Meet the Maker: Southern City Flavors Part 3
This post is part of a series on southern cooking with purveyor Mike Weeks of Southern City Flavors. See Part 1 and Part 2 here.
Though he is a Southerner by choice, Mike Weeks is a Midwesterner by birth. He grew up on a farm in Payola, Indiana, just northwest of Louisville, and that’s where he learned to cook. “I grew up canning with my grandmother,” he told me. “She always put vegetables away for winter.” All their cooking was not so practical, however. Some was just plain delicious.
“My grandmother made strawberry cobbler because we had a good sized strawberry patch in the corner of our garden.” So, when Mike decided to sell cobbler, he made a strawberry cobbler filling and to go with his cobbler topping mix. It was the natural choice for him.
Wait! Strawberry cobbler, you say? Peach cobbler? Yes. Blackberry cobbler? Yes. But, most southerners Mike encountered had never tried strawberry. “I was at Christmas Village just after I rolled out the strawberry cobbler. People kept stopping by and saying, ‘I’ve never heard of a strawberry cobbler!’ So, I shifted to make other flavors, too.” Southern City Flavors now offers peach, blackberry, apple, cherry, blueberry, and strawberry filling in its cobbler line.
“People ask me how I decide what flavors to come out with,” Mike told me. “It's me. It’s my taste. I’m not General Mills with blind tastes and such. I just make something in the kitchen and if I like it, I’ll sell it.”
Cobblers were brand new to Southern City Flavors in 2019. Mike does not use any High Fructose Corn Syrup. His cobblers are all natural. “Grocery store pie fillings,” he noted, “are 60% sugar. Mine is 67% fruit.”
I will testify on the record that the cobbler kits are both easy to make and simply delicious. So easy and so delicious, in fact, that my toddler and I made some of Southern City Flavor’s peach cobbler recently, and she devoured it faster than I have ever seen her eat any “treat,” as we call sweets and desserts around my house.
Now that we have you craving some cobbler, how will you choose which one to try first? As Mike told me, “Blackberry is the biggest seller now. Peach was highest, but now it’s blackberry.” Go with the masses or dare to be different. It’s up to you! Strawberry still hasn’t become the most ubiquitous cobbler flavor, but the way I see it, you can’t go wrong with any flavor. If you show up to the dinner table with a pan of cobbler, any cobbler, the people will sing your praises.
Check out the full line of Southern City Flavors goods at Batch.