By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
Ellen DeNormand says her husband, David, is the reason she's in business.
The eponymous owner of Momma De's Mixing Bowl said before she opened up shop at 1879 Whitehaven Road one year ago, she had an ultimatum from her spouse.
"I did over 10,000 cookies at Christmas 2016. My husband basically said, 'It's time. I want my house back.' That was it."
She was making cookies for friends and family, showers and brunches, and said she actually stopped counting at 10,000. Since opening Momma De's, she has turned her passion into a family business.
"I've always baked. I always liked baking because, A. It was cheaper, and, B. I knew what was going in what I was making," she said.
And she did it her way. As DeNormand celebrates a year in business on the Island, there is no fakery in the Momma De's bakery.
"You're paying for care. You're paying for fresh," said DeNormand of the product. "People don't do it themselves. That's why I'm here."
DeNormand grew up the youngest girl in a family with 11 kids and one bathroom. "You learned how to cooperate and you learned how to work things out," she said of growing up, "and if you disagreed with someone, you could still live with them."
Everything she makes is made as if it's for one of her 10 siblings. "That's part of what baking is to me," she explained. "I have a shirt that says 'Baking is love made edible.' And that's kind of how I feel."
DeNormand was quick to thank the family that has helped her open the doors to her own business as she started, naturally, from scratch. Her husband built the counters. Landlord Larry Playfair provided tables and chairs when she opened. Her sister Mary Mack, daughter Rachel and sons Brian and Greg are regular workers.
There is another way her husband is the reason she's in business.
"He is working three jobs so that I can do this," she said, pointing out that after working an all-night shift, her husband was standing in 90-degree heat on the Fourth of July selling bottled water to thirsty spectators at the Independence Day Parade.