Under the umbrella of their Eat Y’all brand, Marianna and Andy Chapman will open their first wholesale showroom at the Dallas Market Center next week in conjunction with the Dallas Total Home & Gift Show.
From small-town farming backgrounds and with entrepreneurial success spanning two decades, the combination of Marianna and Andy Chapman’s diverse experiences mean profits for their wholesale customers.
Marianna grew up on a farm in the hills of Mississippi where she spent summers assisting her father in farming and her mother in the gardening and canning efforts that would feed their family of six over the winter months. Later, she owned her own business consulting firm that advised retail businesses and made her a popular speaker at retail business events such as AmericasMart University and the National Main Street Conference. With an appreciation for fresh flavors and local ingredients and an understanding of food production and retail business, Marianna’s love of food met her love for business when she married Andy in 2008.
From a programming and Internet business background and as a self-taught expert griller and food connoisseur, Andy launched a marketing experiment called Eat Jackson in 2009 that went on to become Mississippi’s most influential food media company. He went on to expand the company with the birth of the Eat Y’all brand in 2013 to share the stories of those that fill the South with flavor.
Andy grew up as the middle of seven children, and as such developed a masterful ability to be creative with available groceries. In 2012, his skill saved the day when Marianna discovered just moments before guests arrived that she’d forgotten to buy the sauce for a neighborhood barbecue party. A few minutes later, their six-year-old daughter, whose nickname is Sugar Taylor, was standing on a stool stirring Andy’s concoction with a wooden spoon before serving it to the rave reviews of guests who were eager to take home the leftovers of the newly dubbed “Sugar Taylor Sauce.”
For months afterwards, Marianna used her farm upbringing to can enough Sugar Taylor Sauce to satisfy the seemingly endless demands of friends and family who would repeatedly leave their empty Mason jars on the Chapman’s back porch with refill requests. As the versatility of Sugar Taylor Sauce became apparent, demand continued to expand until early December 2013 when the Chapman’s three children canvassed their neighborhood promising Christmas delivery of commercially packaged Sugar Taylor Sauce. The children sold enough in one afternoon to pay for the first bottling run!
With a deadline set, the Chapmans found themselves in the artisan gourmet business just as unexpectedly as they’d found themselves in the food media business a few years earlier, this time with a sales team composed of their minor children leading the way.
Since then, they’ve experienced booming demand for their unique and versatile collection of pantry products and will share bold Southern flavors with the opening of their showroom in B14 at the Gourmet Market in the World Trade Center in Dallas, Texas, next week, an opening highlighted by two live cooking demonstrations at the Culinary Bar in the atrium of the World Trade Center at 4:20 on Wednesday and Thursday, June 24 and 25.
The Eat Y’all Southern Food Products collection featured in their new showroom will include Sugar Taylor Sauce as well as June Bugg Rub, the nickname of their 15-year-old son who helped create it. They will also be showcasing their curated collection of Southern-made artisan gourmet products including Bonney’s Hot Sauce, Delta Blues Rice (long grain rice, rice grits and brown rice) and Valine’s Famous Cocktail Sauce. In addition, Andy’s grilling expertise will come to bear as he presents a brand new premium ceramic grill and outdoor furniture line called the Gourmet Guru Grill along with a full line of grilling accessories. This is the Dallas Market debut for all of the products.
Eat Y’all exists to share the stories of those that fill the South with flavor including farmers, chefs, food makers, pit masters, brewers, distillers, food writers and event creators through a weekly podcast called Let’s Eat, Y’all as well as a blog, YouTube channel, culinary events and a collection of curated Southern-made artisan gourmet and grilling products available through their Official Retailer Program. Follow them online at www.eatyall.com or @letseatyall on social media. Eat Y’all is a family business based in Gulfport, Mississippi.