At the age of 16, Emily Avonya Jefferson survived a life-threatening illness. She was hospitalized for several days due to a reaction to a medication that almost killed her. Jefferson even had to go through therapy sessions to help her walk again.
Having survived, Jefferson, now 23, is making big money moves as a businesswoman. She is the founder of Avonya’s Blends, a brand she started due to her challenges with seasonings on the market, according to Black Business.
She had allergic reactions to some of the seasonings but she didn’t know what really she was allergic to because they didn’t list all of their ingredients on their labels. According to her, these seasonings listed two or three ingredients followed by the word “spices.”
This created a major challenge for Jefferson because she enjoys cooking. She, therefore, set out to create her own seasonings in 2020. That’s how she started Avonya’s Blends, her own brand of seasonings that are “all-natural, low-sodium, and contain no artificial preservatives or anti-caking agents.”
Avonya’s Blends comes with two signature seasonings. Jefferson named the first — Annie’s Season-All — after her grandmother Annie Mae Carlton. According to the young entrepreneur, her grandmother used to season almost every dish she made. Sentry’s Seafood Seasoning, the second, was named after her late father James “Sentry” Dixon, who was a commercial fisherman.
In the first year, Jefferson did the bottling all by herself before securing a manufacturer in mid-2021. Thanks to that, she recently inked a major distribution deal with Lowes Foods grocery store. This grocery chain has stores throughout both North Carolina and South Carolina.
Aside from selling on Lowes Foods grocery, Jefferson said the company is still selling through its official website.
The 23-year-old’s trump card is the quality of the seasonings she makes. Unlike other seasonings, Avonya’s Blends is transparent about the entire ingredients used in the preparation. This way, consumers are able to take critical decisions regarding what they want to consume.