By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
WILLINGBORO — Close friends Joyce Young and Mellonae Mumford, was looking to get into a business. Not just any business, but one that fits them and their personality along with something they could make money doing.
Their chocolate and fudge business turned out to be just the right mix of making money and having fun. The business-minded women were all smiles as they sold their wide variety of fudges at the Melanin Market at the John F. Kennedy Center in Willingboro last month.
There was your standard chocolate fudge that literally melts in your mouth. Some were fused with alcohol for the grown-ups and nearly everything in between. For Young and Mumford, it was a matter of finding something they enjoyed doing together and making others happy.
They shared part of their story during the market with Front Runner New Jersey.com.
The Joyce Young and Mellonae Mumford File
Name: Joyce Young and Mellonae Mumford
Name of Business: Chiras Chocolates, LLC
Address: 23 Twin Hill Drive, Willingboro
Years in business: 1½ years
Specialize in: Chocolate and fudge
Contact info: 609-262-0042
1. FRNJ: How did you get started in the chocolate and fudge business.
Mellonae Mumford: We went to a franchise show in Philadelphia just to troll it a little bit and we saw the product. I was well aware of it because I used to buy it all the time over the holidays. I love chocolate but this really love this because it’s not real sweet.
Joyce Young: It’s a nice blend.
2. FRNJ: What made this particular product stand out?
Mellonae Mumford: It’s not your standard chocolate. It’s in small batch and hand painted. It has no preservatives. It’s the type of chocolate you won’t find in the grocery store or any other chocolates here.
Joyce Young: Because it has no preservatives, it’s very temperature sensitive. It will melt completely at 72 degrees because it’s real chocolate. It’s Belgium chocolate and it’s true to form.
3. FRNJ: What have you enjoyed the most about being business owners?
Joyce Young: Freedom and just meeting wonderful people who come up and tell us their stories coming back because they ate a whole 12-pack within an hour.
Mellonae Mumford: We have husbands come back and get their own because they said their wife wouldn’t give them any or somebody comes back to get their own and hide it from her.
4. FRNJ: What would you tell other entrepreneurs looking for a business to start?
Mellonae Mumford: If you don’t like it, what’s the point? Make sure you do your studying behind it and go for it. You can have a lot of fun doing something you like to do and it’s very rewarding.
5. How important it is to have African American role models in business?
Mellonae Mumford: Without representation, young children do not see what the possibilities are. So, the more you see, the more likely you are to do something that you might not have thought of before. I’m a retired engineer. Who would have thought?
Joyce Young: Many people have dreams and wishes. They have crafts or ideas in their head that they don’t realize they can actually turn into a business and become quite successful from it. So, let’s say find your desired dream and monetize it.
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