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At 82, after decades of serving others, 'Mama Laverne's' chicken 'n waffles goes national

At the age of 82, Mama Laverne is a household name.

CARROLLTON, Texas — Carrollton fitness guru Donna Richardson, who has served two presidents, has always been a strong woman.

But she does have one big weakness.

“I’d be out on the road doing fitness and as soon as I’d get to my mother’s house, I’d want to have my favorite dish, which is chicken ‘n waffles,” she said.

Mama Laverne, which is what everyone calls her mom, would always oblige, making chicken ‘n waffles for Richardson and just about anyone who requested it.

“My mom would get on flights and travel all over this country cooking chicken and waffles for family, for friends, for celebrities,” Richardson said. “And then the pandemic hit.”

To stay safe from COVID-19, Mama Laverne didn’t go anywhere. Neither did any of those cravings.

“Demand kept growing, so we started mixing it and putting it in a Ziploc bag with the recipe and mailing it out to our family and friends,” Richardson said.

That’s what gave them an idea and a business.

At the age of 82, Mama Laverne is a household name. “Mama Laverne’s Chicken Seasoning Waffle and Pancake Mix” is now available to everyone. It’s the only mix of its kind on the market: one packet of waffle mix, one packet of chicken seasoning, all in the same bag.

It’s available on Amazon and in select stores. The recipe is so popular, her chicken ‘n waffles is even on the menu at the upscale Al Biernat’s steakhouse in Dallas.

But Mama Laverne insists it isn’t about selling anything. Instead, it’s about providing what she always has.

“It really was just about her spreading love,” Richardson said.

“That was enough,” said Mama Laverne. “Just the enjoyment of seeing people enjoy it.”

It’s the same joy that leads her to dance anytime she steps in the kitchen.

“I’m putting a lot of love in here,” she said.

The love and the recipe was passed to Mama Laverne from her mom and now she gets to share it with the world.

“I know she’s looking down on me,” Mama Laverne said as she looked toward the sky. “And I’m looking up. Thank you, mom.”

Mama Laverne’s, a taste of heaven on earth.

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