WINSTON-SALEM — Chef Shanta Hauser Faison found a flavorful way to honor the legacy of her paternal grandmother Rosetta L. Bloom and follow her passion for cooking by creating Rosey Bloom’s Collard Greens.
Bloom’s senior high school picture is on the label of every jar of Rosey Bloom’s.
“We put them in jars,” Faison said. “I don’t do cans. I want them to be jars so that people can see the ingredients and see that they are seasoned.”
The collard greens come in two flavors — smoked turkey and vegetarian recipe.
Faison, 38, her husband, Cedrik Faison, 43, and her brother, Antoine Clinton, 36, are the owners of Rosey Bloom’s Collard Greens LLC, based in Winston-Salem. Faison is the company’s CEO, her husband is chief relations and publications officer and Clinton is the chief operations officer.
“I think it’s a phenomenal opportunity,” Cedrik Faison, who is an artist, said of their company. “But most importantly, I think it’s beautiful that a young, female entrepreneur has been able to fulfill a lifelong dream.”
As a child, growing up in Winston-Salem, Shanta Faison would visit her paternal grandmother every weekend.
But one summer, when Faison was 10, her grandmother suffered a heart attack.
Faison said her grandfather, Samuel Bloom Sr., was unable to help because he had recently been in a car accident, so she called the paramedics and other family members.
“I basically saved her life that day,” Faison said.
Eventually, Faison, moved in with an aunt, along with her grandmother and grandfather.
Faison said she would cook mostly breakfast and lunch and sometimes dinner for her grandmother, who was recovering from her heart attack, while her aunt was at work.
“When she was able to walk, she would come into the kitchen and she would tell me how to cook her meals,” Faison said.
Bloom passed away in 1999, but Faison said that helping to cook and take care of her grandmother through most of her middle and high school years inspired her to cook.
She said she and her grandmother used to tease each other about being partners.
Then Rosey Bloom’s Collard Greens became a reality.
Her goal is to “deliver flavorful and nutritious greens with garden freshness.”
Artist, chef and more
Faison is a graduate of Mount Tabor High School and attended Forsyth Technical Community College.
She is an abstract artist, who has participated in art shows locally, and worked in Skopje, Macedonia and at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York.
“I was thinking I was going to be a professional artist, but I have always had the desire to cook,” Faison said.
Faison got into catering in 2005 and began cooking professionally as the executive chef for the former Sundance Hotel in Winston-Salem in 2006. She opened a take-out restaurant called KMS Creations in downtown Winston-Salem in 2008.
In December 2018, she started a full-catering company called Twin City Catering Co.
“I finally got state approved in February 2018 to put them in stores,” Faison said. She sold her first jars of collard greens at the Triad Minority Business Expo in September 2018.
A growing business
In the Triad, Rosey Bloom’s Collard Greens are sold at Cherry Street Mini Market, Colony Urban Farm store, Let It Grow Produce and Salem Delights in Winston-Salem, Musten & Crutchfield Food Market in Kernersville and Deep Roots Market in Greensboro.
Heritage Farms General Store in Goldsboro, The Albemarle Marketplace in Albemarle and The Painted Owl in Midland also carry the product.
The collard greens are also sold on the company’s website at www.rosey blooms.com and at expos. Rosey Bloom’s also has a presence on Facebook and Instagram.
On April 1, Rosey Bloom’s will be an exhibitor in Flavors of Carolina in Concord. The food show presents N.C. products to hundreds of qualified buyers.
“This is where we could actually become a part of a major chain,” Faison said.
The Faisons are also preparing for the farmers market season and will formally launch Rosey Bloom’s Collard Greens with a celebration at 7 p.m. on Sept. 27 at Footnote in downtown Winston-Salem.
Rosey Bloom’s currently rents space for its production but the Faisons want to eventually have their own production facility.
Shelby Taylor, the food buyer for Salem Delights, said that she likes the fact that Rosey Bloom’s has a vegan option.
“We have a lot of people that come into the store with specific dietary needs and a lot of people that are looking to either go vegan or are vegan,” Taylor said. “They have a hard time in general finding products, I think, that suits their diets.”
She said the greens have been selling well in the store.
“Everyone who has tried them loves them,” Taylor said.
Cherry Street Mini Market has carried the greens for about three months, said co-owner Terrell Harris.
He said he is in an area where a lot of senior citizens live.
“They really don’t have time to prepare greens as much as they like to eat them so it’s very convenient for a lot of people,” Harris said. “It’s a great product.”
Kevin Heath, the owner of KevMark Catering, based in Winston-Salem, is Rosey Bloom’s co-packer.
“I think their business is fantastic,” Heath said. “I love watching small businesses flourish.”
He said he also likes the Faisons’ product.
“I not only help them co-pack it, but I eat it,” he said with a laugh. “I’m a customer, too.”
Faison said that other vendors have started to come by at events such as expos to buy a jar of greens. “They’ll ask us to heat up their whole jar,” she said.
She said some people who sample the greens won’t take a fork.
“They just do collard greens shots,” she said laughing. “It gets funny because we watch people’s reactions. Some people start singing as they eat them. Some people say, ‘Where’s the cornbread?’ ”