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Viola's Gourmet Goodies have a Hollywood pedigree

May 11, 2010 |  6:01 am

Viola Rowland’s jalapeño jelly, mango chutney and corn relish started making the rounds at swanky Hollywood cocktail parties in the early 1930s. Actors Doris Day and Dan Duryea, cosmetics magnate Max Factor, and Los Angeles Examiner Hollywood gossip columnist Louella Parsons hired the private cook to dollop her spicy-sweet condiments on cream cheese-topped toasts and seafood canapés.

Today, her granddaughter, Nancy Rowland, is carrying on the local cocktail condiment tradition with her own versions of her grandmother’s recipes. The Los Angeles native has kept Viola’s Gourmet Goodies plugging along for so many years by keeping a sharp eye on her sales plan and relying on a supportive network of family and friends. A heaping dose of determination has helped too.

“[Viola] always had work, even during the Depression,” says Nancy, slathering a generous teaspoon of amber jelly on mini toast squares on a recent Sunday at the Brentwood Farmers’ Market. “People might cut back a little, but they're always going to entertain.” Read more here:

Photo credit: Ann Johansson / For The Times