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Inspiring Conversations with Lascena Milner of Peaches And Tortilla Mercantile

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lascena Milner.

Hi Lascena, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
I opened Peaches and Tortilla at 28 weeks pregnant with my rainbow baby, Emmy.

They both have ripened into the two sweetest things I could possibly ever imagine. I wanted to have a meaning and purpose, and make a difference in my community. Contributing to the rival of our downtown meant a lot to me, so I focused on my goals, business model, and long-term dreams that I had as a little girl.

I am so thankful to say that we are now in a new location and planted in the heart of our downtown. Emmy at the age of three is in training to be the next peach CEO.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
My first-year open Covid hit the week of my small business one-year anniversary. We had a big celebration planned with our community that we, unfortunately, had to cancel, due to lockdowns. That same week my sweet mother passed away. It was a difficult time for me to grasp.

I was a new mother, a new business owner, mourning the loss of my mom, and enduring the isolation Covid restrictions put on all of us. Being a mama and owning a business definitely has its challenges, but all we can do is try our best, not let little hiccups get the best of us, learn new things, allow ourselves grace, and hang on to this roller coaster ride we call life.

I pray the biggest legacy Peaches leaves behind is a whole community of children that believe they can do anything because they saw their mamas do it. You never really fail, you either win or you learn.

As you know, we’re big fans of Peaches And Tortilla Mercantile. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Peaches And Tortilla Mercantile is mama owned and operated. We source, support, and are so passionate about our downtown and local, small, women, and mama-owned businesses. You can sip, shop, eat sweets, & everything in between. Community is everything to us.

We have 19 small businesses nestled inside of Peaches, including a bake & shake shop, Blume And Flour. That mama of four doesn’t only bake sweets but is as sweet as can be.

I pray that Peaches continues to provide opportunities for dreamers and doers to succeed, whether it be networking, their first pop-up, the launch of their business, their first wholesale account, or their very own spot in a brick and mortar without the financial risk or taking up time that a mom might not have.

We are known for mama-makers & babes in business pop-up market days. We recently dug up our roots and moved out of our little 500-square-foot shop into a 5,000-square-foot beautiful historic building that we renovated, all while preserving its history like the original soda fountain bar and stunning long pine wood floors. It is located in the heart of downtown, Victoria TX.

The building is one of the oldest pharmacy’s built in Texas and we hope that one day people come from near and far to have a peachy time with us. we rolled out many new concepts like a hat bar, event rooms for rent or to host maker classes in, & a sweet shop. Let me tell you the milkshakes are one-of-a-kind and that it is so fun watching people create a hat that represents their personality.

It truly all is a work of art, including our mural that a local artist Josh Vega created. It is along the side of our pink and white building, “I love you to Peaches.” It is not just a saying- we mean it. Thank you for supporting my small mama-owned business and all the vendors that are planted in peaches.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
I learned that you must preserve, think positively outside of the box, & be financially prepared for unforeseen setbacks. When lockdowns occurred Peaches And Tortilla Mercantile was strictly only a brick and mortar, within a week we rolled out a website with all of our store inventory listed on it.

This was a difficult task for me because I was mourning the loss of my Mother. She passed away just a few days after lockdowns, but I knew my mother would want me to push through. She was always my biggest cheerleader and nothing means more to me than to make my mother proud.

Letting my small business failure was not an option either. I am as resilient as a mother & had a sweet little baby girl to be strong for.

Every porch pick-up or snail mail that went out truly touched my heart because it gave me purpose & helped me focus on the positive things in my life like my friends, family, & community that showed up to support my small business. I love them all truly to peaches and thank you for being the sunshine I needed during that difficult time.

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Image Credits
Brittany Barber Photography and Carleigh Rea Photography

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