Ella Rea Gray was born on January 20, 1913 in Clay County, Mississippi. She was the oldest daughter of Jennie Lou Davidson and John Gray. With segregation at its height, the Gray family sought solace and togetherness through love, laughter and of course cooking. Ella Rea kept her head in the books completing her 9th grade education when the average grade for African-Americans at that time was 3rd grade. She was just as steadfast in learning the ingredients in the meals prepared by her mother. Her down home cooking is filled w ith soulful grace. Every bite is an adventure, a tender reminder of yesterday. She learned early that fresh ingredients, patience, and soul was the key to preparing good meals. Her mother would say to her, “Take your time and make it with care, and before you eat, say a prayer.” These recipes and words of wisdom were passed on to Ella Rea and in turn they were passed down through generations to family and close friends.
Aem Upachak is the granddaughter-in-law of Mrs. Ella Rea Gray. Aem coming from a Asian-Pacific heritage was already a excellent cook in her native cuisine and was longing to learn how to cook “Soul Food”. It was easy for Aem to catch on to the secret family recipes. With these two matriarch’s, we are positive that you will enjoy the meals that are prepared for you with all their heart and soul.
Pierre, Ella Rea’s grandson and Aem decided to open a restaurant and with the blessing of Ella Rea, Thus, ELLA EM’S was born.
The only thing we ask is that you, “Take your time and indulge with care, and before you eat, say a prayer. “
Thank you for your patronage, we appreciate it