We had the good fortune of connecting with KaCey Venning and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi KaCey, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Initially, I wanted to find a product I could curate or make that could help me make enough money to pay off my mother’s mortgage. It is has grown into building a multi-million dollar business that can ensure that jobs and wealth creation is within our community’s reach.
What should our readers know about your business?
CarVen Spice Company was created for the lazy cook. Seriously. My mom didn’t even boil water until after my parents married and never learned to cook. Daddie cooked all of our meals and he enjoyed it! After my father’s passing in 2000 my Mommie had to learn to make a few easy meals for herself. But, she often found herself overwhelmed by what to use to season her food. As I started this business I wondered how I could make it easier for someone else like my Mommie to season their food as they learned their favorite meals to cook. And even though it’s for the lazy and inexperienced cook, some who take cooking, meal prep, grilling, etc. seriously love the blends as well! I have had some quick success. Most of that is a testament to the brand I created as a co-founder of Helping Empower Youth, Inc. and the relationships I have made over the years. I used the same grit and strategy to build a successful nonprofit to build my seasoning and spice company. It has not been easy. Sourcing raw materials, packaging vendors, budgeting for marketing, and determining when to release new blends and products has been challenging, but so very rewarding. I have learned that success requires getting in front of new customers on a regular basis while cultivating relationship with your repeat customers. I am also learning that you don’t have to release 10 products at one time to be profitable. Actually, find the least number of products and options to make available. It lessens your production and marketing costs and increases your profit margins. What I want the world to know is CarVen Spice Company is here to help build wealth for communities of color, create jobs for those who seem unemployable, provide sustainable and healthy options for us to season our favorite family meals, and ultimately… pay off my mother’s mortgage and buy back the block!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Some of my favorite spots are definitely Busy Bee’s, B’s Cracklin BBQ, Big Dave’s Cheesesteaks, and Edgewood Pizza are musts! Visiting the Ferris Wheel would be on the list as well as a visit to the King Center of course. A tour of the AUC, especially Morris Brown’s campus. We would have to take a drive down Peachtree from one end to the other and drive South into the city on 85 to get a good glimpse of the skyline at night. And no trip is complete without dancing at MJQ or a walk on the Beltline.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I definitely want to shout out my parents who are the inspiration for CarVen Spice Company. So, thank you to Henry and Joyce Venning! I also want to recognize my family and close friends who served as taste testers. And finally, to all of my first 100 customers who pushed me to be better.
Eric Jones Heather Gaylord
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