Updated: Oct 8, 2020
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (KABC) -- Tucked away in a San Bernardino business center is the Original Mommie Helen's Bakery.
The shop is known for its old-fashioned cakes and pies, but its sweet potato pie has customers lining up every Thanksgiving.
"This is the best pie in the area, period. My co-workers turned me on to it. We love it," said Peter Diaz.
Last Saturday, the bakery began its 24-hour operations churning out its signature pie along with other favorites.
"We're following our grandmother's recipes and this has been passed down from generations and generations. So I think it is the love that goes into the pies that make it so special," said co-owner Tedra Rose.
Rose and her sister, Tekesha Pryor, re-launched the bakery their late mother started in the 1990s.
"It reminds us of our mother, having lost her a couple years ago. It's like when we work here we make the pies and it reminds us of her," said Rose.
Part of the legacy their mother left was her ability to connect with her customers.
"You are part of our family because she made sure she had that one-on-one with everyone," said Pryor.
The holidays are especially busy. Rose estimates they'll make 6,000 sweet-potato pies. The bakery starts getting calls for pre-orders in October.
"We have family that have other jobs but they come here and know when Thanksgiving hits we need the extra help," said Rose.
On Monday, a small army of family, friends, and volunteers buzzed around the industrial kitchen. Despite the size and amount of bakery goods produced much of it is done by hand.
"We do things the old-fashioned way. We do things Grandma used to do," said Rose.
The bakery will be open Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for last-minute customers.
The Original Mommie Helen's Bakery is located at 1440 South E. St., San Bernardino, (909) 384-7052.