Jeanette Bolden-Pickens’ legacy should be solid gold. She won a gold medal for the United States as a sprinter in the 1984 Olympic Games, a victory for the home team.
Bolden-Pickens struck gold on the track at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. From there, head east on Martin Luther King Boulevard, then turn north on Central Avenue until reaching the corner of 27th Street. The drive takes about 10 minutes, and it takes Bolden-Pickens back to her childhood.
She grew up at the 27th Street Bakery. Her grandparents sold baked goods in the front of the store and lived in the back. If she was not in school or on the track, you could
(Image Credit – Andy Wong / Associated Press)
find her at the bakery.
The bakery opened in 1956, two years before the Dodgers arrived in Los Angeles, four years before the Lakers. It’s still there, and still in the family, with a website that embraces a different kind of legacy.
“What’s your family legacy?” the website asks. “Ours is making Homemade Sweet Potato Pies!”
After 24 years coaching at UCLA — her alma mater — and Central Florida, Bolden-Pickens now is a third-generation proprietor of the beloved bakery, faithfully producing peach cobbler, red velvet cake, pecan pie and the signature sweet potato pie.
Her mother, Alberta, was known in the neighborhood as “the pie lady.” Bolden-Pickens, 61, is training a fourth generation of family bakers.
“It’s really a godsend to have the bakery in our family for such a long time,” she said. “I have a grandson, and he’ll be the fifth generation. We’re really trying to make sure it stays alive.”
The NFL could provide an assist. With the Super Bowl scheduled for SoFi Stadium next year, Bolden-Pickens has signed up for a league program established to promote diversity among businesses bidding for a share of the corporate dollars surrounding the game.
The Business Connect program, administered locally by the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission (LASEC), links small companies owned by minorities, women, veterans and members of the LGBTQ community with Super Bowl business opportunities — not directly with the NFL, but through events associated with the game.
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