Little Known Facts About Paula Deen’s Food Empire

When it comes to the world of food and television, Paula Deen is a Queen. Ms. Deen overcame divorce, crippling anxiety, and a series of unfortunate odds to amass a food and recipe empire that rivals nothing else when it comes to southern cuisine. She started with simple hobbies in her Georgia kitchen and managed to transform a passion into an empire.

Paula Deen has written books and magazines revolving around her famous fat-laden dishes appeared as the star of her own television show on The Food Network and opened several restaurants across the south. Not everything in her foodie career has been roses and sunshine; however, She has also known loss and controversy in her days. People either love her or hate her, but no matter how you feel about Paula Deen, you can not deny that the woman has a penchant for yummy treats and a business-savvy eye.

Here are little known twelve facts about Paula Deen’s empire.

12 Her Empire Once Ran Out Of Her Home


These days, Paula Deen is as big a name in the food game as Rachel Ray and Ina Garten. She is the reigning Queen of Southern cooking, but this grand title came about in a very low-key and organic manner. Deen learned her genuine love for cooking from her grandmother. That love eventually led to a mega-career in food.

11th Deen’s Big Break Came From An Idea Called Lunch-And-Love-In-A-Bag

Paula Dean The Bag Lady

Unlike many other high-profile chefs in the business, Deen is very much self-made. She learned her trade in her home, from her older family members and turned that into a small start-up we called The Bag Lady. Paula would whip up meals, and her sons would deliver them.

10 Paula Deen’s Meals Were Housed In A Best Western Before Her First Eatery

Best Western Hotel and Lady and Sons Restaurant

As Paula emerged from running a lunch delivery system out of her home, she moved her project into a local Best Western in Savannah, Georgia. Every restaurant there was called The Lady. Her sons continued to help her run her operation, and her reputation for delish dishes continued to grow.

9 Deen Has Done Cookbooks And Magazines

Paula Deen magazine and book signing

Paula Deen has a whopping large fortune, and much of that moolah comes from what she has put into print. Deen has written an incredible fifteen cookbooks to date. That is a whole lot of recipes! She also has a magazine called Cooking With Paula. She is quite an accomplished author.

8 Every Empire Stretched Into QVC

Paula Deen on qvc

One way that Deen got her products out into the hands of her devoted fans was to pop into QVC and peddle her wares. While this proved extremely lucrative for “The Lady,” QVC eventually dropped her because of some of the controversial woes that befell Dean in recent years.

7 She Has Won The Coveted “International Meal of the Year”


Paula Deen really started to blossom in the late nineties. In 1996, Deen, along with her two sons, opened up The Lady and Sons eatery in Savannah, Georgia. Three years later, USA Today awarded the restaurant the coveted International Meal of the Year title.

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6 Her Empire Is A Family Oriented One

Paula Deen and her sons

For Deen, family is everything. Paula has included her sons Jaime and Bobby in just about every venture that she has embarked on. Both sons have branched out into culinary and television projects on their own, as well. Paula’s brother also got into the restaurant game, thanks to his sis, but that venture went really, really south.

5 Her Diabetes Diagnosis Led Her Cooking Empire In A New Direction

Paula Deen with healthy cook book and air fryer

While Paula was always known for whipping up mouth-watering meals, she wasn’t recognized for her attention to health-conscious recipes. All of that butter and salt caught up with Deen, and she was diagnosed with diabetes. Following each diagnosis, Deen took her empire in a cleaner-living direction.

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4 Dean Has Several Endorsement Deals, And Some Have Nothing To Do With Food

Paula Deen smithfield raw and Paula sitting on a bed

For a spell, everyone wanted to attach their company to Paula Deen’s face and name. Before her 2013 scandal, Deen had endorsements with numerous companies, all ranging in food and cooking products, to major stores like Target and Walmart to mattress and furniture.

3 Her Reign In The Foodie Realm Has Been Laced With Controversy

Paula Deen and Bubbas restaurant

Paula has faced controversy throughout her public life. Her second marriage has come under fire as she has her artery-clogging recipes. Nothing was as rocking to her empire as the 2013 scandal. This scandal painted Deen as a person who doesn’t respect fundamental human rights.

Related: 16 Foods That Even Anthony Bourdain Wouldn’t Put In His Mouth

2nd Deen’s Poor Choice In Words Ended Her TV Career

Paula Deen in a directors chair

A former employee of Deen’s, Lisa T. Jackson, filed a lawsuit against the mogul in 2012. Paula Deen’s deposition was leaked all over the internet, and the words she admitted to using on occasion shocked fans and cost her a television show, numerous endorsement deals, and much of her fame.

one The Queen Of Southern Cuisine Makes Three Quarters Of A Million Dollars A Year

Paula Deen with confetti

Despite Paula Deen’s trials and tribulations, she is still a very wealthy woman thanks to all of her irons in the fire. Even today, several years after her very public fall from grace, Deen has an estimated net worth of around sixteen million dollars. That is most certainly not chump change.

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