NPR

Worth The Whisk: How The Woman Behind Duke's Mayo Became A Tycoon

Long a Southern staple, Duke's Mayo is racking up converts among professional chefs across the U.S. But few know the surprising backstory of Eugenia Duke, the woman behind the century-old brand.
Duke's mayo jars like these have become collectors' items. Source: C.F. Sauer Company

Peek into the walk-in refrigerators of the most lauded restaurants in the country, and you will likely find just one store-bought ingredient: Duke's Mayonnaise. But what most people don't know is that the company was founded by a Southern woman at a time when many women like her didn't run businesses.

"We make everything from scratch at Rhubarb," says John Fleer, a five-time finalist for a James Beard Award and the chef and owner of the farm-to-table restaurant in Asheville, N.C. "Duke's is one of the few packaged items we use, but we use the heck out of it,"

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