Velma Mackey has made tremendous strides since starting her business, Suzan’s Sweet Potato Pie. When Velma first began her journey, she was selling her pies to friends and family. Most of her business came through word of mouth and slowly, it began to spread through the community. Experiencing some success, Velma was compelled to reach for more. Winning the Wells Fargo Entrepreneurship Invitational earning seed money for her business and scaling production in the NMEP Shared Use Kitchen empowered her to take the next steps. She improved her process and began to vacuum seal her pies.
After more research, she found that sweet potato pies were difficult to find, not only during the holiday season but in general in local grocery stores. She approached Hy-vee for an opportunity to have shelf space during the holiday season. Velma successfully pitched to have her pies sold in Hy-Vee at 108th & Fort. The traffic to that store increased in pursuit of Suzan’s Sweet Potato Pie during the fall of 2017. Velma leveraged that customer demand to pitch placing her pies at another Hy-Vee store at 156th & Maple. And now her pies are being sold in both Hy-vee locations (108th & Fort and 156th & Maple) year round.
This summer, Velma has has recruited NMEP Culinary Workforce Training Program graduates Dari and Teeka to help her fill weekly pie orders to her current Hy-vee stores. Together last week they prepared 184 ready to bake pies! Velma will continue to challenge herself to grow her business and plans to land future shelf space in other locations around town. No More Empty Pots supports her journey by assisting in weekly pie deliveries with the NMEP refrigerated truck.
Are You A Food Entrepreneur With A Dream?
Enter into the Wells Fargo Entrepreneurship Invitational where you have an opportunity to work with the Wells Fargo Green Team to perfect your business plans and have a chance to earn seed money for your business.
Business Plans Due August 4th!
Step 1: Complete the NMEP Kitchen Application
Step 2: Create your business plan HERE
Step 3: Download your business plan and submit via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
CLICK HERE to learn more about the invitational.