The story of Jericka and Ryan Jordan starts out like the beginning of many great stories. “We fell in love over food,” said Jericka.
Jericka and Ryan began their story in Florida. Back in 2011, Jericka was a chef at Marriott when her path crossed Ryan’s. “I’d cook for him, it was a big part of our relationship.” Jericka, a professionally trained chef who attended Johnson and Wales in Charlotte, North Carolina had previously worked at Disney World as a chef.
Jericka and Ryan’s love grew as they started a family with their firstborn, RJ, and worked together for a meal-prep service in Treasure Coast, Florida. Their family-first philosophy is what led them to the in-home food services. “Kitchen hours in a traditional restaurant didn’t work with our family schedule. I wanted to be a mom first. Personal cheffing is what worked for me,” Jericka said.
They learned the ropes and honed their skills, but the business they were working for in on Treasure Coast had to close. Many of the former clients continued to reach out to Jericka because of their love for her homemade peanut butter balls. They were a convenient and nutritious food they could have before or after workouts, but as she tested recipes and looked at the costs of storebought organic peanut butter, she began to experiment with making her own organic nut butter. It was a success and her clients couldn’t get enough.
One night as Ryan and Jericka talked, they knew that being entrepreneurs was something they both wanted. The couple came up with the name, Powerfuel Bites based on the nutritious ingredients they used and the way their foods energized and healthily rejuvenated their customers without all the added sugar and artificial ingredients that most other processed protein bars and foods had.
Powerfuel Bites circa 2017
They continued to come up with new recipes, testing them, researching, and formulating new combinations. They came up with a simple and nutritious line of products, but they knew they wanted to be closer to family and live in a community where they could really be a part of a larger picture and make an impact, so they decided to leave Florida.
In 2019, after moving back to North Carolina, where Jericka has family, they worked on packaging and labels and began to take their products to various farmers' markets. Their community-first and family-first values were their main focus as they volunteered and cooked for local rescue missions, sharing their time and talents, and met members of the community at the local farmers’ markets, sharing their nutritious, homemade Powerfuel Bites with the community, but Covid slowed their progress a little in 2020 until they discovered the online market was a place for them to continue to share their message of family, good food, wellness, and sell their products.
Now, Jericka and Ryan are the parents of three beautiful children and make their home in Lincolnton, North Carolina. “It’s about building something that outlasts us and makes a difference in the world. During Covid, we realized that we are in business to be a catalyst for good and change the communities we serve in a positive way. Our children get to be a part of that,” said Jericka. It’s a family affair. The children are often in the kitchen and at the farmers’ markets helping with the business.
“Aside from building a legacy, I want to inspire people to start where they are and use what they have to make their dreams come true; because that’s what we did. We were inspired along the way and I want to be that torch for someone, to show them that it’s possible.
I’m not in this to be a small business forever, I want to be a leader in our industry and be a big player; inspiring people all over the world,” said Ryan Sr.
“We want our children to have more. RJ says that he wants to be a businessman. I want them to remember being at the markets. I want them to know that things don’t have to be the way the world tells you. You can do something different,” said Jericka.
“I feel really proud when I think about being an “entrepreneur-kid” not many kids are doing what I am. I enjoy working at the markets and selling our products. I’m excited to be starting my own part of Powerfuel Bites - PowKidz! My first 2 products are Apple Nachos and Kombucha - I want to grow my business and have my products all over the world,” Ryan Jr. (RJ), age 10, commented.
As the story of Powerfuel Bites continues, they have just started their first Little Free Library in memory of Jericka’s grandfather as a way to share literacy and the love of books with their community. They also dream of someday having their own peanut farm. They plan to use that space as a way to do agricultural outreach with the community to teach children about where their food comes from, while also utilizing the peanuts in their nut butters and other products.