A year after Paula Deen’s racial slur scandal, which led to the Food Network canceling her popular show, the Queen of Butter continues to rebuild her brand--now with a new store in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
The Paula Deen Store, which opened on Friday, is a cookware and chef supplier that carries sauces, pots, pans and cookbooks – everything the home chef needs to whip up some of Deen’s calorie-laden, classics.
Dozens of fans gathered outside the store’s entrance to catch a glimpse of Deen. Many fans waited for hours to be able to meet their favorite former Food Network star, WVLT Knoxville reported.
The store also contains a bit of Deen nostalgia: The original stove she used in her first cooking show.
Despite her tough year, she says still remains dedicated to spreading the joy of good food.
"You want to give people a wonderful experience through the eating. This was just a natural place to come. It's my people," Deen told WVLT.
Deen’s next restaurant, Paula Deen's Family Kitchen is expected to open in nearby Pigeon Forge, Tennessee later this summer.
The disgraced celebrity chef is also kicking off her Paula Deen Live --a 20-city speaking tour --starting June 21 and 22 in Pigeon Forge as an attempt to rebuild her following after accusations of racism. So far, talks that have been announced are in Tennessee, Texas and her hometown of Savannah, Georgia.
In February, Deen announced that Najafi Cos., a private-equity company led by Jahm Najafi, poured $75 million to $100 million into her brand, on the prospect of her comeback.