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Coffee Talk
Business Observer Thursday, Apr. 30, 2020 2 years ago

Food blogger starts product line for area retailer

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Alexis Beall Taylor has been busy creating a new line of cookware for Bealls as well as a cooking video series for kids to watch while at home during COVID-19.  

People have been spending more time at home during the coronavirus crisis, and for some, that’s meant a lot more cooking and baking.

Alexis Beall Taylor is seizing on the trend with a new video series on YouTube she’s making with her three children called Key Lime Kids. The videos teach children cooking skills and how to use those skills in a recipe. Taylor tells Coffee Talk she wanted to develop content that was relevant and helpful during this time.

Taylor, 43, is also chef and founder of the food blog Key Lime Lexi. The blog inspired a new line of kitchen and cookware items that launched at Bealls stores in late November 2019. Products include utensils, cookware, bakeware, gadgets and kitchen accessories. The items are available at all Bealls stores and on the Bealls website. 

Taylor is no stranger to Bradenton-based Bealls, which posted $1.38 billion in revenue in 2019. Her great-grandfather founded Bealls in 1915 and her brother is Bealls Inc. CEO Matt Beall. The idea for Key Lime Lexi came from a Beall family gathering when someone suggested Taylor, who previously worked in a bakery and as a personal chef, work on a food blog for Bealls. Taylor, whose background also includes starting a chocolate business, describes it as an “aha moment.” She thought, “Oh my gosh, this is something I can do and still be involved in the family business and follow my passion.”

Taylor spent months developing the website and recipes, preparing Key Lime Lexi for its launch about a year and a half ago. Her husband, Justin Taylor, is the photographer and videographer, helping her add new photos and videos to go with recipes.

The idea for the Bealls product line came about soon after the blog idea. “It seemed like a great symbiotic relationship,” Taylor says. “We have these great recipes and ideas and knowledge and these great tools to go along with the recipe content. One supports the other.”

Taylor has done cooking demonstrations at Bealls stores and uses social media to promote Key Lime Lexi. She and her family live in Utah, but she’s in Florida regularly for store visits and meetings with Bealls employees about the products.

There are plans to expand the product line, adding grilling items in the summer and holiday-related items later in the year. Taylor is involved in developing every product, testing them and tweaking them to her specifications. With the vegetable peeler, for instance, she said, “This is nice, but let’s make it a little longer.”

To tie into Bealls and the Florida lifestyle further, Key Lime Lexi products are coastal blue and the blog focuses on Florida-inspired ingredients, from mangoes to seafood to citrus. “I like to add a little twist or ingredient,” she says. “There are a billion recipes for chocolate chip cookies. Why should you make my recipe? I want to set mine apart with something unexpected or a flavor you might not have thought of. Zest is one of my favorite ingredients. I probably go through at least one, if not two, lemons a day.”

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