Jacinta and Ameryst – 2 Chicks & A Pound

by Terry Watson | September 15th, 2020
Jacinta LaFlora & Amersyst Watson (Photos by Monique Walker)

Jacinta LaFlora & Amersyst Watson (Photos by Monique Walker)

Two sisters, two ideas, one business. Amersyst Watson and younger sister Jacinta LaFlora grew up in a loving home with an extensive family, diverse talents, and a mother with an undeniable love for cooking.

The matriarch of the family was formerly a line cook and held other positions within the food industry, and knew her way around any kitchen she was in. “She attempted to pass her skills on to all six of her daughters,” says LaFlora, “And some got it, but some didn’t!” laughs Watson, finishing her sister’s sentence.

Listening to the two, you can tell they have a close bond. Born and raised in Greensboro, NC and two years apart in age, both ladies have been cooking for as long as they can remember. Over the years Watson had a natural affinity to chicken salad. She would make it for herself regularly but then started sharing it with friends. It wasn’t until she made a special batch for her son Justin, who’s on the autism spectrum, that she considered selling it.

Justin loved his mother’s special dish so much that she named it Justin’s Chicken Salad, later modifying it to Mr. JC’s Chicken Salad. She began catering parties and selling it at other vending opportunities along with her homemade vegetable dip.

Around the same time, LaFlora found her footing with sweets, specifically pound cake. She decided to focus on perfecting the dessert and added all sorts of toppings and garnishes to take it up a notch. She affectionately named it A’marie’s Poundcake, combining her daughters’ names, Arianna and Brenda Marie. It’s also an ode to her late grandmother who had a similar name.

Considering both had their niche, the ladies would attend the same events selling their products regularly. One night, the two were hanging out and started joking how they should combine their food ventures and call it 2 Chicks and a Pound (referencing chicken salad, pound cake, and themselves). The name stuck and the joke turned into reality. This year 2 Chicks and a Pound became an official business.

Since the collaboration, the sisters have created new menu items such as spicy chicken salad, pimiento cheese, lemon poundcake, and specialty pound cakes like Fruity Pebbles. Each week customers line up at their food tent at The People’s Market to see what they’re offering.

Watson’s dream is to eventually see her creations on the shelves of local stores and maybe one day nationwide. She is currently planning to approach stores in the area to make this a reality.
LaFlora also has the entrepreneurial spirit and wants to eventually open an intimate cake shop showcasing her sweets. Soon you’ll see them both around town on their upcoming food truck handing goodies out of the window.

“We’ve been blessed,”LaFlora says. “By the grace of God, the business has not suffered. During the pandemic We’ve been getting more and more orders at the [People’s] market. We put God first and he’s really been blessing us.”

LaFlora’s young daughters often try and get in on the action by sampling their mom’s delicious treats. At times, she’ll save them a few pieces before boxing them up. According to Watson, eight year old Justin is always in the mood for a serving of the dish that holds his name.

I suspect if you’ve tasted any of their items, you’d want more of them too!

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