Years ago I remember having a conversation with my mother about our family restaurant and the years of work both my mother and father put into it and their highs and lows. Looking back I wished I had asked more questions. I am the youngest of seven children with 12 years between myself and my oldest sister Suzanne. My memories growing up were more with the middle half of my family and with the older ones when they came for a visit. We were not a wealthy family by any means but we never wanted for anything. My parents worked hard and employed many. They donated to our local church with spaghetti dinners, sponsored baseball and softball teams and fed many people never asking for payment. I knew from a very young age that food brought people together for all occasions, happy or sad. This was engrained in me without me even noticing it, and today it's how I express myself.
I have always thought our family spaghetti sauce was pretty special and I wanted to make it just like my parents did and our meatballs (a possible future product). They had nothing written down so I had to watch my mother add this and that. I still have the same piece of paper I wrote it on 34 years ago. I have mastered it and tweaked it over the years and I feel pretty confident with the aroma and taste that some of you know will transport you back to Tony's Subway Inn.
My mother was a very tough teacher and never handed out compliments freely. You had to earn it, but when she did you knew she meant it and you deserved it. I received that compliment shortly before my mother passed away, but she also whispered that I was a good student and not to be afraid to use salt (an inside joke between my mother and my husband Greg)!
Years later and after I raised our two sons, this idea of jarring our sauce kept coming to me. I could even see the label! For those of you who don't know, my mother's name was Mary Ann, whom I was named after. I could see her face on the label and our shared name . I just didn't know how to start it, or even if people would want to buy it. Then the pandemic hit and we were home with nothing but time and I started thinking “This is it, it's now or never.” My family gave me great feedback and so I jumped in feet first.
I am making this sauce in limited production and distribution and have all my legal licenses set up and ready to roll. My out of state sales will follow shortly after I get Texas up and running. The out of state requires a little more paperwork.
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Thank you all for your gracious and supporting words of encouragement. I am thrilled to be sharing something so very close to my heart.
Ti voglio bene, Mary Ann