Nicole Foster always brought her husband Dwight Campbell’s sense of adventure. Foster met the self-professed introvert years ago when she worked as an attorney in global public health, regularly visiting countries in West Africa and Latin America to address barriers to care for the underserved communities there. It was then she simultaneously fell even deeper in love with three things: her husband, wellness and travel.
After settling back down in the states and having their son, Foster noticed the ingredients in the infant’s formula were not only artificial, but harmful. He was born premature, weighed on pound and wasn’t getting any better after spending nearly four months in the hospital mainly due to what he was being fed. Foster had already spent years observing the havoc poor diets can have on long-term health, so she decided to a non-dairy formula. Their son quickly thrived. It was then the family became even more serious about their diet and became plant-based. Campbell, who’s a respected chef in Baltimore, took it a step further and began preparing all of their meals using only fresh, plant-based ingredients for years, but one gap they’d had in their refrigerator were ready-made, vegan desserts that were actually, well, good.
“Most of the things on the market offered a very limited flavor range and they were boring honestly,” Foster told ESSENCE, who explained she fell in love with all of the cuisine she’d tasted through her family’s years of globetrotting.
It was then that the couple decided to create their own ice cream line based on the robust desserts they’d tasted through the years. Thus, in 2020, Cajou Creamery was born.
“I tested out recipes for the family, like homemade Baklava from our time in the middle east, sweet potato from our southern US travels, horchata from our trips to Mexico—it’s all there,” Campbell.
“Cajou has become a confluence of everything that we’ve done,” Foster shared with ESSENCE. “And I’ll tell you how. It’s become an intersection of everything that we’re passionate about, everything that we’ve done.”
She added: “We started making this in Miami in, I’d say, 2014 for our kids, when we found out they were lactose intolerant. And now we’re being sold in stores all over the nation and focusing on global expansion.”
The tasty treats can be found in stores through out the Baltimore, MD area and in Foxtrot stores across the country, but the couple is just getting started.
“We’re in a stage of growth right now and looking for investors to meet us where we are—non-dilutive, extractive investors,” Campbell said. He also shared that the brand is “moving on the path to becoming a worker owned co-op that hires formerly incarcerated individuals.”
It looks like the couple is aiming to make our communities better, one pint at a time.