Glynis Albright: In The Mix With America’s Waffle Queen
On the West Coast, there is Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles. On the East Coast, there is Amy Ruth’s. In the South, there was (once) Gladys Knight’s Signature Chicken and Waffles – all three establishments legendary for their preparation of a Soul Food staple. Notoriety is nice but royalty is better and Colorado is home to “America’s Waffle Queen”
Albright has been whipping up culinary delights since the age of 10, and after six decades of living life to her fullest, she has no plans of slowing her stride. By her side for more than half her life has been her husband Gerald Albright, a Grammy-nominated saxophonist and a musical force in the world of Jazz/Pop music.
Inseparable since the day they met at Samuel Gompers Junior High School in South Central Los Angeles, Glynis and Gerald have been married for nearly 40 years. Underpinned by love, tenderness, and devotion, the duo has a one of a kind love; kismet in nature. The pair shares the same initials, birthday and were both born at 8, Glynis in the A.M., Gerald in the P.M.
As a young couple, the Albrights weren’t immune to struggle. In the beginning, Glynis capitalized on her typing expertise to land a high paying gig as a word processing specialist and used the funds to help launch Gerald’s career.
“I told Gerald you need to go on and keep working at your craft, put your name out there, get to those clubs and let them know that you exist. I said let me do this word processing for maybe a couple of years, and then once you get your record deal, I can go back to school and then you support me. From that point on, we were on a constant grind because Gerald needed X amount of saxophones, to get his sound right. You know you got to have your baritone, tenor, alto, and soprano and it takes funds to get those instruments. Early on with everything he needed, we just worked very, very hard to get it.”
She completed her undergraduate program in biology at UCLA and now holds a doctorate in natural health and used her background in chemistry and biology to develop Just Sweet Enough Gourmet Desserts and Cookie Dots—two companies that use the nutrients from fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices, infusing them in desserts.
She says the desserts not only taste good but are also beneficial in the healing process of those combating chronic illnesses and other health challenges.
“I decided to do desserts because that’s when we cheat. And I was like, okay, well, I’m going to turn all the healthy foods that you normally turn up your nose at into a dessert. Basically, I said if it grows from the ground or falls from the sky, that’s what I’m going to use in your dessert to help you heal. That’s how Cookie Dots came about,” she says.
There is no hustle for hard work. While in college both Glynis and Gerald hit the books hard in the daytime, before Gerald would go to school in the L.A. clubs at night. Thefull time hustling and bustling was bound to work up an appetite. According to Albright, the genesis of her empire began in an off-campus apartment around that time.
“You know what? Ever since I was a sophomore at UCLA, I created this food. I started making waffle mix and discovered the mix could also be used to make pancakes and crepes too. And since Gerald was always in a band, he and the boys would drop by my apartment after every gig and ask me to fix them some of my pancakes or waffles,” she said. “So since 1977 up into 2017, it became a tradition that the musicians would come to the Albright house to have waffles or pancakes, crepes, but they mainly ask for those waffles because they said that it didn’t taste like any waffle they had ever had before.”
We all have a special recipe, a divine blend of traits and characteristics that season our everyday lives – a dash of resilience, a pinch of panache. Every good recipe requires perseverance by the pound and Albright is no exception. Diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, she was never supposed to see her 37th birthday; she’s currently 61.
A few years ago a devastating head-on collision in downtown Denver, left her right eye permanently damaged, her right wrist fractured and her left shoulder ligament was torn from the cup. As part of her recuperation, she honed and formulated her edible signature and by the end of her convalescence in 2016, Glynis’ Waffle Mix and Poultry Coating were ready for market.
Glynis’ Chicken and Waffles debuted to more than 4,000 guests on the Dave Koz Mediterranean cruise in May of 2017. Four months later, her chicken and waffles were also featured during a star-studded product launch at the famed Spaghettini Grill and Jazz Club in Southern California.
To pair with the product release, Glynis recorded a commercial calling on two trusted allies for help: Brandon and Selina. Glynis and Gerald’s daughter, Selina Albright, a recording artist wrote the song, “Eat Something,” for the occasion.
“I wrote “Eat Something” in a few seconds. It only took me a few seconds because I know my mother, I know what she likes. So I recorded it, sent it to her and she’s like, Oh my God, it’s perfect!” Selina revealed during our conversation.
Gerald and Glynis’ son, Brandon Albright, owner of Snow Desert Productions handled all the cinematography for the commercial. The final product was a tantalizing visualization.
Since the Waffle Mix and Poultry Coating debut, Glynis has been touring the globe as, “America’s Waffle Queen,” as her Glynis’ Kitchen has been popping up in cities all over the US and abroad.
With the hectic schedule that comes with building a brand, Glynis also takes time out for a crusade that is close to her heart.
In 2018, Albright established M.A.N.E. (Making Advancements toward Nutritional Empowerment) a non-profit organization that assists women and men in rebuilding their self-esteem and physical appearance following hair loss due to serious illness, while at the same time educating those affected by health challenges on the importance of nutrition in attaining and maintaining good health.
“With M.A.N.E., we focus on five areas: hair, skin, teeth, nails, and weight management. It is designed to help people in those five areas because that’s how society grades us,” she said.
Recognized for her philanthropic and business efforts, Albright is a recipient of the Mountain Region Black Economic Summit,WiLMA Award in the area of business (named in honor of former Denver First Lady Wilma J. Webb), as well as, a nominee for the “Woman of the Year” from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
It only takes a minute for a late night to slide into an early morning. From there, the countdown to daylight begins. Glynis Albright has done (and continues to do) some of her best work on the bridge from dark to light.
For years she has whipped and whisked, laughed and loved until everyone in her kitchen is sated and happy. Just like the dawn that certifies a new day, the horizon for Glynis and Company is all bright.
Editor’s note: To order Glynis’ Waffle and Poultry Coating Mixes, go to AlbrightCuisine.Com. A new and improved site is coming soon. Stay tuned on social media for the reopening of www.JustSweetEnough.com and www.CookieDots.com.