Local Memphian Jennifer McCullough could very well be the next big thing in food trends.
McCullough, a hometown girl and graduate of the University of Texas, has created a line of food items that she sells under the brand name "Uptown Grocers" at a number of locations around Memphis.
"And the product line is…there is nothing out there like it. Because you take something that can be used as a dip. This is Mexicali, a southwestern dip. You can also turn this into a Southwestern mac & cheese. You can stuff it in mushrooms. It's delicious or just warm up and serve with chips. And that is the beauty of this line. That it's created for you to use in a number of different ways," McCullough said.
As a single mother, McCullough knows what the market needs in the way of nutritious and easy to cook meals.
"More women are working. A lot of my friends have gone back to work who were at home with their children and the one thing people have to do is eat. And they need to do it in a way that is convenient because they just don't have the time," McCullough said.
Right now Jennifer McCullough has her product in a number of area stores in the Mid-South but she has a lot bigger plans than the current line.
"I'd like to have national distribution of my products," McCullough said. "One thing I do not have is experience in manufacturing. I started this in my house two years ago. I was poaching 80 pounds of chicken on my stove. I know how to cook and I can sell, but when it comes to government regulations and distributing and logistics, that is just not my forte."
Jerry Sikes has been working on restaurant equipment for more than 20 years. He has seen them come and go in the food business.
"I think she has a good chance out there. She has got a good product and a good attitude and that is what it takes," Sikes said.
Ronnie Clem is the butcher at Miss Cordelia's deli, one of the locations where the Uptown Grocer products are sold. He said she has what it takes to be the next big thing.
"Very well could be. She has a great product. I have people that keep coming in and ask about it. I recommend it to them. And people keep buying more. Keeps getting bigger all the time. It is definitely a good product," Clem said.
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