UCA graduate gets recognition from Beyoncé for small business

Rachel Whitfield has always loved Beyoncé and had a passion for cooking. She never thought those two worlds would collide.

ARKANSAS, USA — A University of Central Arkansas grad is getting unexpected recognition from music icon Beyoncé.

The singer did a campaign roll-out on her website, highlighting Black business owners.

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“The first thing was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Is this real?’ That was probably the first thought,” said Rachel Whitfield, a small-business owner.

Whitfield never knew her love for music icon Beyoncé and her love for cooking would collide.

“I am just truly honored to even be considered in that list of amazing entrepreneurs,” said Whitfield.

Whitfield founded Chef Curl Ardee in Arkansas, where she spent years trying to get word out about her small business.

It’s a collection of low-sodium and salt-free food seasonings and spice blends customers can shop for online.

“For African Americans and brown bodies, it’s imperative we level-set the playing field,” said Whitfield. “As a Black-owned business owner, there are a lot of opportunities that sometimes don’t get to come our way.”

Amid racial tensions in the United States following George Floyd’s death, Beyoncé shared her world-wide platform with Black business owners like Whitfield by highlighting their products on her website, and with just one click of the product, it takes you to the business’ website.

Beyoncé had the goal to do just that, level out the playing field for equality.

For Whitfield, just minutes after Beyoncé shared her business online, the number of sales soared.

“The spike is definitely real. The orders are still coming in, the page views. Orders are through the roof. I’m just blessed all the way around,” said Whitfield.

Whitfield believes this visibility will be a game-changer for her and others.

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She has since moved from Arkansas and to Atlanta, Georgia, but her business’ mission has stayed the same.

For every purchase, a portion of the proceeds goes to No Child Hungry, a non-profit organization helping to fight against childhood hunger.