With convenience trends continually shaping fresh food and Southern cuisine enjoying a renaissance, it’s not hard to see why a brand like Mamie’s Famous Cheese Wafers piqued the interest of upscale retailer Williams Sonoma. I stumbled on the brand while browsing cheese and charcuterie, and I was immediately drawn in by this easy-to-prepare, pre-made cheese straw-style concoction.
So I reached out to Barkley Shreve, Founder of Spring Hill Kitchens and creator of the Mamie’s Famous Cheese Wafers brand, to learn more about the company, its unique products, and the history behind these delightful confections. And Barkley was happy to fill me in on the origins of what is, I think, truly a Southern delicacy.
“Mamie was my mother, and she always served cheese wafers when she entertained,” Barkley told me. “One of my sisters suggested that everyone would enjoy having a roll of cheese wafer dough in the freezer for quick and easy entertaining. Through lots of 'hit or miss' experimenting, we perfected a 50-pound batch of dough that exactly replicates her original recipe. With this frozen slice-and-bake hors d'oeuvre, anyone can serve a true Southern delicacy in minutes.”
Featuring extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, pecans, flour, butter, and a hint of Cayenne pepper, Mamie’s wafers capture an indelibly Southern flavor in an easy-to-prepare frozen format.
“Mamie's Famous Cheese Wafers are perfect for last-minute entertaining,” continued Barkley. “Busy cooks love the convenience of pulling a roll of dough out of the freezer, slicing, and baking—for a delicious home-baked appetizer. The dough can also be used to form a pie crust; tomato-basil pie is my favorite!”
Available in cases of 12 polyethylene-wrapped slice and bake tubes, Mamie’s cheese wafers are a welcome addition to a frozen food case and add charm and elegance to an aisle too long associated simply with damp carrots. And, Barkley tells me, Mamie’s cheese wafers are a try-it-and-you’ll-like-it hit sure to drive repeat sales.
“Sampling and demos are the best marketing tools!” Barkley surmised. “Once a customer tries a baked wafer, they are hooked on the home-made taste and convenience. Mamie's Famous Cheese Wafers let anyone uphold the tradition of Southern entertaining. And nothing makes me more proud than to hear wafer fans say that they always have a roll of Mamie's Famous Cheese Wafer dough in their freezer!”
Mamie's Famous Cheese Wafers are distributed through UNFI and can be found in all locations of The Fresh Market and in small chains and specialty and gourmet stores around the Southeast.
For more features on unique items in the dairy, deli, bakery, and specialty food industries, keep reading Deli Market News.