Beverly Davis Enterprises
Crib Cornbread - the home Beverly Davis hopes to save with cornbread.
In 2006 Beverly Davis
, with her good credit and stable job, purchased her first home, a modest three-bedroom ranch in Fairburn, Georgia.
In a tale all too familiar, fourteen months later that stable job was gone. She spent a year underemployed. Then an investment failed. In March, her home was gone, foreclosed by Bank of America.
She did what so many others in this situation have done: She made cornbread.
"The painful adversity birthed some serious creativity and determination. Amazing grace," Davis told Gut Check via email this morning.
That creativity led Davis to the kitchen and her basic cornbread recipe, which was a staple when she was growing up. The oldest of five children to a mother who died before Davis had reached her 20s, she has always loved cooking.
She tinkered with the basic cornbread recipe until she came up with a bread so good that several neighborhood kids dubbed it "yummylicious." From there she used the cornbread as a base to concoct the 24 recipes in Homegirl's Cornbread Sandwiches: Tasty Recipes and Wise Life Lessons
, an eBook she's selling for $10 a download on her website, Cornbread Millionaire
. She's also selling homemade cornbread mix and offering to teach cornbread-making classes, all in an effort to purchase her home when it's auctioned by the bank.
So far, it's working. Her venture has landed her on CNN
, and Jezebel
while her website is filling with comments from people inspired by her story and in love with her cornbread.
And the recipes? They include the savory, like hush puppy cornbread squares with shrimp topping -- a cornbread po'boy variation with fried shrimp, the bread infused with the drippings from the shrimp. The sweet, like a layered "cake" of cornbread, sweet potatoes, and marshmallows. And the classics, like her takes on spoon bread, hush puppies and cornbread dressing.
Davis repeats that she likes to dream big and includes a list of places where she'd like to bring her cornbread classes. They include the White House, Buckingham Palace, The Oprah Winfrey Show
and the restaurant of another Georgia cook who pulled herself out of hard times with her cooking know-how and entrepreneurial skills -- Paula Deen.
She takes inspiration from others who have also used hard times as a means to make life better. They give her "...more strength to stay in the fight until I have my house back. I refuse to sit in defeat. Faith won't let me."
As she says, "When life throws lemons, make lemonade, bake cornbread, and SELL it!"
(She's also selling bumper stickers with that slogan.)