Celebrating Black Business Month Written by: Olivia Frymark

August is National Black Business Month, a time to celebrate and support black-owned businesses.

Since 2004, America has recognized this month as a time to advance the success of black entrepreneurs and business owners in our communities. There are more than 2 million black-owned businesses in the United States. In our home of Washington DC, 28% of businesses are black owned, the highest percentage in the country.

Many local black-owned businesses have been struggling due to the pandemic, and now is the perfect time to be intentional about where we are spending our money. VIDA is celebrating black businesses across the DMV by offering a free visit to our clubs! Show your receipt from any black-owned business and we’ll give you a free workout.

Penthouse Pool Club Celebration

Penthouse Pool Club is also hosting a Black Business Month Celebration on Friday, August 20th at The Yards and Saturday, August 21st at U Street.

Make sure to reserve your spot and celebrate the below black-owned businesses with us that we’re thrilled to be partnering with!

Uncle Nearest

Over 150 years ago, a black slave known as Uncle Nearest was making the best whiskey on a farm outside of Lynchburg, Tennessee. His method of distilling, known for its rich taste and smoothness, was a special technique Nearest learned when had cleaned water in his home of West Africa.

Nearest’s whiskey caught the attention of Jasper Daniels, a white entrepreneur looking for work, who wanted to partner with him and begin selling it across Tennessee. Nearest taught Daniels everything about distilling the perfect whiskey. When Uncle Nearest became a free man after the 13th amendment, Daniels bought Nearest out of their distillery but asked him to stay and work for him as his master distiller – a position he accepted. Daniels began putting his product out with the name of Jack Daniels – the Tennessee whiskey still well known today.

Uncle Nearest worked for Jack Daniels until he retired, but his story of teaching Daniels everything he knew about whiskey got lost through the years. In 2017, the Nearest Green Distillery was founded to honor his legacy as the first African American master distiller and his story as the original Tennessee whiskey. Today you can buy three of their premium whiskey offerings.

Zuri Swim Collection

Zuri Swim Collection was “created for minority women by minority women.” The company was founded by Rachel Walton and Justina Moffett, local Howard University alumni, who bonded over their love of luxury products and traveling in style. The women created Zuri Swim to empower other women of color to feel beautiful and comfortable in their high-quality fabrics that highlight natural curves.

Blackleaf Vodka

Blackleaf Organic Vodka was founded by Washington DC resident, Kevin Larkai. Born in Nigeria and raised in Botswana, Larkai didn’t make his way to the United States until high school. He landed in Washington DC after studying at George Mason University and became and entrepreneur. After a chance meeting with the Maison Rene Laclie owner, Bertrand Laclie, Larkai and Lacile decided to partner together to create an organic vodka with a premium taste.

Launched in 2020, Blackleaf Organic Vodka is now sold in many bars and restaurants around the city for you to try. Since launching, they’ve also created two signature Blackleaf cocktail called Black Excellence and Black RoyalTea.

Black RoyalTea Recipe

This weekend, the Black RoyalTea will be our signature drink at Penthouse Pool Club. Inspired by the Zuri Swim Empress Collection, this Blackleaf Vodka cocktail is delicious and refreshing.


  • 1.5oz blackleaf vodka
  • 5 blueberries
  • 4 mint leaves
  • .5oz simple syrup
  • 1oz lime juice