HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Chances are pie is on the menu for your Thanksgiving dinner, and it may even be a family recipe handed down through the years.
Joye “Joyebells” Moore has turned her family tradition into a baking business called, ‘Joyebells Sweet Potato Pies.’
“Joyebell sweet potato pies are made with love and legacy,” said Moore.
The pie recipe has been passed down from six generations of bakers in her family.
“My grandma Sarah from the 1800s originated this recipe, and it’s North Carolina style deserts that is bursting with flavor,” said Moore.
Until this point, Joye admits her journey to this point hasn’t been easy.
“I lived in abandoned houses, I ate out of dumpsters,” said Moore.
At the age of 14, Joye was homeless and was forced to figure things out on her own due to her mother having untreated mental issues.
“There was a lot of violence and abuse and things that went on with her being untreated," said Moore.
Through it all, Joye remained positive, graduated from high school and years later moved to Richmond where she thought she landed the perfect non-profit job, helping children learn life skills.
“In May, that organization restructured and my position was eliminated,” said Moore.
Joye then had a decision to make and decided this was her chance to take a leap of faith.
“I had to take a step back and evaluate and say, 'Joye at your age - what are you going to do?” said Moore. “One lady was like ‘girl, this pie is so good I would buy this pie’ and I was like ‘hmm.’”
For more than 20 years, Joye has baked sweet potato pies as holiday gifts, for family and friends.
“It’s a great legacy recipe so I was like, okay let’s go for it," said Moore.
Now through every pie made, Joye is living her dream as the first generation to turn a six-generation family recipe into a business.
“Out all of that, I feel like I learned that no matter what things look like or how they feel, you keep moving you keep striving for the things that you want and it’s never too late for a dream or a hope,” said Moore.
Pies are available to purchase online or at The Market at 25th at 330 N 25th St. Richmond, Va.
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