mama toos census

Census taken in 1940 in Clayton Alabama lists Mama Too (Pauline Eutsey Line 5) as “cook”

Mama Too SmileMama Too was born Pauline March in Clayton Alabama, to Mitchell and Alice March on September 17, 1912. At 19, Pauline married John Wesley Eutsey and started her new life. From the time she became a mother at the age of 20 she was always known for her cooking.  Even the 1940 census from Clayton Alabama has her occupation is listed as “cook.”  With five kids in a rented home, she was the housekeeper and cook for a prominent family in Clayton Alabama (whose son she took care of later became Governor of the State of Alabama). Wesley was a sharecropper for this family.

Later, Wesley, Pauline and the kids moved from Clayton to Montgomery, Alabama, birthplace of the civil rights movement.  It was during this time that Wesley and Pauline split up. Pauline never remarried but yet was able to provide for herself and her family during the most chaotic and darkest hour of the civil rights movement. It was during this time she first attended the Hutchinson Street Baptist Church.   Later she became a member of the St.Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), a century-old independent black denomination founded by free blacks in Philadelphia in the early nineteenth century. This church was the same church that Rosa Parks attended (Ms. Parks left Montgomery in 1957).  In later years, Pauline regularly attended Biblical Faith Tabernacle, where she remained until her passing on November 2, 1997 at the age of 85.

MickeyNJohn

Mickey and John in front of a Mama Too’s display.

The story of Mama Too’s Seasoning began during a tough season in my life. Back in the early eighties, I was down on my luck and went to stay with my friend John.  John was the grandson of Ms. Pauline (son of Polly) and the evening I met Ms. Pauline, I noticed everyone called her “Mama”. Her kids, neighbors, friends, even her grandkids called her “Mama.”  So I approached her and sheepishly asked her, “Everybody calls you “Mama,” so what do you want me to call you?”  She just smiled and said, “Baby, you can call me Mama too,” so…. from that moment on…that’s exactly what I did.

I spent hours watching Mama Too cook everything from chitlins to blackeyed peas and everything in between. One day, out of the blue, Mama Too gave me her secret recipe, which wasn’t really a secret at all. I later found out it was’t that nobody wanted to learn her style of cooking, it was just everybody was more interested in eating what she made rather than learning how to make it.  Mama Too took in this “crazy white boy” (as I was affectionately called) and showed me the art of southern cooking.  She showed me how to, for lack of a better phrase, “engineer” flavor;  perfecting a technique for infusing “soul” into ordinary food. Mama Too put love into everything she cooked.  It wasn’t just about adding salt or sugar either, this was all about flavor.  Those years of her cooking, hours of perfecting flavors, and just a touch of love now go into every container of Mama Too’s. 

Many people over the years came to Mama Too for advice, council or to just sit and talk, but they always did so over her dining room table.  She knew how to calm tempers, kindle love and solve problems; all beginning with a good meal.  

Ms. Polly

John, Ms. Polly and the “Crazy White Boy”

Mama Too was all about sharing, as she shared all she had (which wasn’t much) with anyone that came to see her.  It didn’t matter what your skin color was, once you ate at Mama Too’s, you were family.  Not only did she know how to cook, but more importantly, she knew how to love and with that combination, you have a legend in the works.

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Ms. Polly, Adrain and Mickey (and of course a container of Mama Too’s).

I tell you all of this because the story behind Mama Too’s is just as important as what’s inside the container.  When you have been blessed as I have been, it is important to bless others. More so in the case of Mama Too’s because young people today, more than ever, need to know that benevolence, even at an early age, can have a dramatic impact on someone’s life.  

Since the beginning, I believe I’ve given away more Mama Too’s than I have sold.  One thing I have learned is that sales often don’t reflect the character of a company.  As a Veteran owned company, not only do we support our Veterans but we strongly support our elderly.  We want the legacy of Mama Toos be to the reflection of itcharacter and its flavor to be a reminder.

People often want to share in a story and feel they are a part of it and that’s what makes Mama Too’s All-Purpose Southern Seasoning special. It allows you to be a part of the story from the first taste.  Come and be a part of the Mama Too’s family.  If you want to know what all the fuss is about, have dinner with Mama Too’s tonight.  You’ll see.

I want to extend a special thanks to “The Pretty Lady” Polly, who allowed me to tell the story of “Mama Too” and share Mama Too’s heart as well as her recipe. On behalf of myself, my beautiful wife Kristine, my three wonderful girls Taylor, Sarah and LaceyI would like to thank the rest of the family, John, Carl, Paulette, James (who has passed on), Adrian, Anjanette and the rest of the clan. You all helped bring “Mama Too’s” to the rest of the world and if it weren’t for John’s heart on that fateful evening, none of this would have ever been possible.  Thank you baby brother!

Love to you all, and may Mama Too’s bless you and the rest of the world as it blessed me,  and “Don’t Forget the Flavor!” ™

Sincerely,krisnme

Mickey,

That “Crazy White Boy”