As the seventh of Mildred “MamaDip” Council’s eight children, she grew up in the restaurant business, watching her mother make homemade cakes, but dabbled in clothing and jewelry sales as an adult. Then, it hit her: “Food – it’s what I’ve been around,” she says. “It’s my calling.”
Today, in addition to helping her mother and siblings run Mama Dip’s Kitchen, Neecy makes and sells Sweet Neecy all-natural cake mixes – in original, chocolate and spice. She’s also got a new flavor – red velvet – that’s pretty much unheard of in the market. She’s using beet powder, not food coloring, to achieve the velvety brown hue.
Neecy launched Sweet Neecy in 2010. She works out of PFAP – the Piedmont Food and Agricultural Processing Center, a business incubator and commercial kitchen in Hillsborough. Her mixes are sold in Southern Season and in Whole Foods stores across the South.
She projects that she’ll produce 3,000 cake mixes this year, with the holidays and cold weather months being her busiest time. And she has a new cookbook out, Simply Sweet Neecy, which has nearly 80 recipes for cookies, bars, waffles and brownies – all using the cake mixes. “I just can’t believe I’ve done this,” says Neecy of her growing business. “This is what I’m the best at. This is what I’m supposed to be doing.” CHM