• Lucy Erika Ann Magat

Spotlight: Black-owned Businesses in the Joliet Area

February is Black History Month and here at the University of St. Francis, we celebrate the rich Black culture that surrounds us. We’ve decided to feature some local Black-owned businesses that we love in honor of Black History Month.

Cheesecake By James

Located in the heart of Downtown Joliet at 81 N Chicago St., Cheesecake by James was established in June 2020 and has quickly become a local favorite due to its rich and creamy cheesecakes, which are made fresh every day. Many USF students find themselves frequently visiting Cheesecake by James because it is in walking distance from the Saint Bonaventure campus. USF student Adesuwa Imafidon is a fan of this sweet spot. Imafidon states, “Cheesecake by James is an incredible small business in the Joliet area and the hospitality of the employees and the quality of the desserts are beyond impressive. I would highly recommend it to everyone.” As of right now, dine-in is not available but they are open for pre-orders and pick ups and can be reached at (815) 409-7339 or online at cheesecakesbyjames.com.

Louisiana Barbecue

Another local favorite is Louisiana Barbecue, which is located at 1220 Richards St. The restaurant opened in 2007 and is owned by Allan and Theresa Washington. Known for its delicious and savory wings, rib tips and beef briskets, it also offers affordable and freshly made smoked barbecue. They are open for lunch and dinner and are available for catering. They can be reached at 815-774-0131 or are available for online ordering through Grubhub.

Popus Gourmet Popcorn

If you are a huge popcorn fanatic like me, Popus Gourmet Popcorn is a must! With ten locations in nearby cities, they are one of the best businesses to purchase popcorn from. Their Joliet location is found at 2004 W. Jefferson St., located less than ten minutes away from USF’s main campus. They are open for pick up and walk-in ordering. They can be contacted through their website www.orderpopus gourmet popcorn.com, or by phone at (815) 280-5133. For those who are unable to pick up their orders in-person, shipping is also available. Not only do they have a large selection of popcorn flavors, but they also serve root beer, candies, slushies, taffy and so much more.

More of your favorite black owned businesses!

DeWitt’s Gourmet

Address: 20 E. Cass St. Joliet, IL 60432

Contact Information: 815.280.5280 or info@dewittsgourmet.com

Services: variety of freshly-baked cookies and frozen cookie doughs

Taps Tips BBQ Smokehouse

Address: 3111 Theodore St, Joliet, IL 60435

Contact Information: 815.782.7135 or tapstips3111@gmail.com

Services: smoked wings, rib tips, beef briskets, hot links, and more!

Louisiana Barbecue

1220 Richard St Unit C, Joliet IL60433

(815) 774-0131

Services: Barbecue, catering


Cheesecake by James

Address: 81 N Chicago St, Joliet, IL 60432

Contact: (815) 409-7339

Services: Cheesecakes and sweet treats


Popus Gourmet Popcorn

2004 W Jefferson St

JOLIET, IL 60435

(815) 280-5133


@usf_encounter tweets: