Turning her secret family recipe into sweet success

Michele Hoskins talks about how she overcame obstacles to get her specialty syrup onto store shelves.
2:33 | 08/07/20

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Transcript for Turning her secret family recipe into sweet success
We're back now with the secret family recipe behind a popular line of specialty syrups based in Illinois. Michele Hoskins sharing her personal story of enduring success that began with a battle just to get on the store shelves. My name is Michele Hoskins. The secret recipe that was passed down to us was so special, because it was something that she made for a family she cooked for in the late 1800s. She passed it down through the generations. My mother held on to it. Because I was the third daughter. When I had my third daughter, she passed it. When I started the family business, everyone around me thought it was crazy and they were afraid that I was going to give out this secret recipe that in the '80s I read that would be the decade of the women and women were going to emerge as CEOs and executives. Not a lot of African-Americans in manufacturing or serving the retail industry with products. So when I first started, very unusual to see me walk into a corporate office with my own brand. Getting on the shelf was very difficult at first. When I ventured into the industry, my biggest obstacle became consumer awareness. I've got the distribution. But I didn't have the customers or the marketing dollars to get the consumer to know that I was existed. When I started out there was no mentors for me. So I umbrellaed a workshop for young entrepreneurs, so that's something that I had to give back. I'd tell my younger self this. Be careful what you pray for. My saying is be prepared for what you parade for. When you work on a craft, make sure you understand it completely, make sure you prepare for it, so success comes you can step into it. Starting a small business is exciting. Perseverance, faith, I think that's the overall excitement of having something that you crafted as your own is one of the most wonderful feelings you could have, we just screamed and holler and that's product. Of course, security looked at us crazy and asked us to leave the store. But it was ours. It was an awesome, awesome experience. It really was. We see that finished product, you sitting on the shelf the joy you would never understand the joy you would get from your hard work. Thank you so much, Michele, for sharing your inspiring story.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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