Updated: May 11
No matter what you have heard or seen anywhere else, “The Original Cookie Lady” has been my brand name since 1982. I have had a passion for baking for as long as I can remember. My mom, grandmothers, great-grandmother, and even dad loved to cook and bake all kinds of goodies. They inspired me to cook and bake. Who am I? I am Carriette Jackson Rozier, the daughter of Geraldine Jackson and Lucius Kearse Sr., granddaughter of Nether Kearse Culmer, and great-granddaughter of B.J. and Meta Bell Kearse.
Everyone calls me Carrie. I'm named after Grandmother Nether’s sister, Carrie Kearse, who died while still a young schoolgirl.
I have lived in Miami all my life. I remember mom baking peanut butter cookies for a youth dance group when I was about seven years old. She would let the girls and me help her bake the cookies. Then she would package the cookies, stapling the recipe to each bag, for us girls to sell in the neighborhood. Through her, I developed a desire for inspiring and motivating youth and young adults. I continued baking cookies and creating recipes of my own. I loved baking them to help inner-city youth in the Greater Miami area fundraise for their events and activities. In fact, it was the youth who first branded me as “The Cookie Lady.” Grandmother Nether encouraged me to turn my passion for baking into a business. As a differentiation strategy for selling my cookies, I adopted the “The Original Cookie Lady” brand name for my bakery. Over time I expanded my offerings to include breakfast and lunch entrees and a broader variety of sweet treats. An entrepreneur at heart, I also owned a consignment and floral shop for a while. Dad used to say, “you’ve got to spend money to make money.” He was right about that. I recall his sage advice each time I consider business opportunities.
My parents: Lucius and Geraldine
Knowing family was important to mom. She made sure my brother, Lucius, and I knew our family, near and far, while we were children. I’m grateful we got to know the Kearses in Miami. Memories of dad’s uncle, Sonny (Leon “Sonny” Kearse), who spent a lot of time with us, will always hold a special place in my heart. I also recall fun summer visits with our great-grandparents, B.J. and Meta Bell on the farm, as well as visits with Grandmother Nether in New York. She and I were very close. I truly miss our talks and visits.
My young adults and grandson: Victoria is holding her 18-month-old son, Matteo; that's Christen standing by me.
Family means everything to me. Just as mom did with us, I want my kids to know dad’s family. My kids were with me at a Kearse family reunion in Georgia more than 25 years ago. That one was extra special because Grandmother Nether was there, too. I believe the upcoming reunion will be special also. Many of us have not seen each other face-to-face for a while and I can hardly wait. I’m so excited, family, about the 2022 reunion and look forward to many more in the future. ❤
My kids and me with Grandmother Nether at the 1995 Kearse family reunion.