Campus treats: Berried N Chocolate

Buckmon creates treats for several organizations. Courtesy photo

Zion Buckmon

Ending the month of love with one of its signature treats, chocolate covered strawberries sounds very tempting. 


In fact, one of Grambling’s own up and coming businesses, Berried N Chocolate, is still taking orders. 


Zion Buckmon, a senior reigning from Washington D.C., the founder of Berried N Chocolate has brought joy to many sweet tooths on campus. 


“The company name was actually given to us by a customer during the 2017 Valentine’s Day Giveaway,” Buckmon said. “We held a contest to help us pick a company name. The person who gave us the name we liked won a free half dozen strawberries in return.” 


Aside from running a successful business, Buckmon is a cheerleader, a member of Phi Beta Lambda Fall 2018 and Cheer Phi Leader Fall 2017. 


Buckmon says her main goal was to make birthdays, holidays and parties just as extravagant as if it was planned by parents. 


Keeping in mind that it would be expensive, she wanted to make an affordable dessert and still be able to make a profit. 


“I’ve been baking and making desserts since I was about four or five with my dad, so everywhere I went I sold my desserts,” Buckmon said. “Since being at Grambling, Berried N Chocolate has been in business for one year.”


When deciding to pick chocolate covered strawberries as her marquee item, Buckmon came to the conclusion that they were more affordable to reproduce than stuffed strawberries. 


However, Berried N Chocolate isn’t exclusively dedicated to the chocolate covered strawberry, their top seller. Chocolate covered apples, pineapples, rice krispies, pretzels and cheesecake stuffed strawberries are offered as well. One item that Buckmon would like to try, but hasn’t yet, is candied apples or grapes. 


Although Buckmon’s company is very popular, there is a little bit of friendly competition. 


“My main competitor is one of my teammates, Kirk,” Buckmons said. “He sells baskets with chocolate covered strawberries and candy. I choose not to sell candy because I want to known for dessert that I handcraft.”


Buckmon adds that she is happy to collaborate with others. 


“If I get too many orders for a certain holiday, I’ll see if Kirk has any openings and send that customer his information,” Buckmon said. 


Like all businesses, there are pros and cons to weigh. 


“Advantages would be that I spend so much time on my craft that I believe I seperate myself from my competitors in so many ways, i.e. design, taste, and overall presentation,” Buckmon said. “Disadvantages would be I solely rely on the student population, when the students aren’t here I don’t hear from too many people.” 


To boost her clientele, Buckmon also extends her services when she returns home. 


“I make more cakes at home because my clientele from that area are more familiar with my cakes and cupcakes,” Buckmon said.  


In five years, Buckmon aspires to open a storefront, even though she is unsure of the location. Most recently, Buckmon has catered for the 2018 Kappa Alpha Psi Player’s Ball and the 2018 Alpha Phi Alpha Black and Gold Pageant. 


“There’s always difficult moments when business is super slow,” Buckmon said. “I’ll feel like I’ve hit rock bottom but there’s a breakthrough idea when I can gain some customers back.” Berried N Chocolate can be found and contacted on social media.