Gina Hollingsworth, owner and creator of Southern Okie Gourmet Spreads, will be the first to tell you that she is a true Southerner at heart. Born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, she left home when she was eighteen for the city of her dreams, Nashville, Tennessee.
A graduate of the internationally acclaimed Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business, Gina landed a job on prestigious Music Row, and eventually became Executive Assistant to the President and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing.
Her gourmet spread venture began when her supervisor at Sony made sure that fresh fruit was available at the office for their clients and guests. Resourceful Gina could not bear the thought of tossing out perfectly good fruit, so at weeks end she would remove any leftover fruit and take it home and create pies, muffins and other desserts. Come Monday, she would bring the sweet treats to the office. She was such a good cook that everyone complained jokingly that their clothes were getting tight. Gina started thinking, What can I do with all these apples?
When her husband, Mark, accepted a job in Oklahoma, off they went with their chocolate lab, Amelia. Oklahoma was a new frontier that she knew nothing about, but her faith that God had something great in store for her and Mark was all Gina needed to know.
On a whim, Gina enrolled as a vendor at a local holiday market, hoping to sell 20 jars of her gourmet apple spread. She was ecstatic when over 500 were sold! All the proceeds were donated to local charities in her community. With a heart for giving back and believing one’s purpose in this world is to help others in need, she established Southern Okie Gourmet Spreads in 2012.
Gina personally oversees all the marketing and production aspects of her gourmet spreads. By working with a local co-packer, she has expanded her product line to include five delectable flavors – Pumpkin, Peach, Pear, and `erry, in addition to the original Apple with more flavors to be added in the future. Since its inception, Gina has adhered to the strictest standards using the finest ingredients. All Southern Okie products are made with natural and simple ingredients with less sugar, more fresh fruit, and gourmet spices to ensure that made-from-scratch goodness in every bite – and they’re OU Kosher.
“Being OU Kosher certified is very important to me,” says Gina. “In order to ensure an extra level of confidence to consumers and businesses who carry my product, I want to offer the best quality products with the high standards of the Orthodox Union.”
Southern Okie Gourmet Peach Spread imparts a refreshing flavor from a perfect balance of ripe fuzzy peaches and fragrant spices.
Southern Okie Gourmet Strawberry Spread contains the vibrant sweet flavor of fresh strawberries picked from the patch that day.
Southern Okie Gourmet Pear Spread offers the sweet delicate flavor of dew-kissed juicy pears and hint of sweet pineapple.
Southern Okie Gourmet Pumpkin Spread delivers a bold distinct explosion of flavor as satisfying as warm sunshine on a cool autumn morn.
Gina works tirelessly selling, marketing, developing recipes, and products. You will likely find her in a grocery store personally demo-ing the spreads. She believes in working hard and wants to connect personally with consumers. Her face lights up when she’s asked, “Are you the creator of these products?”
You can find Southern Okie products in many locations across the U.S. by visiting www. southernokie.com. In the New York area, Fairway Market has been instrumental in having her products available in all their locations.
Visit her website www.southernokie.com. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more updates.