It’s a familiar story around these parts: a love affair with food, born in Grandma’s kitchen. But Felicia Suzanne Willett knew early on that her Sunday afternoons spent frying chicken, baking pies, and learning her way around her grandmother’s kitchen would lead to something more. Felicia made her first foray into culinary enterprise at age 12, when her homemade cheesecakes became famous in her hometown of Jonesboro, Arkansas. After a few years spent experimenting with flavors and creating recipes, Felicia’s curiosity took her to Charleston, South Carolina for formal training at Johnson and Wales University. Her next stop was New Orleans, where she spent eight years as renowned celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse’s assistant. After co-authoring cookbooks, producing Good Morning America segments, and gaining invaluable experience for eight years, she was ready to complete the journey she began as a little girl in Arkansas. Nearly 15 years since her namesake restaurant opened its doors, Felicia is still finding new ways to branch out. Her line of pickles and preserves, Flo’s Homemade Goodness, is available online and in retail stores across the Mid-South. In 2015, the Memphis Business Journal named her “Executive of the Year.” She hosts a cooking series on The Southern Weekend. And she’s not done yet.
- Jennifer Keeney
- Stephen Ormsby