NORTH CHARLESTON S.C. - For nearly four decades Martha Lou Gadsden served up Lowcountry cooking from her humble restaurant to the world.
Gadsden passed away April 1 at the age of 91, and on Friday family held her celebration of life.
“She just a little old lady that liked to cook,” son Bernard Gadsden said. “But it was something special, something special.”
Her food gained fame across the country during her 37-year run at Martha Lou’s Kitchen.
“She was selling dinners and when that got too big, we all encouraged her to get a restaurant and so she did,” granddaughter Melanie Alston said. “She got the little pink building downtown, the lines were out the door.”
The restaurant on Morrison Drive received national recognition and was a local staple until it shut down last September when the land was sold to a developer.
“She’s like the original, the original of everything, nothing tweaked,” Alston said. “It’s just like from back in the day, good soul food.”
They say the recipes she passed along will stay with the family for generations.
”She left something that everyone will be proud of, her cooking and it was something different,” Bernard Gadsden said.
Beyond her cooking, her family says she is remembered by her loving personality.
“I always think about her sense of humor. She was very funny, very hilarious,” Alston said.
“Joy, peace, and happiness,” daughter Joyce Taylor said. “She wanted us all to unite as one, and she went out of her way to make sure that her children were taken care of.”