LONG BEACH, CA — Service has surrounded Jovi Chen-Davis her entire life. Raised by family members who worked in law enforcement and other public service, the founder and CEO of Munchy Co. — a vibrant, vegan edibles brand — followed a similar path. Through an array of roles in education and community-oriented work with AmeriCorps and SAG-AFTRA, her journey to becoming a cannabis snack company founder and social equity entrepreneur has become much more people centric.

Following hefty R&D, Chen-Davis’ experimentation to merge the snack food and cannabis industries was a success, and in 2021, Munchy Co. was born. While sweet is the status quo in the edibles industry, the untapped sector of savory snacks was an opportunity, not an obstacle, for Chen-Davis.

“The reason why people do sweets is because there’s a charted path on how to do it; everyone sees what works,” she said. “In an industry that can be kind of volatile, I guess it could be easy to do what works. But I felt this was feasible if I had the right team behind me.”


In partnership with The Vivid Team, a product and brand creation consultant in the cannabis space, Chen-Davis has been able to fill a share of the cannabis market that had not yet been tapped into.

Often the only Black woman in the room at industry networking events, Chen-Davis’ instincts as an entrepreneur are to use that opportunity to give back to — and open the door for — those not yet in the room with her.

“I’ve been the type of person who’s never wavered from my sense of who I am and my sense of purpose,” she said. “I’m not fazed by other people’s perceptions of me and what I should be doing or how I should be doing it. My intentions have always been pure and have always been to have a greater purpose.”

Chen-Davis understands the racial and social justice issues within cannabis and the impact it has on potential entrepreneurs who, due to criminal records prior to the legalization of cannabis, face barriers in accessing capital.

“I come from a working-class background, so I understood that I wasn’t going to have the capital to do this. But I’m doing everything in my power to get to a point where I can help other Black- and BIPOC-owned businesses.” — Jovi Chen-Davis | founder and CEO | Munchy Co.


“I come from a working-class background, so I understood that I wasn’t going to have the capital to do this,” she said, “but I’m doing everything in my power to get to a point where I can help other Black- and BIPOC-owned businesses.”

After facing her own issues getting Munchy Co. off the ground — including the loss of funds from investors, which scaled back her business from $600,000 to $85,000 — Chen-Davis’ public service background inspired her to help other entrepreneurs through the same struggles. She’s planning to build a social equity fund from the proceeds of her company to help other entrepreneurs of color build their businesses without reliance on certain investors that often engage in predatory practices.

“Once I get my company off the ground, once I get myself into some sort of prominence within the industry, I’m going to start this fund so that people can have the resources to put that money toward their business,” she said.


Munchy Co. is set to debut during IBIE 2022, taking place Sept. 18-22 in Las Vegas, previewing one of its three flavors — Vegan Barbecue — as a sample at Booth #7551 in the Cannabis Pavilion before the products launch in the Denver and Long Beach, CA, markets in 2023. Other flavors, which Chen-Davis predicts will be well received in those first markets, include Vegan Cheddar Jalapeño and Vegan Hatch Chile Lime varieties.

As the cannabis industry evolves, it has plenty of still-unexplored territory as new brands venture into the category. Beyond the expansion of her business into the market next year, Chen-Davis’ chance to prevail in cannabis means more than just fiscal success.

“I feel like as long as I have a good sense of purpose for what I want to do with my company — and a clear vision for how I want things to be — it’s going to be successful,” she said. “And I’m hoping that with that success, I can give back to others.”

This story is additional content from the August | Q3 2022 issue of Commercial Baking. Read the digital edition here.