Don’t just complain, be the solution!
Self proclaimed Southern belle and foodie Emily Avonya Jefferson at age 16 almost lost her life following severe reactions to seasoning, hospitalised for multiple days, having to under physical therapy to learn to walk again as well as speech therapy, the road to recovery wasn’t an easy one but the experience did spark an “ah ha!” moment, pushing her to navigate her way around her food allergies. Today she proudly runs her own spice company.
“From the beginning, as far back as I can remember, I loved cooking,” she says. “From a very young age, I remember experimenting in the kitchen throwing things together to see how it would come out.”
At the time when the life changing incident occurred, she wasn’t aware of what she was allergic to because all their ingredients on the seasoning labels weren’t listed. The brands only listed two or three ingredients followed by the word “spices.”
After a year of thorough research, the 23-year-old who in April 2020, founded her Avonya’s Blends LLC, an all-natural seasonings company with unique blends that are low sodium and have no artificial preservatives or anti-caking agents , recently signed a major grocery store distribution deal for her brand.
“Rosemary is a commonly used herb in spice blends and commonly used herb in seasonings, but I did not know what I was reacting to because it didn’t have it listed in the ingredients list,” Jefferson says. “It wasn’t until I was personally cooking with rosemary, and when it gave me a reaction, the lightbulb went off.”
Jefferson armed with two signature seasonings, kicked off her company; the first is Annie’s Season-All named after and inspired by her late grandmother Annie Mae Carlton who used the seasoning in almost all her dishes . The second seasoning is Sentry’s Seafood Seasoning which is named after her late father James “Sentry” Dixon who loved all things sea food
Her company prides itself in having high quality seasoning blends, but also having integrity and transparency, so it goes on to list all of our ingredients on the labels so you know exactly what it is that you’re eating. This southeastern grocery chain has stores throughout both North Carolina and South Carolina.
The future for Jefferson’s includes expanding reach to stores such as Target and Whole Foods.