Once Christina Cox graduated from high school, there was no stopping her culinary career.
“She came home one day and said, ‘I’ve decided to go to culinary school,’ and that was that,” her mom, Gina, said.
“I wasn’t interested in anything else,” Christina said. “I knew I wanted to work in a restaurant since I was 12 years old.”
When Christina was a teen, her mom and dad, Cordell, opened a catering business called Perfect Choice Catering.
As that business will celebrate its 10th anniversary later this month, Christina has settled in to her new location of The Blue Rose Café & Bakery at 11950 Cloverland Avenue.
“We opened officially on Jan. 27,” Christina, 22, said. “We’ve done a few e-blasts on Facebook, but we are really just relying on word of mouth. So far, it’s been going well.”
The Blue Rose was formerly in a small space at Courtyard Gifts and Interiors on Arnold Lane. When Courtyard Gifts closed in spring 2015, the Blue Rose had to find a new space.
After eight months of Gina’s searching the Internet daily for property, the family found the old Willie’s Restaurant on Cloverland Avenue.
The new Blue Rose has room for about 70 patrons and kitchen space for Perfect Choice, which was formerly off Drusilla Lane. Christina is also serving daily breakfast and lunch plates. Business hours are 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The restaurant also has another pastry chef, Amanda Jacobs, who works with Christina on cakes and daily orders.
“We do a little bit of everything,” Christina said of the menu.
For breakfast, Christina shows off her pastry skills, creating orange and cinnamon rolls. At lunch, the restaurant offers sandwiches, salads and daily specials.
During Lent, Christina has been serving a shrimp-and-grits special. Rather than creamy grits, Christina and Gina take a fried grit cake and top that with a creamy cheddar cheese sauce and plump shrimp.
Christina’s desserts are also a specialty. Already, she has had repeat customers call on Fridays, asking her to reserve a few slices of her chocolate pie.
What you order is what Christina and her family love to eat and cook. Those recipes and her family are the reasons Christina has stayed true to her goal of opening The Blue Rose.
“All these recipes came from playing around in the kitchen with my mom and dad — it was always just fun times,” Cox said.
When the time came to open the restaurant, the entire family got to work, and it’s not something that’s lost on Christina.
“I got into cooking because of them,” Christina said. “I know I have been given tons. It’s been friends and family and customers giving us love. It’s been fabulous.”
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