Sognia: Tradition helps inspire Central Florida woman's business - FOX 35 News Orlando

Million $$$ Ideas: Tradition provides spark for Apopka woman's business

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For Daisy Gray of Apopka, laughter, dedication and a Caribbean tradition is what helped her make her dream a reality.

The tradition was brewing a hibiscus drink called Sognia.

Hibiscus long has been popular in numerous Caribbean countries. Some say it is a healthy way to combat high blood pressure.

"It's a tradition we always had, back in Jamaica where I grew up. And when we came here to this county, we naturally carried our traditions with us," Gray said.

"When we did locate it, we started making it, mostly for ourselves and our family," Gray said. "But then we would share it with people we went to church with, and they loved it.
"They thought it was just the greatest thing," Gray said.

"People loved the beverages, so I decided at some point, there is such a great idea here. There is no one capitalizing on it. There are no major companies doing anything with it," she said.

But Gray's enthusiasm for selling Sognia wasn't always as strong as it is now.

For more than a decade, Gray struggled to get business off the ground, troubled by technicalities, marketing and overall business aspect.

So she decided to go back to school, earned a business degree and re-launched Sognia on her own.

She said the reward was worth the risks she took.

"If you have a great idea and you've been sitting on it, just get started," Gray said. "Just take that first step. Things have a way of working themselves out."

Gray now markets and sells Sognia in stores.

Sognia is now available on shelves in natural food markets, such as Chamberlin's, across Central Florida. It is also available at the DeLand Bakery & Natural Market, the Florida Hospital Marketplace and Sustain Natural Market in Apopka.

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