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Name: Gay Wheeler-Smith

Business: G&K Sweet Foods, LLC

Location: Peekskill, New York, U.S.

Industry: Food & Beverage

Reason for starting? I wanted to pay homage to my family legacy and pass down to my daughter the wonderful recipes that my great grandmother, “Momma,” grandmother, “Grandma,” and my still my living Mom, have shared with our family. I loved baking with my family during the weekends. We made many desserts, but my favorite was our sweet potato pie. I wanted to package the filling and sell to retail stores. So I partnered with our COO, Kecia Palmer Cousins to develop and launch this product to market. We started baking pies in a commercial kitchen and selling at different venues.

Related: Read about another foodie entrepreneur here. 

How do you define success? My greatest success is being a mom to my phenomenal daughter. You have one “shot” at raising children and it is an ongoing responsibility. The role changes as you both grow, from mom to advisor and child to young adult. And, I have enjoyed this journey and every milestone with her. She is amazingly brilliant, a leader, honest, compassionate and lives with integrity everyday. I am who I am because of who she has become. And, at 25 years of age, I know that the best is yet to come.

Biggest success: We’ve been in business for 9 years, we have expanded our product line to include pies, cookies and our newly launched complete frozen sweet potato pie mix. We have served our pies during the 2014 Super bowl Tailgate Party and have been featured on the Today Show (for their mompreneur segment), ABC Secret Sales and News 12 Cable television. We will continue to develop Legacy ‘Licious recipes and pass on the lineage to the next generation of our families.

Related: Sarabeth’s Pushing 70 With No Signs of Letting Up 

What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? You must have a strategic plan and hit the bull’s-eye, otherwise you are spinning your wheels without success.

Who is your most important role model? My parents are my most important role models. They are always honest, sincere and truly want the very best for me.


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Edited by The Story Exchange