"If you can dream it, you can make it happen"
So the saying goes.
Loretta Gregory Bowe is living proof. And it all started with an old family recipe for gelatin desserts.
Take a look - and taste -at Britt’s Gourmet Desserts, Inc., a 5-foot-by-6-foot kiosk in the Woodbridge Mall, and you will see a business growing from a cart to a cartel. Gelatin, apparently, is still a hot seller.
“When looking at the name, some people think that it is a British product, but it was actually named after my daughter, Brittney,” says Bowe. Brittney, 11, wasn’t around when Bowe’s mother, Anita Gregory, started making special cream-based fruit-flavor gelatin desserts for church “doings,” back some 20 years ago.
After “playing with measuring cups” for a few years, Britt’s opened her company’s production plant in East Orange.
Strong-willed and more than a little determined, Bowe can point directly to the enjoyment she gets from her “theme” and from the knowledge that her creations were begun with love. Some sugar here, some cream here, some strawberries there and, eventually, the jiggly treats came together.
“The tropical theme really seems to appeal to people,” says Bowe, whose Woodbridge kiosk is decorated with birds, flowers and fruit. But there’s nothing fake about the desserts she sells, anywhere from 300 to 400 a day.
Once Bowe began investigating methods of how to make the desserts in larger quantities – and cajoling all her friends into sampling them – it was just a short leap to marketing them, a task Bowe found daunting, but not impossible. First came a couple of small clients, like the Newark law firm of McCarter & English. Then “one thing led to another” and two commercial accounts appeared in Lakewood, as well as the Town Hall Deli in South Orange.
“There’s no stopping me now,” says Bowe, with visions of strawberry, raspberry, cherry, orange sherbet and pineapple gelatin in her head. “I believe I’m taking gelatin to a new level.”
“If it had not been for God, I would not be standing here today,” she says, on her ever-present cell phone from the Woodbridge kiosk. Unwavering help from the family helps, also, including husband Willie, supervisor of the frozen food warehouse for Supermarkets General in Dayton.
Gelatin, God and love are taking Loretta Bowe to new levels, also, although she had the feeling six years ago – when she sold her first “unit” at the church – that the best, and the tastiest, would become a reality.
“Just don’t call it J…-O!”