---------------- A Lesson in Marketing Magic --------------------- The History of Aunt Jemima ------

Michele Hoskins on Donny Deutsch

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Michele's Syrups Chicago's Only African American Owned Syrup Company

Aunt Jemima Syrup is the number 1 biggest selling syrup. It has been marketed as an African American product since 1889. Michele’s Syrups is the only African American owned breakfast, pancake and waffle Syrup company. Why it matters.

(Newswire.net -- October 5, 2013) South Holland, Illinois --

Per Michele Hoskins founder of Michele Foods, Inc.


“African American shoppers have been lead to believe Aunt Jemima and some other syrups are African American products. Many are looking for products that really are African American. The answer is speaking the truth about how we have been purposely subject to misleading advertising and stories."


"It matters to me and it needs to matter to all African American companies. We need to know about the products and the companies we buy to make conscious, informed buying decisions. When African Americans use their buying power to buy African American made products we grow and thrive. The community is very entrepreneurial and young African American entrepreneurs need to see and know they have their community's support."


Aunt Jemima was a character not a person. 


In 1889 in Missouri, businessmen Chris Russ and Charles Underwood (not African Americans) came up with the idea to have a self rising flour that would be easier to cook with. They needed a way to market their product. "Old Aunt Jemima" was a minstrel song. The original Aunt Jemima picture was Nancy Green a former Kentucky slave.


The Aunt Jemima brand was bought by R.G Davis of Chicago and is now one of Quaker Oat's products. At no time has Aunt Jemima pancakes, syrup or brand ever been an African American product or company.


The story of Aunt Jemima was created by Davis for the Chicago 1893 Columbian Exposition. It depicted an image of life in the South. The story was that the recipe was Aunt Jemima’s secret pancake recipe. A recipe that everyone loved. That fictional story was used as advertising including major magazine campaigns in the 1920’s and 1930’s. The strory was portrayed as true. The story is fiction and as it was passed down generation to generation is even believed today.


Stories have been unknowingly passed on for generations as true.


Stories were made up to promote the fable of Aunt Jemima to sell the product. These were made up to influence buying and have been phenomenally successful at influencing African American's buying choices for generations.


Michele's feeling on this is.  "It is our responsibility as African American business owners, historians, ministers and community leaders to speak up. We need to take care of ourselves. We need to tell our own stories not pass this on. That sets an good example for our young people." 


2010 African American facts:

  -    $1 trillion annual spending

  -    13.6% of the population

  -    42,071,000 people

  -    Growth rate 30% higher than national average

  -    Growth reflects increase in affluence and influence

  -    A significant increase in the 21st century in income and buying power
  -    If they were a country, they would be the 16th largest country in the world

  -    Education and income growing faster than the national average

  -    Are brand loyal

  -    Chicago is the third largest African American market

  -    Enjoy food preparation and family meals


Michele Foods, Inc manufacturer and distributor of Michele’s Syrups:

  -    Founded and owned by Michele Hoskins, an African American woman

  -    She was a mother of three on welfare (Hear her story on Donny Deutsch video upper left)

  -    Michele's Syrup is her great grandmother's family recipe

  -    Celebrating 30th anniversary in October, 2013

  -    In over 8000 stores nationwide

  -    Syrup in Chicago in Jewel Osco, Dominick's, Meyers, Ultra, Wats, Pete's Produce, Mariano's

  -    Many awards and recognition for her success

  -    Symbol of African American and an African American Woman's Success

  -    Creates food recipes that use syrups for cooking, grilling and marinades


Michele says ""Everyone thought I had lost my mind."


"When I started, I was on welfare and had 3 children to support by myself.  I wanted to be part of the 1980s decade of women. I was not going to live on welfare so I took something I grew up and loved and with no money set out to build business. Everyone thought I had lost my mind."


"I now know that losing your mind is one of the steps to entrepreneurial success. Entrepreneurs need to step out on their own. The future is with our communities creating businesses and jobs in our communities. It means giving our young people and all our people a way to work, make money, raise families and thrive right in our own communities on our own. It starts by conscious buying and buying our own African American made products and services from our own companies."


When you are shopping at the store or online and selecting a syrup for your breakfast pancakes, waffles, preparing a meal. grilling or marinade then know that With Michele's Gourmet Syrups are the only African American syrup. This is a story you can tell your children about a real African American woman that took her family recipe and succeeded as an entrepreneur on her own."


You can find Michele's Gourment Syrups, in Chicago in Jewels, Dominick's, Meyers, Ultra, Wats, Pete's Produce, Mariano's or online from the company website.  If you don't see it, please ask for it.


Michele is available for speaking engagements, entrepreneurial mentoring and on tour with Ken Brown International with Dr. Dennis Kimbro. Please contact her for upcoming events.


Michele Foods, Inc

16117 LaSalle St
South Holland, Illinois 60473



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