MaeMae, otherwise known as, Krystal, was born and raised in Sevierville, TN. She grew up in the kitchen, learning to cook from her Moma and Mamaw. She jokes that she attended “Martha Stewart University” where she picked up many kitchen techniques. Krystal became “MaeMae” when one of her nephews was unable to pronounce “Krystal Mae” as his Mom had called her. It wasn’t long before all of her family and close friends followed suit and began calling her MaeMae.
Krystal had a 20-year career in the hotel world where she wore many hats, first in Gatlinburg before moving to Salt Lake City, Utah and later returning to Gatlinburg. She genuinely loved the business and everything it brought to her life. She was able to grow her cooking skills and while in Utah, she learned the art of personalizing sauces from two cultured and eclectic executive chefs.
Krystal became known for her homemade cheesecakes and chicken salad, sparking her interest in opening a restaurant. For years, she dreamed of her menu and dining room. Her hotel career continued to bring more growth and she later assumed management of the hotel’s wedding chapel giving her opportunity to be part of others’ dreams and through witnessing their moments made her want her own even more.
Krystal cares for her elderly parents and after a scary and lengthy time in 2015 while her Mother was in the hospital, she decided to leave her job where she had been for ten plus years. She briefly worked for a hotel company in Pigeon Forge before she accepted a position with the hotel chain she first worked twenty years earlier. She soon realized she was in an environment that no longer gave her the passion she once felt and after prayer and soul searching, she decided to leave the hotel world.
Under God’s guidance and encouragement from others, she took a leap of faith and opened MaeMae’s Lunch in a Bag. MaeMae’s first day of delivery was a success. Before long people started referring to her as MaeMae’s Lunch Bag, thus, changing the name. After a year of providing lunch delivery she was faced with closing this home-based business and started a new adventure with MaeMae’s Cafe!
MaeMae is adamant that her name be known for homemade dishes made with fresh and when possible, local ingredients. You will not taste processed ingredients in her dishes but you will taste, fresh, delicious foods made with love. MaeMae loves serving our community, opening her heart to others, hearing their story and being part of memories around the kitchen table.
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