Homegoing tribute to Mother Ernestine Howard of the legendary Wendy’s Cheesecake Bakery

Mother Ernestine Howard

by the Howard family

Mrs. Ernestine Howard, wife, mother, daughter, grandmother and friend. Mrs. Howard and her business has been a pillar of the Bayview community.

Whenever someone mentioned the bakery on Third Street, the pink and white bakery on the corner, Mrs. Howard, they could not help but smile, as Miss Mary would say.

Mrs. Howard was truly a Mother of the Community. She was always smiling and would put a tear in your eye, because she would feed you with soul food and love – especially when you were hungry and had no money in your pocket!

Mrs. Howard welcomed you with open arms and she always kept her Bible on the counter for all to read as she praised her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Some customers would even turn the pages to their favorite scripture and share with her.

Mrs. Howard was raised as an entrepreneur, and she raised her children – Barbara Howard, Jacqueline Howard, Melody Howard and Wendy Faye Howard-Shockley; her grandchildren, Le’Andre Boddie, Quinton McDaniel Jr., Te’Andre Kidd Howard, Ja Marr McDaniel, Asante McDaniel, Shan’Drea Lewis, Char’Drea Andrews and DiaNisha Kidd; as well as her great grandchildren, Syncere Andrews, Laila McDaniel and Leah McDaniel – as entrepreneurs.

Mrs. Howard was born in Greenville, Mississippi. She was raised in Pohokee, Florida, by her grandmother, Grandma Mason, who taught her at an early age to become an entrepreneur.

Mrs. Howard served the Bay Area along with her husband, Mr. Willie James Howard and family, living out Mr. Howard’s dream of owning a bakery business, which they did in the Bayview community for over 40 years.

The pretty pink and white building at the corner of Third Street and Quesada was one of the happiest places in Bayview Hunters Point, thanks to Mother Ernestine Howard, who served her delicious down home food with a big smile and a warm word for everyone, even if you hadn’t a dime to pay her. This photo comes from a 2012 story about how merchants on Third Street suffered during the five years it was torn up during light rail construction. Unlike many other Black businesses, Wendy’s Cheesecake Bakery survived. – Photo: Liz Mangelsdorf

Mr. and Mrs. Howard named their bakery after their youngest daughter, Wendy. 

Wendy’s Cheesecake Bakery has been in the Bayview through all the ups and downs along with the community challenges, giving love, through their turkey wings, string beans, ribs and soul food, along with their cheesecake, sweet potato pies, German chocolate cakes, donut holes and specialized cheesecake wedding cakes and many more assortments of cakes and pies.

Simply treating all their customers as family and friends, they served the community and stood as a pillar for and with the Bayview community.

Mrs. Howard’s daughters expanded their family business. They opened up a second store, called The Daughters of Wendy’s Cheesecake Bakery No. 2 in Oakland, California, in The Village at Jack London Square.

Mr. and Mrs. Howard will truly be missed here in the Bayview community! The Howard girls and family truly love and appreciate the Bay Area for all their community support and condolences that have been shared for their father, mother and baby sister.

Mrs. Howard has received her heavenly wings, along with her husband and baby girl.

However, community family and friends, stay tuned for more about Wendy’s Cheesecake Bakery. There just might be a store near you!

This is the cover of the program prepared for Mother Howard’s homegoing service on Friday, July 9, 11 a.m., at Providence Baptist Church at Third Street and McKinnon.

The Howard family legacy continues to live on through their non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, B.H. Brilliant Minds Project Inc., www.bhbrilliantminds.org.

The Howard family and the Wendy’s Cheesecake Bakery legacy again would like to thank you all for your love, support and continue support as they serve the world and the Bay Area.

To reach the Howard family, email Barbara Howard at barbarahoward47@comcast.net or visit their nonprofit, www.bhbrilliantminds.org