It was in the middle of the pandemic, when toilet paper was almost laughably hard to acquire, that the idea came to mind.
It was also when protests across the country and the world erupted, that five serial entrepreneurs — Anthony Caldwell, D’Andre Martin, Troy Cherry, Charles Peaks, and Marvin Green — considered producing an essential product that could also serve as a means to give back and support underserved people in the community.
As the reportedly first Black-owned toilet paper company in Ohio, Leafy Products has a mission to educate and elevate consciousness regarding biodegradable products.
Leafy’s toilet paper is unbleached, chemical-free, made with 100% bamboo, and biodegradable, in that it breaks down within a few days within septic and sewer systems, as opposed to traditional toilet paper, which greatly affects local water systems.
“A lot of us just mainly buy a product or an essential product, use it and throw it away, mainly because it’s something that we need,” said Green, a co-founder of Leafy. “We don’t consciously think what it’s doing to the environment and how it affects our everyday life.”
Leafy Products has been in business for about two and a half months, and in that time has had 50,000 social impressions, over 1,000 customers, and gained a little over 100 monthly subscribers.
Much of that awareness began with the popular Facebook group Columbus Black Owned Businesses, a resource also to come out during last summer’s social unrest, which has been great for getting the word out.
The company hopes to continue its growth beyond Ohio, as well as launch its line of paper towels late this summer. Looking further ahead, Leafy is also interested in producing other products, including to-go containers, paper plates, facial tissue, and more.
Leafy has already managed to give back to companies and organizations serving the underserved, including the Ohio Department of Aging and various local homeless shelters.
In addition, the company wants to give and partner with small and Black-owned businesses, in an effort to build a legacy of eco-friendly, sustainable communities.
“This company has been birthed out of like minds…wanting to create more of a legacy that could be passed along and showing the way of how to create different businesses, ownership, and what it means to the Black community,” said Green. “It’s about sustainability within the Black community, within all communities really, however we can.”
The company offers monthly subscriptions, on-demand delivery, as well as in-store products at Weiland’s Market and North Market Bridge Park.
For more information, visit getleafyproducts.com.