Local Woman Credits Paula Deen for Her Business, Offers Support - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Local Woman Credits Paula Deen for Her Business, Offers Support

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STATESBORO, GA -

In the line of scrutiny-- tonight kitchen queen Paula Deen is hit with the loss of three more businesses partners: Sears, JC Penney and her publisher, Ballentine Books.

But while her empire remains on shaky ground, many fans continue to express support for her on social media.

And tonight, one supporter from Statesboro is doing just that.

Not only is she a fan of Deen's, she says Deen is the reason she too is now a business owner.

I sat down with her today for a one-on-one chat.

It's new tonight and a story you will only see here on News Three.

Azure Rountree may not have her own cooking show, or her own cookbook yet-- but she says she has been given the gift of cooking-- thanks to her inspiration, Paula Deen.

Azure and I stood in her kitchen, and in plain sight was a Deen cookbook.

She confessed, a few years ago she wouldn't have known what to do in a kitchen like she has now.

"I could not cook anything, so I was watching one of her shows, and I will never forget---- she had the show about the peanut butter brownie cupcakes--- and they looked absolutely delicious! I told myself I have to make that."

And she did.

Deen's show inspired her to develop her own recipes and a very special pecan praline. To say ‘thank you' for her new found gift of cooking, she took her idol a sample at a recent book signing. She didn't expect what happened next.

"She tried it and she said, ‘this is the best praline I have ever put in my mouth! She said we have to sell this.'"

True to her word, she did. The gift store at Lady and Son's now stocks Rountree's sweet treats. She says it's a true testament to Deen's kindness---and the picture that has been painted the past few weeks, could not be farther from the truth.

"We say things we wish we had not said or do things we wish we had not done. That's what makes us human. I think she will overcome it and people will forgive her. They will realize it's the right thing to do."

Rountree says no one is perfect, and though Deen made a mistake, she has done a lot of good for others.

"They don't know her, and the genuine kind person she is. To me, the best part of success is what you can do for someone else. And she has set the best example of that."

Rountree's 5-year old son was diagnosed with autism-- a cause close to the Deen family. Paula donates 75% of all praline sales to the Autism Foundation of Georgia, just another way Rountree says the celebrity chef shows her true colors.

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