It’s a week before Thanksgiving and the sweet scented aroma flutters into your nostrils, alarming your endorphins and literally teases your appetite for the legendary pies that are baking in the massive oven.
Just a few steps from the oven is an enormous stainless steel pot overflowed with uncooked sweet potatoes, and just around the short corner is an fourth generation family member filling pie shells with the secret ingredients of the pecan pies, while another worker rolls the home made crust that serves as the pies foundation.
The iconic 27th Street Bakery located on 27th and Central Ave. has withstood the test of time, a transforming community that was once predominantly African American, but is now predominantly Latino.
However all that really matters to Jeanette Bolden, a former Olympic Gold Medal champion in the 4×400 relay in 1984, is preserving the family legacy that is nestled beyond the walls of this white corner building that has been a community staple since 1959.
Bolden, who starred on the track team at UCLA has committed her life to the business that was left to her by her late mother Alberta Cravin. Her late brother Gregory Spann ran the business with their mother until he died in 2002.
Cravin passed away in 2007 after purchasing the business from her mother Sadie Patterson who succumbed in 2004.
It was Sadie and her late husband Henry who poured their heart and soul into 27th Street Bakery, hiring kids from the community delivering pies to the likes of late Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley.
Today, the famous 27th Street Bakery sweet potatoes pies can be purchased in much location throughout the city, including Inglewood at Ralphs, Smart & Final, Woody’s Barbeque, 7/11 and Phillips among others.
When asked what makes the specialty sweet potatoes pie so delicious and desirable, and Bolden answer was prompt.
“Well, my grandmother got the recipe from her mother and they just kept it in the family. So I have a responsibility to them to keep it in the family and preserve it for our many customers for generations to come,” Bolden told Inglewood Today.
The family hails from Shreveport, Louisiana, the recipes for the pies and the cakes are treasured family secrets.
Originally it was known as Mr. Harry Pie Shop, the named was changed in 1980, but commitment to quality has remained the same.
On Tuesday Nov. 26 and Wednesday Nov. 27, the famous 27th Street Bakery will bring their tasty treats to Woody’s Barbeque located on Slauson Ave. and Crenshaw Blvd.