It hasn’t always been easy for Martin and Tamika Dunkley as owners of Seasoned Delicious. The company started selling small batch Caribbean seasonings and sauces in the Hudson Valley in 2014.
"We went through a lot of struggles when we first started out, even trying to get on other companies’ shelves," Martin said.
So they decided to turn their obstacle into a pathway for other Black-owned businesses to grow by opening a storefront at 10 Cedar Street in Kingston on Saturday.
What You Need To Know
- Seasoned Delicious has been selling Caribbean seasonings and sauces in the Hudson Valley since 2014
- The store will operate on a 90-10 model. At least 90 percent of the products sold in the store will come from minority-owned businesses
- They open this Saturday at noon at 10 Cedar Street in Kingston
"We always have the philosophy that if they're not gonna invite us to the table, we're just gonna build our own table," said Martin.
They follow a 90-10 business model: At least 90 percent of the products sold in the store are from Black and brown or minority-owned companies. According to a report by the National Bureau of Economic Research, 41 percent of Black-owned businesses nationwide have been forced to close because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When we started the company, we said, ‘we’re gonna bring good flavor and energy and good food to people,’ but it's really developed into something a lot more," said Tamika. "We watched so many businesses struggle, so many business owners struggle, so it hits home. It's become, really, our mission to uplift our community and just create a village."
The shelves are lined with everything from familiar Caribbean staples like hard dough bread to 10 flavors of hot sauces. You can also have your pick of the company's 10 different seasonings.
For the Dunkleys, it’s not just about watching their business expand. It’s about lifting up others along the way.
"Typically in for-profit business, people don’t think that you can marry the two; that you can actually make a profit and at the same time inspire the community, but I believe that we found a way to do that,” Martin said.