When Carol-Ann Carrington was trying, unsuccessfully, to get her young son to drink some freshly made carrot juice, she had a lightbulb moment: what if she added some of the vegetable juice to the pancakes he would inevitably end up having for breakfast instead? And thus Kickerfeast Pancake & Waffle Mix was born. Carrington’s mix is made with simple, wholesome ingredients and comes in four flavors: blueberry, beet, carrot and pumpkin. Today the Jersey City, New Jersey-based entrepreneur is juggling motherhood, growing her company and caregiving for her mother.

Carrington’s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:

Starting Kickerfeast was quite coincidental. After my son refused to drink some freshly made carrot juice, but requested pancakes for breakfast, my intuition propelled me to add some carrot juice to the pancake mix. When he gobbled up the carrot pancakes and politely asked for more without being aware of what he had eaten, I realized the niche in the marketplace. I decided to pursue this venture of bringing pancake mixes which are made with 100% fruit or 100% vegetable powder to the market. Kickerfeast offers four flavors — carrot, beet, blueberry and pumpkin. I felt the timing was right since my corporate job was terminated due to a sale of the company.

Success is the ability to achieve anything: a task, a goal, or an obstacle, I believe that success can be viewed as a continuous reward since it is attainable throughout life. It is usually accompanied with happiness, recognition, rewards (external), but mostly internal job and self-worth.

[Related: She Grew Up in an Entrepreneurial Household – Today She’s Helping Other Entrepreneurs succeed]

My biggest success is still a work in progress — motherhood. Guiding my son to adulthood is a journey of challenges and gratitude. Additionally, pursuing my idea and launching Kickerfeast is an accomplishment that has highlighted my perseverance, elevated my confidence, exposed my fears, and developed business relationships with other entrepreneurs. This is attributed to my decision to step out of my comfort zone.

My top challenge is financing. The pandemic has practically closed the commercial lending door as priority shifted to assist small businesses that were already established and had payroll. I am self-financed, so it is imperative that I maintain strict budgeting to get through this pandemic.

On a personal level The gradual depletion of my savings makes budgeting extremely challenging. My mother is ill. I am her caregiver. So, while I am cautiously driven in pursuing Kickerfeast, I believe that the timing aligned to help me monitor her care. I am the first in my immediate family to have a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Family expectation has always been high. Entrepreneurship has always been one of my goals. This is my third entrepreneurial drive; the other two were placed on hold. I believe that most people know when it is time to take the leap, so I did.

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I do not have a role model; however, my admiration primarily goes to my grandmother who challenged me to excel no matter what limits I encountered. She always said that it is not a crime to be poor, but it is a crime not to utilize the opportunities that life gives you. Education was reinforced as the essential tool within our home and culture as I am originally from Barbados. My grandmother believed, as I do, that what life has in store for you, cannot be taken away by anyone.

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