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Behind The Scenes At Sweet Potato Sensations

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This story started out as a twist on Mothers Day, with working mom Cassandra Thomas baking pies, cakes and cookies for other moms: no holiday break for her.

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Cassandra Thomas baking a cake

Cassandra Thomas & photographer Paul Pytlowany

Yet, as I talked with Cassandra and husband Jeff, the story changed direction: their company Sweet Potato Sensations is more of a tribute to their determination to leave a legacy for their family and the city they love.

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Sweet Potato Sensations

Sweet Potato Sensations

Here’s how it started: early in their marriage, in the 70’s, Jeff and Cassandra sat down to Thanksgiving dinner.  Jeff liked sweet potatoes, Cassandra did not.

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Jeff Thomas tells the story

Jeff Thomas tells the story

Jeff pointed out his mom (yes, he did go there!) always had candied sweet potatoes for the holiday dinner. Cassandra vowed to make Jeff something different so she wouldn’t have to add the dish to their Thanksgiving feast.

What she came up with eventually changed their lives. During the time of Mrs. Field’s cookie success, Cassandra created Mrs. T’s sweet potato cookies.  They became a hit with family and friends. At that point, Jeff knew they were on to something.

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Sweet potato cookies & mini pies

Sweet potato cookies & mini pies

Changing the company name to Sweet Potato Sensations, the Thomas’ decided to follow in the steps of George Washington Carver and create many different dishes using the sweet potato.  Cassandra developed her grandmother’s sweet potato pie recipe. Daughter Jennifer was groomed to be the company baker and is the only person privy to the secret ingredients.

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Jennifer and the secret recipe

Jennifer Thomas & the secret recipe

Despite offers to move the company to the suburbs, the family decided to stay in Detroit; daughter Charise leads a revitalization company supporting local businesses.

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Charice Thomas

Charise Thomas checking the product

With expansion in mind, the Thomas family continues to capitalize on the sweet potato.  You can taste their efforts in the form of cheesecake, ice cream and of course their signature cookies, pies and cakes.

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Cassandra's sweet potato cake

Cassandra's sweet potato cake

Oh and Cassandra has learned to like sweet potatoes, just not for dinner!

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With the Thomas family

Thank you Thomas family!

Get more >> Weather or Not with Lori Pinson

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