Some people just make you feel at home when you talk to them. Their warmth, their love, and their light is so inviting that you literally feel like your back home at Big Mama's house or in our case back home in Mississippi. Those that truly have the gift of hearth usually also have the ability to share it through food. Kimberly Calmes-Crowder hit the jackpot with it all. Her spirit is warm and welcoming and she was blessed with the gift of hearth both in her personality and her kitchen. She is the bit of home that many native Mississippians like myself are missing when we are homesick and the sweet reminder of southern soul food that we all need.
Growing up in Starkville, MS and now residing in Virginia. She has relied heavily on the memory of her grandmother and those who continuously poured into her to recreate those same memories for her children. She is the CEO and Chef behind Magnolia Belle’s Pastries & Sweets LLC a baking food company that provides visually beautiful pastries and sweets with southern flavors and flair.
In your own words, how did you get started with Magnolia Belle's Pastries & Sweets, LLC?
Back in 2011, before the birth of my second child, my husband at the time and I made the decision that I would work part time to help with our family needs. We were rearing 3 children and we weren’t in close proximity to any family members. So I worked part time and began to focus on being home with our children. Of course that involved lots of cooking, which I’m very familiar with being raised by my grandmother. While cooking for my family I be and fascinated with recreating pastries and cakes that I saw on TV. I began to post my food on social media and started getting lots of comments from my family and friends.
Well one day in 2014, I got a call from Shauntay Hinton, Miss USA 2002, who grew up with me in my hometown of Starkville, MS. She was a correspondent at the local news station back home and wanted to know if I would be interested in doing a cooking segment when I came into town. I agreed although I was scared to death to do it. We filmed the segment in my Mother in law’s kitchen and afterwards she advised that I brand myself and get a website and email because people would want to contact me. And Magnolia Belle was born on that day.
How does your brand impact the African American, Black community?
I want my brand to be a mirror to our African American community. I want my community to look at my brand and see its self and how beautiful our history, culture and flavors are through baking and pastry. I want Magnolia Belle’s Pastries and Sweets to be our community’s hype woman. You get to see us boast about how our flavor profiles are fly, brilliant, vibrant, colorful and tasteful through our pastries and sweets!
Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you and/or your brand?
What you see today is definitely not where my brand will end. My beginnings are small and trust me, I don’t despise my small beginnings at all. I’m learning and loving the process of organically growing my business and my clientele. And for women who are starting small like I am and living out their passion...…enjoy the ride. Put love into what you do and watch God work on your behalf. Growth and Prosperity are ours to have if we work hard and have faith! Let’s rise together Queens and push each other to greatness!
Check out the interview and learn exactly how this Magnolia Belle got started...