This Saturday celebrates American freedom. The ancestors will be proud. Harlem will be moving and shaking with three events that include a family block party, a ribbon cutting and supporting Harlem businesses.

The weekend starts on Friday as Experience Harlem, the award-winning marketing solutions company, kicks off their 15th anniversary with a special summer Juneteenth edition of their Shop & Sip series, highlighting Harlem’s Black-owned businesses. “Harlem has long been recognized as the Black capital of the world, there’s no better way to celebrate Juneteenth weekend, kick off summer and the reopening of New York than to discover Harlem’s scores of Black entrepreneurs, small businesses, artists and artisans,” said founder Angie Hancock. Liz Osei, brand manager of sponsor Maker’s Mark added, “We know it’s been such challenging times….by supporting the SHOP HARLEM campaign, we hope we can make this summer a little more remarkable.”

Shop & Sip starts Friday June 18 with cocktails and conversations at Ristorante Settepani to celebrate the participants, co-hosted by Harlem Commonwealth Council in honor of their 55th year of providing economic and entrepreneurial services to Harlem, Upper Manhattan and South Bronx. Thereafter, Harlem is yours through Sunday, June 20 to shop and sip away.

For more information and a list of participating businesses visit Be sure to get your ticket from participating stores to present to a participating restaurant to sip a complimentary Maker’s Mark cocktail.

On Saturday, Harlem food icon, Make My Cake, will open their second Harlem location on the historic 125th street. Join for the ribbon cutting at 12:30 p.m. at 409 West 125 Street (at Morningside Ave.).

“Growing up in Harlem, 125th Street was our Main Street of Black America. I was so inspired by two of the founding Black-owned bakeries in Harlem––Wimp’s and Georgie’s Bakery. To finally be able to open our 4th location and introduce our coffee shop on 125th Street on Juneteenth is a very liberating experience,” said Make My Cake owner Aliyyah Baylor.

Finally, for all those who do not know, my mother is Grandma Dawn of Harlem’s premier book and toy store Grandma’s Place on 120th street between Lenox and 5th Avenues. She is throwing a Juneteenth family block party with games, music, performances and books galore. Please join us there and celebrate the auspicious day!

Happy eating, stay safe 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.

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