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Pudding for the People 

All Dis Puddin’ combines creative flavors with Black pride to achieve dazzling desserts.

click to enlarge Chris and Jasmine Harrington grew their award-winning pudding business from a backyard Juneteenth party.

Scott Elmquist

Chris and Jasmine Harrington grew their award-winning pudding business from a backyard Juneteenth party.

Everyone has that one friend or family member they never forget to invite to the cookout because their dishes always dazzle. When people began offering to pay Jasmine and Chris Harrington for their pudding at a 2020 Juneteenth backyard party, the wife and husband duo realized they were just those beloved potluck professionals. Two years later, the Harringtons have turned their prowess at pudding production into the dessert pop-up phenomenon All Dis Puddin’.

Years of family events in Hampton Roads offered Chris ample opportunity to hone his pudding making skills. His decadent banana pudding featuring vanilla wafers and chessmen cookies for a crunch had long received cookout requests, but when Chris had the idea to turn pudding into a standalone business he couldn’t shake the doubt. “I thought, ‘Nobody is going to pay for pudding,’ but my wife pointed out that they already were.”

The first name for the new enterprise was “Come Here, Puddin’” in honor of all the aunties and grandmas who use the phrase as a show of affection. Jasmine quickly vetoed that idea, however. After a cookout when Chris was doling out dessert onto to-go plates, he put a big helping on a friend’s wife’s plate, causing her to exclaim, “I can’t eat all dis puddin’!” That’s when the duo knew they had found their new firm’s name.

The business began with just four flavors (banana, oreo, chocolate, and cookie) but has since expanded to offer over 40 assortments as well as four vegan varieties (banana, strawberry cheesecake, oreo cheesecake, and chocolate). If folks are adamant about making another flavor dairy-free, the Harrington’s are usually able to accomodate. All Dis Puddin’ also offers gluten-free options upon request.

Beyond providing Richmond with delicious desserts, the duo also wanted to use its new business to promote Black excellence in a way that felt authentic.

“We were at the protests in 2020 and really affected with everything that happened to George Floyd, Brianna Taylor, and Ahmad Aurbery,” says Jasmine. “When we started adding flavors, we wanted to pay homage to the Black community, so all the names of our puddings are centered on someone that contributed to Black history and culture.”

The “Our Michelle'' is in honor of the former first lady and features apple pie pudding, a graham cracker base, sliced cheesecake bites, caramelized apples, and a dusting of graham cracker crumbles that is as American and regal as the woman herself. As a sign of support for the first Black woman to sit on the Supreme Court, “Your Honor KBJ” combines butterscotch pudding, butterfinger bites, chocolate oreos, and a chocolate drizzle, creating a dessert so delicious it sells out every time it’s on special.

Other flavors derive their names from the chants and slogans that have dominated Americans’ anti-racist discourse over the last few years. “Black Lives Matter” is a plain and simple chocolate, but “Say Their Name” presents a more intricate offering. Strawberry cheesecake pudding, golden oreos, caramelized strawberries, sliced cheesecake bites, and a golden oreo crumb topping have made the variety a bestseller. “Say Their Name” is also one of Jasmine’s favorites because “you just never think you could get pudding to taste like that,” she says.

Just last month, All Dis Puddin’ won Dessert Wars, a traveling food festival where 60 vendors compete to win the approval of thousands of attendees. After all the votes were tallied, the Harrington’s took home the first place People’s Choice Award against far more established rivals like Duck Donuts and Nothing Bundt Cakes among others.

Chris credits their success to their unexpected medium: “There aren’t too many people in the pudding lane,” he says. “The big three are cakes, cookies, and cupcakes. That automatically puts us in a different realm.”

The best way to sample the duo’s desserts is to catch them at an event around town (follow their social media for updates) or to place an online order. The Harringtons request at least one to two days’ notice to balance pudding with their day jobs and raising their two children, but they are actively working towards completing same-day orders and offering standing business hours.

Currently All Dis Puddin’ operates out of a Manchester food incubator called the Bearded Kitchen. Although the Harringtons don’t feel their business is ready for a brick-and-mortar just yet, that doesn’t mean they don’t have their sights set on expansion.

“We want to do a pudding truck, so we can go to where the events are,” explains Chris. “We would love to eventually sell in cafés and supermarkets and implement shipping so we could think about becoming All Dis Pudding full time.”

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