There so many sectors of the U.S. economy that lacks diversity. One of such sectors is the culinary industry. Black founders are scarce in the industry, which is estimated to be 5.4 billion, according to this market report.
PreMadonna Thomas has taken a giant step into the cookware industry to not only bring diversity in the sector but to also open doors for other Black women. The television personality and rapper is venturing into an industry where many of the founders are whites and can easily access capital to expand their operations.
Thomas founded the cookware brand, Premadonna’s Cookware. She was inspired to create spices and cookware lines because of the lack of products in the industry that are available at affordable prices and in great quality.
She tells Forbes in an interview that her products also seek to improve on existing cooking appliances on the market. What makes Premadonna’s Cookware unique is its diverse product lines as many of the existing culinary brands focus on cookware, appliances, cookbooks, or seasonings.
Aside from the pressure cooker, her multi-million-dollar cookware and seasoning empire has other products such as air fryers, deep fryers, and blenders. She also offers a best-selling cookbook and seasonings which have been endorsed by celebrities like Rihanna and the Kardashians. The wife and businesswoman tells BET Style that business is doing well that on a slow day, she can expect to ship over 500 packages.
Thomas loves cooking. She comes from a cooking family and knows a lot about pots and pans. However, she did not always have time to get into the kitchen to prepare a meal. “There was nothing in the industry for me…All the pressure cookers were older and traditional. So, I came up with a digital model. I knew that people would adapt to something that was vibrant, unique, and resourceful for all types of working people,” Thomas tells Forbes.
The entrepreneur and mom says her business has thrived owing to the passion she has for what she is doing. She goes the extra mile to ensure her customers get the best. Also, she ensures rigorous testing of every product in her kitchen before launching. This has helped her detect product defects and other minor challenges that could affect trust in her products and her brand in general.
“I think that a lot of businesses make mistakes because they’re so anxious to start, and they go with the first sample they get. With my pressure cooker and air fryer, the process took almost six months, and I tested six different models before I chose which one I wanted to go with. It was more costly, but I’m here to provide the best quality,” she explains.
Thomas grew up in poverty. She was raised by her single mother and supported by her community through childcare programs and food banks. Thus, she wants to give back to her community using her business. She is planning a free coaching and training program for Black girls interested in the culinary industry. It will feature workshops, webinars, and guest speakers from across the industry.