It’s a curious thing how certain foods can make us feel warm and fuzzy inside.
For instance, the chicken soup your mom would give you as a child when you were sick or the ice cream you’d have on a hot summer day while playing with friends. Food can make us nostalgic for a happier time, a simpler time.
Lucille George, better known as “Mrs. George,” was the owner of The Carolina Cafe from 1942-87. While her delicious home-cooked meals were a staple of the Rocky Mount food scene, her peanut butter pie is what made her an icon.
Mrs. George’s nephew, Matt Kannan, and his wife, Brandy, were eager to help revitalize Rocky Mount. Brandy Kannan, a stay-at-home mom, said she wanted to contribute to the community in the midst of rebuilding and rebranding itself as a social and economic region in eastern North Carolina.
“Our hope is that this venture will bring positivity and nostalgia to the people of Rocky Mount who she loved so much,” she said. “We believe Rocky Mount is a great city because its people are great and we want to be a small part of its strong economic resurgence.”
Brandy Kannan spent several months perfecting the “secret” recipe. While she and Matt are withholding the identity of the person who gave up the recipe, they did recruit 30 taste-testers to help refine the pie. All testers were original Mrs. George customers, so their opinions were make or break for Brandy.
“It took a long time to get the recipe just right, but with the help of our taste-testers, we were able to recreate it to a T,” she said. “We are Mrs. George’s Pies and our mission is simple — to preserve, protect and celebrate the legacy of our dear Aunt Lucille George, or as many in the community knew her, ‘Mrs. George.’
“We may be biased, but it is our belief that if Rocky Mount had a taste that it would be Mrs. George’s World Famous Peanut Butter Pie. And if we could only pick one icon of this great city, we think that Mrs. George would sit at the pinnacle. We hope to honor her and make her proud in everything that we do.”
Books and Beans Coffee Shop at the Rocky Mount Mills welcomed Mrs. George’s Pies into its cafe on Monday. Single slices of pie and whole pies are now part of the Books and Beans menu. Whole pie orders also can be placed at www.mrsgeorgepies.com.