Chef Omar Tate is more than just your everyday Black chef, he’s an artist first. Using food as his medium, the ‘2020 Esquire Chef of the Year’ and Philly native has always been focused on telling the nuanced stories of Black America through his dishes. Tate and his wife Cybille recently opened their first café and grocery concept, Honeysuckle Provisions, in West Philly’s historically Black Walnut Hill.
Honeysuckle Provisions will feature Black-made, owned and grown foods, with fresh produce, made-to-order café items, and pantry goods. It will bring a fresh perspective on food systems by expanding the idea of Afrocentricity in food and by redefining the limits of a restaurant.
"We're excited to be able to bring new energy and fresh produce into the community,” Cybille St. Aude-Tate told EBONY. “We are also excited to continue to build on the shift that's happening in West Philadelphia and hope to contribute to making it a destination neighborhood in the city."
The café menu is curated with nods to Cybille’s Haitian roots and Omar’s roots as a descendant of Charleston, South Carolina by way of the Great Migration—with each dish telling its own story. The couple also honors Black historical greats like George Washington Carver through the COWPEA coffee and the sweet potato-based BLACK english Muffin Breakfast Sandwich, named after James Baldwin’s “If Black English Isn't a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is?” The café’s lunch menu will incorporate flavors found across the African diaspora.
Honeysuckle Provisions' grocery will sell produce harvested from the Tates’ Elkins Park, Pennsylvania farm that is run in partnership with Black woman farmer, Farmer Jawn. Products include dairy and livestock, as well as a Black Farmer Box that will feature items grown by other Black farmers in the region, such as the Black Farmer Fund network, Smith Poultry, Peculiar Pig Farms. and Plowshare Farms. You will also be able to grab things like house-made seasonal
breads and pastries, benne seed mayo, spice mixes, ground flours, cookbooks, incense, soap, and candles.
The family-owned grocery and café will also serve as a hub for Black life that aims to redesign neighborhoods and transform communities through their relationships with food. Additionally, employees of Honeysuckle Provisions will be paid a living wage and offered traditional and nontraditional benefits. The couple is big on sustainability and will incorporate a zero-waste practice.