Meet the batch maker.
I am Deana Tanner Bibb, the chief batch maker for Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese. I wish I could tell you a sweet story about how my special recipe came from my great grandmother, but my story is different.
It came from a stranger, offering a proper welcome into her town and neighborhood. I grew up on a farm in Wrightsville, GA with an idyllic childhood from parents who fostered independence and a can-do spirit. My parents taught me a warm, gracious and simple, southern way of life. We had home cooked vegetables right out of the garden and fried fish from the front yard pond. Mama was known county-wide for her cinnamon rolls, vegetable soup and biscuits. But there was one thing that was never made in Mama’s kitchen - pimento cheese. I ate my share at church homecomings and family reunions, but it was the liking of orange congealed glue and never made
That stranger’s gift in 1995 and her southern hospitality impressed me greatly. She became a dear friend and confidant. She showered me with love and inspiration…and she very kindly shared her recipe. I doctored it up a bit to call it my own and I quickly became known as the queen of pimento cheese. I prefer to call myself a daughter of the King, but either will do! For 21 years, I have been a small-batch maker of pimento cheese. I have donated gallons to fundraisers and have taken it to new brides and bereaved adults. My 6-year old twin girls eat it on breakfast toast, sandwiches at lunch and on their burgers in the evenings. My family enjoys the thrill of the hunt for pimento cheese almost as much as the perfect antique for our home or the undiscovered hand-crafted sercy.
In December, 2013, a happenstance conversation inspired me to market my pimento cheese. Within 15 months, I had a name, a beautiful vintage-inspired label and a 2015 Flavor of Georgia award winner. So here I am, a former stay-at-home mom turned professional batch maker. My romance with southern culture and specialty food is now my job! I invite you to join us - the Ken Bibb family - as purveyors of fine pimento cheese and follow the birth of Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese. Proper Pepper is well bred with a pedigree of ingredients that have been carefully curated and are as impressive as its taste, including naturally aged white sharp Cabot cheddar cheese, Duke’s mayonnaise, and a unique
micro-manufacturing blend of roasted red peppers with flavor permeating each bite.
So, this is my story. These are my Georgia roots, but that’s not all. Pimentos have Georgia roots too. Georgia was the pimento capital of the world in the 1930s. It started near Griffin at Experiment Station. Pimentos were plentiful and profitable, launching pimento cheese as the go-to working class lunch and a proper society snacking staple. So isn’t it only proper that Georgia, this beautiful state filled with peaches, pecans, pearls and peanuts, and the heart of the southern culinary universe, reclaim its rightful place in the launch of pimento cheese with a pimento cheese brand she can call her own? Food trends come and go. Pimento cheese never goes out of style, especially one that’s properly crafted with dignified flavor.
I hope you enjoy your Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese as a convenient meal on a paper plate or served on a silver platter at your next cocktail party. Proper Pepper’s brand represents and celebrates all of the fine things our family appreciates like seersucker suits, Coca-cola, bowties, peach cobbler, a hand-written thank you note, little girl bishop dresses, old houses, peonies, and suppers on the side porch. So wherever you are with your Proper Pepper, don't forget to raise your glass and toast to the finer things in life, like great Georgia style, history and taste!