Her 7th grade year at R.K. Smith Middle School isn’t the only thing Azjala Johnson began this month – the 12-year-old also started bottling and selling her very own wing sauce.
“I didn’t want her to get bored during quarantine and we had nothing to do after her assignments were done,” Alicia Johnson, Azjala’s mother, said. “I told her to do something she enjoys.”
The thing she enjoys – Azjala said – is cooking and experimenting in the kitchen.
“She kept saying she wanted to do something, and so I told her ‘Let’s make your own wing sauce,’” Alicia said. “She loves to cook, and she likes to be in the kitchen.”
The result of the duo’s hard work over the summer is two varieties of BabyJay’s Wing Sauce – BBQ & Tangy and Hot & Spicy.
“I felt like some people don’t like hot, so I wanted to have something for everybody,” Azjala said. “I always see my grandma cook in the kitchen and that made me want to start my own business.”
The young entrepreneur, who returned to middle school this month, sold 40 bottles of her sauce in the first two days of announcing her business on social media.
“In the future I want to make more sauces,” Azjala said, adding that this summer she experimented in the kitchen making different dishes, including hot Cheeto chicken. “I’m happy and excited. In the future I would like sell my food out of a food truck it easier because its mobile.”
Alicia said Azjala was focused on making the sauces a success.
“She was determined,” Alicia said. “We had labels, shirts, flyers and masks made. But she didn’t know it was going to take off like this.”
After she gets some feedback from customers, Alicia said the duo plan to offer the sauces at local farmer’s markets and festivals before hopefully hitting the shelves at stores.
Earlier this month Azjala gave out bottles of sauce at the Lili Beauty Supply and AfroLamour Braids Community Event.
“I told my children it’s important to give back to the community as much as possible because God has been so good to them,” Alicia said.