Article and photography by Fitz
Lead photo of Janay Brown
Young and hungry, that is the best way to describe business woman Janay Brown. At 19, she has her hands in a lot of projects and her time is spread thin. When her hands are busy sculpting her candied bacon delicacies in the kitchen, her face frequently wears an infectious, cheeky smile. Don’t let that fool you, she’s no pushover. ‘Nay’ will quickly check errors and point her helpers down the right path if she spots something not up to snuff. Full Belly Delights may have started as a high school project, but since getting the LLC in 2015, it’s been a passion she’s meticulously developed.
Brown doesn’t get much sleep. “Just getting five hours is hard”, she told me over a quick coffee. Between renting out a kitchen for F.B.D., popping the business up in William Sonoma and O’Connor’s, all her website admin, the permits, branding, and oh, by the way, her full load as a student at ODU, I believe her. At ODU’s Strome College of Business, she is a student-worker who sees to their admin and social media, assists with event planning and cleanup, and mentors others who may want to start their own business. Maybe it’s more like four hours of sleep a night for Brown, I should review my notes again.
When Brown’s working on Full Belly Delights during the weekends or after class on weekdays, she’s also got to make sure she’s not sweating when the local news comes by to interview her in the kitchen. Not an easy feat in an AC sparse kitchen while pouring out sizzling hot excess bacon grease every few minutes. Yeah, Channel 13 did a feature on her, maybe you saw it?
A business mindset took hold of Brown early in life. A native of Ohio, she recounted selling bookmarks as a kid back in elementary school and first realizing she loved to sell things that, “ […] made people happy.” With Full Belly Delights, since Brown is selling candied bacon, she likely will be rather happy. Honestly, do I even need to elaborate on how much people love bacon or the sweet tooth many of us sport?
Brown, just recently took home an American Small Business Challenge award for F.B.D., presented by Score. They are the nation’s largest volunteer business mentors group and backed by Sam’s Club. Keep your eyes on Brown, assuming they can move fast enough to keep up with her rapid career ascension to the top of the bacon products game.
For more on Janay Brown and Full Belly Delights visit: