Coming from a close-knit household that shared a love for food and family, it was not unusual for 50 relatives to drop by for dinner after church. From this experience, Mrs. Hamby quickly learned to cook for a crowd. Recipes were handed down orally by her mother and sisters as they spent their afternoons cooking in their large kitchen that overlooked the family’s orchard and vegetable garden. Little did Mrs. Hamby know, but this rich, rural background was the perfect preparation for a profession in Charleston, a city that shares her values of treasured culinary classics and southern hospitality.
Mrs. Hamby’s catering epiphany happened in 1979 when she volunteered to cater her friend’s daughter’s wedding reception for 400 people. The event was a huge success and soon the name “Hamby” became synonymous with catered events, manifesting into the Hamby Catering that is known and loved today throughout the Lowcountry and Southeast.
Today, she supports the business on an advisory level and many of her original recipes are still some of Hamby’s cherished and most popular menu items. In 2017, Mrs. Hamby will turn 90 years old.