Keeping a Legacy Alive
Growing up, Carol Carey’s mom, Betty, was known for her baked goods. As a homemaker, Betty was an incredible cook, and as a Southern woman, everything was made from scratch. However, baking was her specialty. “My mom made yeast rolls, pies, cinnamon rolls, you name it,” said Carol. “Everyone loved her cinnamon rolls. She was always making them for family and friends when they were sick, had a baby, any occasion. People would even ask her, ‘Miss Betty, can you make us your cinnamon rolls?’” As a serial entrepreneur, after Carol sold her business, she was looking for the next project. “I always loved my mom’s cinnamon rolls and that’s really what I remember her for, so I thought, I’ll give it a try.” Carol opened Betty’s Buns in 2019, originally operating solely from her home and then moving onto a food truck in 2022. Over the last few years, Carol has tweaked the frosting recipe and the method of baking, but Betty’s bread recipe is the same as it’s always been.
Betty was able to watch her daughter launch her namesake business, always calling Carol after the farmers market to see how the morning went. “She called me every Saturday,” said Carol. “I still have those sweet voicemails.” Betty passed away in 2021, but her legacy lives on through her family and her heartfelt cooking. Betty’s Buns can be found every Saturday at the Brentwood farmers market, as well as other local food truck events. They are also available for private catering. Betty’s Buns offers individual cinnamon rolls from the food truck and half dozen, dozen, or any quantity order online. They also recently started offering a variety of toppings, including handmade jam from fresh Brentwood produce. “I’ve made blackberry, cherry, apricot and strawberry,” said Carol. “I try to do seasonal jams on top to support local farmers and keep it all local. I enjoy doing that.” One of the newest offerings from Betty’s Buns is cinnamon roll bread pudding. “Sometimes we would have leftovers and would donate them to the police department, neighbors or the Shephard’s Gate, and I was trying to find another way to reduce waste. That’s when we started the bread pudding.”
Betty’s Buns has always been a true family affair, created in honor of Carol’s mom and keeping her memory alive. Now Carol’s son Chase helps with the baking process and working in the food truck. “My son graduated from college and came back home, so he jumped on board,” said Carol. “He’s the one who takes the food truck out to all of the events; everybody looks for and recognizes Chase.” The mother-son duo also bakes together, beginning the dough process at 11:00 p.m. the night before and waking at 3:00 a.m. the next morning to start baking. “We do that three to four days a week. It’s very laborious.” Carol’s daughter Jamie also helps, occasionally filling in when someone is on vacation. As for the future of Betty’s Buns, you can count on seeing them with their bright pink neon sign at the Brentwood farmers market from 7:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Carol would also love to see Chase take the idea and run with it. “Maybe he could franchise food trucks,” said Carol. “I don’t know about a brick and mortar necessarily, but we both like the food truck industry. Then he could eventually take over and continue on the family business.”
Contact: (925) 766 0562
Photos by: Ron Essex Photography