RICHMOND, Va. -- Three years after she first appeared on "Eat It, Virginia" (Episode 43, Sept. 2020), Keya Wingfield returned to the podcast to discuss the ups and downs of life after winning her Food Network baking championship, the incredible community she's fostered in Richmond, and the launch of her new product -- Bombay Chips.
"So in 2020, in addition to doing desserts, we saw a market need for to-go meals. So we pivoted to doing modern Indian to-go meals and with those meals I would send tiny little bags of masala potato chips as a thank you," Wingfield said. "Just a week later, somebody called and said, 'Hey, can I buy just the chips?' And I'm like, 'What chips? What are you talking about, dude?' So, overnight, I had to learn how to package a CPG product, which is a consumer-packaged good. And figure out how I'm going to make this stable enough for somebody to buy and put on their pantry. And they have just kind of evolved on their own ever since."
Wingfield called the chips just the beginning of her renewed vision.
"I envision a full brand. I'm not looking to do just one product that I can put on shelves and call it a day," she said. "I have been talking a lot about what grocery stores look like to me. Our goal when we expand our market is to not be put into the ethnic aisles. I am not a fan of that word. I feel like we need to desegregate our grocery stores and be able to all be on that same shelf where the big boys are — the main aisles. My daughter is biracial. So I envision a future for her where she walks into a store and she's not saying where's mommy's food and where his daddy's food? It's just food. That's the dream. The chips are the very, very, very first step towards that direction."
While Wingfield's hard work and dedication are evident, she credited her family and the community for their unwavering support.
"Oh, God. It's the most important thing. It's tantamount to success. Women supporting women is how we can succeed. That's the bottom line," she said. "I'm so grateful for these women who have taken me under their wings, given me advice when I needed it, been there for me when I needed to cry, been there for me when I needed business advice, or I just want to talk about parenthood or whatnot. It's just the city is magical, period. It just is. Because that's how an immigrant brown girl like me can be standing here today with whatever success I've had is because of my community. There's no doubt about it. And especially women."
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