A day spent with “America’s Waffle Queen”TM, Glynis Albright, at her beautiful home makes for a magical day. We had her famous (trademarked) chicken & waffles for lunch on her perfectly groomed back deck; and as always, Mrs. Albright was a gracious hostess.
We talked about many worldly and heartwarming topics dear to both of us. Glynis has overcome a challenging childhood, serious illnesses, and raised two accomplished children with her internationally-recognized recording artist husband, saxophonist - Gerald Albright.
By the time Glynis was 10 years old, she was already known for her cooking and baking skills…. and when you taste her food, you will see this woman has God given talents! (My favorite Glynis item is her Sweet Potato Pound Cake).
With her new branding as “Glynis’ Kitchen”, Albright is well on the road of her personal journey “seeking wellness options for all.” Glynis’ health-conscious baked goods with a “healing through baking” philosophy became even more enhanced when she got a certificate in nutritional therapy with an emphasis on enzymology from the “Institute for Alternative Medicine”, and she also studied privately with a well-known practitioner.
Albright gets glowing reviews like this one sent to her everyday about her healthy products “Derrick, my husband, used your poultry coating mix to fry green tomatoes, and they were so crispy & light, we loved every bite…. Really yummy!!”
Not only are Glynis and Gerald talented, their daughter, Selina Albright is a singer-songwriter whose stage presence has undeniably commanded the attention of many fans. Selina Albright has graced the stage the world over with many artists such as George Duke, Brian Culbertson, Keiko Matsui, and David Benoit; Jonathan Butler, Dave Koz, David Sanborn, Kirk Whalum, Boney James, Jeff Kashiwa, Richard Elliot, Gianni Vancini, Eric Darius, trumpeters Hugh Masakela, Rick Braun and Patches Stewart; vocalists Chaka Khan, Will Downing, Eric Roberson, Regina Belle, Algebra Blessett, Tony Momrelle, and The Temptations to name a few…. And – their highly athletic son, Brandon Albright, has made a name for himself as a semi-pro golfer; and he is currently a Video Producer at 360 Media and Owner/Videographer/Filmmaker/Editor at Snow Desert Productions.
Mrs. Albright is a woman for all ages, and gratefully says: “There is more to come! In addition to my other products, look for Glynis’ Caramel Spice Syrup, Glynis' Beignet Mix, Glynis’ Seafood Coating Mix, Glynis’ Sour Cream Biscuits Mix…. And it might just keep on going!” Glynis Albright thrives on being the best she can be…. And we hope she never stops making her heavenly products.
When did you start making your world famous waffles? I would use our kitchen when I was growing up to prepare and bake all sorts of desserts and create new recipes. During college I started making waffles, pancakes, and crépes for my friends. Although I used a boxed mix then, I would always jazz it up my own way.
You and Gerald were sweethearts since junior high school. When did you get married? We were married after we attended college. As a young married couple, and due to a tight budget, we ate waffles with chicken, fish and shrimp as our dinner meal - as well as for breakfast. It was then that I started sharing this with friends who visited us.
What was it like growing up in California? We had just relocated from New Orleans where I was so used to speaking to everyone who I’d pass on the street. The folks in my California neighborhood would say: “That little girl sure is friendly!” In addition to the sunny weather, there were earthquakes and the Santa Ana winds…. It didn’t take long for me to drop my southern accept and adopt that “Valley Girl” jargon. Life was good. At 13 years old, I worked after school tutoring in math, and my pay was $2.00 an hour. I thought I was very cool!
When were you diagnosed with your blood disease?
In 1993, I went in for surgery and blood tests revealed that my body was fighting a disease. I was diagnosed with a rare blood disease; and for the next few years, I underwent various therapies and surgeries.
Tell us more about M.A.N.E, (Making Advancements toward Nutritional Empowerment) the nonprofit organization you founded? I started M.A.N.E. (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to educate those affected by health challenges of the importance of nutrition in attaining and maintaining good health. We financially assist women and men in rebuilding their self-esteem and physical appearance following hair (mane) loss due to serious illness, the aftermath of various medications, and/or chemotherapy. Through my own experience as a leukemia survivor, I was forced to realize that hair, skin, teeth, nails, and weight were the five characteristics affected and uncontrolled due to the disease. Unfortunately, these elements are most judged by society. I made it my goal to assist others suffering from any health challenge by supplying free services in these areas.
What are some of the celebrities and leaders who have stopped by your home for chicken & waffles? John Legend, DL Hughley, Denver Mayor Michael & Mary Louise (Lee) Hancock, Jonathan Butler - guitarist, Sheila E. - Prince’s percussionist, Dave Koz, - jazz saxophonist, David Benoit - pianist, Jeffrey Osborne - R&B singer, Earvin “Magic” Johnson – Lakers basketball player, Eric LaSalle - actor/director from television shows E.R. & Chicago P.D. And so many more…. But they came from all over!
What was the next step so you could produce your products in larger volumes? By 2017, my mixes became a popular request. I decided it was time to share my creations with everyone. I worked carefully with a chemist to turn my recipes into formulas so that my waffle mix, coating mix, and syrup can be manufactured in larger volumes to ship all over the country.
So that’s how you became "America’s Waffle Queen"? Yes. I have been nicknamed "the Waffle Queen" for over 25 years by my friends. Unlike "Aunt Jemima" or "Mrs. Butterworth" who are fictional characters, I am a “real person” with my likeness stamped on every Glynis product, and the products are distributed by a company that I own. These characteristics set me apart from the other brands. In June 2018, I became "America's Waffle Queen."
What happened prior to becoming "America's Waffle Queen"? By the end of 2016, I had already created a logo, patented products, and sealed a manufacturing deal for the waffle and poultry coating mixes. The Caramel Spice Syrup is coming soon. I expanded my name and went even further with special and unique healthy formulas. I created “Just Sweet Enough” back in 1994, when I was going through my bout with leukemia. I quickly became known as one of the country's gurus for creating reduced sugar, low fat, and low sodium (but still delicious) desserts. I appeared on covers of several healthy magazines and spoke publicly about the importance of nutrition as it relates to healing. The Food Network heard about my products, and I appeared on a segment of “Road Tasted with The Neely’s” which ran for 4 years. That segment was dedicated to sharing my life and journey to wellness.
I was also asked to prepare all of the gift items for principle music artists during the Democratic National Convention. I was asked to prepare my famous Chicken and Waffles for then presidential candidate, Mr. Barack Obama and his family.
Wasn’t “Just Sweet Enough” the name of a gourmet shop you owned in California? Yes. My first “Just Sweet Enough” was more of a warehouse and shipping facility, and the second “Just Sweet Enough” became a place that welcomed the public to visit for tasting, healing, and empowerment. My products became known all over the country; the word was spreading. As time went on, “Just Sweet Enough” became a place that offered a healing service to anyone who walked in…. not just those with various cancers.
How were your delicious “Cookie Dots” born? They were born in 2003 through the need of a surgeon wanting treats for his patients who had just undergone a gastric bypass procedure. I also worked with Dr. MAL Fobi (creator of the Fobi Pouch) to find out the needs of his patients who were all morbidly obese. I was able to create a line of treats for his patients. These treats were also helpful for people enduring other health challenges as well. There are 6 flavors; the lemon and French vanilla are quite popular.
How did you, Gerald and your family find your way to Castle Pines Village? In 2005, we fell in love with the fresh air and mountain charm here in Castle Rock, CO which is so close to the “Mile High City.” A dear realtor friend showed us our house here, and we immediately knew it was the perfect home. We just loved the neighborhood and the layout of the house was a perfect fit for our needs. And how can you beat all the beautiful wild life we see right here on our property!
I understand you debuted your waffle and poultry mixes on a jazz cruise I’ve always wanted to take - the “Dave Koz Mediterranean Cruise” in 2017. It was wonderful! Every morning, the Queen's Lounge on the ship was packed with cruisers waiting for a taste of my creations! The reception after the cruise was held at Spaghettini's in Seal Beach, CA and is one of the most popular restaurants in Southern California that features most of the top artists on both the jazz ad R&B charts....Dave Koz is one of the partners. The reception was star-studded and completely over the top. Almost all of our friends and celebrity family members who had visited our home and/or ordered products were present. To add icing on the cake, they also performed to celebrate the release of the waffle and poultry coating mixes.
You have created a new marketing image for 2019? "Glynis’ Kitchen" – and me - will be popping up/visiting all major cities in the US letting everyone know that I am “America’s Waffle Queen” sharing my delicious Chicken and Waffles and my other products with everyone. I recently signed on with LGlobal (a marketing/growth strategist firm) and have been RE-branded as Glynis’ Kitchen. The firm is in the process of creating all tools needed to take "Glynis’ Kitchen" to the next level with a new website, new branding, and appearances on various cruise lines, restaurants, and hotels sharing my famous comfort foods. LGlobal's CEO, LaVerne Daley, even came up with the perfect slogan for "Glynis' Kitchen" which I think describes what you and everyone else experienced when they visited our home. "Star treatment with a downhome feel." That certainly describes the ambiance of "Glynis' Kitchen" wherever it pops up.
Glynis, where do you see yourself 10 years from now? I see myself known all over the world as “America’s Waffle Queen” with the entire "Glynis’ Kitchen" line of products available to everyone! I am hopeful to have my own television show “Inside Glynis’ Kitchen” by then with the release of my autobiography/cookbook which will be on the best seller list. I see myself continuing to do the things I usually do, but on a larger scale. Helping others through my nonprofit, M.A.N.E.