Paying tribute: Fat Mama’s Tamales co-founder remembered as ‘an absolute gem’

Published 12:19 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2024

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NATCHEZ – Friends and restaurant fans are paying tribute to Britton Gammill, an “absolute gem” who co-founded one of Natchez’s most iconic eateries.

Gammill passed away on March 21. She and her husband, Jimmy, started Fat Mama’s Tamales in 1989 “after testing tamale recipes from their home for almost two years with friends and family,” according to the restaurant’s social media post.

She was the driving force behind the restaurant, known for its tamales, gringo pie and Knock-You-Naked margaritas. Fat Mama’s has received numerous awards and has been featured in Time magazine, Southern Living and Reader’s Digest.

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Described as “one of the kindest people you could ever meet,” Gammill was known for her “sincere interest in people both coming to Fat Mama’s as well as traveling through Natchez, Mississippi,” the tribute post reads.

“It’s a sad day that we’ve lost such a key member of our community,” said Lyn Fortenbery Jenkins, president of the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce. “Fat Mama’s has been a staple of our community.”

The business started in a log cabin on Canal Street and moved to its present location on Canal Street in August 2008. It was named the Small Business of the Year in 2013 by the Chamber.

“I am saddened to learn of the passing of Britton Gammill,” said Mayor Dan Gibson.She was truly a pillar of our community touching so many aspects including tourism, volunteerism, and of course her vision in creating a legendary Natchez business, Fat Mama’s Tamales.  Years ago I always enjoyed seeing her when I would visit the ‘little log cabin’ that became such a popular restaurant. She was remarkable, always willing to happily contribute her time and effort. She will be truly missed.

Tributes to Gammill shared on social media reflected how she had touched many lives.

“She was an absolute gem,” wrote Whitney Turnage in a social media tribute.

“She was a sweetheart!!,” shared Jeanie B. Ables.

“A very bright and lively spot whenever we were together,” added Ellen Ogden Hefley.