Dad and Daughter from South Side Chicago, owners of Black-owned frozen pudding line now in Walgreens
Meet Lorenzo and Genesis Bencivenga, the father-daughter founders of Lorenzo’s Frozen Pudding, who started their business as a way to create not only income but upward financial mobility.
The Bencivengas, who used to sell pudding on the streets of South Side Chicago, have expanded their company through hard work and drive, putting their goods on the shelves of nearby supermarkets and now Walgreens.
Their narrative is told in the most recent episode of Shelf Life, which also explains how their success cost them money. The family’s firm had to be restarted three times as a result of their failure to meet demand.
Since we were in roughly 50 to 55 businesses in Chicago and its surrounding suburbs between 2015 and 2017, we stopped selling on the street, according to Genesis.
But we couldn’t keep up with demand again. I knew we had a great product people wanted to buy, but we didn’t have the back-end infrastructure for manufacturing and distribution that we needed, so I had to shut it down again.”
Genesis relaunched Lorenzo’s business for the third time in 2020 during the COVID pandemic.
With Walgreens’ Top Shelf program, Genesis received the support she needed to improve the first two launches with Lorenzo’s Frozen Pudding.
The program provided access to capital vital for growth, connected her to a co-packer for manufacturing, and ultimately gave her distribution at Walgreens.
The three-store pilot has since grown to more than 30 stores one year later.
Lack of resources stymies Black entrepreneurs, but Walgreens is aiming to help reverse that trend by creating equitable opportunities for diverse businesses.
As a result, Walgreens launched Shelf Life, a new web series showcasing its diverse suppliers and how they made it onto the retailer’s shelves.
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Walgreens is shedding light on underrepresented businesspeople who are pursuing growth through its Shelf Life series.
Walgreens is also altering our way of doing business and improving the lives of entrepreneurs like Lorenzo and Genesis.
The pair’s current goal places a strong emphasis on the need to increase both their business and generational wealth.
Stories of growth and transformation are being shared through Shelf Life, and these stories are not only educational but also profoundly motivating.
For more details about their story – https://news.walgreens.com/our-stories/a-top-shelf-business.htm