It was about this time last year when I was knee-deep in my culinary producer work for “Hot Ones the Game Show” in Atlanta. I was feeling myself and so excited for what 2020 would bring. I am sure I am not the only one reflecting on the difference one year makes. Continue to stay vigilant all. We are not out of the woods just yet. Thanks always to those who are holding us down in myriad ways. Respect.

And about this time last year, I was all up in Little Five Points and Ponce City Market in the ATL holiday shopping and buying Black in the process. Shoutouts to all my Hot Ones and Atlantian fam! I have never felt so welcome in another city. Bless up!

This year, I am taking that same ATL energy from last year and pouring it right into Experience Harlem’s Shop Harlem Holiday Fair presented by AT&T and Shop & Sip Harlem presented by Maker’s Mark Bourbon. As it has done for over a decade, Experience Harlem continues to highlight Harlem’s Black-owned businesses events, promotion and business expertise. “Although this year is unlike any other, let’s bring in the holidays the right way by supporting Harlem businesses throughout the season,” says Experience Harlem founder, Angie Hancock.

Landmark community partners of this initiative include Harlem Park to Park, Harlem Stage and Harlem Business Alliance. “We are pleased to partner with AT&T and Experience Harlem to promote many of Harlem’s finest businesses during this holiday season. Black Businesses Matter is not a catchphrase—its realization is a critical component of our community’s overall well-being,” said Regina Smith, founder, Harlem Business Alliance. Judy Cavalieri, vice president general manager of New York, AT&T, echoes the sentiment: “My team is excited to be a part of this event and we look forward to continuing to support the businesses at the local AT&T retail store in Harlem.”

The following are the three Shop Harlem initiatives happening now and throughout the holiday season:


Visit to check out Experience Harlem’s digital holiday gift guide featuring Black-owned Harlem businesses and creators. Follow @experienceharlem on social media for giveaways and more.


Thursday, December 10, 6-9 p.m. (EST)

Visit and let’s virtually dance with Harlem’s DJ Stormin’ Norman and discover unique holiday gifts at the Shop Harlem Virtual Fair. Treat family, friends, colleagues and don’t forget yourself too, with the best from Harlem’s own artisans, craftspeople and makers.

SHOP & SIP HARLEM Presented by Maker’s Mark Bourbon

Saturday, December 12 & Sunday, December 13—Experience Harlem has curated a list of Black-owned Harlem retail and restaurants welcoming shoppers to socially distant shop. Additionally, sip a complimentary Maker’s Mark cocktail at participating restaurants when you receive a special code/coupon from participating retailers. Visit for participating shops and restaurants and more information.

Good on you all! Harlem is proud and loud. Let’s get into the holiday spirit and support each other and our community.

Happy eating, stay safe, wear a mask and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for over 18 years. She is the new Food Editor at Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPnyc, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback? Invitations! Email AmNewsFOOD at Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!