Minnie Todd

From Bhamwiki
Revision as of 08:32, 6 September 2017 by Dystopos (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

Minnie Turrentine Todd (died 1968) was the founder of Mrs Todd's Delicious Foods, which operated several restaurants in Birmingham.

Todd, a descendant of Gadsden's co-founder Daniel Turrentine, moved with her sister Mattie Jo to Birmingham when they were both widowed in the 1910s. Todd took a job working as a waitress in the tea room at Drennen's department store. From there she moved to the Norton Drug Store, and then to the Andrews Tea Room in the penthouse of the Comer Building. After that she managed the Federal Bakery and the Blue Bird Cafe next door.

In 1923, encouraged by insurance executive J. Henry McCary, Todd invested her savings in a new 20-seat restaurant at 215 21st Street South. She insisted on preparing her family recipes as they would be cooked at home rather than adapting them for restaurant business. She built up her customer base by personally inviting businessmen to try her food "just once". During the Great Depression she offered free meals to the hungry, many of whom became devoted customers when they were able to return to the work force.

Todd opened a cafeteria in the Town House apartments at 2010 8th Avenue South. She also opened Mammy's Pancake & Beef House restaurants in the Gulf Building at 2151 Highland Avenue and adjacent to the St Francis Motel at 1925 29th Avenue South in Homewood. A third location opened in the Cahaba Heights Plaza Shopping Center in Cahaba Heights and a fourth opened in the 1960s in Todd's Vestavia Mall behind the Vestavia Hills Post Office.

As her business grew, Todd turned over management of the holding company to her older son, Jesse.