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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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#ACCESS901: Making a move with Cinn-A-Shots

#ACCESS901 columnist Joy Doss

More often than not, I try to rebuke the devil’s sugary sweet treats. I do fairly well at resisting and/or consuming in moderation. But then I had one of the best cinnamon rolls ever – and it was produced, handmade actually – right here in Memphis.

South Memphis to be exact.

I didn’t smash it completely. I shared with my two cookie monsters (mom and kiddo) but I couldn’t help but keep nibbling away at what they left behind.

Daniel Watson is the man behind Mayweather Foods and these delightful Cinn-A-Shots, as he has branded them. It was by pure happenstance that I came across this post from a mutual friend on Facebook. I definitely had to check it out.

I wanted to know more about the company and the brother at the helm. But I will say that my oh my, that cinnamon roll was soooo good! Tops! One of the best I’ve ever had, no exaggeration.

I’m all about #MemphisMade and Memphians by choice. Daniel is a native Memphian and Morehouse graduate, who returned home to Memphis in 2004 to carry on the legacy of his grandmother Beneva Mayweather, for whom the company is named. Everybody loved Ms. Beneva’s chicken!

Daniel works out of her industrial kitchen in her South Memphis home. Ms. Beneva was a caterer to many in the Memphis community until her passing, then the torch was passed to her daughter Emma (Daniel’s aunt) until she passed.

While other family members run the catering side, Daniel opted to expand her vision with packaged products/consumer goods, with the knowledge that food is a recession-proof business. His first entrée into the market was with salad dressing then seasonings.

He started by selling the seasoning out of his trunk. When this performed well, he cold called until he reached the buyer for Kroger and got a meeting. The buyer liked the product but needed more than one variation.

Fast forward two years to three additional products, which are fish seasoning, all-purpose seasoning and breaders. This is the South after all. We will always be breading and frying something!

The obstacle was the new buyer, who initially did not want to carry the product as previously discussed. But guess what? Daniel did not accept no as an answer and wound up landing 30 stores in the Memphis market!

The seasonings went well but they are slow sellers given that most of us only re-up our seasoning every two to three months. Enter the next phase of the expansion plans, which was bread products and the yummy Cinn-A-Shot. The quick turnaround product would supplement and support the seasoning line, which is still in stores by the way.

I say all of this to say that Daniel’s story is a story of calculated risk and measured growth; knowledge meets hustle; learning by leaping and learning by falling. I respect his refusal to accept a “no” and not being afraid to try, then try again.

The more I listened, the more I knew that this guy knows this business from being around it as a child but also from doing the research and the work and getting the education behind him. Being knowledgeable and being unafraid to grind it out is half the battle!

Mayweather Foods is selling more than bread products and seasoning, however. It’s selling nostalgia and the love that goes into homecooking. It’s warm memories at granny’s house and the anticipation of holiday meals with families. It’s Ms. Beneva’s recipes being delivered to your kitchen from her heart.

She lives on in the family business and now, in our homes as well.

(Cinn-A-Shots are sold at Miss Cordelia’s, City Market (Downtown and Midtown), High Point Grocery, Fresh Direct, Superlo in East Memphis and Curbside Casseroles. To find more stores, order Cinn-A-Shots or get more information, visit the Facebook page at Beneva Mayweather Foods or the website at www.mayweatherfoods.com.)

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