Martha Grace Blackburn was born on January 6, 1925 in Tuscumbia,
Alabama. When she was an infant, for some unknown reason
an older sibling gave her the nickname "Mooky,"
which was shortened to "Mook" as she grew up.
After a brief career as a secretary during World War II,
she married her high school sweetheart, Harold Fay Mills,
when he returned from service in the Pacific Theater, U.S.
Navy, 1946. Over the years, Mook raised their five children
while Fay operated first the family hardware business and
later several other successful businesses. They celebrated
their 50th wedding anniversary in 1996. Sadly, Mook passed
away after a brief illness on May 1, 1999.
Mook had such an engaging, vibrant personality and a clear
love for life and those around her that her spirit endures.
Like all traditional Southern wives and mothers, she was
an excellent cook. Over the years, she took a basic cheese
straw recipe and adjusted amounts and types of cheeses,
flours, spices and other ingredients until she achieved
a taste and texture that were beyond comparison. Her cheese
straws were always in great demand for parties and other
occasions in Tuscumbia, although she produced them only
for family and close friends.
Recently, the Mills family began to explore the possibility
of making Mook's cheese straws available commercially. After
two years of research, and the invaluable assistance of
the Shoals Commercial Culinary Center (a commercial kitchen
located in Florence, Alabama), Mook's straws are now available
to the public. In converting the recipe to commercial processes,
we have taken great care to ensure the finished product
has the identical taste and texture as the straws that came
from Mook's own oven on Lafayette Street in Tuscumbia. If
they weren't exactly the same, we wouldn't be offering them.
We use only ingredients Mook mandated - she would have stood
for nothing less. Our standard of quality control has always
been and will remain - "Would Mook have approved of
this?" If she wouldn't, then it's not going on a retailer's
To guarantee freshness, a 90-day expiration date appears
on each bag. An inner zip-loc liner further ensures the
product stays as fresh as possible. Mook's Cheese Straws
can be frozen, but we recommend quick use after thawing
in order to maintain their natural taste. They are available
in 2-oz, 7-oz, 12-oz, and 32-oz bags. We hope you and your
customer's enjoy Mook's Cheese Straws!