Home is where the Host is

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Home is where the Host is

By Paula Deen

Savannah is known as the Hostess City—a place where you can’t hardly get your coat off before someone’s handin’ you a glass of sweet tea or bourbon depending on your preferences (and maybe the time of day).
 
I suppose that’s one reason why I’ve always felt so at home here.  It’s in my nature to make people feel welcome.  My grandmother and granddaddy made a business out of it running their motel and restaurant at River Bend, just outside of Albany, Georgia.  Anyone in hospitality knows that if people don’t feel welcome, they’ll be outta there in two shakes of a lamb’s tail, and I guess that sunk in.  I love to welcome people to my restaurant, my store, my home, my life….  My boys sometimes warn me not to let my mouth overload my tail—“oversharing” is what they call it—but I really enjoy openin’ my world up and letting good people in.

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When Michael and I were building our new home, we knew we wanted a place where our friends and family felt comfortable with lots of space for entertaining both kids and adults.  We didn’t want “showrooms” you never stepped foot in, or furniture you couldn’t sit in ‘cause you were afraid your hinny might break it.  We wanted our home to wrap its arms around anyone who came by—a place that says, “Hey y’all, come on in.”

Right about that time I was approached by Universal Furniture out of High Point, N.C., to start my own line.  I was so excited because I knew exactly the kind of furniture I wanted to design: comfortable, but in good taste.  Together, Universal and I developed a beautiful line of good, strongly structured furniture and launched the Paula Deen Furniture Collection.

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I’m real proud of what we created.  Sometimes when you come out with 2nd and 3rd lines you can be disappointed because the excitement can wear off and the consumer may move on to something new.  But we got a huge response from dealers and we’re getting a good track record behind.  This isn’t just some flash-in-the-pan endeavor for me.  I take a lot of pride in what we’re creating: a happy home.

It really put things in perspective for me when Universal arranged for two rental homes in nearby Bluffton, S.C., to be furnished entirely by the Paula Deen line.  It blew me away seeing how my pieces completely transformed those homes that felt so cold and empty before I put my touch on it.  The homes were so, well, so me.

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Thankfully, our sales just seem to be going up and up, which I’m really grateful for.  But it’s no mystery as to why this is, y’all.  I just apply my Grandparents’ reasonin’: like the River Bend I was raised in and the Hostess City I now call home, my furniture makes you feel welcome—and let me tell y’all, that’s a wonderful feeling to come home to.

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Reader Comments:

54321

I just love your cooking I have look at your show for a long time keep up the good work I am so sorry what when with your show I miss you and I was praying for you,

By maryj saul on April 12, 2014

54321

Always forward Paula. You and I both love the South. You know why? Because the South is just better. The climate is better, the food is better, just living is better. I have never heard any of my friends say they couldn't wait until they retire so they could move up North for the cold weather. I love the South and the South loves you. Bless our hearts and bless their hearts and bless the Deen family.

By Mike Miller on April 05, 2014

54321

I am so glad you are back Paula. I not only love your recipes but your furniture style is wonderful. Would love to do my house in Paula Deen. Won't happen but I can dream. I do love your recipes and enjoy preparing them. I am 64 and anything new always gets my attention . Thank you for being so gracious. Love you evelyn

By Evelyn m Dobbs on March 28, 2014

54321

Miss your happy smiles, wonderful laughter, and your recipes. We miss YOU!! We are so disgusted with Foodnetwork - what a bunch of pantywaists!! See you SOON we hope!! xoxoxo

By Lovnsyd on March 24, 2014

54321

Miss your happy smiles and wonderful laughs. We're waiting for you!!! We are so disgusted with foodnetwork - what a bunch of pantywaists!! Love ya, see ya SOON!!

By Lovnsyd on March 24, 2014

54321

Paula love love love everything you do. Just miss you so and want you back on TV…. Paula we need to see you and hear you…… I'm going to be making the Potato Casserole this weekend I know it will be great….

By Kathy on March 13, 2014

54321

Love your products..and you!..got your big skillet for Christmas and want more...hard to find in the stores and glad you are back.

By brenda on February 27, 2014

54321

Love your furniture line, and love you! You bring a down-home warmth and gentility to TV and I look forward to seeing there again very soon.

By Andie Hernandez on February 26, 2014

54321

I always enjoyed watching and preparing foods from Chef Paula Deen. I miss her. I am upset because I've miss placed a recipe for a chocolate cake made with sour cream and mini chocolate chips. I had it in a magazine and can't seem to find it anywhere. Help me please!!!!

By Theresa Derocchis on February 11, 2014

54321

Paula, I sure miss not seeing you on tv also I would like to say thank you very much,,,,Why,,,I whent shopping at Bon Ton in Saratoga Spring N.Y. not far from my home with my friend Dorine we love to spend time brousing around the kitchen area to see what is new on the today market...all of the beautiful brite and new colors for kitchen ithems... When we got to your kitchen ithems : The Paula Dean Savannah cookware set the frying pan and all your others cookware, We did notice how ( very lite ) the set is. I have Carpal Tunnel and Lumbar problem,, lifting the others cookware is it impossible for me and many others also ... That sunday I did make it my besiness to let other shoppers know about your cookwere set Paula, Thank You very much. Nicole Hoffman

By Nicole Hoffman on February 01, 2014

54321

Your furniture line is awesome. Rarely do I like every single thing in anyone's collection, but your style is spot-on! Keep rockin' it, girl!

By Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. on February 01, 2014

54321

Mrs. Paula, I hope you know how much you are truly missed, especially during this festive time of the year. I have been buying your magazines/books and watching you on television even when I was stationed in Japan. You have weathered many storms in your life, this is just a squall that will pass in time so stand fast and stay in prayer. Sincerely a Fan, Leilei African American

By Leilei Walker on November 18, 2013

54321

Dear Paula, I really miss your smile. I am home bound most of the time after several heart attacts. I always knew that all I had to do , when I would get the blues, was find Paula cooking on her show. I feel like you are my friend. I also have type 2 diabetes. My daughter just died a few months back and I didn't think I could go on. So I would turn on your show and it made me forget, if only for a few minits. You make the world a better place! Please tell the jack asses at food network, that the public wants a lovely and inspiring lady like you on their station, and not some young thing with her boobs hanging out. We want real food and some one we can relate to! I like the 2 older Italian ladies, but Real Food is what we want, and you are the only person who did just that. Keep your chin up and keep on trucking, because if they took back Martha after her felony conviction, you have to be comming back. By the way, I like Martha better since she went through trials. She is more down to earth. You see, you were always down to earth and that is why people love you. I am looking forward to you comming back to TV and bringing joy to us all. Sincerely Katie Alexander Greer

By Katie Alexander Greer on September 17, 2013

54321

Hello Paula. I am an african american women in Chicago and I still love you. Don't let all the negative stuff get you down.Keep your head held high and all of this will pass and you will come back better and stronger than before.We have all said negative things about other groups of people and as long as it stays in the past who are we to judge each other.You have a beautiful supportive family and a lot of fans that still love you.

By Anonymous on September 15, 2013

54321

Paula for a while you were every where, and know your gone I miss seeing your smiling face on tv. I hope you get to come back you are so neat and talented and giving...

By april on July 31, 2013

54321

Just wanted to say I think you are a wonderful Lady & have some awesome recipes. I am sorry for all the drama in your life now & Food Network deserting you, I stand by you tho! Always!

By Cathi on July 12, 2013

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My hubby was stationed at Hunter/Stewart in 1969 for Cobra training before he went to Vietnam. We lived on Savannah Beach and spent hours and hours in Savannah. We fell in love with "the jewel of the South" and have been in love ever since! We have been back many times and would NOT miss a chance to eat at The Lady and Sons! My goal in life (I am 63) is to one day meet you Miss Paula!! You and I are soul mates, I just know it. I love to cook, I adore my family and friends and love to entertain them all in our home. When I found you on TV, I was elated!! Never missed a show and my Grands have grown up watching you too. We love you Paula! Love the furniture! You are such an inspiration to many. God bless ya Miss Paula!

By Connie Hester on July 05, 2013

54321

Paula, I wanted you to know you are great. Your recipes are fantastic. I love your products and use them everyday. I think society has gone too far when people's past is brought to the present day. Radio and TV people get fired for an inappropriate word. Bull, everyone at one time or another cursed and said wrong words. My mother washed our mouths out with soap for cursing or saying the wrong thing. Hang in there. Love, White Meadow

By white meadow on June 28, 2013

54321

Paula, I just love your show, recipes and cooking advice. I have been a fan of yours forever. And as a southern lady myself I truly hate what the media has done to you and your family. People make mistakes all the time and learn valuable lessons from them. But what they are doing to you is just down right shameful and appalling. I have always loved the southern traditions you and your family have shared with all of us over the years. And I hope ya'll continue doing this for a very long time in the future. My grandma always said that God doesn't give you anything you can't handle but sometimes wish he would share the love some place else. You and your family will survive this character attack on you. Personally I think they are all just a little jealous that a southern woman has done so well for herself and her family. So please keep all those wonderful recipes, shows, cooking advise coming. Because we all love you and what you stand for in this world. You just make it all a little better. Smile your beautiful smile and things will get better soon.

By Beth Brown on June 27, 2013

54321

Paula, Please arrange with HGTV to do a tour of your Home and your Guest Houses, Some was shown on your OWN interview, but I would love to see a tour of the whole estate!!!!!

By Sandra Moylan on May 29, 2013

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