From growing up on a banana plantation, to now owning a successful bakery here in Louisville. Elizabeth has had quite the adventure to get where she is now, a Louisville favorite. This is her story.
Growing up in Africa
Elizabeth grew up in a culture that revolved around the banana. The Banana plant was not just a source of food for Elizabeth and her family, but a tool to make cooking easier. In Africa, people will line a pot with banana peels and then cover whatever they are cooking with banana peels as part of the cooking process. She even recalls as a little girl playing on the banana plantation making dolls out of the banana fibers.
Her father was a very successful businessmen known throughout Uganda. He partnered with a German business man who was living in Uganda. The business was the first to bring bread to the Ugandan people. Elizabeth’s Father was so well known throughout the country for his bread company. “He could be compared to Wonder Bread here in the states.” A lot of Elizabeth’s baking trade was learned from her Father and his baking company.
Soon after her Fathers baking company took off, Elizabeth attended boarding school. There she learned how to bake cakes from a nun at the school. When she went back home she was so excited to show her Father what she learned and how she could bake cakes. When Elizabeth baked that first cake for her Father that is when she knew how fascinated and passionate she was about food, baking and cooking!
The Beginning of The American Dream
Elizabeth first heard about the United States from a friend who wrote letters to her from the states. She really couldn’t imagine what it was like. She said, “I kinda imagined it as if it was in the sky.” Curious from the letters, she planned on going there some day to experience it for herself. She finally got the chance to go, Elizabeth recalls when she was on the plane, she was very confused by even the smallest things like the airplane menu. “I only knew tea on the menu so thats what I ordered.” After receiving her tea, which of course came in the standard tea bag, she ripped it open not knowing that the bag was used as the steeping tool for the tea. The stewardess ran over and quickly said “let me get you another one.” Once Elizabeth got over the culture shock of America she felt very comfortable to try new things that should would never of tried in Africa.
A co-worker brought in cookies one day at the restaurant she worked at, and instantly she had to know how to make them for herself. Elizabeth would bring them in to share with her co workers until one day they told her she should start a business and sell cookies instead. This is how the Kizito cookie started!
After a lot of hard work, Elizabeth saved enough money to bring her mother to the states for a visit. It was a pleasure for Elizabeth to watch her mother experience the United States for the first time, as she did in utter amazement years before. “I was always kinda nervous to tell my
mother what I did, because she wanted me to be a doctor or a teacher and yet I was making cookies and selling cookies.” Once she got the courage to tell her what she did, her mother was astounded that Americans would come in numbers to buy cookies from an African lady who carried cookies in a basket on her head. In Uganda, that’s what the poor people do. Of course once she saw what Elizabeth was building, she was all for it! Elizabeth’s Mother told her that she needed a bakery and even helped look for empty placed to rent around town.
Elizabeth has been through many challenges throughout her life, but never once did she believe that she couldn't succeed, even when the odds where stacked against her. She used her talents to make a difference in the communication and Louisville loves the cookie lady. If you see the Cookie Lady at Louisville Slugger Field or at the Bakery on Bardstown Road be sure to say hello!