Ooh La! La! Seasoning Links
"I figure if Paul Newman can bottle dressing in a barn with spiders crawling around overhead and the aroma of horse manure still in the air, I can certainly bottle seasoning!"
 


I am Victoria Rhymes Potts. I joined my mother in her catering business in 1982, and now I'm starting a new venture, that is packaging my dad's special seasoning that made the catering business so memorable.

My father, Felix Rhymes, was born in South Louisiana and was raised with an awareness of the special seasonings of that region.

As a young man he was employed by The Standard Fruit Company as a troubleshooter and traveled throughout the country on their behalf. While entertaining clients at a nightclub in Sioux City, Iowa, he saw and heard a little lady singing with one of the big bands and arranged to go backstage and meet her. Her name was Rose. She was from Louisiana. They were married three weeks later.

Mr. Rhymes was transferred to Detroit, Michigan and decided to purchase the produce terminal there and begin his own company. It was a very interesting time to live in Detroit because there were so many creative people there. Joe Vlasic, who started the Vlasic Pickle Company, was our Uncle Joe. Joe Barolo, who started the Mario Olive Company, was our Uncle Joe as well. Sam Vitale who was the first person to package fresh vegetables clean in plastic bags was Uncle Sam. Jack Cinnamon was the first person to open a supermarket and he and his family were dear friends. 

The house that we lived in was built by Henry Ford and was purchased by my father at a time when the Ford family was attempting to reclaim some of the properties that had been given as gifts to Mr. Ford's friends and associates. Our country home south of Detroit was unusual in that it contained a secret tunnel in the basement with rooms on either side!  It led out from the house, under the driveway and out into the yard and came out between two hills near the Huron River which ran through the property. My father was so eccentric. He knew my mother loved pink so he painted our home pale pink with chocolate brown awnings. When he bought her a new Cadillac, he had it painted pink and brown to match our house!

My parents loved people and regularly invited dozens, sometimes hundreds, at a time for food and fun afternoons. Felix usually cooked the meats and Rose cooked everything else. Rose often said later that she did not realize that she was in training for what would come.

The business and family flourished. He became the largest independent importer of bananas in the United States. They called him the Banana King. The recession of the late 1950's took its toll, however, and they returned to Louisiana. In 1965, with one freezer and an idea, Rhymes Catering was born. Once again Felix cooked the meats and Rose cooked everything else. It was at this time that Felix developed the unique combination of seasonings used to flavor the meats that became the Rhymes trademark. He worked alone at a large table and literally took handfuls of different spices and started mixing them together. He called it OohLa!La! There never was a formula. After he died, Rose, who was a genius with food, painstakingly developed the recipe, which is securely locked away.

As a tribute to them, the incredible love they shared and the remarkable food they created, I offer you Rhymes OohLa!La!  Enjoy!

 

 
 
 Ooh La! La! Seasoning
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