Nic King Talks Creating The First-Black Owned Cereal Company With Family And The Culture In Mind
Photo Credit: Nic King
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Nic King Talks Creating The First-Black Owned Cereal Company With Family And The Culture In Mind

Everybody eats when the family is at the forefront!

When describing himself, Nic King — the founder of the first Black-owned cereal company — says “family-oriented” is what comes to mind, which sounds about right for the man who has a vision of building a legacy for his family. 

“This is why I call my company Legacy Cereal company,” he explained. “I’ve always set the expectation that this is forging a path to set my family up to have a better future. [That] has been my goal forever.”

As previously reported by AfroTech, King’s cereal brand, Proud Puffs was launched as a reminder that representation matters in every industry. Now, just over a year later, King is on a mission to continue to build brands within his company that impacts the culture.

He joined AfroTech to shed light on the importance of building a legacy, his own personal journey to entrepreneurship, and creating cereal that is for the culture.

AfroTech: Where did the vision for Legacy Cereal Brand come from?

Nic King: I have to give credit to God on this one because this is not even something that I could have ever come up with on my own. This was unfortunately after the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and just kind of looking for my voice and asking myself how I can affect change.

I think we’ve all kind of gone through that moment where we’re like alright well, we’re going to march, we’ll donate, or we’ll blackout our profile on Instagram. We’ll do these things, but for me, I was just like it isn’t enough. One morning I did a quick Google search and realized that there are hardly any Black cereal companies anywhere. So, I started to really dig in.

It’s this mentality that I’ve always had, that I want to do what most people would deem impossible and everything just started falling into place, which is why I have to give God all the credit.

AT: That’s amazing! Can you talk to us a little about your Proud Puff cereal?

Nic: Like a lot of people, I don’t sleep very well, especially when I’m trying to figure out what’s next if you know what I mean. 

So at 3 a.m., I got the crazy idea and conducted that Google search that I previously mentioned and that’s when the adrenaline started kicking in and I began to ask God some really bold, God-sized questions. I just remember saying different ideas aloud and I begin to think that they were clearly not my ideas, but he gave me these amazing ideas, but I still needed a name and that was one of my first questions.

I can’t even tell you how soon after that the word ‘proud’ popped in my head and then from there, I said we’re going to call these ‘Proud Puffs,’ and I got the name, the trademark, and we’ve just been rocking ever since.

AT: Come on testimony -- I also understand that this cereal is a bit more healthier than the norm. Why was that important?

Nic: While putting everything together, I was like ‘Great! This can be the first Black cereal company, that’s awesome, but what am I doing?’ Like how will this impact the community? That’s where my brain went next. 

I’ve been a cereal lover my whole life, but to be transparent, it’s filled with a lot of sugar and dyes and other ingredients that aren’t good for us.

I knew I had to deliver something that was healthier, especially with all the food deserts occurring mainly in urban communities. I was like, I have to go vegan. I have to go plant-based, I have to give a healthier option.

Obviously, it does have some sugar because cereal caters to children a lot and you’ve got to be able to taste it and love it so that mom and dad will reorder it. But just being a healthier option and something that could impact the community positively was huge for me.

Intentionality is something that people hear a lot when I talk about Legacy Cereal Company because from beginning to where we are now, there’s been a lot of intentionality in how we roll out the brand and how we present it to the people.

AT: The packaging is also very intentional...

Nic: Yes, I wanted it to speak for itself when you see it visually.

The biggest thing is representation. So yes, I have my family on the box, but it’s beautiful when you look at the way that everything kind of comes together. We’re all different skin tones, it’s like everyone can see themselves on the box. It was really important to show a full Black family.

I have my sisters and my nieces on the box, they all have different hairstyles, different textures. So, it’s just the intentionality of everything — even down to the colors. Purple stands for royalty, regal and that’s one of the things that we love. So, I was like we’re going to start off with a purple box. I really dedicated this first box to the community and that’s why this is cereal for the culture. It really hits home.

Click here to learn more about Legacy Cereal Company.