A mother’s heart runs deep and strong. Trina Pratt, owner of Chéngers, is not only a mother to her son Ché, but is also referred to as a mother by kids and adults all across the state. Why you ask? Trina, also known as Dr. P, has always cared for people and recently began developing her dream of a nutrition-focused business to help feed the world in a better way. Starting with her baby food company Little Chéngers, the business began out of a need and desire to feed her son Ché the best products for his body and development. However, it quickly evolved with an additional entity in the adult food business called Chéngers. Little Chéngers for infants and toddlers and Chéngers for adults helps families feed themselves and those they care about in a delicious and nutritious way.
When Ché was four months old, Trina started looking for the healthiest products on the market to ensure he received the proper nutrition. Like most mothers with newborns, Trina spent a lot of time researching and trying different puree foods to please and care for her son. When she purchased a popular over-the-counter brand, Ché immediately spat it. Giving the food a try, Trina also spat out the baby food that “tasted like lead instead of vegetables.” Since that day, Trina has invested her education, time, and research in finding healthier, more nutritious food that enhances one’s developmental milestones with excellent flavor and taste. “Most mothers want the best for their child, and since I wasn’t finding that on the market, I decided to make it myself,” Trina said. “Having a Master’s Degree in Sports and Recreation and a Ph.D. in Kinesiology, I had experience in nutrition to rely upon when developing products and recipes, as well as a strong partnership with local chefs to not only help me with recipe development but also the knowledge of how to run a food business.” At the time, Trina planned on simply making food for her child and possibly developing it into a full-blown business later down the road. However, as a former Executive Director for the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, word traveled fast among the kids that Trina was cooking up something unique and extraordinary.
Trina has always had a heart for feeding others, which led her and staff members to begin feeding the children at the Boys and Girls Club homemade foods. “I do this because I have a heart to ensure people are fed well, especially kids,” she said. “At that time, I wasn’t only feeding kids at ‘The Club’, but also their families if they were in need.” After leaving the Boys & Girls Club organization and finishing graduate school, in April 2020, Trina worked behind the scenes with her chef partner to develop the company and products. In August 2019, Little Chéngers was officially launched as an organic baby food company. “The company’s name is obviously a play on my son Ché’s name because he and the kids from the Boys & Girls Club, inspired me to start this business. The Club kids, especially my son, used to tell me all the time, ‘we gotta make a change’. We gotta help these families.'” Trina said. “Ché’s passion is my passion, which I hope shines through the products that we make and sell to others.” Trina started out selling her products at farmers markets in her area, when the adults started to get curious about her products and, unintentionally, launched the company in a new direction.
“Even though I am not a medical doctor, because I have the letters in front of my name, people always come up to me asking for nutritional advice and wanting to try my products at the market,” Trina said. “I originally launched the company as solely a baby food company. However, numerous adults would try my product at the market and love it, or say they would love to try it if it wasn’t labeled baby food. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity of adding an adult food brand, Chéngers. Therefore, our Little Chéngers brand is strictly focused on infants and toddlers. Chéngers is family-focused on feeding the world.” Chéngers sells a variety of soups and smoothies that incorporate local, organic ingredients and are good for many types of aches, pains and illnesses.
Smoothie products from Chéngers come in a variety of flavors, including mango with ginger and turmeric, strawberry, pineapple, and a super smoothie full of berries, spinach, and kale. Their soups are a bit more vegetable-focused, incorporating ingredients like butternut squash, chickpeas, and tomatoes. “Food provides life for the body and also serves as a healing agent,” Trina said. “To be able to not only feed people well with our products but also help their bodies with various issues like inflammation, stomach problems, arthritis, and cancer, is more rewarding than you can possibly imagine.” Products from the company are different from many on the market because each ingredient can be easily identified and is purchased fresh. “We need to be able to understand and recognize the ingredients of the food that we eat,” she said. “When you know better, you have to do better. Not only for yourself but also for your family.” The company also continues to sell baby products for the younger audience, including applesauce, sweet potato apple ginger, mango and banana strawberry. Products can be purchased either online through their website or at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market.
Although helping people understand the importance of eating and paying for nutritious products can be a challenge, Trina wouldn’t trade anything for the joy she feels in helping other families across the state to enjoy their meals and take care of their bodies. “This has been a dream of mine for many years since Ché was a little boy,” she said. “To see it finally come to fruition and blossom into something that allows me to help other people in the same way I was able to help those children at the Boys & Girls Clubs, not only makes me proud but also leaves a legacy for my son to follow one day.” As co-owner, Ché already has a platform to take over the company in future years. He travels with his mother to various engagements to speak on the products and what they have done in his life. Trina is proud to see his passion for the products shine in a way that influences others to give them a try.
As a member of our Got to Be NC program, Chéngers products can also be found this year at the Got to Be NC Festival in May. As a new vendor in the Food Lion Local Goodness Marketplace inside Dorton Arena, Trina is looking forward to meeting a variety of new faces and customers throughout the weekend event. “We will only be bringing our smoothies to this event due to the possibly high heat that will accompany it,” she said. “However, I will be more than happy to talk about any of the other products with interested customers and answer any questions they might have.” The Got to Be NC Festival runs from Friday, May 19th, through Sunday, May 21st, at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.
Between her jobs as a full-time mother, business owner, an adjunct professor of various classes at North Carolina A&T State University and Winston-Salem State University, Trina is often referred to as superwoman. “I keep a busy schedule, but everything that I do is for the betterment of my family and education of others on the benefits of organic food,” she said. “If we can learn to take care of our bodies by eating foods that are beneficial for us, this world will be a much better and happier place.” She teaches First Aid, Community Health, Health Disparities, and Weight Controlled Management at the universities and has been named ‘the best teacher around’ by many of her students.
So, please mark your calendars for the upcoming Got to Be NC Festival to stop by and meet Trina and learn more about these incredible products or visit their website to order some today! We can change the world one step at a time by supporting those in our local community who give their time and career to support us.