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SEARCY, Ark. – Have a sweet tooth?
Well, look no further than Searcy.
Suzanne Raiford, owner of Daisy’s Lunchbox in Searcy is one of ten winners of the 2019 Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest hosted by General Mills Foodservice.
It’s a nationwide contest that has just put Arkansas on the map for delicious treats.
“I was told this is the first time someone from Arkansas has ever won,” says Raiford.
Raiford’s Strawberry Almond Shortcake Roll is what put her the running for the grand prize that will be announced in late August.
“I wasn’t going to submit the recipe at first but was told to,” she explains.
Raiford has been baking since as early as she can remember. She recounts cooking with her grandmother.
“I just love this,” she says. “I love making people happy through my food.”
However, the question Suzanne gets most is, “Who’s Daisy”?
After all, it’s the name of her restaurant. Everywhere you turn bright yellow daises can be found painted on the walls, the tables, and yes even as high as the ceiling.
“Twenty-two years ago our oldest son was diagnosed with cancer,” Raiford says.
She says no one ever expected anything was wrong – except for one loyal member of the family, Daisy.
“She knew from the time he was born that something was wrong with him she sensed it,” explains Raiford.
Raiford says Daisy was very protective over Alex.
For the next five years, Daisy looked over Alex by following him around until the day she died.
“When he was young she would pick him up by his pamper when he would fall outside,” she laughs.
Alex is now 27 and cancer-free, however, oddly enough Daisy became ill and died from what was later discovered to be cancer.
“The day she died I said my resturant’s going to be named Daisy’s Lunchbox,” Raiford says.
Raiford says she enjoys the community of Searcy and the support she receives. She says her staff, family, and husband have all been supportive.
She chose the Imagine and Believe Foundation, which supports foster children and families to donate a portion of her winnings from the contest because she belives looking out for young children is important.
Something Daisy the dog did so well.
On Aug. 19 representatives from General Mills will visit the restaurant to showcase Daisy’s Lunchbox and celebrate Raiford’s award-winning recipe. Everyone is invited to sample the treat.
“How sweet is life,” says Raiford.
For more information on the event, click here.
Suzanne Raiford’s Recipe: Strawberry Almond Shortcake Roll
– Combines a jelly roll and strawberry shortcake, made with Gold
MedalTM SuperMoistTM White Cake Mix, sweet and creamy filling and