Lemons to Lemonade-Successful NC Food Company Born Out of Tragedy
While Southern Farm Network’s Celebrating Women in Ag series officially wrapped up last Friday, I came across this story late last week and just couldn’t wait to share it with you.
So, as a bonus to the women in ag series we present Paige Crawford Key, co-owner of Yah’s Best Products, a company she and her mother Suzanne McCord Crawford own together. It’s a successful business born from a family farm, and out of a family tragedy. Paige Crawford Key:
“In October of 1997 my brother and his wife were killed in a car accident. They had two children, Molly, 3 and Claire, 11 months. We were all left with a lot of heartbreak and sadness and out of that we decided to be together as a family. So we had to decide as a family, what could we do to capitalize on our talents to create some income. We always grew produce and would throw something together, someone told us what we had made was called salsa. At Claire’s school they had a fundraiser, and someone told us if you will make this I would buy it. And that’s how it started. We started with one salsa and a dressing eight years ago.
We grow all of our own produce just north of Charlotte. Its on land that my great grandparents started farming on in the late 1800s.
We have grown the business to about 75 products and my mother is the creative behind all of them. My nieces are involved and do a great job selling. Molly also helps with organization and production. Claire works in the fields and helps with production.
One of our most popular seasonal products is the cranberry salsa. It’s a unique treat and a twist on how to use cranberries.
We appreciate all of the support that we have gotten from the community.
Lastly I’ll share how the name came along… Molly is my mother’s first grandchild and she is a now a freshman at ECU. My mother wanted to be called Nanna, but Molly had a speech impediment and it came out YahYah. So when it was time to come up with a name, we thought that it was appropriate to call it Yah’s Best Products.”
Yah’s Best can be found at State Farmers’ Markets and other locally owned food stores and restaurants.