Native restaurant proprietor launches line of seasonings and sauces | Enterprise
Barbara Devan didn’t let various setbacks she experienced during 2020 deter her from creating a new recipe for business survival.
The soul food restaurant owner has launched a line of gourmet seasonings and specialty sauces titled Tasties Flavor For Your Soul. The line consists of four sauce flavors including BBQ, Buffalo, Lemon Pepper and Seafood Bae and three seasonings – Everythang, Garlic & Herb and Seafood Bae.
“This was always a goal of mine,” Devan says of her new venture.
“It’s an awesome feeling to see something that I actually created. I’m known for restaurants so this is my first time selling a product, which is very different because I’m trying to get people to buy into what it is and how it tastes. I’m getting a lot of good reviews about it so I’m super excited for what is coming next.”
Since Devan launched her products online, one of the most popular selling items has been Tasties Everythang. Devan says this item eliminates the process of cooks pulling out numerous seasoning containers.
“It actually has more than 10 different herbs and seasonings that makes your food taste really good, tasty and flavorful,” she said.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Devan was focusing on running her two Philadelphia-based Tasties restaurants and preparing to open a new takeout establishment in Wilmington, Delaware.
As business slowed down, Devan was motivated to start a seasoning line and create more revenue to survive.
The pandemic caused the doors of her upscale restaurant in West Philadelphia to close and delayed the opening of her Delaware eatery Tasties 302 because of government mandates imposed to help slow the coronavirus.
Devan was coping with the pandemic’s financial impact when looters smashed the windows of her restaurant located on 52nd Street after the death of George Floyd. West Philadelphia’s business corridors were heavily hit by looters during the civil unrest that took place last spring.
All three of Devan’s eateries are currently open for take out, but she says it hasn’t been easy maintaining during this challenging time for restaurants.
The restaurant industry has been reeling with more than one in six food establishments in the U.S. closed since the pandemic according to the Independent Restaurant Coalition, a group formed to advocate for relief.
“I’m happy to say that I am one of the survivors as of now in the restaurant industry,” said Devan, who is a Southwest Philadelphia native.
“I’m blessed just to stay afloat and keep the lights on and pay the bills. Of course we are missing a lot of revenue, but I’m just blessed to keep it going and keep creating and not let this damage us.”
Devan said she lives by the mantra “struggle with a part of the recipe.” She is also selling sweatshirts with the slogan.
“I really live by that because we went through that in 2020,” she said. “Everybody can actually relate to that in different ways in business.”
Despite the challenges, Devan is determined to keep her business thriving by staying consistent and being motivated.
The entrepreneur initially established the Tasties brand in 2007 at 21st and Berks streets in North Philadelphia. After a year in business, she later reestablished the brand in 2012 by moving it to West Philadelphia, where she operated out of the kitchen of Jollies West on 38th Street and Lancaster Avenue.
“I’ve very passionate about my brand,” she said.
“So when I’m into something and putting my hard work into it, I’m going to go all the way.”