Buying Black in the Baking Aisle: It's Time to Share the Shelves
Marla Pruitte, founder of Mary Alice™, Launches New Black-Owned Cake Mix Line During a Pandemic Because it is Time for the Cake Mix Industry to Diversify
• Former baker creates new cake mix line to diversify the market
• Cake mix market experiencing trending growth, to reach $1.54 billion by 2026
• Why launching in a pandemic is perfect timing
• Limitations of new line launch met with crowdfunding
Atlanta-based and newly created company Mary Alice has announced the launch of its brand new Black-owned line of cake mixes featuring its flagship new flavor, as well as its Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. Marla Pruitte, the founder and CEO, is a professional baker and the former owner of Sweet by Design Cupcakery in Tennessee. She understands consumers' desire for convenience without sacrificing taste and decided it was time to shake up the cake mix industry. Mary Alice, a 100% woman- and Black-owned business, hinges on tradition and legacy, which sets it apart from all other brands in the market. But most importantly, the brand has a mission is to bridge the gap in disparities within the cake mix industry by creating opportunities for under-represented brands.
Pruitte explains how she came up with the inspiration behind Mary Alice. “You know, I grew up in a family of exceptional cooks and bakers, and family time has always been important to us. We never had a family meal without desserts,” she said in a press release. "My great, great aunt Mary Alice Sain was the matriarch of our family and was well known for her baking. I even used some of her recipes in my bakery. She was a kind, gentle soul and opened her home and kitchen to so many. This is a tribute of love to her." The company takes pride in creating a cake mix that takes the extra effort out of consumers' hands with the flagship Perfect White flavor, eliminating the need to "doctor" the mix to get that bakery flavor. Adding, it can also be used as a base for other cakes.
The cake mix market is one that has few barriers to entry and is easy for newcomers to position themselves to challenge household brands. As well, the market is experiencing trending growth with an estimated valuation of $1,310.7 Mn by 2022, reaching $1.54 billion by 2026. “Now is the perfect time to launch this brand because this market is actually experiencing gains, and I have a good grasp on what consumers want. When asked what her goal is, Pruitte responds, "As a woman of color, I see the lack of diversity in the market, we all see it. There are not many cake mix brands that look like me, nor opportunities for consumers to experience a brand like mine, and I plan to change that."
Launching a national product in the middle of a pandemic could come with challenges, but not to Pruitte. She comments, "Entrepreneurs and creatives need to realize the importance of not slowing down when things become adverse. I believe now is the time more than ever to push forward, because out of adversity creation is birthed." She also believes people have become more engaging and are looking for positive things to contribute to and participate in.
Mary Alice has already launched its official Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in efforts to bring their "homemade convenience" to superstore and big-box retailers, and online as well. The crowdfunding campaign will create the financial bandwidth necessary to meet the manufacturing and retail demands in order to create the opportunities to reshape the market. Individuals interested in learning more and contributing to the crowdfunding campaign should visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/maryalicecakes/mary-alicetm-debut
Mary Alice™, created by a former professional baker and cupcakery owner, understands what homemade tastes like and believes you do not have to sacrifice taste for convenience. The brand is the home baker's answer to made-from-scratch taste in a box. Inspired by her great, great Aunt Mary Alice Sain, who was well-known for her baking throughout the family and community, the brand is a tribute to the legacy of baking to create traditions that last! Learn more at MaryAliceCakes.com
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