Mississippi is a haven for good food and delicious treats, and this week we are bringing you an interview with the good folks from The Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory. If you've been to a party in the South, you've likely seen and hopefully indulged in these tasty party snacks. This week, we are taking a look at the history, conception and people behind this southern staple brand. Cheers!
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Q & A with Hunter Yerger :What exactly is The Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory? The Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory is a Yazoo City Mississippi based gourmet bakery specializing in Cheese Straws, Cookie Straws and cookies. Cheese Straws are a Southern staple at parties, receptions, tailgates, and soirees of all types. What’s a Cheese Straw? Well the story we were told (and we’re sticking to it) goes like this: Long before refrigeration, when nothing went to waste, old Southern cooks would take the leftover biscuit dough from breakfast and combine it with cheese and spices. Kneaded together and cut into thin strips (straws), the dough was baked and served as a snack later in the day. Over the years, this spicy, crunchy snack evolved into its own as the traditional Southern hors d’oeuvre for afternoon cocktails, receptions and what not. To this day, no self-respecting Southern hostess would dream of laying out a spread without including Cheese Straws. How did you all get started? We started in 1991 in Mom’s kitchen with the recipe handed down from her mother. How does Mississippi play a role in your business? The Cheese Straw is very well known throughout the south, and we consider Mississippi the heart of the south. Not only is our business here, but Mississippi is our home and the proud name of our company. What or who was your inspiration for starting your own business? Mom was inspired by the spirit of our dad who loved to cook and loved good food. He passed away when I was six. Who is all involved in your business? Many members of our family are involved in the business. We also have several long-time employees who we would also consider family. What are your goals for your brand? Today, we’re still family owned and family oriented, and our delicious products are baked and shipped fresh daily —from right here in our home town thousands of stores all over the country, and a few out of the country as well. Our straws and cookies have won several awards, and are the staples of virtually all occasions, from weddings to holiday gift giving, corporate events and more. What is your background? I’m an entrepreneur at heart and have started and run a number of businesses over the years. When mom decided she wanted to “get into the cheese straw business”, she asked me to help, so along with my brother Robbie and I, Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory was born. Where do you find inspiration? We’re inspired by our customers and the many exciting trends that we’ve been a part of in our over two decades in the specialty food industry. We are always looking for a new food creation that will keep them coming back for more. What do you all like to do when you aren't creating food creations? Eat! Our family always tends comes together around the dinner table – good food equals good memories. What are some of the reasons you call Mississippi home? We are fifth generation Mississippians with family from the Gulf Coast to Batesville and many points in between. Mississippians are some of the nicest people you’ll meet. Mississippi has so much to offer - I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. How do you think what you are doing is helping to shape your local community as well as the image of Mississippi? After 24 years of hard work and a bit of luck our products are sold to thousands of stores and individuals. We hope that by putting our heart and soul into making our products that we are worthy ambassadors for Mississippi and an inspiration to budding entrepreneurs as well.
Craving Cheese Straws yet? Find The Mississippi Cheese Straw Factory in all these places: