Lilian Umurungi-Jung was finishing up a day of deliveries for her Vancouver-based snack business, Mumgry, when her phone started to vibrate incessantly. “I saw the preview [notification on my screen] and someone wrote ‘Mumgry is on beyonce.com.’ I didn’t even open my phone. I just went straight to the computer,” she tells us. “I just really hoped that it wasn’t a prank.”
It was not a prank. Umurungi-Jung’s line of artisanal nut butters was selected to be featured on Beyoncé’s website among 100+ other Black-owned wellness, beauty, fashion and lifestyle brands from around the world as part of her Black Parade Route to celebrate Juneteenth – the holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.
Beyoncé’s endorsement is pretty much the most exceptional marketing any brand can get and it was especially significant for Umurungi-Jung, who adores the music Bey and her husband, Jay-Z, make. “I’ve been a fan of the Carters for so long. I have been to over five concerts in different cities,” she says. “It’s just a real full circle moment.”
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The QUEEN’S got MUMGRY in her bag swag?! 🐝😩 Thank you @beyonce for always championing the culture and thank you @zerinaakers | @black.owned.everything for curating Black Parade Route. It’s our overwhelming honour to be included in this incredible community of Black owned businesses! Link In Bio #blackparade #mumgry #staymumgry #onlythegoodstuff #blackownedbusiness
Umurungi-Jung started Mumgry in 2018 after realizing, while pregnant with her son, that snack options specifically designed for expectant and new mothers were limited. “I found it really frustrating, walking down aisles [in the grocery store] and noticing that there was nothing that was specific to the mother diet,” she says. “Everything was mostly catered to dieters and athletes. While that is just as important, I found it interesting that there was nothing that just made it simple and easy for moms to grab a snack.”
She began prepping her own snacks at home and incorporating more nuts into her diet as per her doctor’s recommendation. Naturally, this led to peanut-butter cravings. “I learned the ways to make peanut butter without all the annoyances like the extra oil and the sugar,” says Umurungi-Jung. “Now, Mumgry has evolved and we want to continue to add more products and make it simple for everyone to snack in a healthy way.” Mumgry currently carries smooth peanut butter, chocolate peanut butter and pistachio chocolate almond butter.
The timing of the Black Parade Route feature could not have been better: COVID-19 has impacted many small and independent businesses, even forcing some to shutter completely. “COVID was a very scary reality,” says Umurungi-Jung. “It made us reassess whether or not we wanted to continue in businesses, because everything is just so uncertain.” Her team’s decision to continue operating Mumgry turned out to be a great one: exposure on Beyoncé’s website has led to orders from all over North America as well as from overseas in the U.K. and Bahrain.
“It’s been pretty incredible to see the Beyoncé effect and how she really does touch the entire world,” says Umurungi-Jung. “The way she champions Black culture is something that I have always admired. To be included on this list was really important to me and something that I will never forget.”
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