My name is Erica Miller and I'm the owner of The Chocolate Rooster, LLC - established in 2011. I was born and raised in St Louis, Missouri. I'm married and have two beautiful (young adult) children, Aaron and Julia. I come from a family where food is the center of life. From my dad's short-lived bakery when I was a kid, to Nan's kitchen in Michigan City, and now in my own home with my family. Food has always been there as a way of connecting with those sitting around the table. Some of the best times I’ve spent in the kitchen have been with my maternal grandmother, Nan. She knew everything there is to know about cooking and she taught me for 42 years. Our last time cooking together was in 2019. We were talking on the phone, and she told me she looked everywhere but couldn’t find her chicken recipe. I asked if it was the one with chicken and Swiss cheese. She said yes. I had her over to my house that weekend and we cooked her famous recipe together, side by side as we had done so many times before. It was such a meaningful moment in my life to be able to connect with her in the kitchen one more time.
In 2013 I was asked by an old classmate if I would make gooey butter cupcakes for her son's birthday party. I said yes and immediately googled gooey butter cupcakes and nothing came up. Only gooey butter cake and cookies. I looked at the cake recipes online and it took me about six tries to come up with the rough version of the gooey butter cupcakes and bites that we all know and love today. I was surprised by how good they were! I knew I was onto something, but they weren't quite right. While working fulltime with two young kids, it took me about 10 years to perfect the technique that delivers the amazing crust that's sticky, chewy and maybe even a little crunchy - without compromising the delicious gooey butter center. I started exclusively making gooey butter cupcakes and bites in 2020, was discovered by STL food blogger Whitney in the City at the end of 2021 (thanks to my boss at the time) and quit my corporate job at the end of 2022 to focus on my passion.