A homegrown Interior Alaskan business flavoring international taste buds
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - A homegrown Alaskan business has taken legacy to heart by enhancing the taste buds of many. The veteran and black-owned family business, Trueheart’s Blend, based out of North Pole, Alaska, is now an internationally known brand. The owner, Tyrone Thomas, settled in Alaska after the decade-long and three war-tour enlistments. During his time in the military, he began blending low sodium spices and distributed bottles to his friends at cookouts and other food-related gatherings.
Despite the encouragement of Thomas’ family, particularly his wife, Carlette, he had no intentions of being a business owner.
However, after he experienced a heart attack, his family encouraged him to turn his hobby into a small business. Trueheart’s Blend launched in 2009. Soon after, he employed his son, Terrence, to be the CEO of Trueheart’s.
Terrance mentioned, “There have been times at a traffic stoplight, people have asked for spices through the window, and he [referring to his dad] will take care of them.”
Their spices are distributed to stores in Interior Alaska and other small stores in the East Coast states. Even though they still consider themselves a small market, “We have had some orders from other states such as Pennsylvania and other states like Georgia as well,” stated Trueheart’s Blends CEO in an interview with Newscenter Fairbanks.
Requests for Trueheart’s Blend have been, as said by Thomas, to have made it as far as Europe. “It has been overseas like Germany and other places where the U.S. Soldiers happen to go because we sell on Fort Wainwright and Eielson [Air Force] Base. So they’ll often come by picking it up, order some, and they’ll ship it over to their friends, or they’ll go over there with it.”
According to the CEO, the demand sometimes surpasses the supply, but they plan to accommodate this with tools to increase production throughout the summer.
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