Jason's Jive September 2022 By Jason Inanga
Updated: Sep 30, 2022
My apologies for not having a column last month, the person I was to feature had a last-minute cancellation and I did not have enough time to do something else before my deadline. Well, let me get straight into things. I was excited to spend 25 hours on the road, driving from Dallas to Beltsville at the end of July. It took me longer than planned as I took my time on the road. The first two hours are usually the hardest, and after that it was smooth sailing. Was nice to see familiar sites, familiar faces and my first port of call was Chicken Camponero (I always butcher the name) right there by Maryland Farms on Cherry Hill Road.
Of course, I went to Wawa and enjoyed my favorite beverage and soup. I went to church on Saturday at the Beltsville Seventh Day Adventist Church and was warmly received by my friends. Amazing to see how quickly little kids have grown in four years. Lots did not remember me. Saw my two church mothers, Dot Muse and Ann Lawrence. Ms. Ann Lawrence is a long-time reader of this paper, and I can see her smiling as she reads this line.
COOKIES! I saw a friend of mine, Deanna, and was so excited to see how her business has grown. She bakes vegan cookies, and I am excited that what started as a small business, is growing. From a small operation, she has grown into internet sales and is now in a few select 7-11 stores in the area. Here I will feature the first part of a conversation with Deanna.
What motivated you to start baking vegan cookies? “This journey started when I discovered my child had allergies. On a trip to the grocery store my child begged for one of those boxed desserts in the grocery store. I had to say, "No," and it was a very frustrating store experience. I left that store determined to make desserts that just as good as those in the grocery store. I wanted to replicate the taste and textures of desserts made with eggs, milk, and butter without my child's allergens.”
What was the initial response from people? “When I began baking animal-free desserts, I would take the samples to my child's school to share with the teacher and her kids. They really enjoyed them! But I continued tweaking and sharing samples. Eventually, parents at sporting events would look forward to seeing me at school events hoping I had samples with me. Years later, one parent who discovered her son absolutely loved my cookies, encouraged me to pursue retail.”
How has that changed now? “Now, that my company, Deanna's Delights® has begun, my desserts have become known for their great taste. Our customers rate our desserts highly and usually introduce our desserts to friends.”
Speaking further, Deanna responded to a question about veganism, saying, “Many restaurants, fast-food and convenience stores are embracing and acknowledging veganism by expanding their food options. Deanna's Delights® is pleased we recently began in select 7-11 stores in July 2022. We are currently in select locations in Laurel, Annapolis Junction and Takoma Park. The 7 -11 near the Laurel Library on Rte. 198 and 7th Avenue. Order online at www.deannasdelights.com. She is based in Laurel/Beltsville.
Next month I will talk a little more about the vegan lifestyle and have Deanna share a little bit more information on this. Try the chocolate chip --- my favorite.