Millie’s story begins in her Birmingham, Alabama kitchen in 1979. Millie, a homemaker, mother of two boys, and wife to her loving husband Ben Ray. Like many Southerners of her generation, she was raised in a time when everything was homemade from scratch. This is when she developed a deep love and passion for baking.
Millie Ray made her famous orange rolls for the first time in 1979, when she learned that her garden club was gathering for an upcoming potluck. She developed her own recipe for orange rolls with the idea of creating bite-sized rolls. Bucking the tradition of baking the dough in one pan, she rolled out the dough and cut each one to be placed in a muffin tin. She then added a zest of fresh orange. From this point forward, the story tells itself as demand from the garden club grew into larger circles.
These orders grew into a full-time catering business. When the holidays came her husband and two sons would pitch in to ensure that the rolls never lost their hand rolled, made from scratch quality.
Millie’s two sons Ben and Ryan always believed that she could sell them on a larger scale and wanted to expand what their mother had created. In 2012, Ben and Ryan got involved in the family business. With a focus on small independent stores, butcher markets, farmer markets, and specialty stores, they took sample cases of rolls to ten stores in the Atlanta area to meet with owners and gain feedback. Within two weeks, all 10 stores called back to request carrying the product in their store.
Demand from larger distributors and regional grocery stores for increased bulk and retail distribution continued to grow and the operation grew out of their 550 square foot commercial kitchen. Millie Ray’s Rolls is still a family owned and operated business to this day. Millie Ray’s Rolls is committed to providing a variety of freshly baked rolls using fresh ingredients of uncompromised quality that can stay frozen until ready to eat. That’s why Millie Ray’s Rolls are still a favorite of those who grew up eating them straight from Millie’s home. Today, you will still find Millie and the Ray family in the bakery in Birmingham, Alabama.