PHILADELPHIA - Helmed by Omar Tate (Esquire Chef of the Year 2020, TIME 100Next in 2021, and as seen on Netflix’s High on the Hog) and Cybille St.Aude-Tate, Honeysuckle Provisions is a trailblazing Afrocentric grocery and cafe in West Philadelphia featuring Black-made, -owned and -grown foods. Across fresh produce, made-to-order cafe items, and pantry goods, Honeysuckle Provisions offers a fresh perspective on food systems - expanding the idea of Afrocentricity in food by redefining the limits of a restaurant.
Honeysuckle Provisions’ menu nods to Cybille’s Haitian roots and Omar’s roots as a descendant of Charleston, South Carolina, by way of the Great Migration — with a narrative behind each dish. Reaching beyond the plate, the pair pay homage to historical figures like Dr. George Washington Carver with their innovative and nutrient-rich morning beverage COWPEAcoffee and through the sweet potato-based BLACKenglish Muffin Breakfast Sandwich, titled as a nod to James Baldwin’s “If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?”. True to their Pennsylvania provenance, they also feature a playful (and vegetarian) Black-Eyed Pea Scrapple. Lunch items incorporate more of the African diaspora, featuring items like Jamaican Patties, a Grain Bowl with Fonio and Epis Green Goddess dressing, and more.
Pantry staples and specialty items share shelf space with take-home grocery kits, which include thoughtfully prepared proteins, produce, starches, and condiments for complete meals. The “Black Farmer Boxes” are their version of a CSA, with produce, dairy, and livestock from Black farmers, including their own Elkins Park farm operated in partnership with Farmer Jawn. Other grocery items include house-made seasonal bread and pastries, benne seed mayo, spice mixes, ground flours, and more. Retail offerings include a curated selection of cookbooks, incense, soap, and candles.
Champions of Black farming, Omar and Cybille, grow and harvest some of the products sold at Honeysuckle Provisions on their land in Elkins Park, PA in partnership with Farmer Jawn. They also partner with other Black farmers whose products range from produce to dairy and livestock to round out their grocery offerings, cafe needs, and “Black Farmer Boxes.” Regional partners include the Black Farmer Fund network, Smith Poultry, Peculiar Big Farm, and Plowshare Farms.
Honeysuckle Provisions is a family-owned and -operated business committed to the highest quality standards from a culinary perspective and socially and politically. Rooted in the values of nourishment and reclamation of Black food traditions and cultural aesthetics, Honeysuckle Provisions is a hub for Black life that aims to redesign neighborhoods and transform communities through their relationships with food. Prioritizing ethical and sustainable practices holistically, all staff are paid a living wage and are offered traditional and nontraditional benefits with an emphasis on equitable work culture. Given the connection to farmers and overall respect for food and the land that supports it, sustainability is tapped in a more literal sense via the cafe, which is zero-waste, working collaboratively with the grocery to incorporate things like “seconds” and produce timing-out in its raw form.
Located in a historically Black Walnut Hill neighborhood in West Philadelphia, Honeysuckle Provisions uses food as its anchor for communing and gathering its neighbors to enjoy and celebrate eating, shopping, and dining. Further, a broader national community supported the project via a GoFundMe campaign that raised $147,151 in two years. This outpouring of support funded the opening of Honeysuckle Provisions and community partner, The Enterprise Center’s Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Culinary Enterprises (CCE).
Omar Tate and Cybille St.Aude-Tate are social entrepreneurs who believe in centering the Black experience and are fueled by the conviction that chefs have a social responsibility. Their overarching brand, Honeysuckle Projects, expands the mission of Honeysuckle Provisions into a network of community spaces centered around the values of ancestry, nourishment, and reclamation across pop-ups, dinner parties, and events.
- Omar Tate, co-founder of Honeysuckle Provisions: Identifying first and foremost as an artist (not a chef) who uses food as one of his many mediums, Omar is a West Philly native who worked for over a decade in acclaimed kitchens across Philadelphia and in New York City before embarking on his own. After experiencing a lack of diversity and representation in the kitchen and on the plate, Omar launched Honeysuckle to tell nuanced stories on Blackness in America.
- Cybille St.Aude-Tate, co-founder of Honeysuckle Provisions: A Haitian-American chef and children’s book author. Though her culinary career has led her to multiple appearances at the James Beard House in New York City, Charleston Wine + Food, and a casting in Food Network’s “Chopped,” she is most proud of her cultural work grounded in Haiti. Further, Cybille has a degree in African American Studies focusing on Caribbean culture and aesthetics.
310 S. 48th St., Philadelphia, PA | @honeysuckle_provisions | Tuesday - Sunday, 8 AM - 5 PM, with extended hours to come | Walk-ins only