Andrea is an successful entrepreneur who had an extensive career in education before going all in on Honeybee Lemonade Syrups. Throughout her education roles she worked for equitable outcomes for her students, community engagement, and helping students find their voices through out the community. She saw the challenges that exist in the system for people of color and worked to help as she could.
Honeybee Lemonade Syrups started during a time in between education roles. Andrea had a food cart and she wanted to have unique drinks to offer along with her food. They became a big hit and took on a life of their own over time. Even after going back to education she held onto the recipes and continued to make them for family and friends.
When her career in education took a left turn, her daughter encouraged her to pull out her recipes again. They decided the Mississippi street fair would be the best place to test them out. They were a huge hit. It gave her the confidence to go after it as a business. She realized that the more time she put in working for someone else the less she actually made. It was time to go after freedom for herself and get back to who she is. Truly doing something that doesn’t feel like a job and allows her to prioritize what she feels is most important.
Andrea envisioned the business world would hold less discrimination challenges however that did not turn out to be true. Initial interactions digitally or on the phone she was treated as the CEO/Owner that she is. In person, she experienced dismissal, racism and discrimination. It didn’t deter her. She had confidence in her amazing product and the perseverance to not let challenges get in her way. It heightened her drive to help lift up those around her as well. Looking for local women and people of color to be her Partners and suppliers.
This has allowed her to hand-make, bottle, label, box and ship her unique and crave-worthy all-natural artisan syrups from Portland. Maintaining the tradition of quality, fresh and natural food that her grandmother taught her. Her customers and some local stores recognized the quality of her product. Her syrups are available in 11 Market of Choice, 11 New Seasons Markets, 5 Tender Loving Empires, PDX Airport and of course on our own goCINCO App as part of The Marketplace.
Significance of Now
Andrea sees the current movement and protest as an opportunity to help move the systemic racism conversation forward. It brings a spotlight to black owned businesses and helps to increase the support they receive from the community. She said it hasn’t changed who she is, but it has allowed her to be seen for the strong, confident, business woman that she is. She hopes it paves the way for a better future for all of us. Andrea is going to continue to do her part and uplift other women of color and build a strong community to continue that support into the next generation. We at goCINCO are proud to call her our partner and add our support to her community.