We were lucky to catch up with Damita King recently and have shared our conversation below.
Damita, appreciate you joining us today. Parents can play a significant role in affecting how our lives and careers turn out – and so we think it’s important to look back and have conversations about what our parents did that affected us positive (or negatively) so that we can learn from the billions of experiences in each generation. What’s something you feel your parents did right that impacted you positively.
I was raised by a wonderful woman named Justine Cotton. She was an example of perseverance. My mom gave birth to five beautiful daughters. My mother worked every day and sometimes she even had to work 2 jobs. My mother showed me how to keep going that no matter how hard life got or how tired she may have felt she keep going. She worked for Mercantile Bank, then it transitioned into Mbank, then it transitioned into Chase Bank. She showed me how to stick and stay. After 30 years with the company, she retired. One attribute I got from my mom is the way I dress for work. She worked in a cubicle for 30years, however, when she left for work she was dressed to impress. She rarely wore pants to work, so it was dresses, skirts, blouses and stockings. I make sure I am dressed to impress now. I do however wear pants. But I dare not leave the house without ensuring that I am making my mother proud with my appearance.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
Momma Jo’s Bakery was launched in May 2020 during a pandemic. We are an online bakery conceived from a project I had to present while in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu. Momma Jo’s Bakery is a labor of love imagined and initiated by Damita King while attending Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School. I graduated with my Associates in 2016 and continued on to receive my Bachelors Degree from The Art Institute of Dallas in 2019. This labor of love is also in dedication to my late mother, Justine Cotton, affectionately known as “Gam Gam” to her loved ones. She always wanted a chef in the family and I honored her wish by becoming a certified chef. Momma Jo’s Bakery is a family owned business and is operated by Momma Jo and her two children Reginald King who received his Bachelors in Accounting and Jodie Holmes who has received her Bachelors in Psychology. It is truly a family affair. I am so proud to be using my mother’s recipes for my baking. We have over 20 varieties of cookies to offer., and we also bake brookies, chess pies, and buttermilk pies. We also bake keto, vegan, vegetarian and diabetic friendly cookies. Momma Jo’s is a business that loves her customers.
How about pivoting – can you share the story of a time you’ve had to pivot?
Initially after graduating with my BS Momma Jo’s was to be launched. It had to be put on pause. I was diagnosed with Uterine Cancer in February 2019. I had to quickly submit my Capstone Project so that I could start treatment for cancer. We, as a family, decided to place our plans on hold and concentrate on getting me through my surgery and treatments. I received my last Chemo treatment July 2019 and began the recovery process. It was an experience for the entire family but with their love and support I made it through. May 18, 2020 our dream came to fruition with the launch of Momma Jo’s online bakery.
Can you tell us about what’s worked well for you in terms of growing your clientele?
It has been an old tried and true strategy, word of mouth. Momma Jo’s prides it reputation of baking with love and butter. We stand behind good products and place our reputation on our products. As my mother taught me, mean what you say and say what you mean. Our products are baked with love, and you can taste that love in every delicious bite.
- Website: www.mommajosbakery.com
- Instagram: mommajobakery
- Facebook: momma.jobakery
- Twitter: mommajobakery
Stephanie King Candice Boston