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KERA's One Crisis Away project focuses on North Texans living on the financial edge.

One Crisis Away At The Holidays: A Small Business Hangs Its Hopes On The Season

quincy_and_sheri_pic.jpg
Lara Solt
/
KERA special contributor
Quincy and Sheri Brown in front of their catering trailer. They're known for Sheri's famous butter cake.

Most families worry about spending too much on gifts or travel this time of year. For some small family businesses, the holidays can be a lifeline.

Quincy and Sheri Brown’s catering operation has had a tough year financially and they need to finish the year strong. Their story’s a part of KERA’s series One Crisis Away at the Holidays.

Serving up lunch and dinner in their catering trailer helps pay the bills. What really defines their business, is cake.

“We got butter chocolate, we got sock it to me, coconut, lemon, salted caramel, cookies and cream, we have birthday cake, pumpkin, blueberry, we have raspberry. Want me to keep going?” laughs Quincy.

Most importantly, they’ve got plain old butter cake, which evolved from Sheri’s great-grandma’s pound cake recipe. It’s simple and straightforward and the customers are obsessed.

Starting From Scratch

The Browns started their business back in 2001. Quincy had just left his job at a car dealership when Sheri was laid off from a local hospital. The job market wasn’t friendly after September 11th, and the holiday season was looming.

“And my husband said, just go bake something, we need to pay some bills,” Sheri says. “So I went and pulled my great-grandmother’s recipe out and it became a hit.”

First all the baking happened at home. When the cakes caught on, the business started to outgrow their kitchen. That’s when Sheri and Quincy’s young son inadvertently gave it a name.

“He was like 5 at the time, and I’m always tired, my feet always hurting so I told him, go answer the phone,” says Sheri. “And so he grabbed the phone and said ‘there ain’t no mo butter cakes, my mom’s feet hurt!’ So that’s how we came up with the ‘Ain’t No Mo! Butter Cakes.’”

Learn more about Quincy and Sheri’s business and their hopes for the holiday season here.

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.