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The Legacy of Mike | Cast Iron Babe

The legacy of Mike

It changed me.

I pulled my car off the freeway, glided to a slow halt, and stopped right next to a slouching, gray-haired man standing in the blazing sun, asking for handouts.

I would later learn that this man’s name was Mike. He’d been in the military, and he had PTSD and a problem with drugs.

This didn’t make him a bad person, mind you. He was just a person dealing with PTSD and an addiction.

I thought a lot about the man beside the freeway off-ramp as I saw him regularly as I drove around town.

But let’s put a pin in that.

A few years ago (before COVID), I began delving into my passion ofbaking—specifically baking pies.

One week, I made a real beauty. Apple pie with lattice work. The fruit was tender and the crust was golden brown.

I decided to cut it into wedges and carefully place each piece into a reusable container, complete with napkins and utensils and even slices of cheddar cheese to complement the tart apples.

Then I loaded up my car (with Lily in tow) and delivered the pie packages to people I thought could use some home cooking.

That brings us back to Mike.

I parked my car near Mike’s usual spot, and Lily and I approached him, apple pie in hand. I handed him the container. “Would you like some apple pie? Go ahead and try a bite.”

Mike held the package like it was precious and fragile. He opened the container, took out a fork, and put a bite in his mouth. A fraction of a second later he peered up at me with wet eyes. “Do you know how long it’s been since someone made homemade pie for me?” 

He was especially pleased about the cheddar cheese on the side.

The homemade pie made Mike feel loved. It was this very feeling that sparked the foundational idea for Cast Iron Babe: a way to highlight how love is infused through food and show how food creates a common ground for all kinds of people. 

Cast Iron Babe is a greater-good company, where positivity is the norm and service holds a high value.

Mike died about 18 months ago from a drug overdose. It was very sad, but his legacy lives on at the heart of CIB. 

Cast Iron Babe has partnered with No Kid Hungry, which provides nutritious meals for kids who do not have enough to eat. They also provide food skills education to help families live healthier lives.

Here’s a CIB challenge for you: what can you do today to shine your light onto another?

xo,

JuliAnn

(the Cast Iron Babe)

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