In Barbados, Tress Walker's grandmother was a famous for her wedding cakes in Saint Michael, Barbados, while the rest of her family were known for their homemade West Indian baked goods. Everybody had to be quiet while they worked on peeling and crushing, shucking peas and corn.
After the family moved to the US a year later at 18 years old, Tress started modeling, winning swimsuit competitions, and won the Miss Barbados Beauty Pageant USA title. A childhood dream while living in Barbados was to be a flight attendant. The dream became a reality when she became a global flight attendant for three airlines, including the lamented TWA. Returning to modeling, she baked on the weekends, selling to hairdressing and nail salons that wanted to offer breakfast to their clients.
Tress teamed up with her mother, her immediate family and cousins to focus on a baking business, eventually adding her family's codfish balls to the menu. She fine-tuned the offerings by adding pineapple dipping sauce and "Slap Your Mama" cole slaw.
"We all had different talents and skills. And we thought, 'Why don't we try doing this together?'"
Mums Kitchens officially launched in 2016, serving at events, festivals, pop-ups, and family and neighborhood functions.
AT THE LAURELTON FARMERS MARKET...
"AN OLD BEAT-UP FRYING PAN
THAT'S BEEN IN THE FAMILY
FOR QUITE A FEW YEARS"
My mom first came to America in the seventies. Soon afterward, it became the early eighties. And she bought the frying pan cos it was a way now to feed her family.
Of course, when you have a large family, and a limited amount of supplies, the best thing to do is get some codfish and you could add different things. You have potatoes, add spices to it. You can stretch it. It could feed a lot more folks and that's what she did.
She got the frying pan and started making fish cakes, which is her mother's recipe. And it helped to feed a family. It was a nice addition to any particular meal that she had.
IT'S SEEN MANY, MANY A TALE.
It's been in the family since the seventies. I used it when I first started doing Mums Kitchens. That was the first frying pan that I used outside of the house.
From the house, we bought it out to our first market. We did that in 2016. It's been through a lot. It's seen many, many, many a tale. It's part of our family.
Of course, it was a bit too small for such a large capacity, pop-up type atmosphere. So we've since got a bigger one.