Days Gone By - stories from the past

Are you making Parker House or cinnamon rolls for dinner?

Do you still make Parker house rolls for dinner? I had an heirloom recipe that had been handed down in the family, but it always took quite a while for the rolls to rise so I often resorted to store-bought rolls, but they never tasted as good as those home-made yeast rolls. Then I discovered Sister Schubert rolls.


Sister Schubert's

(Image from www.sisterschuberts.com)

Did you know that Sister Schubert’s was started by an Alabamian named Patricia Barnes from Troy, Alabama?

Troy, Alabama

Patricia Barnes was living in Troy, Alabama in 1989 when she started a part-time catering business. Her grandmother, Leona Henderson Wood“Grommy” was a wonderful cook and Barnes had always enjoyed helping her grandmother prepare meals so when Barnes was 21-years of age, Grommy presented her with the red vinyl notebook filled with all the family recipes. Barnes used many of the recipes in her catering business and began to notice that her clients always raved about her grandmother’s Everlasting rolls. She started thinking, “if everyone loves these rolls so much, maybe others would like them, too, and not just for the holidays.”

parker house rolls

Launched in 1992

Barnes was 40, newly divorced and supporting two daughters when she launched her business with only “a Sunbeam mixer, a Sears double oven, and her grandmother’s handwritten recipe for rolls.”

In 1992, she began making 200 pans of rolls a week in her kitchen. She converted her sun porch into a proofing room to help the yeast rise faster and turned her dining room table into a cooling and packaging station. Her two daughters, Charlotte and Chrissie, age 16 and 12 helped by applying adhesive labels and fastening twist ties to the packaged rolls. The product name comes from her nickname, Sister, and her married name. Her first retail customer was Ingram’s Curb Market in Troy, Alabama. Later, her product could be found in independent grocers across Alabama.

Expanded distribution

Within a year, her business grew from five to 180 employees and she took over her father’s 1,000-square-foot-furniture warehouse. The next year she secured a one million dollar loan and built a 25,000-square-foot bakery in Luverne, Alabama. She married George Barnes in 1995, a Montgomery, Alabama based food broker who had helped her expand her distribution.

blueberry rolls

Today, Patricia Barnes lives in Nashville. In addition to her Parker House rolls, Sister Schubert’s makes dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls and Hawaiian-style buns and baguettes. The small business that started in a home kitchen in Alabama, is now a “tide of 9 million rolls a day from three commercial bakeries. Sister Schubert rolls are found coast to coast as well as military base commissaries around the world.”

The company is owned by T. Marzetti, but Barnes still participates in the day-to-day operation. Every recipe must have Barnes approval. She has recently written a cookbook, Celebrations from the Heart and not thanks to her ingenuity, we can still serve great Parker House rolls for Christmas dinner.

Check out Patricia’s story and video at: Sister Schubert’s.com

SOURCES

  1. Sister Schubert’s Rolls – American Profile
  2. The Tennessean
  3. Sister Schubert’s.com

Sister Schuberts Secret Bread Recipes – 

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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2 comments

  1. Kathy Teer

    When I was a little girl my Mom would always let me help her roll the dough into little balls for clover leaf rolls………………..good times!!

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