How Ooh LaLa’s Got Started
CLANG! CLANG! CLANG!
This was the sound I heard to know that my grandmother was about to make a delicious cake. She was looking for pans in the kitchen. I was excited as hell because my grandmother always let me lick the big spoon with leftover cake batter on it. Don’t judge me but that was the best part, forget the cake lol. That was the only time I was allowed in the kitchen. (Well...the only time any grandchild was allowed in the kitchen).
I often peaked around the counter and watched my grandmother bake and I saw her heart being put into each cake and pie made before my eyes. She baked for plenty of people around the neighborhood (people, Ooh LaLa's still visit from time to time).
As a kid, I realized that the cakes she made were mentioned EVERYWHERE, even at my elementary school. It was the conversation amongst the teachers every time I got in trouble. “Let me call yo grandmama, maybe she’ll make me a cake for my troubles,”
This especially happens during parent-teacher conferences.
"I really am the grandchild of the lady, Martha Jane Crane, that makes these famous cakes that everyone talks about" I thought.
She is really known for being the sweetest person that bakes the sweetest signature cakes.
As I got older, my grandmomsy begin to forget to put certain ingredients in her recipes. Me and my mother begin to help her remember the ingredients and my mom started to write them down. This encouraged my grandmother to measure as she continued to make cakes. Thats when she allowed me in the kitchen more and more. She begin to teach me small tips and tricks as she was baking. That’s when my love for baking started. I finally had something in common with my grandmother that I could do with her! Then she and my mom taught me how to bake together. Then my mom took over in the kitchen for the more simpler cakes and sometimes asked me to make them.
In 2015, I went off to college at Mississippi State University and during the holiday break, I went home for a visit. My grandmother always makes her famous millionaire, coconut 3-layer cakes for the church’s bake sale auction and one for the family to enjoy during the Thanksgiving dinner. This was one of her cakes she did on her own and did not have in the recipe book ( it’s a secret recipe). The day before Thanksgiving she asked me to help her make this cake. I mentally wrote down everything she did. I realized it was a lot so I (secretly) went to write the recipe.
I noticed her thinking and pausing about what to do next while she was showing me how to make this cake. She asked my mom to taste the cake batter.
My mother said “sumn missing mama, a lot is missing actually.”
My mom saw that there were no pineapples or caramel flavoring. These are two VERY important parts of this recipe.
My mom then questioned herself and saw that my grandmother was forgetting a lot of other important things. Then, my mama took my grandmother to the hospital for an evaluation and she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. My mother quit teaching and begin to make the needs of my grandmother her primary responsibility.
As I was in college, I realized baking was something that I wanted to do but pursuing this passion needed time and I didn’t have much time. I was studying Architecture and that required me to be very detail oriented which required most of my time. So, I spent the weekends baking and letting my friends try everything I made then I sold sweets at the SEC football games. I love how wide people eyes get when they first taste my brownies. I wish that I could do this throughout the week. Then it hit me....
"Your grandmother would love for you to continue her legacy",
I said to myself.
So, I moved back to Jackson, Mississippi to help my mom take care of my grandmother while attending Thee Jackson State University with a focus in Business Marketing
and there it was...….the REAL journey had began
Ooh LaLa’s Bakery was officially born in Jackson, MS in 2018.
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