Patricia Neal

by Terry Watson | September 20th, 2021
Patricia Neal (Toni Shaw)

Patricia Neal (Toni Shaw)

It’s time for a celebration! The dream of Divine Lemonades became a reality in September 2016, five years later, Patricia Neal is in a position to enjoy the “flavorful” fruits of her labor. The journey has come with a few peaks and some valleys, and there have even been moments when Patricia felt like throwing in the towel, but the God fearing woman isn’t built like that. She was purposed for the moment, and just like everything else in her life, what she starts, she will finish.

“I’m just a little country girl from Reidsville, NC. I have always had a great work ethic passed down from my parents, which requires that I operate in excellence,” she says. With that standard set, Patricia has grown her Divine Lemonades brand impressively and stocking the shelves of 68 grocery and convenience stores and some restaurants throughout Virginia and North Carolina. These areas are Ridgeway and Danville, VA, Eden, Reidsville, Stoneville, Greensboro, Salisbury, Lexington, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Gastonia, NC.

Understandably, some new challenges accompanied Patricia’s growth spurt. She even had to refuse some business because she had reached production capacity where she manufactured her products. Yet, God stepped in and blessed her with a building outfitted with the space and equipment she needed. The doors to Divine Lemonades manufacturing plant opened on September 10, 2021, at 303 SE Market Street in Reidsville. Her new space will be used strictly for manufacturing so that Patricia can service her existing stores. By 2022, the goal is to open to the public and offer specialty beverages and Divine Lemonades apparel. “I started by delivering lemonade in my personal vehicle, and now I have multiple work trucks that deliver Divine Lemonades to parts of Southern Virginia and as far south as Gastonia, NC,” she says. Divine Lemonde is also shipped nationally and internationally.

After only one taste of Divine Lemonades, nearly everyone has the same reaction: Amazing! That tastes great. I need more. It’s usually followed up by a battery of questions and comments such as, How did you make that? What are the ingredients? It can’t be good for you! It has to be full of sugar, right? What’s the recipe? How did you come up with those flavors? The list goes on and on.
Most people can’t quite adequately articulate the rich, yet light and refreshing taste of Divine Lemonades; but to put it quite simply, Divine Lemonades taste…divine. It’s partly how the drinks name was derived, but more importantly it’s because the business and recipe came through “divine” impartation. There are only two problems with Divine Lemonades: once people taste the refreshing drink they simply can’t stop drinking it and Patricia can’t seem to quench their unending thirst. Of course, that’s more of a dilemma for their pockets, but most people are more than willing to pay as long as they can get some of Neal’s “Heaven In A Bottle.”

Today, there are now 60 different flavors available in the Divine Lemonade line. Some flavors include Danyez Mango Fusion, Apricot Suprise, Mamie’s Mix, Ryleigh’s Cherry Plum, Summer Breeze, Cailen’s Candy Apple, and many more. A few of Patricia’s products, such as the Lavender Lemonade has medicinal properties that have helped individuals who suffer from headaches and insomnia. “Everything about the drinks is all natural. God gave me the recipe and I’ve been making it for nearly 21 years. It’s a combination of different things that gives it such a smooth and divine taste,” said Neal. “The business just grew out of something I just always did for myself. I’m the baby of eight siblings and whenever we had family functions, I always made tea and lemonade. I’ve always had the recipe. But it just wasn’t time yet for [the business] to be birthed.”

Patricia’s resilience and determination have also been on full display as she has overcome some personal battles. In 2013, her doctors detected a huge tumor in her breast, and she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. She had to endure surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, but even in her seemingly dire and desperate situation, God worked a miracle.

The cancer spread throughout her breast and doctors told her she would have to have a mastectomy, endure strong treatment options to keep the cancer from further invading her body and ultimately live a diminished-quality life. But Patricia said God worked a miracle.

These battles and her ability to conquer them are in alignment with who Patricia is; a warrior. “Many people have counted me out and said I would not amount to anything. Despite naysayers, I’ve always had the strength and determination to push forward and defy the odds. For that, I give God all the glory,” she says.

Patricia’s success is rooted in her ability to surround herself with those who will tell her the truth even if it hurts. “My children (Danyé, Morgan, and Sam) and my grandson (Danté) are my driving force. I love them and want to leave a legacy for them to carry on for generations to come,” she says. She also acknowledges her mentor Nasi and her Divine Lemonades team, including Pastor Lannie Robertson, Salina Barksdale-Clark, Sonja Walker, Tammara Broadnax, Tora Ballard, and Orlando and Lesha Herbin. “My sister in love, Darlene Neal, helped to get my products on the shelves of my first store. She, along with my brother Leon, sisters Vanessa and Kaye, have supported me. I am grateful for my entire family, friends, and Divine Lemonades supporters who push me to never give up!”

With the opening of Patricia’s first manufacturing facility, she is looking forward to expanding the reach and presence of Divine Lemonades on store shelves, healthcare facilities, sports arenas, and college campuses. “I want Divine Lemonades to be internationally known like other major beverages we see daily in stores and commercials, and I see a larger manufacturing facility in the very near future. I want to give back to my community by creating more jobs to stimulate the economy and help in drawing business to my hometown of Reidsville, NC.,” she says.

Now that Patricia is an eight-year breast cancer survivor, she invests her time and resources to support causes connected to her fight. One of them is Living Pink, a nonprofit organization founded by her friend and two-time breast cancer survivor, Kristie Wallace-Barrow. Her organization conducts health fairs and provides gas cards, supplies Christmas gifts, meals to individuals currently going through treatment for breast cancer. Patricia shares, “If I can help somebody along the way, then my living will not be in vain.”

To learn more about Divine Lemonades, and find a location to purchase some of their products, please visit their website.

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