Miss Marjorie’s Steel Drum Plantains started off as an appetizer at Donna Moodie’s restaurant, marjorie. Inspired by Donna’s Jamaican roots, and by her mother Marjorie’s cooking, these savory snacks developed a cult following at the restaurant. Then in 2013, a successful Kickstarter campaign was one piece of the puzzle that helped Donna make them available for retail sale. Another key element was custom packaging.
Donna and Guided's Chief Maker David Stober worked together to standardize trays and packaging sizes for the Plantains and create a design that was consistent with her existing brand. (She credits him with providing invaluable input on design in other areas of her business as well.) In both the 2oz and 6oz size, the box tells the story of Miss Marjorie’s Steel Drum Plantains, and allows customers to see the delicious, perfectly spiced product they are about to buy. The Plantains are now carried by more than 75 retail shops across the country, from Seattle-area favorites like Metropolitan Market and The London Plane, to select Whole Foods and Dean & Deluca locations. They’re also available on Amazon and occasionally featured in Seattle Starbucks’ snack rotation.
The coolest thing about Miss Marjorie’s Still Drum Plantains isn’t the box though. It isn’t even the snack itself (although that is, of course a close second.) It’s what Miss Marjorie’s Plantains are allowing Donna to do for the community. See, Donna isn’t just a restaurateur or a maker. She’s a community builder.
Last month, Donna began a new venture: Kingston 8. Plymouth Housing’s next great project will eventually open at 501 Rainier Avenue South, formerly Linc’s Bait and Tackle. Donna asked herself: why not activate the existing building while the tedious permitting process is underway? So, she transformed it into a retail shop, event space, and gallery. She hopes the concept can be a prototype for other entrepreneurs, creatives, and makers looking for ways to collaborate in unexpected settings.
With Donna’s vision, drive, and maker mindset, it’s no wonder she was just appointed to Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkin’s Small Business Advisory Council, and is about to receive the UW Foster School of Business Client of the Year Award. We can’t wait to see where Miss Marjorie’s Steel Drum Plantains will take Donna Moodie next.