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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.

ORAL HISTORY

Charlotte Bowls


Charlotte's Eats and Sweets

By six in the morning, Charlotte Bowls and her staff are hard at work in Keo, Arkansas. A carefully choreographed routine ensures that all the pies will be made on time, and during the five hours before the restaurant opens, the staff will roll, fill, and bake nearly two dozen pies—coconut, chocolate, caramel, and various seasonal pies—while also preparing a full lunch menu. Charlotte personally fills each pie and sculpts each tower of meringue.

In 1993, Charlotte founded Charlotte’s Eats and Sweets as a weekend business while working her day job keeping books for a grain elevator. Naysayers predicted that she would be out of business within six months. In the two decades since, Keo, a small town about thirty minutes southeast of Little Rock, has become known for Charlotte’s pies, especially her meringue-topped coconut.

Date of interview:
2013-08-01

Interviewer:
Sherri Sheu

Photographer:
Sherri Sheu

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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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