The Bag Lady

Topics: Paula Deen, Elizabethtown, Cooking Pages: 3 (752 words) Published: October 2, 2010
She is the quintessential American success story, a best-selling author and television host, a tastemaker to the stars and to the everyday housewife and family. She is Paula Deen, a down-home, strong willed mom who overcame personal tragedy, long odds, financial and physical challenges to carve one of the most effective and wide ranging entertainment brands that exists today. A brand that is idyllic, inspiring, fun and very much American. Through a series of tragedies came the success that laid the foundation for the Paula Deen of today, someone who inspires millions through her regular appearances on Oprah, cooks for world leaders, is a best-selling author, and is seen concurrently on three shows running on The Food Network. A Hard Start:

For all her success, the Albany, Georgia native has remained grounded, in part due to her down home Southern upbringing. She married her high school sweetheart in 1965, became a young mom of two sons, and appeared to be living the life she desired, before a series of tragedies, from the death of her parents, when she was just nineteen, and the failure of her marriage in 1989 to a prolonged battle with agoraphobia, which kept her from leaving her house, changed the course of her life forever. Paula Deen was a homemaker and bank teller before entering professional cooking. She divorced her first husband in 1989 shortly after moving to Savannah. She was left with only $200 and her two teenage sons. The Bag Lady:

The one constant in Deen’s life has always been cooking. It was a staple of her young upbringing and when times became difficult it was what she knew and could turn back to. Paula was considered a good Southern cook, so she moved to Savannah, Georgia and started a home-based small catering company called The Bag Lady in June 1989. She would make sandwiches and other meals, and her sons, Jamie and Bobby, would deliver the food. Paula avoided going out herself because she suffered from agoraphobia, a fear of...
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