I am from the south so, when someone mentions sweet tea, they immediately have my attention, especially when I hear about being able to purchase novelty teas like Black Momma Tea from my local IKEA while out buying some furniture on a Saturday for my home. But, when I also found out Black Momma Tea and Café, who recently signed an agreement to build out a space in the Long Island, Hicksville IKEA location, also has a suite of vodka products started by a strong-willed, successful, African-American businesswoman named Vanessa Braxton, I was overwhelmed with enthusiasm about the potential of such a dynamic combination of variables.
Black Momma Vodka and Tea is not a fly by night whim of an idea on paper, evidenced by its fifth anniversary in February 2018 and its U.S. manufacturing facility, which produces tea bags, beverages, syrups, and consumable products, and most importantly, its current customer base of 26,000 avid tea and vodka drinkers. Black Momma opened its flagship location in Long Island, New York and has plans of opening 150 more locations across the U.S. with franchising opportunities available through its website: www.blackmommateacafe.com. Ms. Braxton has also taken into consideration some popular public relations variables, as evidenced by her products being organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and Kosher certified. To appeal to every demographic, Black Momma Vodka offers flavored vodka in the following choices: Chai Tea Vodka, Pomegranate Tea Vodka, Green Tea Vodka, Peach Tea Vodka, and Sour Sop Tea Vodka.
Black Momma Vodka is distilled five times and filtered five times, which places it in the premium class of spirits, and since vodka accounts for one in every three spirits sold, this is good news for Ms. Braxton’s business. Mass advertising campaigns have been implemented the last few years to highlight the importance of drinking premium spirits so the consumer’s experience is enhanced and the hangover is much less severe. Tito’s is a popular name that comes to mind when thinking about vodka, but when I think of premium names, I always refer back to Grey Goose, Ketel One, and Ciroc. London-based Diageo (DEO) of course owns Ketel One and Ciroc and boasts a market capitalization of over $80 billion.
Ms. Braxton has taken huge strides with Black Momma Vodka from its humble beginnings during a game of spades while enjoying a few cocktails with friends, and certainly gotten the attention of the right people with the new collaboration between IKEA and her Black Momma Tea and Café business. What does the future look like for Black Momma? I believe it is definitely an attractive acquisition target, to say the least, but, more than likely, it will become a household name if IKEA has anything to say about it. Probably the most attractive attribute of Black Momma for me is the fact that Ms. Braxton has a proven track record of success with her construction career and has the all-important skin in the game, which, in my humble opinion, separates the women from the girls…