My name is Laura Hanback Hester, Founder and Owner of Red Gingham Gourmet. Thank you for visiting my site!
My fondest childhood memories are of clinging to the aprons of my grandmother and mother, begging to help with the cooking. Over the generations, my family has refined the art of southern cooking and developed a reputation in our community (Florence, Alabama) for our superb baking. We are famous for our cakes, pies, and rolls, but my grandmother’s cornbread recipe, tweaked through the years by my mother and now baked by me, is my personal favorite! I know it is not polite to brag on my own cooking, but sometimes you just have to “tell it like it is”, and let me tell you, my cornbread is absolutely delicious!
It was because of this cornbread that I decided to start my company, Red Gingham Gourmet, LLC in 2005. As a dental hygienist raising two boys, I was always looking for ways to incorporate elements of those carefree countryside memories into our busy lives. Over the years, our family has tended to everything from vegetable gardens to honey bee hives! In the late 90s I decided I wanted a chicken coup, and my husband lovingly built one for me. With the help of my two boys and ten chickens, we began having fun gathering eggs. We soon had more eggs than we could eat, so we started giving them to friends and neighbors, which in turn led to us selling at local farmer’s markets. With the support of my family and community, my entrepreneurial spirit blossomed like my flower beds, and before long I was selling eggs, cut flowers, sourdough bread, and assorted baked goods.
One of my regular customers at the local farmer’s market owned a restaurant and loved my cornbread so much that he added it to his menu. I baked him some of my jalapeno cornbread muffins and sold them frozen. He thawed what he needed each day, warming them just before serving. This was such a success that I began packaging and selling them at the farmer’s market alongside my other products. Over time and with much love and attention, my little farmer’s market stand has developed into a fulltime business. I am now selling my cornbread in several grocery chains in approximately 11 states and our business is growing every day! I am proud to say that my recipe is still the same one that my grandmother and mother developed. We use only all natural, high quality ingredients, and all of our products are baked with love in the Shoals Culinary Center in Florence, Alabama.
My company, named for the red gingham comforter that my mother made for my childhood bed, began as a way to build memories with my family. The kitchen has always been such a special place in our family, serving as a gathering place where we could come together to share everything from recipes to memories of life in the South. It is my sincere hope that my products can bring a little taste of peaceful countryside life to your busy day and give you a little more time to build memories with your own family!
Please tell your friends and neighbors about our products and thank you again for taking the time to learn about Red Gingham Gourmet!
Laura Hanback Hester