases your risk of contracting COVID-19, even when physical distancing is present. Getting food to-go, dining outside and taking part in virtual activities from home are much safer.
Helmed by former Obama administration attorney Nicole McGrew, Threadleaf is an independent boutique and proud to be the only store in the area to offer several slow fashion brands from Japan, Europe and the United States under one roof. The airy boutique provides an inviting space for considered shopping, but you can also visit Threadleaf’s online shop to view an inspired collection that does not compromise on style or craftsmanship. Threadleaf offers delivery, curbside pickup and phone orders, as well as in-store shopping with contactless checkout. E-gift cards are available online.
Holiday Offerings: Comb through an edited collection of ethical fashion that will help you—or any gift recipient—look and feel good for seasons to come.
Food & Drink
Tucked inside Cameron Station, Cameron Café is a local coffee shop and café that brings together residents of the West End and beyond to celebrate life’s moments while they caffeinate. Start a day of holiday shopping or festivities with a hot drink paired with a buttery croissant. As the weather permits, take your fuel for a brisk morning jaunt around Ben Brenman Park. Gift cards are available in the store or online, or through giveandgetlocal.com
Holiday Offering: Warm up with a Peppermint Mocha latte, made with locally roasted beans.
Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats
Sweeten the holiday season with Goodies Frozen Custard & Treats, a 1950s-inspired soda fountain serving legendary Wisconsin-style frozen custard and nostalgic treats from owner Brandon Byrd’s vintage van. As Goodies gears up to for a brick-and-mortar soft opening at Commerce Street’s historic ice house in late 2020, swing by for custard-topped apple crisp, decadent doughnut sandwiches more.
Holiday Offerings: Make someone’s day by sharing Goodies’ upcoming curbside pick-up dessert kits: think cookie dough kits, doughnuts, ginger beer, pan of bread pudding, etc. Stomach growling yet?
Haute Dogs & Fries
Let Haute Dogs & Fries provide a creative take on your favorite comfort foods for special occasion dining or spicing up cold winter nights. Customer favorites include the Bombshell (topped with mango-pineapple relish, sautéed onions and fresh jalapeños) or the Banh Mi Dog, inspired by the Vietnamese sandwich. Haute Dogs’ “Pay it Pho-ward” campaign supports restaurant workers during COVID-19—donate $10 to provide homemade pho to a worker in need. Look for Haute Dogs’ signature cheeky T-shirts, as well as gift cards for purchase, online.
Holiday Offerings: Keep an eye out for socially distanced pop-up events this holiday season. Or, create a festive atmosphere at home with Haute Dog’s custom sausage and craft beer pairings, plus catering for socially distanced dinner parties.
Magnolia’s On King
Magnolia’s On King is a haven for high quality Southern cuisine, specializing in one-of-a-kind vegan and vegetarian meals under the leadership of Leonard Holton, a local Old Town sommelier and restaurateur (pictured above at left). In-person diners will find plexiglass partitions, HEPA air filtration systems, as well as curbside, contact-free pick up options. Magnolia’s On King can also help you cut back on time in the kitchen this holiday season with meals to-go. Gift cards are available online or via email.
Holiday Offerings: Pick up a festive holiday meal for the whole family with Magnolia On King’s $50 Southern Comfort Dinner Bag, filled with your choice of two entrées such as shrimp and grits, BBQ ribs, vegan smoked mushroom carbonara and more, served with any three sides.
Envy Us Beauty Supply
Prep for holiday gatherings with your family or virtual meetups by stocking up on beauty supplies at Envy Us Beauty Supply, owner Aesha Ray’s S. Van Dorn St. shop specializing in hair care, skin care, cosmetics, hair extensions and accessories with a large selection of Black-owned beauty brands. Shop (or buy a gift card) online and enjoy curbside and delivery options.
Holiday Offering: Look for numerous sales and promotions throughout November and December to get you and your loved ones holiday ready. Plus, enjoy nationwide delivery for shipping gifts.
Good Brows is a luxury brow boutique dedicated to precision brow shaping and permanent makeup. Let owner Simone Fennell (pictured above) demonstrate the game-changing power of well-shaped brows. Good Brows is taking all safety and sanitation precautions to ensure the safety of staff and clients. Shop brow products or schedule your appointment online now.
Holiday Offering: Good Brows invites you to shop online and have your Good Brows goodies delivered to your door. Each purchase during the month of December will include a free gift.
Hazel O. Salon
Named in homage to the owners’ grandmother, Hazel O. Salon is the quintessential urban beauty oasis servicing all hair types. Enjoy the salon’s sleek, sophisticated interior for an end-of-year hair refresh from staff experienced in styling a vast range of hair types and textures. Distancing and masks are required.
Holiday Offering: Guests can enjoy Hazel O. Salon this holiday season by taking advantage of the convenient, flexible scheduling. Stylists are available Sunday-Saturday by appointment. Give the gift of Hazel O. Salon with a gift card, available online.
Elle Hair Studio
Treat yourself to hair care ranging from to ombré or balayage to loc maintenance from a five-star stylist. Make an appointment at Elle Hair Studio, a private boutique hair salon located right outside of Old Town. Appointments are booked out with a fifteen-minute margin to allow time for proper sanitation. Clients must be allowed into the building by the stylist to further limit exposure. Gift cards are available online.
Holiday Offering: Carve out some “me time” with a private suite experience this holiday season.
Historical Tours and Black History Merch
Manumission Tour Company
Founded by Alexandria City Councilman John T. Chapman, Manumission Tour Company provides guided walking tours that explore the experiences of African Americans in early Alexandria, from the Underground Railroad to the successes of free Black individuals in antebellum Alexandria. Masks are required, social distancing is practiced and flexible scheduling/refunds are available.
Holiday Offerings: Customers can embark on guided walking tours, including the brand-new Underground Railroad route, until December 13, 2020. Then, Manumission Tour Company will offer a collection of virtual tours that will be given on a rotating basis. Customers can also buy gift cards to share the experience with a loved one or peruse gift-ready merch at the tour company’s online store.
Gyms & Wellness
PIES Yoga Fitness Studio
PIES Fitness Yoga Studio, a safe haven of community in Alexandria’s West End, thrives in offering compassionate, inclusive and personable service to welcome and support all beings on their wellness journey. PIES’ (currently virtual) sessions are designed to reduce stress and anxiety, cultivate optimal sleep, explore the intersectionality of social justice and wellness and heal gender, workplace and race-based trauma. Ease your way into yoga and the new year with “My Body Don’t Bend That Way,” PIES’ flagship class featuring customized yoga poses, an open and laughter-filled environment and an abundance of support. Visit PIES’ website to sign up for a class or purchase a product or e-gift card.
Holiday Offering: Press pause on seasonal stress with one of PIES Fitness Yoga Studio’s specialty holiday yoga therapy sessions. Plus, new students can currently snag four classes for $40.
Sunflowers Healing and Wellness
Navigate the peaks and valleys of life with compassionate guidance and custom life tools from Sunflowers Healing and Wellness. Lindsey Vick, owner and founder (pictured above) invites you to work with her team of practitioners for proven tools to affect all areas of life, from relationships to careers to birth and more. Located in Del Ray, Sunflowers Healing and Wellness offers hypnotherapy, reiki, life coaching and an array of childbirth support services. Sunflowers offers highly effective virtual sessions, and doulas are always masked for in-person appointments.
Holiday Offering: As the holiday season heightens emotions in the midst of an already intense year, reach out to Sunflowers online, by email or by phone at 703-646-8650. Find e-gift cards online and look for specials on session packages that make great gifts.
Let Trident’s coaches encourage you as you seek an endorphins boost this holiday season and strive for new routines into the new year. Trident offers eight weekday classes to accommodate all sorts of schedules. The exercise and supportive community can help you better cope with stress and will put you on the road to a healthier and stronger life. Trident’s safety precautions include a new air exchange system, large fans and state-of-the-art air purifiers, plus additional sanitizing and distancing measures.
Holiday Offering: Post-workout, pick up a t-shirt or gift card at the gym’s store.
The staff at Del Ray’s Foundation Fitness knows that one of the hardest things to do since the start of the pandemic is to stay active and exercise. The gym boasts a team of highly skilled and trained personal trainers who can safely keep you on track and moving forward. Trainers wear masks at all times, equipment is sanitized and multiple fans and air purifiers around the studio keep the air moving.
Holiday Offering: Set up a time to meet with a personal trainer and release some pent-up stress while you reach your goals.
Find more Black-owned businesses to support here.
Header Image Credits, left to right: Threadleaf; Instagram account of Hazel O. Salon; Haute Dogs & Fries