Born and raised in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Gina Gamble Hollingsworth left home when she was 18 for the city of her dreams, Nashville, Tennessee.
She attended Belmont University, where she pursued her education at their internationally acclaimed Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business. Gina landed a job on prestigious Music Row, and eventually became Executive Assistant to the President and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Troy Tomlinson.
Her responsibilities at Sony included coordinating hospitality for all guests, many of whom were well-known songwriters, top entertainers and members of the media.
Her boss made sure that fresh fruit was available at the offices, along with other snacks for Sony clients and visitors. At week’s end, Gina would remove any leftover fruit and took it home where she used it to create pies, muffins and other desserts. Come Monday, she would bring the sweet treats to the office.
After a while, people complained that she was such a good cook their clothes were getting tight. Gina started thinking - What in the world can I do with all these apples? That was the beginning of her gourmet food business.
About that time Gina’s husband, Mark, accepted a job in Oklahoma City, so off they went along with their chocolate lab, Amelia Rose. Oklahoma was a new frontier and one she knew nothing about. Her faith that God had something great in store for her was all Gina needed to hit the ground running.
On a whim, Gina enrolled as a vendor at a local holiday market and her gourmet apple spread proved to be very popular. Hoping to sell 20 jars, she was ecstatic when over 500 were sold! All the proceeds were donated to local charities in her community.
A year later, she founded Southern Okie, where she serves as president and oversees all the marketing aspects of her gourmet spread business. By partnering with a local manufacturing company, Gina’s been able to expand her product line to include four delectable flavors – Southern Okie Pumpkin, Peach and Pear, in additional to the original Apple.
Stop by the store page and order a jar...let us know what you think, create a dish with one of the spreads and send us your recipe to share on our website.