Baltimore Bakery Opens To Much Fanfare

In the run up to the grand opening of her new “Baked in Baltimore” shop, lawyer and entrepreneur April Richardson wondered what would happen when she and partner Derek Lowery opened their doors at a location that was previously owned and operated as a Jewish bakery.

“It was absolutely insane,” said Richardson of the September 22, 2018 grand opening at 6848 Reisterstown Road in Pikesville, the location where Goldman’s Kosher Bakery operated for decades.

Instead of a having to bake just a few dozen of “Baked in Baltimore’s” signature sweet potato cakes and pies, Richardson says she stopped counting after more than 400 people, including Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, showed up to support the new dessert specialty shop.

“I thought we’d slide into the city and get away with baking a couple of dozen pies and cakes a day but the first week has been crazy,” said Richardson, a Baltimore native who once worked as a lawyer for a lender that foreclosed on homes and businesses.

Featured in the Business Journal last year, as the woman who “built a $1 million cake shop,” Richardson eventually switched sides to help people avoid foreclosure. She worked on a panel enlisted by then-Governor Martin O’Malley and alongside then-state Senator Catherine Pugh to create new foreclosure laws.

While helping those victimized by foreclosure and mortgage fraud, Richardson encountered Lowery, who needed help to save his bakery in Prince George’s County.

“There was something about him, and I really wanted to help,” Richardson said. “I called the landlord who was on a train and asked her to stop the eviction and she asked why she should. I told her that I know how to get things done and she said, ok, but on the condition that I join the company,” she said.

After consulting with her son, Richardson got her sister to quit her job and also come aboard. Along the way, Richardson landed deals with retailers such as Wegmans and Safeway grocery stores; Starbucks; Nordstrom; and QVC.

She also secured investments from City First Bank in Washington, D.C., Prince George’s Financial Services Corporation in Maryland, and the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Agency.

The business has succeeded ever since, culminating with opening a location in Baltimore.

At the grand opening of Baked in Baltimore, she says that Mayor Pugh spoke to the crowd about not just the first day of the bakery, but the importance of sustainability.

“She left Ray Lewis’ parade and spent at least an hour with us and talking to the crowd,” Richardson said.

At one point, the crowd at the grand opening had gotten so large, Richardson said old classmates she hadn’t seen since the 1990s, volunteered to “jump behind the counter and help out.”

“I think the grand opening was so huge because people were so proud to have a black company in that community. It had been a community where black businesses had not traditionally been,” she said.

However, what stood out most for Richardson is what she believes was a message she received from her two late grandmothers.

“A 92-year-old woman named Geneva Denton walked up to me at the grand opening and said that she needed to talk to the owner,” Richardson recalled. “I said, ‘what if I told you that you were talking to her?’ She said she was so happy to have us in the city and that we were making Baltimore proud, and black women like her proud. She said she saw the crowd and came over.

“Well, to understand this, I was the favorites of both my grandmothers— my grandmother on my father’s side, whose last name was Denton and my grandmother on my mother’s side whose first name was Genevieve and they both were from Baltimore.

“So, this 92-year-old named Geneva Denton had delivered this message, and I said we have to make sure we take care of Baltimore. It’s not just about the grand opening, but what you do after you’ve opened.”

Father-Daughter Team Expands Black-Owned Potato Chip Brand Throughout Metro Atlanta’s Wayfield Foods Stores

There are only a handful of existing black-owned potato chip brands in the world, and one of them has found a home throughout the metro Atlanta-based Wayfield Foods store chain on March 17, 2018. Known as Symphony Chips, this black-owned potato chip brand is led by Dondre Anderson and his teenage daughters, Amina (15) and Amari (14). In celebration of their Wayfield Foods debut, the father-daughter team provided Symphony Chips samples to customers at the Wayfield Foods store location at 3050 Martin Luther King Jr Drive. Customer feedback received was overwhelmingly positive.

“They’re good! Well seasoned. A very good chip!” states a customer at Symphony Chips’ debut at Wayfield Foods.

Since gaining coverage from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution last Fall, Anderson has been busy with expanding the Symphony Chips business from the internet and onto retail shelves, and all efforts are finally paying off thanks to the enormous support from Wayfield’s Board Member, Moses White. White, who facilitated the partnership between Wayfield Foods and Symphony Chips, showed his support by stopping by the Andersons’ display with his daughter Racquel White, CEO of Spherol.

“It’s motivating to have gained such a huge amount of support from not just Wayfield and their customers, but the community as a whole,” says Dondre Anderson. “There is a lack of diversity in the mainstream food industry and my daughters and I wish to increase the presence of black-business in the sector, even if only by a little. Our inclusion, we hope, will encourage others in the community to pursue commercial success, regardless of the lack of representation currently present.”

The Anderson Family stationed at their Symphony Chips display in Wayfield Foods on MLK Drive in Atlanta, Georgia

The Anderson Family stationed at their Symphony Chips display in Wayfield Foods on MLK Drive in Atlanta, Georgia

“I’m very proud to have this opportunity to introduce Symphony Chips to Wayfield Foods. Symphony Chips offers a gluten-free alternative with a gourmet taste. And supporting a minority, small business in our community where the owner Dondre Anderson includes his daughters Amina and Amari is divine order,” said Wayfield Foods Board Member Moses White. “Wayfield loves to support businesses from our community and encourages all of our customers to help make Symphony Chips a grand success.”

The idea for Symphony Chips began as a way to promote the Anderson Family’s primary business, All A’s Spices seasonings. As a base for potential buyers to sample the seasoning, homemade chips were used and were so well received that the family decided to establish a whole new product – Symphony Chips. Now Anderson is eager to increase the reach of these gluten-free, all-natural, low-sodium chips to low-income, health-conscious consumers as well as mainstream consumers across the country.

“I never expected that a little cooking in the kitchen with my daughters would turn into something much more than anticipated,” says Anderson. “Becoming one of the few black-owned potato chip businesses in the world is a grand honor, and I’m excited to have introduced my daughters to this level of entrepreneurship while during their youth.”

“Working a business with my dad and sister is really exciting,” says Amina, age 15. “It’s really cool to have gained such professional experience at this age, and I’m really excited about what the future holds for us. I bet it would look good on my resume!”

Healthier Soul Food Cookbook takes fresh approach for “Go Red” Heart Health Month

— The Healthier Traditions Cookbook: Soul Food, a healthy twist on traditional Southern dishes, features 17 classic recipes and is available for complimentary download.

The cookbook, a collaboration of Transamerica Center for Health Studies® (TCHS) with the Association of Black Women Physicians (ABWP), helps maintain the integrity of these soul food dishes, while identifying easy steps people can take to enjoy healthier versions. Each recipe was adapted and tested by two nutritionists to ensure an increase in nutritional value and decrease in caloric value.

According to the American Heart Association, “heart disease is the No. 1 killer for all Americans, and stroke is also a leading cause of death. As frightening as those statistics are, the risks of getting those diseases are even higher for African-Americans. High blood pressure, obesity and diabetes are the most common conditions that increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.”

The American Heart Association highlights more startling statistics:

•Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly 50,000 African-American women annually.

•Of African-American women ages 20 and older, 49 percent have heart diseases.

•Only one in five African-American women believes she is personally at risk.

•Only 52 percent of African-American women are aware of the signs and symptoms of a heart attack.

•Only 36 percent of African-American women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk.

Recipes in the cookbook include Red Beans and Rice, Gumbo, Pan-fried Catfish, Smothered Pork Chops, and Peach Cobbler, and have a breakdown of the calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrate, fiber and protein content of the dish. In addition, how-to videos that highlight the preparation of some of the dishes are available on TCHS’s website and YouTube channel.

“Transamerica Center for Health Studies is proud to partner with the Association of Black Women Physicians to create a soul food cookbook that increases the nutritional value of these recipes while keeping the heartiness of Southern favorites,” said Hector De La Torre, executive director of TCHS. “This is the third cookbook we have prepared and, consistent with our values, these recipes help to improve health and wellness. Soul food and Southern cuisine have a history as rich as their flavors, and this cookbook includes interesting facts about soul food history, in addition to helpful nutrition facts.”

With the impact of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes on the African-American community, the recipes are both nutritious and flavorful, and can help to empower healthier choices around the dinner table. For example, nutritionists make simple substitutions like swapping out regular flour for whole-wheat flour in cornbread, and replacing bacon while keeping the smoky flavor with paprika in collard greens.

“The Association of Black Women Physicians empowers Black Women to lead in health and wellness for ourselves and the community through premiere educational programs, resources, and partnerships like this one with Transamerica Center for Health Studies that help to spur healthier eating choices,” said Sherril Rieux, M.D., from the Association of Black Women Physicians. “Our patients are always asking for ways to eat healthier, and this cookbook was a great way to highlight the health benefits of dishes that have brought happy memories to families for generations.”

TCHS and ABWP remain committed to empowering consumers to achieve the best outcomes in their personal health and wellness. To download the cookbook for free and browse our previous cookbooks, American Classic and Traditional Mexican, visit:

Healthy Soul Food Exchanges that Work! | The Black American Kitchen

Soul Food is good.

Cooking and eating are quite important aspects of American Black Culture.

Cooking has been a social activity that has carried over from Africa, through 400 years of slavery until today. Soul food is a part of our culture that pulls us together and one of the few things that just about ALL of us Black people love.

The bad news is that Soul food is also partially responsible for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and a host of other diseases that are consistent with Soul Food diets. Our food can kill us because of the cooking processes and high amounts of salt and sugar.

Healthy Soul Food is Better

I have compiled 5 of my favorite Soul Food Exchanges so that you can maintain ethnic flavor when cooking Soul Food but not take in all of the sodium, fat or calories!

I hope that these exchanges work for you!



  1. Instead of using a pork hambone when preparing greens or other veggies I suggest using smoked turkey. The more flavorful parts of the turkey tend to be the wings, legs, tail or neck. Your greens will still have rich flavor without the sodium and natural salt that pork has. Switch up!
  2. Pasta is a carb rich food that is a staple in the Black diet, because we love to make Spaghetti. Spaghetti is not as traditional as Greens and Pigs feet, but we are eating it-a lot. However pasta can pack on the pounds and make us sluggish. Because pasta is so heavy we also know that we cannot enjoy this food often. By using Spaghetti Squash you can enjoy spaghetti more often and by increasing the veggies and red sauce and swapping out the ground beef for turkey you have a very Atkins style dish!
  3. Cauliflower instead of potatoes! I know this does not sound tasty! But if you mash this potato “swap out” you are going to avoid the spikes in blood sugar that potatoes cause. Just steam the Cauliflower and add a little bit of butter!
  4. Instead of greasy pan frying, try oven frying! Fried foods are a cornerstone of Black Foods. It simply is. However if you are frying foods regularly, you are not going to be as healthy as you should be. You will age faster and will be more susceptible to heart disease! Baking your foods instead of frying them on the stove may increase your carb count, but it will also increase your life line! I love using Kraft Fresh Take, They make the juiciest and tastiest chicken! And of course there is the old school Shake N’ Bake.
  5. Use honey instead of sugar. Honey is a natural product that has less calories and more health benefits than sugar does. If you cannot swap sugar at all, make sure that you are using Sugar in the Raw, this is a more pure sugar.

For the Sugar to Honey Conversion Click Here:

I am all for cooking and enjoying my food but not in exchange for a healthy and long life.

Let’s start some new Black American cooking traditions.

Find me online, cooking and living the good life at

“Chitlin’s From Slave food to Delicacy | The Black American Kitchen


However you feel about them it is never dry or ho-hum. Either you love Chitlin’s and the way that they taste or you cannot stand the smell or even the thought of what you may be eating. Everybody feels strongly one way or the other about the Southern Soul Food delicacy. Let’s get into what they are where they came from and potentially where Chitlin’s are going.

What Are Chitlin’s?

Chitlin’s are a dish typically found in the American south, but they are prepared all over North America. They are essentially pig intestines.

They take a long time to clean and cook and are so labor-intensive that the presence of Chitlin’s are typically reserved for special occasions and the Holiday season. Chitlin’s are cooked either stewed/broiled or fried.

They are sometimes spelled and referred to as Chitterlings. While many people know of Chitlin’s from the Black Southern Palate, a form of Chitlin’s are actually prepared in most cultures including Europe, Asia and South America.

The History of Chitlin’s

Most people of color believe that Chitlin’s were “invented” by slaves who received the last of the unwanted meat from the annual hog killings of their slave masters. We did the best with what we had and Chitlin’s was one of the dishes that we made with the “extras.” And this is partially true. Chitlin’s as well as bacon and other pig meat were given to slaves as the leftovers.

However, it is important to note that eating Chitlin’s and other animals intestines were not invented by slaves or even in America at all. American Black Slaves still held close to their West African heritage and rituals which included using intestines to be sacrificed to the gods, the Hausa actually eat the intestines of chickens. This highlights the fact that eating an animal’s innards is a signature of the West African Diaspora, not just an imposition of white slave owners. Please also note that many slave masters requested Chitlin’s as a dish to be prepared for them because eating an animal’s intestines is quite popular in Britain and France. So conceptually this dish is one that both slave and slave master were enjoying because it was a part of both of their cultures before they were in America.

Many Black Americans have discarded Chitlin’s because of its tie to slavery.

“We can now eat what we want.” Are our thoughts. While eating Chitlin’s was very popular in the early 1900’s they have been reduced to a ritual that some adhere to for family traditions but have been slowly taken out of our regular meals.

What about the smell?

Chitlin’s smell because they have not been cleaned properly. The feces from the intestines must be removed for health reasons and because if you cook chitlin’s and they have NOT been cleaned-you will know. Here are a few ways to prepare Chitlin’s to maintain your homes pleasant scent:

  • Clean your Chitlin’s thoroughly
  • Cook your Chitlin’s outside
  • Put a potato in the pot of Chitlin’s
  • Cook / boil a pot of vinegar while you are cooking the Chitlin’s
  • Put a few pieces of bread on top of the closed pot of Chitlin’s while they are boiling

The Future of Chitlin’s

Today Chitlin’s are seen as a delicacy by many and are expensive, but the number of Black American Kitchens that are preparing them are declining daily. The fact that many people of color are moving away from pork, the pungent smell and the difficulty of cleaning the meat makes this an expensive delicacy that we will not see in the American Black Kitchen moving into the next 100 years unless a major pivot in food occurs.

And that is the REAL story of Chitlin’s!

Be sure and follow me on Twitter @ClassySharelle

Recipe: Mama’s Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese is a dish that is revered in the American Black kitchen. There are so many ways to make it and every recipe brings joy and delight to our taste buds.

My own Mother’s Macaroni and Cheese brings people across the country from the east coast to sit their feet under her table and taste that creamy pasta dish that she is known for. I have included my Mama’s recipe and some secret tips! No boxed Mac and Cheese here!


Sharelle D. Lowery

Mama’s Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

Recipe Type: Pasta

Cuisine: Soul Food | Black Cuisine | Southern Food

Author: Corrie J. Sampson

Prep time: 30 mins

Cook time: 45 mins

Total time: 1 hour 15 mins

Serves: 8

This is a simple but rich and decadent recipe. It is perfect for a young newlywed wanting to impress her husband!




1 cup of Sharp Cheese

1 cup of Colby cheese

1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese

3 tablespoons of fresh garlic minced

16 oz. of dry macaroni pasta

Pam, non-stick cooking spray

1 stick of butter cut in quarters

5 heaping tablespoons of garlic salt

2 tablespoons of salt

3 Heaping tablespoons of pepper

1/2 can of PET Evaporated milk

Cooking tools: Boiling pot and baking pan


  1. In a large soup pot, fill it half way with water, one teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil or butter.
  2. Turn the pot up to high and cover.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  4. Grate all three of the cheeses and place them in three seperate bowls.
  5. Mince 3 tablespoons of fresh garlic.
  6. Add the Macaroni Pasta of your choice to the boiling water and cook until it is tender.
  7. When the pasta has been cooked to your satisfaction, remove it from the water and rinse the pasta under cold water.
  8. In a large baking pan, coat the pan with Pam non-stick cooking spray.
  9. Empty the macaroni into the pan, spread evenly throughout the pan.
  10. Add the butter into the 4 quarters of the pasta dish. Mix well.
  11. Add all three of the cheese and wix well.
  12. Add garlic salt.
  13. Add salt.
  14. Add pepper.
  15. Mix well and taste.
  16. Add PET Evaporated milk.
  17. Add garlic.
  18. Mix well.
  19. Now is the time to taste the uncooked Macaroni and Cheese.
  20. It should be tangy and very juicy so that it never dries out when you are baking it.
  21. Bake the Macaroni and Cheese at 375 for 30-45 minutes.
  22. You will know that the macaroni is ready to come out of the oven when it begins to get a little golden crust in the corners.
  23. The crust is the BEST part!

I love this recipe and here are a few tips and tricks to make your version of my Mama’s Macaroni and Cheese yours and perfect:

  • Taste the dish as you mix it. Cheeses can taste differently sometimes and you may need to add more pasta or not as much milk. This is a dish that you need to make to cater to your tastes.
  • Do not cook the noodles too long. Remember that you are going to bake them as well.
  • USE PAM! Other non-stick cooking sprays will not prevent the dish from sticking as well to the baking pan and coating the pan with butter will cause the dish to burn on the bottom.
  • Other options to add to your Macaroni and Cheese: Cooked bacon, spicy pepper jack cheese.
  • I hope that you enjoy this rich recipe! Tell me what you add to your Macaroni to make it yours!

Classily Yours,

Sharelle D. Lowery

Follow Me on Twitter for more Lifestyle Tips! @ClassySharelle

Health, Heart and Soul

It’s no secret that if you were brought up on soul food, it’s hard to make the switch to bland selections. After all, soul food is exactly that — good for the soul. But what about your heart? Soul food dishes usually contain lots of fat, a high caloric and sodium content. These factors can be hard on your heart, but there are ways to create delicious alternatives without diminishing the taste of your food.

You can still enjoy the richness of soul food in healthier versions. All it takes is a little planning to start protecting your heart, health and soul.

Here are a couple of ideas:

Go fresh

Fresh vegetables are very good for you and keep the processed versions out of your system. Grow a garden or try the fresh market and roadside vegetable stands. Using fresh herbs will give you great flavor without using salt. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference it will make.

Switch up your meat

Every good soul food cook knows that greens and other vegetables don’t taste the same without a little meat for flavoring. Use a leaner version to keep the fat out of the dish. You can also substitute meat with stock flavoring to add that extra zing to your dish. A little experimentation can really go a long way.


Grill chicken

Use the oven or grill it

Most of the time, soul food involves frying in some way. You can achieve the same flavors and results when you bake and oven fry your items instead. This is healthier than frying in oil. Grilling is a great subsitute as well.

Greens, greens and more greens

Greens are a main staple in soul food cooking. The richness of collard greens, turnip greens and cabbage can’t be denied. Start incorporating greens into dishes like casseroles and use broth instead of meat for flavoring. Steaming your greens is also a healthy alternative that tastes just as good.


Sweet potatoes

Use sweet potatoes in a variety of ways

Everyone loves candied yams, but you can create this dish without the syrup and so much sugar. You can also mash or roast them with great results.

Use natural beans


Green beans

The natural versions are always healthier. One of the keys to getting the most flavor out of natural beans is to soak them overnight. This will help them cook better, while providing all the nutrients you need. Instead of using salt pork or ham, use a small amount of bacon or even broth for a good substitute.

Seek out recipes that can show you how to use the foods you love but in healthier ways. Gumbos, casseroles with grits, and even lighter versions of rice like Jasmine and Basmati can make a huge difference. It’s your heart and your health — protect them while preserving your soul. Food, that is.