Professor giving a lecture to students in old main

Roddey creates Sea Island Seasonings

Helping the local community never tasted so delicious

Roddey 382
2016-08-19

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – For Laura Roddey ’17, a psychology major and art history minor from Beaufort, S.C., creating the best tasting line of seasonings and helping local communities go hand-in-hand. Together with her brother, Thomas, she started making small batches of distinctive-tasting seasoning for friends and family.

“Everyone was like, ‘This is good. We need more of this,’ so Thomas and I decided to create Sea Island Seasonings,” says Roddey.

When Roddey came to Wofford, her business took off with the help of The Space in the Mungo Center, the college’s professional development and entrepreneurial program, where she received coaching and other resources. Since then, helping local South Carolina communities never tasted so delicious. Roddey and her brother donate a large portion of their proceeds to a variety of local philanthropic organizations. They want their business to remain as flexible as possible when it comes to community engagement.

“Wherever there is need in my community, I want to be there,” she says.

Community activism always has been important to Roddey, but she lacked the business know-how to put the two together. The Space helped her develop the professional skills necessary to grow Sea Island Seasonings into a thriving company as well as a company connected to the community.

According to Roddey, the entrepreneurial work she has done has given knew meaning to her liberal arts education. “As far as my majors go, people don’t think business-savvy when they hear psychology and art history,” she says. “But in reality, working in therapy has given me the people skills necessary to thrive in the business world.”

While the seasonings originally were sold at just one business, Sea Island Seasonings has expanded rapidly. Recently, the company went into partnership with the new Hub City Co-op, the state’s first cooperatively owned grocery store, located in Spartanburg. For Roddey, this new partnership is a huge step for her business, and she would love to see her business expand even more during her senior year. Her goal is to place her seasonings into bigger grocery stores like Publix and Whole Foods.

“Seeing our products in stores would be pretty cool,” says Roddey.

by Andrew James Levin, Wofford Class of 2016