Bougie Berries is a brand new strawberry decorating company in Vermillion owned by three USD cheerleaders that was launched last month.
Junior interior design major Asiah Jackson and junior pre-law major Aliyah Jackson are sisters who met sophomore media and journalism major Kayla Saleem through cheerleading a year ago. Bougie Berries was not their original plan, as they had a different business idea, but it made sense to start around the holidays.
“We’ve been interested in starting a business,” Aliyah said. “We were actually working on a clothing line at the beginning and then the holidays came around.”
Bougie Berries started after Saleem saw a post on Pinterest and thought she and her friends could create the products themselves. Saleem also saw that there is no competition for a similar product in Vermillion.
Aliyah Jackson said that the group tries to keep their prices affordable because they cater to a diverse group of customers in Vermillion, Iowa and Nebraska. Bougie Berries sells 5 classic strawberries for $8, 9 classic or customized strawberries for $15 and 12 classic or customized strawberries for $20.
Asiah Jackson said they order the strawberries from the Vermillion Hy-Vee and get their other supplies from baking stores in Sioux City. Then the orders are made the same day of the scheduled pickup because the strawberries last longer.
“We’re really trying to make sure that we give the customer the best experience possible,” Aliyah Jackson said. “We really want Vermillion and the people extended to feel like we really did quality service for them.”
The group agreed that their shared personal goal is to provide service for bigger events such as weddings instead of small groups like they’re doing now, to show their customers that they can do any size event without any problems. The group also said they enjoy doing Bougie Berries because it allows them to reach out to people within the community.
“It’s fun to be able to connect with the community in a more personal way because we’re on the USD cheer team as well so we just scratch the surface of what the community is like,” Aliyah Jackson said.
Saleem said their products are for everyone without a strawberry or chocolate allergy. In the future, Bougie Berries hopes to provide vegan options as well. Customers can order through their Instagram, @bougie_berries_.