Martha Grace “Mooky” Blackburn (1925-1999)
Martha Grace Blackburn
Mills was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama, a quite southern community nestled
between the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and banks of the Tennessee
River on January 6, 1925. When Martha was an infant, for some unknown reason an
older sibling gave her the nickname "Mooky," which was shortened to
"Mook" as she grew.
In 1946, after a brief
career as a secretary during World War II, “Mook” married her high school
sweetheart, Harold Fay Mills, upon his return from serving the U.S. Navy in the
Pacific. Like many women of her day, Mook’s life work was devoted to the care
of her five children and the support of her husband Fay in operating their
family hardware store and later other successful businesses. Mook and Fay
enjoyed sharing their life with family and friends and together celebrated
their 50th wedding anniversary in 1996.
Mook’s passion for living
was exemplified through her engaging and vibrant personality. Mook loved
visiting with people and sharing her home with friends and family. It was in
these Tuscumbia receptions and gatherings that Mook first shared her love for
cooking and her now celebrated cheese straws. To the delight of her friends and family, Mook
took a common recipe and caringly adjusted the amounts of cheeses, flours,
spices and unique ingredients until she finally achieved a taste and texture
that everyone agreed were beyond comparison. While recognized in her community
for her kindness and caring, Mook was best known for her amazing cheese straws.
Mook continued her pursuit of living and sharing until a brief illness and her passing in May 1, 1999. Mook’s life itself was a recipe for living and it is through her shared experiences and investment in others that her spirit endures.
Beginning in 2001, Mook’s family
began to explore the possibility of making her cheese straws available to the
public. In concert with the Shoals Commercial Culinary Center, the Mills Family
embarked on a two year journey using only ingredients Mook had mandated and aspiring
to a singular test “would Mook approve?”
In 2003, Mook Mills Cheese
Straws were presented to the public, and can now be found in supermarkets and
finer grocers and specialty markets across the southeast.
Mook Mills Cheese Straws are “NOT
A CHEESE BITE”.
Mook Mills are traditional full size all n a t u r a l 100% real cheddar cheese straw with a crispy baked texture, classic made from scratch appearance and oh so SOUTHERN SPICY KICK.
Blended and baked with the same
exacting standards that made Martha “Mooky” Grace’s cheese straws a Tuscumbia
Tradition. Mook Mills Cheese Straws are “the perfect finger food” and a
welcomed choice to cracker or chip trays, nuts, light hors d’oeurves, bar
snacks and party mixes.
Opened, poured and placed Mook
Mills 32 oz bulk bags create a classic party food on any silver tray. Event
Planners serve Mook Mills Cheese Straws at weddings, banquets, receptions,
private parties, showers, wine tasting, boxed lunches or special events. Caterers
know the test of a good cheese straw is its taste. That’s why Mook Mills “makes
them like they would bake them”.
Mook Mills Cheese Straws are
additionally packaged in 2-oz, 7-oz and 12-oz classic white and lime green
stripped delicatessen bags with a bright yellow and orange sunflower logo.
2 oz bags are an "elegant alternative to greasy chips". Mook Mills compliment any sandwich, chicken, tuna and shrimp or fruit salad. Individually fresh sealed with southern goodness, Mook Mills 2 oz portions are ideal for box lunches or baskets.
7 oz bags "make a handsome addition to any gift basket" and are a fashionable party favor or hostess gift. Oh did we say they taste great.
12 oz bags are perfect for “picnics,
cocktail and dinner parties”.
Mook Mills guaranteed fresh 180 day expiration date appears on each bag. Each Bag has an inner heat sealed
liner that further ensures the product crisp fresh baked taste. Unlike others
Mook Mills Cheese Straws are not frozen, or purposely broken.
Mook Mills are made with all natural real cheddar cheese never cheese powder or preservatives. Mook Mills Cheese Straws have 0 Trans fat and no sugar. Each 1 oz serving contains 10 grams of fat and 140 calories.