Tamara Eckles is a dessert enthusiast who has an affinity for dessert and business — plain and simple. Tamara married her delight of sweet treats which includes 20 years of baking experience and a passion for entrepreneurship to start her media company, Jem of the South, the place where you “Discover Something Sweet.” Jem of the South is the home of Jem Radio, a monthly on-line radio show highlighting small business owners in the dessert industry, Rare Jems TV and Jem of the South Events and Workshops. She is also the author of the e-book “7 Sweet Recipes for Dessert Business Success” as well as two dessert guides. Eckles, who’s working on her first cookbook, has become a go-to resource for discovering sweet dessert businesses and dessert trends.
I used to think I wasn’t very creative. I thought creative people were artists. I’ve always been a great baker and did it as a way to relax. Once I decided to start Jem of the South, I realized that baking was indeed an art and a way for me to create. Baking is also amazing because we all associate dessert or baking with happy occasions and great memories. I bake to encourage people to create happy memories with their family and friends.
If you could only eat one food every day, what would it be?
Ice Cream. I absolutely love ice cream and would eat it every day, if I could.
Favorite Atlanta sweets spot?
CamiCakes is my favorite spot because cupcakes of course and she has ice cream now!
Can you give us a tease of your upcoming cookbook?
My upcoming cookbook is titled, “Let’s Have Brunch!” I have some family favorites in the cookbook as well as some newer recipes that I’ve developed. The cookbook will be ready for purchase during the Thanksgiving holiday season. I am doing all of the recipe development and photography, and self-publishing. It’s been a labor of love so I hope everyone orders it when it comes out.
Who’s your culinary inspiration?
My inspiration for Jem of the South and baking was my maternal grandmother Janie Harrison. She was an amazing baker. Also, my paternal grandmother, Mary Eckles, was a great cook so you’ll see a lot of her influence in my first cookbook. I am also inspired by the many talented food bloggers out there doing awesome work in the food space. AT