*Ever since Quakers Oaks decided to rebrand the “racist” packaging of its Aunt Jemima pancake products, the founder of Michele Foods Inc. has seen a huge increase in sales of its syrup.
Here’s more from the outlet:
She began manufacturing her specialty breakfast syrups in 1984. That same year, Michele secured the top two largest retail chains in the Chicagoland area, which took her out of the basement and into 400 retail chains. She went on to become the first minority supplier for Denny’s, the first minority supplier for Walmart, and over the years she has partnered with some of the most respected food companies in the world – General Mills and Sara Lee.
Michele laughs when she recalls her early struggles and countless mistakes.
“There were no mentors for an African American female entrepreneur in the food industry in those days. I had to learn from my mistakes. Had I not been naïve, I may not have started this journey. All I had going for me was my goal and a commitment to making it work.”
The recipe that started it all is known as Michele’s Honey Crème Syrup, a rich, creamy confection made with honey, cream, and butter.
Today, her products are sold at more than 8,000 stores nationwide, including Kroger, Albertson’s, Jewel Foods, Publix, and Safeway and more.
Meanwhile, Aunt Jemima’s great-grandson has slammed Quaker Oats decision to retire her image from the brand’s logo, pancakes and syrup products.
The decision is in response to the civil unrest and protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died in custody of Minneapolis police.
“This is an injustice for me and my family. This is part of my history, sir,” Larnell Evans Sr. told Patch. “The racism they talk about, using images from slavery, that comes from the other side — white people. This company profits off images of our slavery. And their answer is to erase my great-grandmother’s history. A black female. … It hurts.”
We previously reported… it took more than a century but Quaker Oats announced last month that it will get rid of its “Aunt Jemima” brand name and replace it with a new name and image, saying they recognize that “Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype.”