Born in Spain to a family that hails from Leicestershire, England, Georgie Brooks Myrtle moved to the U.S. in 1981. Today, through her Covington-based company Georgie's English Kitchen & Garden (803 W. 22nd Ave., Covington, 985-264-5044; www.georgiesenglish.com) she prepares traditional English foods. Her shortbread, scones and lemon curd are available at groceries around the region, and you can find her at the Crescent City Farmers Market in Mid-City on Thursdays and the Covington Farmers Market on Saturdays serving cakes, breads and soups. She also provides traditional English tea catering for parties and showers.
How did you start your business?
Brooks Myrtle: I was a stay-at-home mom, and as the children were growing up we always had teatime, based on the family recipes. As the children moved out, I'd still make shortbread, which became the hit of church fundraisers and the like. People encouraged me to sell it, and really at the start it was just selling to friends and putting fliers up at schools and my church. In 2008, I started at the farmers markets. It's been a big surprise the way it's caught on. I could be at Home Depot now and someone will say, "Oh, you're the scone lady."
Do you ever feel you need to be an ambassador for English food?
BM: England isn't really known for its food beyond fish and chips and steak and kidney pies, so there is a little education that goes into it. It helps that I have the English accent because as soon as I open my mouth people say, "That must be the real thing." What's amazing to me is that we're in one of the most famous parts of the world for food. So for my food to be appreciated here and greeted so graciously feels like quite an honor.
What do you have for customers who aren't about to sit down for full formal tea?
BM: You don't have to think along the lines of hosting a tea party but maybe just treating yourself to a really nice breakfast over the weekend. In this day and age, with all the worries out there, if you're having shortbread and lemon curd with strawberries and Champagne, then life isn't so bad.— IAN MCNULTY