In 2014, Deanna Bibb, founder and owner of Proper Pepper, researched how she could turn an impassioned hobby into a business. She made pimento cheese for 15 years using a recipe shared by a friend, and knew it was special because of the numerous rave reviews by her family and friends. Bibb wanted to test the market objectively, so she entered two of her flavors into the ‘Flavor of Georgia’ contest, winning the dairy category with the Get Back Jack flavor and quickly adding “batch maker” to her list of titles back home.
Initially, the idea was to have Proper Pepper specifically sell at the local farmer’s market, but Bibb quickly realized how in-demand the products were by the many retailers who began requesting the product. Thanks to friends, family, fans, social media audience and many demoing events, Proper Pepper grew quickly into 150+ stores in Georgia, Florida, Texas and North Carolina. This summer, Proper Pepper won a national award, placing third place in the ‘American Cheese Society’ annual cheese competition. The competition was judged against 257 companies and 1,742 different products. The company is currently working on making Proper Pepper accessible online and have a goal of making products available to all Georgians by offering the products in all of Georgia’s 159 counties. They believe all 10.5 million Georgians should have access to Georgia’s award-winning pimento cheese!
Bibb said, “My Georgia roots are deep. Pimentos have Georgia roots too. So, isn’t it only proper that Georgia, the heart of the southern culinary universe, have an award-winning pimento cheese she can call her own?”
While Proper Pepper is based in Sandersville, it is located in grocery stores and small food markets throughout Georgia, as well as in 80 ABC Fine Wine & Spirit stores in Florida and a few Central Market stores in Texas. Visit their website at www.properpepper.com to read more about their story and learn how to serve this crafted specialty in a variety of ways!
If you are interested in learning more about Authentic Georgia or how to become a member, contact Molly Giddens at email@example.com.