Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:35 pm
Company address: P.O. Box 250661, Milwaukee, WI 53225
Company Web site: www.trulysmarinades.com
Industry: Food seasonings-marinades
Education: B.S. in behavioral disabilities from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; M.S. in computer education from Lesley College, Cambridge, Mass.; and School Administration certification at Concordia University, Mequon. Retired June 2004 after 31 years as a special education teacher and elementary school assistant principal at Milwaukee Public Schools.
Family: Husband, Louis Dean Jr., who is vice president of the company; and two daughters, Dominique and Simone, who are board directors.
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
"Two things. In packaging, we went from glass to plastic, which has pleased the grocers and customers, and the development of our Web site."
What’s new at your company?
"We found that we can expand with the Truly recipe, therefore new product developments and ideas are in lines with new recipes."
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
"Possibly hiring a food broker, and we could be investing in increasing our visibility."
What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
"The same as it is every year – a larger presence in the marketplace, which is very challenging here in Milwaukee. As a small business, being Black, the struggle has been constant."
What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
"It’s been cooking turkeys, seasoning them with the Truly’s Marinades for roasting/baking and injecting turkeys for deep frying. (See Web site for recipes.)"
Do you have a business mantra?
"The Truly Corp. is a joint venture with my husband Louis, from whom I hear, ‘Stay the course if you believe in your products and endeavors.’"
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
"I look up to John H. Johnson (1931-2005) of the Johnson Publishing Co. in Chicago. A publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines, a multimillionaire, he started his company in 1945 with a $500 loan from his mother. Mr. Johnson believed that Blacks needed positive images to fulfill their potential. His entrepreneurial legacy has had a tremendous impact in my life by displaying Blacks positively and publicly."
What was the best advice you ever received?
"In 1965, when I was 17, my great-aunt for whom I was named told me to bite off more than you could chew, then chew it. She told me to plan more work than you could do, then do it. And she told me hitch my wagon to a star, then take a seat where you are. When I need advice, I contact UWM Small Business Department, which has been so helpful."
What do you like to do in your free time?
"I have a passion for exercising (for 40 years), yoga, Pilates, strength training and walking, I’m an avid reader, I love to watch old movie classics and listening and dancing to classic R&B."