Meet Kay Hardy! Kay is the owner and operator of Kay Hardy Events, was born and raised in North Georgia. Mrs. Kay has had a strong passion for cooking since she was a young girl, learning all of her techniques from her Granny and home-economics teacher. Her delicious southern cuisine and deep, southern accent are just a few of the many things people love about her. Kay’s God-given talents allow her to spice up any home, space or event.
We want to thank Kay for spending time with us recently to tell us more about her life and love of Jackson County.
Q: What inspired you or led you to your current career?
A: “I have been cooking forever, and ever and ever. I’ve loved cooking since I was a child. My Grandmother kept me a lot, and we cooked every day. There are a lot of cooking genes in my family.”
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Jackson County, and what do you love there?
A: “I would have to say Kay’s Vintage Pantry, but I really don’t have a favorite. It’s really just how I feel. If I’m in the mood for pizza then Jefferson Pizza Kitchen is my favorite.”
Q: What modern convenience would you want if you were stuck on a deserted island?
A: “A stove.”
Q: Who was your favorite teacher growing up?
A: “Charlotte Massey was my Home Economics teacher at Banks County High School. She inspired me in so many ways. I also met Vernell Hicks when I started opening businesses. She was a retired Home Economics teacher from Jefferson, and she helped me in my stores. She’s taught me so many things and still inspires me today..”
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Jackson County?
A: “My whole life. ”
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met in Jackson County and why?
A: “I find everyone interesting, just about. Everyone has their own story.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
A: “I’m pretty simple, naturally I love the beach. One place I really wanna go is Amish Country just to see their way of life, and how simple things are.”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “Do what you love.”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “Get on Food Network!”
Q: What is your favorite music/three bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: “Old fashioned gospel music and country music. I would go see just about any country music artist out there.”
Q: What local business makes you the most nostalgic about Jackson County and why?
A: ”A local business that is an inspiration to me is Crawford W. Long Pharmacy. They are the most genuine group of people and Fred Gurley will do anything in the world for anybody. It’s just the old fashioned feel that they are always there for you. They do it because they love [Jefferson] and the people in it.”
Q: Choosing anyone (past or present and a non-relative), with whom would you love to have lunch with? And where locally would you have this lunch?
A: “Paula Deen is naturally an inspiration to me and Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives and I would bring them to Kay’s!”
Q: What is your favorite thing about Jackson County?
A: “The care and concern people have for each other. [And] the friendships, the great businesses and the families that bond and support each other.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?
A: “Hopefully retired, living in a mountain house, relaxing.”
Q: What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: “Well, there are two things that I have always wanted to do and I’m not worth a toot at either one of them. I wanted to be a country singer or dancer!”
Q: What three words mean “Home” to you?
A: “My husband and my children.”
The Faces of Jackson County is a project to showcase the amazing people that live or work in our community. If you would like to nominate an interesting person to be featured please email firstname.lastname@example.org.