On Monday, the Inland Empire community bid farewell to an icon, Dorothy Pryor Rose, owner of Mommie Helen’s Bakery. Rose died last Sunday at the age of 69.
Highly praised and certainly famous for her delicious home-made baked goods, particularly cobblers and sweet potato pies, Rose was widely recognized for her culinary excellence not only by those who loved and patronized her in the community; but, also by a host of celebrities that included among them the rich and famous from Oprah Winfrey to Magic Johnson and a great number in between.
Rose inherited the affectionate designation of Mommie Helen from her mother—Helen Williams. She and her sisters opened the family operated bakery in Colton in 2000 and named it for their mother.
In March 2003, Rose suffered a major heart attack and decided to transition her role from owner operator to that of consultant and handed control of day to day operations to her daughter, Tedra Rose.
Over the years the family business expanded and outgrew two previous locations before eventually settling in San Bernardino in March 2015.
Devoted patrons will testify to Mommie Helen’s amazing baked goods. However, as amazingly delicious as they are, it was the matriarch herself who possessed a spirit that extended far beyond her culinary excellence.
Rose constantly gave back to the community in a myriad of meaningful ways, both known and unknown—she was not the kind of woman who trumpeted her generosity. Whether through scholarships, loans, free baked goods, anonymous acts of benevolence or just lending a sympathetic, caring and compassionate ear, Rose set a high standard for others to follow. As a result, she was a respected and loved force in the Inland Empire community.
She will truly be missed.