We had the good fortune of connecting with Shawnee Coward and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shawnee, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
For me, starting Shawnee’s Goodies was the best solution to the problem that I noticed in my local area…a lack of Black-owned eateries. I did a lot of research about the bakeries my local area, the products I wanted to sell, and how to provide excellent customer. I believed that by starting my own business, I could create a family enterprise as well as create an additional stream of income.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Shawnee’s Goodies started out as a traditional bakery then when I became a vegan, so did the bakery. It was a challenge to teach myself how to bake vegan, sugar-free, and Gluten-free goodies, but I used my food chemistry background to help me write and execute recipes. I believe that my transparency sets my business apart from other businesses. I list my ingredients on each product in their entirety. This excites me because I’m constantly researching and learning how to create and implement the use of more raw ingredients. Starting Shawnee’s Goodies was easy but maintaining and growing Shawnee’s Goodies has been difficult at times. The ability to be flexible and able to pivot has aided my continued business success. I want the world to know Shawnee’s Goodies. I am my brand. My brand is delicious. My brand is health conscious. My brand is Black-owned.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Metro Atlanta is full of so many awesome eateries and places to visit. I wish I had more free time to visit them. A few mentionable places are… I Get Juiced in Snellville; Green Soma Vegan Cafe in Hapeville; City Winery in Decatur; Green Love Kitchen in Lithonia; Sips N Blends in Locust Grove.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
A few people and organizations have really made a difference in how I run my business. The organization that has truly helped my business with encouragement, leadership, and visibility is The Village Market ATL. Dr. Key has created a safe place for Black-owned businesses to communicate, integrate, and celebrate. One person that has supported my business from day one and continues to is my husband, Eric. Eric continuously encourages me to strive for the best in business and life.
All photos taken by Shawnee.