A Black-owned granola bar company receives community support
Updated: Dec 22, 2022
Written by: Alexa Figueroa 🇸🇻
Bright Djampa, CEO of Omega 3 Nutrition at a production facility on September 21, 2022 (Courtesy of Bright Djampa)
Bright Djampa remembers developing the recipe for Omega 3 Nutrition, his homemade granola bar company, in his parents kitchen when his product was relatively unknown.
The University of Maryland alum’s Omega-3-based granola bar business has since expanded into more than seven stores and can even be found in the Union Convenience Shop in Stamp Student Union.
Djampa became interested in Omega-3 after switching to the nutrition and food science major. His former professor, Shaik Rahaman, constantly emphasized the importance of Omega-3 fatty acids and jokingly encouraged Djampa to create a business, which he did.
“He had that fire in his belly that besides completing undergrad, he'll also start a business,” said Rahaman.
Djampa has faced both successes and setbacks in his career. He mentions that in June 2020, a year into the business, he had invested about $8000 of his own money and no stores had bought his products. It felt like a low point for him.
“I wasn’t in any store, I was at home, no one really knew the product, the design wasn't all the way the best. And I was just sad. It was a really low moment for myself,” said Djampa.
Omega 3 granola bar on top of company box on October 17, 2022 (Alexa Figueroa)
It is not only a brain-centered food company, but it is also a black-owned business. He says that this has made him realize that getting funds will be more difficult. He has been attempting to raise funds but he has not been able to do so because he feels he needs more credibility under his belt.
“People don't necessarily trust people of color with money, as much as they do trust their white counterparts… I feel like I need more credibility than some of my white counterparts,” said Djampa.
At the same time, he finds empowerment in running a black-owned business.
“The black community is very supportive. They've supported my product immensely…and as I continue to grow, I don't forget stuff like that, “ said Djampa.
In developing Omega 3 Nutrition, Djampa worked with students from the program Consult Your Community which is a pro-bono consulting organization on campus. The program pairs students with small businesses that are interested in social media marketing. This is where Djampa met Kareena Agni.
Agni, the Content Marketing Specialist for Omega 3 Nutrition, said that one of the biggest challenges they have faced together in the company is the lack of visibility within the community. They tried to partner with high schools but did not receive many responses.
Despite these obstacles, Agni is still passionate about the company and is proud of the work they do.
“He (Djampa) was just a self-starter. He had that entrepreneurial spirit that really helped him establish the brand in the first place, said Agni.
Production workers at the production facility on September 21, 2022 (Courtesy of Bright Djampa)