DESOTO MAGAZINE'S CROWNED
Sugar Fix Pralines is a vision come to life for me, Gabrielle “Gabby” Collier in April 2015. I first got the idea in 2005 during "story-time" at the local library with my oldest of two sons, EJ. I had recently moved from New Orleans, Louisiana to Gulfport, Mississippi after marrying my husband Eddie and had a craving for a bona-fide creole-style praline, but I couldn’t find anything like grandma Estelle’s.
I tried making pralines, off and on, for nine (9) years before I got my grandma's recipe just right. It's amazing how we grow up around recipes, but never fully pay attention in learning how to make them ourselves. I couldn't make pralines, but I knew it was my "calling".
After my second son, Gabe, started kindergarten, I began to think what's next for me. Up until this time, I had been a stay at home mom/ wife for twelve years. I thought, should I have another child? Or, continue being PTA president? Team mom? Another run for parent of the year, or what? What was the next chapter in my life? Then, I thought, neither. There had to be more to my life than just PTA president and dug out mom. Once I believed I perfected my grandmother's praline recipe, I gave samples to neighbors, teachers, teacher's spouses, basketball, baseball, and football parents, PTA board members, and moms in the car riders line. We had a great system going for a while. They gave feedback and I would provide more free samples. I knew I hit the jackpot when they stopped asking for samples and started placing orders.
Today, I am enjoying every aspect of owning my own business. There are definitely challenges at times, but I wouldn't trade a day of my life making pralines over a nine to five. My husband and two sons support me by helping to package, label, and sell our product (for a small fee and samples of course!) I am excited about my recent move to a commercial kitchen, which allows me to make larger quantities because I'm almost always sold out. I'm learning that the balance of faith, family, and self are the keys to my success.
What's a praline?
Pralines are a popular southern dessert made from sugar, milk, butter, and pecans. Pralines originated in France and was named after César, duc de Choiseul, comte du Plessis-Praslin, a French diplomat, mainly known as Maréchal du Plessis-Praslin. Maréchal du Plessis-Praslin had a sweet tooth, so when French settlers ruled Louisiana, his chefs often made him pralines to satisfy his sugar craving. The original french praline recipe was made with sugar, butter, milk, chocolate, almonds and/or hazelnut. However, since hazelnut and almond trees are not native to the south, the chefs substituted pecans instead. Pralines are usually round, but we want you to know a Sugar Fix Praline when you see one!
hOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE PRALINE?
We are often asked "how do you pronounce the word praline." In all honesty, it depends on where you're from. Most southerners say prah-leen. New Orleanians say ply-reen or pecan candy. However, we all agree that you're wrong if you say "pray-leen". You only pray and lean in church!
What's a sugar Fix?
It's the name of our company. Have you ever had a craving for something sweet and there’s only one special thing that will satisfy it? That special thing is what we call a Sugar Fix. It will satisfy your strongest sweet-tooth cravings. We’re here to be your Sugar Fix!