I don’t know about y’all, but Pride month makes me feel so seen. Sure, major companies including CVS and Walmart may have donated over $10 million to anti-LGBTQ+ politicians over the past two years. But come June? Every logo has a rainbow, every brand has limited-edition merch, and every CEO is all “YASSS QUEEN! Those Q2 profits are fierce, hunty!”
At best the intersection of Pride and corporate capitalism is fraught and, at worst, deeply antithetical to the spirit of celebrating queer identity. So our staff established a simple rule for this Pride roundup of food and bev products we love: All these companies are founded and owned by at least one real live queer person. When you buy a bottle of hot sauce from Andre Springer or a jar of jam from V Smiley, you put money in the pockets of a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. And just like how support for Black-owned businesses shouldn’t be reserved for February or the wake of another act of police brutality, consider patronizing these small businesses year-round. (Your pantry, bar cart, and spice rack will thank you.)
Sana Javeri Kadri started spice company Diaspora Co. in 2017 with what might have been the most ethically grown, harvested, and sold turmeric available. Since then she’s methodically and thoughtfully expanded her offerings to include Aranya pepper (more complex than any other pepper I’ve tried) and Nagauri cumin, which I’ll be slathering on lamb chops all summer long.
—Lauren Joseph, contributor
$12.00, Diaspora Co.
The stereotypes are true—I live in a house with three other queers, and we go through a lot of iced coffee. These days our go-to is Explorer Cold Brew, which is not only incredibly delicious but also available in four caffeine levels. I opt for the low-caf concentrate most days, which sacrifices nothing on flavor. I assume Explorer founder and mountaineer Cason Crane drinks the extra-caffeinated brew, which is the only way to explain how he climbed the Seven Summits by age 20. —MacKenzie Chung Fegan, senior commerce editor
$37.00, Explorer Cold Brew Co.
This Barbadian-style hot sauce is so dang versatile. The blend of vinegar, onions, horseradish, and peppers takes my eggs, grilled meats, tacos, and stews to a fiery new level. I also love the iconic label, emblazoned with founder Andre Springer’s drag persona, Shaquanda, who, like her hot sauce, is “willing to please, eager to burn.” –Ali Francis, editor
$10.00, Shaquanda Will Feed You
Omsom is my “it's 7:02 p.m., what’s for dinner?” savior. The collection of sauces, aromatics, and spices, created by sisters Kim and Vanessa Pham, all come with recipe cards for Southeast and East Asian dishes, like sisig, larb, and bulgogi. This handy little box contains a sauce pack for six Japanese, Chinese, and Korean meals—all of which can be on your plate by 7:32. —L.J.
Luis Gramajo and Hans Schrei left their native Guatemala with two suitcases, four dogs, and a banging chocolate chip cookie recipe. Three years later their company, Wunderkeks, ships baked goods nationwide. Their colorful packaging, which features dancing anthropomorphic birthday cakes and puffy cartoon characters with third eyes, is serving “Lisa Frank: The LSD Years.” The cookies and extremely excellent brownies are sold in boxes of eight to 12, and I recommend popping them in the toaster oven for a minute before sharing them with no one. —M.C.F.
$36.00, Wunderkeks (Box of 10)
I’ve lost count of the number of people I sent Madhu Chocolates packages to over the past two and a half years. For any and all “congrats” or “I’m thinking of you” gifts, I turned to these chocolate bars from Harshit Gupta and Elliot Curelop’s Austin-based company, which come in great flavors (lemon fennel, rose pistachio, black pepper—made with spices from the previously mentioned Diaspora—and saffron milk) and beautiful packaging. They also make an excellent chai blend. —Sonia Chopra, executive editor
$10.00, Madhu Chocolate
Not so long ago granola was associated with hippie co-ops and Birkenstock-wearing moms who told their kids that carob was a convincing substitute for chocolate. While Nekisia Davis has been known to sport a pair of Birks, her Early Bird granola is not about restraint or asceticism. It is unrepentantly full of flavor, with plenty of olive oil, maple, and salt. Is it health food? Do I care? —M.C.F.
$28.00, Early Bird Foods – Includes 3 Bags
Started in Brooklyn by queer cofounder Jen Martin and her brother Jeff, Pipcorn is a snack company that sources heirloom corn for their range of flavored popcorns, cheese puffs, and chips. Not to be corny, but their bite-size crackers are truly my everything, perfect when dipped in hummus, topped with cheese, or savored on their own. —Chala Tyson Tshitundu, associate editor
$15.00, Pipcorn – Pack of 3
I’m a natural skeptic, and during Pride month, even more so: Corporate rainbow-washing is a scourge. So when I first learned about Supergay Spirits, I instinctually side-eyed the entire project. But Supergay, founded by Aaron Thorp (a sommelier and beverage director whose track record includes stints at The Standard, Alta, and Le Coucou) and Tom Jackson (of queer culture magazine GAYLETTER), has cred. Their vodka, made from 100 percent organic corn, is weighty and smooth with the slightest hint of sweetness—perfect for a simple gimlet or martini. Even better? Supergay funnels a portion of its profits to organizations benefiting LGBTQ+ bar/restaurant workers like ROAR NY. —Joseph Hernandez, contributor
$38.00, Supergay Spirits
Coffee Project is one of my favorite local coffee shops; they have a serious pour-over program, but they also will make you a nitro cold brew ice cream float or a “Happy Drink” with sweetened espresso, seltzer, and whipped cream. Cofounders (and IRL partners) Chi Sum Ngai and Kaleena Teoh also ship their beans nationwide. All are roasted at their Long Island City facility, which doubles as a training center for baristas, would-be roasters, and coffee nerds alike. Select from house blends, like their Pride-themed Woke Up in New York, or single origin coffees from Ethiopia, Indonesia, El Salvador, and more. —M.C.F.
$.00, Coffee Project NY
Pixie Retreat owners Theresa Keane and Willow O’Brien have been making vegan staples from scratch in Portland, Oregon, for nearly two decades, and just this year they started shipping cases of their coconut, cashew, and Irish Moss puddin’ nationwide. These raw vegan dessert tubs ship frozen and defrost in your fridge. Use them like you would custard—as a layer in a vegan dessert, spooned on top of olive oil cake or berries, or just eaten straight out of the cute, tiny tub. —Allie Wist, contributor
$80.00, Pixie Retreat – Pack of 8
My favorite queer jam is “Galileo” by the Indigo Girls. My second-favorite queer jam is this Seville orange rum marmalade. V Smiley started selling her gorgeous pectin-free, honey-sweetened jams, which she prefers to call “fruit food,” while she was working at The Whale Wins in Seattle. Now that she’s back home on the farm in Vermont, her flavors skew more New England than Pacific Northwest—think currants, quince, and elderberries—and feature aromatics grown by her partner Amy. —M.C.F.
$7.00, V Smiley Preserves
In an interview with The New Yorker, Rancho Gordo founder Steve Sando remarked, “The truth is that your sexual identity is just about the least interesting thing about you. Do you play an instrument? That would be interesting.” So yeah, Sando is gay, but perhaps he’d rather I write about how he’s dedicated his life to bringing heirloom beans and legumes out of obscurity and into our stockpots. (Sando requested we share this bean portrait of him, but our art department went with a bag of beans. I’d have voted for the one where he holds a martini glass with his toes.) —Alex Beggs, contributor
$7.00, Rancho Gordo (1 lb. Bag)
John deBary is a great bartender (go make his margarita if you need convincing), which perhaps counterintuitively made him particularly well-suited to developing a line of nonalcoholic botanical drinks. Pulling from his knowledge of vermouths and amari, deBary concocted two zero-proof, low-sugar beverages—Proteau Ludlow Red, a peppery, almost savory blackberry concoction, and Proteau Rivington Spritz, which tastes like pleasantly bitter, fizzy strawberries. —M.C.F.
$49.00, Drink Porteau – Pack of 2
Is the cannabis industry getting into the rainbow-washing game? Of course it is. We see you, enterprising cis het white dudes with your Pride flag gummies. But Sonder’s Cheers Queers Space Crystals are not only extremely fun to pass out at parties (“Open your mouth!”) but also created by actual queer couple Faun Chapin and M. Paradise. Each packet contains 10 mg of a euphoria-inducing hybrid strain that tastes like tangy citrus and explodes on your tongue—just like Pop Rocks, except with weed. Round out your Pride brunch-and-bake with products from two more queer-owned cannabis companies: pre-rolls from Stone Road or some alcohol-free-but-cannabis-infused mimosas from Saka. —Hilary Cadigan, culture editor
$.00, A Proper High
There’s no shortage of complex caramel-tinged or floral coffee out there. But there is still somehow a dearth of good, truly fair-trade coffee. Marin County–based Equator has been walking the walk since it was founded in 1995 by Brooke McDonnell and Helen Russell. Try their eponymous Equator blend or their collaborations with Bay Area chefs that benefit nonprofits like the Lyric Center for LGBTQQ+ Youth. —L.J.
$16.00, Equator Coffees
If you subscribe to BA’s YouTube channel, you know DeVonn Francis for his jerk chicken, breakfast sausage smash burgers, and impeccable style. Yardy World, his culinary creative studio and hospitality company, hosts pop-up dinners and events, but if you don’t live in New York you can still grab a taste of Francis’s flavors with his seasoned salts. A collaboration with Madre mezcal, the Earth Salts Trio Bundle features a black citrus salt with Urfa biber and black lime, a healing herbs salt with holy basil and ginseng, and—my favorite—a chile salt with lime peel powder and chile de árbol. All three are excellent on grilled meats and roasted veggies or as a seasoning rim for mezcal margaritas. —M.C.F.
$40.00, Madre Mezcal
Originally Appeared on Bon Appétit