I credit sunny Hilton Head Island for introducing me to the food business. I moved here in 1979, and worked at one of the local seafood restaurants. By 1982, we opened the second Italian restaurant on Hilton Head, called LaPola’s. With a lot of hard work, the restaurant was a success, and by 1992, I added a seafood restaurant called Kingfisher.
My three children — Ryan, Amanda and Abby — were with me throughout this journey. When my children were still small, I began my lifelong love for fitness. I attended aerobic classes, always trying to get back in shape after having children. In 1993, I opened a fitness studio for women. I wanted to help others who struggled with the same issues I did.
Once I realized that juggling two restaurants, a fitness studio and three children were too much for one mom to handle, I sold my businesses and began a private health coaching business — working from a studio at my house where I practice today.
Looking back, the idea for Sprout Momma Breads wasn’t a far-fetched addition to my resume. I have always loved to bake. I have fond memories of baking with my mother as a little girl.
The idea for healthy bread came to me during Christmas time. I always make gifts for my clients. I thought bread and Olive Oil would be a nice touch. The challenge was to make a tasty, healthy alternative to the overly processed and packaged breads that fill grocery store shelves.
I tinkered with the recipe for six months, during which time I made some really bad bread similar to paper weights. I finally found two bread recipes — Honey Wheat and Cinnamon Cranberry — that seemed to please everyone’s palate. My clients said they tasted so good, they all said they would love to order some loaves.
Before long, Sprout Momma Breads grew and I needed help with production. I enlisted the best chef I knew — my son, Ryan.
At first, he helped me man the booths at the markets and get the product out. Today, Ryan experiments with his own recipes — always including fresh ingredients with healthy benefits. He bakes breads from my old recipes (Honey Wheat and Cinnamon Cranberry), as well as very complex 24- to 48-hour fermented doughs, English Muffins, Ciabatta and more!
We sprout all kinds of grains and create Old World European breads that are what bread is supposed to be — healthy and flavorful.
As for the future, hopefully it will mean more expansion and continuing to spread the love for healthy food.