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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

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Ashley Ramirez

Mason Dixon Bakery and Bistro

Ashley Ramirez was born in 1986, was raised on the eastern shore of Maryland. While she was in college at Elon University, Ramirez excelled at chemistry. She graduated and attended Duke University and received a PhD in chemistry in 2013. While she was in college, Ramirez was diagnosed with celiac disease. At the time, it was difficult to find gluten-free foods in her dining hall. She experimented with recipes to cook and bake delicious gluten free foods.

After she graduated from Duke University, she moved to Huntsville, Alabama to take a job at Redstone Arsenal during a period of sequestration. Because of this, her job offer had been placed on a hold. In April 2013, she began selling her gluten free breads at local farmers markets. A few months later, Ramirez opened a retail bakery. In 2015, the bakery expanded to include a bistro that serves a fully gluten free menu.

Date of interview:

Annemarie Anderson

Andrea Belk

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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