An update on Octavia Randolph, who still seeks investors for her start-up food company.
Our June 1989 cover featured another woman running a food start-up: Octavia Randolph, who planned to introduce a line of Caribbean foods to specialty stores this past September ("Anatomy of a Start-Up: Educating Octavia," June 1989, [Article link]). Unlike Mary Anne Jackson (see "My Own Mission," January 1990, [Article link]), however, Randolph didn't have financing in place when our article came out. She's still looking.
The sources she originally went after just didn't pan out: the individual "angel" investors she'd thought would come in at $30,000 to $50,000 each were "lost in the Crash" of October 1987, she says, and big companies such as Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc. wouldn't consider alliances until they'd seen whether the products sold. Randolph's new plan? License one of the products, the passion fruit/papaya soda, and use that revenue to manufacture others -- the banana chips and fruit salsa. Randolph is still optimistic and still determined. "I've put so much into the company, for two and three-quarters years now," she says, "that I'm going to do whatever it takes to get it off and going." -- Leslie Brokaw