Diversity Matters Podcast: Lillie’s of Charleston
Get to Know a Business Built on Family
“If you knew her you never felt unwanted, unloved, or you never left her house hungry.” – Hank Tisdale
GPO sourcing isn’t just about finding the best prices – it’s about sourcing high-quality, unique products that consumers will love. Sometimes those products are produced by smaller suppliers. That’s why Foodbuy offers the Diverse Accelerator Program. This initiative identifies smaller minority- and woman-owned businesses with big potential. Our team then connects them with mentors, training, and networking opportunities to help them reach their goals.
Lillie’s of Charleston is one of this year’s Diverse Supplier Accelerator Program participants. Owned and operated by sisters Tracey Richardson and Kelley Wicker, Lillie’s sells iconic spices and sauces out of Charleston, SC. The sisters use recipes passed down to their father Hank Tisdale – former owner of The Rib Shack – from his aunt, the business’s namesake. Aunt Lillie’s love for food and her family is honored now through the family business, which has been featured on Oprah Winfrey’s online marketplace and the Today Show. While they’ve gained popularity in the southeast over the past 20 years, their collaboration with Foodbuy was the final push Lillie’s of Charleston needed to become a nationally distributed brand.
“Because you guys have so many industries that you deal with…Sysco brought us onboard nationally and now we’re in all of their warehouses across the country, which is what we’ve been working towards for the last 20+ years.” – Tracey Tisdale Richardson
On this month’s episode of the Diversity Matters podcast, host Laura Moore speaks with Tracey and Hank about their new ability to distribute products nationally due to their collaboration with Foodbuy. Tracey shares her pride in owning a successful black- and woman-owned business. She notes that their story showcases how a family-owned company can make it to the next level and achieve national distribution.
It’s because of meaningful collaborations with businesses like Lillie’s of Charleston, that Foodbuy founded the Diverse Supplier Accelerator Program. The initiative allows us to expand our GPO sourcing network while highlighting smaller suppliers to our members and partners.
“Businesses typically spend resources and time and energy with the biggest suppliers where there might be the most money and we have made a conscious decision to dedicate more time and resources and energy to these diverse suppliers who may be smaller.” – Gwyneth Rampton, Foodbuy Vice President of Category Development
Want to order products from Lillie’s of Charleston? Visit their website now. You can also subscribe to the Diversity Matters podcast for more great stories about the procurement industry. New episodes are published every 4-6 weeks. This series is intended to give us all the opportunity to drive equity through conversation, connecting with the women and minority entrepreneurs behind the products we serve.