Business with a Recipe of Faith
With the pinch of kindness, a dash of laughter, a cup of dedication and a bowl filled with faith in God. Gayla took her love of cooking and catering, overcame adversity and developed a unique successful business. “I love being in the kitchen,” said the owner and operator of Mill Towne Gourmet. “If I didn’t have to go to the grocery store or do anything else, and I could just stand here and cook, that would be wonderful. It’s therapy for me.”
Grubbs got her first taste of the joy of cooking when she threw a dinner party for a couple of her girlfriends nearly 25 years ago. “I was about 15 or 16, and five of my good friends got together for Christmas,” Grubbs said. “I cooked everything. I don’t remember everything we had. I know we had some homemade pizza, even the crust was homemade, and we had some sort of crepes for dessert. Everyone loved it.” The menu details are fuzzy, but for Grubbs, the event only increased her appetite for catering.
“I think that was what triggered this all, but it took me years to get to this place.” She said. “I started looking for something to do but I wanted to do something more than just work for a paycheck. I wanted to find a way to put my passion to work.” The memory of that dinner party 15 years earlier couldn’t be forgotten. The accolades for a job well-done, discovering how to create a mood with food and the irreplaceable feeling that serving others have always stayed with her. In August 1993 Grubbs launched a new career. “I decided to take the plunge and just do it.” She said. It was a rehearsal dinner for about 70 people. I was a little nervous but my mother and a few friends helped me a lot at that dinner.”
A small catering business began to blossom then tragedy struck. Just weeks before giving birth to her second child, Grubbs lost her husband. At that point she knew it was time to put her life in God’s hands. “I prayed a lot.” Grubbs said. She knew with two small children, she had to find a way to make ends meet and still be a mother. “I had been in the catering business for nearly 10 years, and I came to the point where I knew it was time to either completely stop or expand,” she said. “But I couldn’t stop.” Grubbs continued to pray, and soon she discovered that everything would fall into place according to God’s recipe for her life. “I realized it was all about timing.”
One by one her prayers were answered. Grubbs soon met her current husband, Doug who shared her passion for cooking. The married September 2001, but Grubbs said that meeting Doug was part of a higher design. “He helped me so much,” Grubbs said of her husband who had prior experience in the food service industry. His interest and knowledge were invaluable to Grubbs in her pursuit to follow where God was leading. As that partnership began to grow, other details started to fall into place, too. “I found the building in June or July of 2000,” Grubbs said. “I knew this was the one as soon as I walked in.” Yet the timing wasn’t right.
“I waited 18 months for this building. There was a lady who was going to open a gift shop here, and we were offered a building next door, but I knew this was the one.” She said her vision fit the building at 116 N. Hill Street to a “T.” “Atmosphere was what I wanted to create,” she said. “I wanted it to have a feeling more than anything, a feeling of warmth, but not like someone’s home.” The dark tin ceilings and peach colored walls are the setting for the old hutches that display the gourmet items sold in Mill Towne Gourmet. But more than the warm atmosphere created by décor, Grubbs’ warm smile and caring demeanor are what bring customers back time and time again. The days are busy but Grubbs who was born with a heart for service, has found her perfect fit. “There are times when all I want to do is go home and sleep,” she said “But then tomorrow comes, and I’ll say I can’t wait to get to work.”
Article written by Griffin Daily News