Juiced: Beverage business grows into Holisac Taste of Africa in Sun Prairie

Olivia and Nathaniel Sackey. Photo supplied.

Black Restaurant Week in Madison is an exciting time to explore all the rising food scene in Madison across a spectrum of foods and cultures. All food needs something along with it to drink, though, and that is how Nathaniel Sackey, owner of Holisac Taste of Africa in Sun Prairie, started his food journey in Madison.

Like many who end up in Madison from international places, Sackey found himself missing some of the smaller things that played a big role in his everyday life. 

“I used to love one juice in Ghana, hibiscus ginger juice,” Sackey told Madison365. “Then I realized that I can’t find it anywhere, so I started Googling how to find it and how to make it. When I started making it, my Gambian friends also loved it. Anytime I made it they would all drink it, and they suggested why don’t you make this and sell it? I started doing it and selling it. I’m a business person, so I try to see opportunities in every little chance that I get.”

Sackey also noticed how many of his friends also wanted healthier weight-friendly options for juices, so he started finding additional juices to make with ginger such as pineapple, cucumber, and carrot ginger juices. From there, Sackey ended up in FEED Kitchens where he began to expand where he could sell his juice. 

In 2021 he established Holisac Enterprise LLC and gained an additional boost from some help close to home.  

“I met my wife in 2021, so we were dating and she wasn’t very sure what I was doing. I had a job and then I was doing this on the side. Just the fun of it, and once somebody’s drinks it, they come back telling you good stuff. ‘The drink is good. It makes me happy.’ I kept on doing it, so at some point she got involved,” said Sackey, recalling his wife Olivia Sackey joining in to help him expand into other products. 

“Because I started doing baked treats too. I would take the baked treats to church on Sundays, like donuts, meat pies, and muffins. At some point I wasn’t getting the pies very right, so she came in and said, ‘Okay, I’ll take this one.’”

Sackey showed appreciation for mentors at the FEED Kitchens for giving him the perspective and resources to follow his passion and expand what kind of food he could offer. While the road has been tough to establish something solid, the concept of offering fresh African food on a call to order basis has been received positively by people who value the efforts to bring the culture to Madison. 

Community connections and support along with bigger aspirations anchored in family ties over food are what drive Sackey to continue to push for opportunities.

“My grandmom really taught me,” Sackey recalled. “She said, ‘I know you don’t like eating outside. I’m gonna teach you how to cook. Because people your age don’t like cooking. I want to teach you how to cook, so when you grow up and your wife doesn’t like cooking, you can cook for yourself.’ She taught me a lot of cooking skills and my aunt used to cook. I’ve loved cooking all the while, so that’s why I say it’s one of my passions.”

The option to order in large quantities offers customers an opportunity to have the African dishes over multiple days. This is also a strength to Sackey as he sees both the capability to make large amounts of African cultural dishes and his healthy juice options as beneficial to more than just customers. 

While Sackey assured his juice is not medicine, his work experience in senior homes has him thinking of other places he could engage with the community.   

“For me, every single African has a very strong powerful talent in us,” Sackey said in closing. “When we get an opportunity, there’s a lot we can do, and when we do that, it will serve the community a lot also. For me, I feel like I’ve got an opportunity and I’m ready to serve. Our biggest goal is to serve. I’ve had people come in and they say, ‘I drank you’re hibiscus juice, and I used to take pain relief medication before bed every day. When I started drinking the juice, I didn’t have to take them.’ I don’t know how it’s working for them, but it’s working. One of our missions is to serve most of the home care facilities and the senior assisted living places.” 

To learn more about Holisac Taste of Africa and see what they have to offer, check out their website here. Also check out their Facebook here.