A family idea to get their kids to eat veggies has evolved into a vibrant, national, online brand concept for two sisters. Growth plans for their product line include international expansion, domestic sales in brick-and-mortar grocery stores, and reaching food deserts nationwide.
Meet Dr. Jamelah Tucker and Dorielle Price, founders and owners of Hallandale Beach, Florida-based EasyPeasie L.L.C. Their company operates EasyPeasie Veggie Blends, which sells carrots, peas, butternut squash, spinach, and other vegetables in powdered form. Similar to food seasoning, flavorful core brands are Natural Blend, Green Blend, and Red Blend, and it also offers a mix of spice blends.
Price says the concept initially emerged a decade ago as a means to get her youngest son—an infant at the time—to consume nutritious vegetables by drying and grinding them to add to his meals. An engineer with a doctorate, Price says she developed the concept after discussions with Tucker, a pediatrician. That approach caught on with other family members and led to the launch of EasyPeasie in 2016.
Overcoming Challenges To Produce Bountiful Revenue
Harvesting the new line of products for “The Peas”—as the sisters call themselves—was not a cinch. For one, Tucker admits raising capital and reaching customers were among the biggest challenges. In fact, Tucker and Price self-funded the enterprise by investing a combined $45,000 of their personal savings and reinvesting profits back into the business for the first three years.
Tucker maintains that EasyPeasie generated its initial revenue from selling to customers at farmers’ markets, health fairs, and other local venues. But when the pandemic struck in 2020, she estimates revenue only reached $8,000 that year. “We really had to go hard on our e-commerce, Amazon.com, and meeting customers online,” she says. The Amazon alliance paid off handsomely as 2021 revenue rose to $50,000, and now that relationship will help increase projected 2022 revenue by as much as 300% to $150,000.
Harvesting The Amazon Relationship
The Peas have bolstered their business through participation in Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator (BBA), the $150 million effort started last year. The program has provided capital access, strategic guidance, and marketing support, among other services, to help Black-owned businesses with physical, consumer products scale up and maximize sales in Amazon’s store. Selling on Amazon, Price says, has helped the company bloom along with providing access to Amazon’s hundreds of millions of customers. Amazon has proven vital to EasyPeasie in setting up advertising pages, optimizing keywords, and troubleshooting. As a result, Tucker says Amazon has enabled EasyPeasie to reach a larger number of customers than it would have face to face.
Finding Multiple Ways To Reach Customers
The Peas are hopeful that Amazon can help the business expand this year into foreign markets such as Canada and the United Kingdom for the first time. Along with international expansion, Tucker says EasyPeasie is ready for retail growth at grocery stores, including regional outlets like Florida-based Publix and national big-box retailers like Aldi and Whole Foods. High on their agenda over the next two years is targeting food deserts, areas with “low levels of access to retail outlets selling healthy and affordable foods,” Tucker says. “We are hoping to get EasyPeasie WIC and SNAP-eligible to help reach families in communities like this.”
Furthermore, Tucker told BLACK ENTERPRISE that EasyPeasie hopes to get its popular limited-edition spice blends—Turmeric Blend and Ginger Blend—to large batch production by this fall. She added that the company plans to move its two-pound ECO-size of the classic blends into larger productivity this fall.
The motivation for Tucker and Price to start and grow their business stems from a family legacy of entrepreneurship. Their late maternal grandparents ran a store and rooming house in the 1950s for about 20 years in their hometown of Hallandale Beach in Florida. Asserts Tucker: “Dorielle and I were very intentional to HQ our business here and made sure our hometown name is on every single bottle of EasyPeasie as homage to them, our community, our family history, and our legacy. We proudly stand on the shoulders of Black entrepreneurs and will share this honor with our entire family.”