Oscar J. Wilcox comes from a family of cooks. He grew up in Seattle, Washington, where, he said, family holidays and reunions always involved a lot of good food. “Cooking is real big in my family; everyone has a specialty dish,” he said. Among Wilcox’s favorite holiday dishes is his mom’s sweet potato pie. When Wilcox moved to Missouri to study business and marketing at the University of Missouri, he missed that pie, especially at Thanksgiving.
After some experimenting in the kitchen, and gleaning a few tips from his mom, “I came close to a pie that tasted like my mom’s.” Before long, he was sharing them with his friends. “I was giving away a lot of sweet potato pies, until a friend told me I should start selling them.” So in 2014, he sold an array of pies—sweet potato among them—at the Fayette and Moberly farmers markets.