It’s 1983. You’re a working woman with three young children. You’re busy, you’re frazzled, you barely have time to make your family’s meals. So, what’s a mother to do? If you’re Rowena Fullinwider, you say “I need some funky warehouse space and a couple dozen mixers!” So with barely a business plan, much less a business degree, Rowena’s was born. The rest is flour, eggs and butter history.
To be fair, Rowena’s bold move was more a leap of faith than a step off the cliff. After all, she had been wowing friends and neighbors with her baked goods for years, making delicious jellies and jams from the plum and fig trees in her back yard. But her real specialty—and the item that would become her trademark delicacy—was the sinfully good almond pound cake she made from an old family recipe. People started taking notice, and Rowena started taking orders.
Today, regular customers know that the arrival of a Rowena’s package means some sweet-eating goodness to come very soon. It also means stashing the box out of sight, lest the celebratory cake come to the table with a few big chunks missing. (Trust us, we’ve heard.) And what a relief to have such a delicious and easy plate of pleasure ready to set down for the family or friends. Why, it’s enough to bring a few moments of oven-baked bliss to a very hectic life. Now are we claiming healing properties? Perhaps not. But we urge never to underestimate the powers of lovingly made sweets, always hand-crafted and made from scratch.
For those uninitiated with Rowena’s magical creations, we can only ask: where have you been? Our more than 30 years of caking and baking have hardly gone unnoticed. We’ve had glowing attention from Bon Appetit, Southern Living, Gourmet Magazine, and The Food Network. But we will say this about all of that: when a package from Rowena’s ends up at your door, you know that someone out there thinks very, very fondly of you.
So, that’s our story. And, like the thick, gooey batter of a Rowena’s pound cake, we’re sticking to it. The original Rowena is no longer with us and we’re sorry you didn’t get to meet her. You would have loved her enthusiasm, her fortitude and her spirit of innovation; and she would have loved to hear how much your guests loved her cakes and drizzles, and how you’re carrying on that tradition today, sharing the love (if not the entire pound cake) with that cherished bunch around your table.
We invite you to shop online, or stop by 243B West Bute Street in Norfolk, Va. if you’re in the area.