Nashville, TN (TN Tribune) This year has been tumultuous for us all. Unemployment, a global pandemic, and civil unrest have taken a toll, but for Nic King, it was the catalyst for his company – Proud Puffs – chocolate-flavored cereal formed in the shape of a fist. One early morning following the protests in Minneapolis this past spring, King searched for Black-owned cereal companies and found none. At 3 am his idea was formed with a bit of divine inspiration.
“I’m a man of faith, so I said, ‘God, this is your idea. I have nothing to do with it. Before I leave this kitchen, I’m going to drink my orange juice, while you give me a (product) name,'” King told The Darien Times.
He told reporters he had the word “proud” on his mind, then “Proud Puffs” came to him.
The Connecticut father used social media to crowdfund the production of the cereal. Right now, he is starting small, hoping to make his way into major grocery chains eventually.
“I am completely fine with doing it grassroots and selling them from the website,” he said. “I go to grocery stores and hang out in local restaurants, and the response to the cereal is pretty good.”
King said his company is about celebrating and embracing his Blackness and creating a legacy for his family.
“Everyone should be able to embrace their culture. I go to Irish bars, and they are celebrating their culture,” he told reporters. “Legacy is the name of my company — it’s the theme. It’s a business. I just plan on making delicious cereal.”
He said Black people aren’t the only ones who can enjoy the cereal, but he intentionally creates positive representation by including his family in the packaging. He said he wanted young Black children to see themselves walking down the cereal aisle.
“The characters on the box are my sisters, nieces, nephews and my son. I’m all about the generational wealth, so having my family on the cover was important to me even though the designers cringed at 10 characters on one box,” King said. “The whole box has meaning, from the characters to a two-parent Black household, to the positive affirmations on the back of the box, as well as the facts on the side about iconic Black legends that helped shape our culture.”
King believes that this cereal is part of his purpose to remind people they can do anything and encourage Black people, especially during this tense political climate.
“We’ve been dealing with blatant racism, why Black Lives Matter too, diversity inclusion, systemic racism, and so much more. This cereal isn’t only for black people, but rather it is a cereal owned 100 percent by a Black man,” he said. “… I would honestly say my purpose in life is to spark people to do the unthinkable and to change the financial trajectory of my family forever, and I’ve made both of these values my mission ever since. I realized what I believe my purpose was to be.”
You can order Proud Puffs here!