Backroad Journeys: Sugaree’s Bakery


Back Road Journeys on Edible Radio is a series of 13 radio podcasts exploring the rich local food heritage of the Appalachian Region. Appalachia is filled with innovative farmers and food entrepreneurs who are deeply connected to the history and traditions of the land they cultivate and the place they call home. Join us each month for a new podcast with an exciting guest from the region to learn and be inspired by their journey creating a successful, original food and farming business in the heart of America. Hosted by Tricia Wheeler, Publisher of Edible Columbus and owner of The Seasoned Farmhouse Cooking School, Back Road Journeys offers authentic and delicious stories for the soul.

Sugaree’s Bakery sugarees

Meet our guest, Mary Jennifer Russel of Sugaree’s Bakery located in New Albany, Mississippi. Sugaree’s Bakery is a small batch bakery in New Albany, Mississippi, dedicated to the preservation the culinary history of Appalachia. Since 1997, they have recreated flavors of the past with their classic, Southern Cakes, focusing on the depth of flavor, making the richest, moistest homemade cakes available. Using old school techniques like browning granulated sugar in an iron skillet to make the caramel icing, pouring hot butter glaze over thick layers of coconut cake, cooking some of the icings, Sugaree’s has made a name for themselves nationwide, having been featured in Oprah Magazine and Southern Living, and shipping their cakes anywhere in the US. They have also revitalized downtown New Albany, inspiring more small businesses to move into the region. Listen in to learn how Mary Jennifer started her baking journey.

Sugaree’s Bakery
110 W Bankhead St.
New Albany, MS 38652

About Mary Jennifer Russel

Mary Jennifer Russell is the founder and owner of Sugaree’s Bakery,  which she started as a home-based business in 1997 and transitioned into a brick and mortar location in 2001 when  she opened her retail bakery in downtown New Albany, Mississippi.

Sugaree’s Bakery is a Southern heritage small-batch bakery with a mission to help preserve the culinary traditions of  the Deep South.  Mary Jennifer has grown the bakery to include 30 employees who service three business categories: retail, mail order and wholesale.  Sugaree’s  has represented  Mississippi at events from New York to New Orleans and has been featured in Southern Living, The Huffington Post, The Local Palate, Mississippi Magazine, Legends magazine,  Yahoo, Taste of the South,  Saveur, The Week, Desoto magazine, Eat. Drink. Mississippi magazine, Mud and Magnolias magazine, The Washington Post ,The  Oprah Magazine, and The New York Times.

Mary Jennifer  is also very active in community development efforts.  She served with the New Albany Main Street Association for 12 years.  As Promotions Chair, she created  many successful local events such as Arts, Beats, and Eats, Folk Art on the River, Hill Country Halloween, and Tallahatchie on Tap.  Her involvement as a founding sponsor of  the Biscuits and Jam Farmers’  Market has brought a lot of energy and attention to and investments  in the local food systems in North Mississippi.   All of these diverse events  act as catalysts for rural economic development via promotions and tourism in New Albany.



Music for Backroad Journeys – “BuckDancer’s Choice” by Wayne Henderson

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