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Part two: Mother-daughter duo brings back Tastey Creations catering

By Liz Moomey
liz.moomey@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — In 2007, Betty Kelly started a catering business called Tastey Creations.

Kelly’s daughter, Jackie Kelly, helped make desserts for the business. After a year and a half, Tastey Creations came to a halt when Betty got sick.

Several years later, as Jackie continued making cakes, she was approached one day by Vergel Lattimore, president of Hood Theological Seminary. He asked if she would be interested in serving lunch for seminary students.

“I ran into Dr. Lattimore on one of those occasions and he asked me if I do full-blown cooking and catering. And I thought I was lying to him at the time, and I said yes,” Jackie said.

Thinking back, Jackie said, she had the experience as the head cook and lead supervisor for the canteen service at the Salisbury VA Medical Center and with her mother’s catering service.

Soon she would be back in action, cooking and serving lunch at Hood Theological Seminary.

She named her business after her mother’s original catering business: Tastey Creations II.

“It’s pretty great that she’s continuing on where I had to stop off at. But I’m here helping her out whenever I can,” Betty said. “I’m really proud of her for her successes.”

Jackie enjoys the atmosphere of Aymer Center. When she calls for her “Ma,” students join her.

“We want to share the love that we share back there out here with them, just making a warm, inviting place to come into,” she said.

“Anything you start at home, you must love,” said Linda “Queen” Knight, who works in partnership with Tastey Creations II.

Catering to the students has allowed her to challenge herself by thinking of creative vegetarian recipes or catering to students who has food allergies while also providing them comfort and different flavors.

“I try to stick to the roots and give them what they’re used to, but I also try to step outside the box and give them something that’s random that they’ve never had,” Jackie said.

Along with feeding the seminary students, Tastey Creations II caters special events, from Hood’s donor dinners to birthday parties. Sometimes, it means feeding as many as 250 people.

“We’re creating an inviting atmosphere that we’ll be able to host and take care of people,” Knight said.

Next Saturday, Tastey Creations II and Queen Knight will host a Red-It-Out Night to bring together the community over a meal.

“We’re trying to do something that has not been offered here,” Knight said. “This is the right place. This is the right facility. We have the right people in place. Tastey Creations is doing a fantastic job.”

The program will be the first of many at Hood Theological Seminary’s Aymer Center focused on creating a space for people to gather.

“We have a lot of problems in Salisbury with people having a place to go for entertainment and good food,” Knight said. “We have good taste. We will have events. We will have dance music. It’s not structured for a religion or particular church. It’s just centered around having a great time — nice clean fun. Anybody can come in.”

Starting March 3, Tastey Creations II and Queen Knight will partner to host a night of entertainment and food to give a place for people to meet each other and mingle.

For reservations to Red-It-Out Night, call 704-516-6942 by Monday. The event will be at 6 p.m. Friday at Aymer Center, 1810 Lutheran Synod Drive. Tickets are $18 per person or $30 per couple.

Contact reporter Liz Moomey at 704-797-4222.

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