“I found out it was riskier to be safe, and safer to be risky.”

Updated: Sep 27, 2018

Tucked away in the heart of Houston’s Historic Third Ward is a warm, welcoming, and wonderful sweet-treat haven known as Crumbville. Located at the corner of Elgin and Emancipation, Crumbville is a quaint and rustic storefront that provides customers a personal and pleasant experience while satisfying their sweet-tooths. UHNTV had the pleasure and privilege of having a sit-down interview with the owner and operator of Crumbville Texas, Miss Ella Russell.

UHNTV: “Where did you find the inspiration to open your business?”

Ella Russell: “The actual inspiration was from my friends, but I started baking because of my kids. About 14 years ago, my sons were 3 and 9. They signed up to bring treats to school for a holiday party. . . I was going through a financial hardship, my house was going through foreclosure, I just went through a break-up and I [simply] did not have the money to buy them treats. [However], I had flour, butter, sugar, and eggs… I scraped up change [to buy] chocolate chips and I made them both batches of chocolate chip cookies. I took the leftovers with me to work, and my coworkers loved them. I literally GAVE cookies away for three years.

UHNTV: “What are the characteristics of an entrepreneur?”

Ella Russell:It’s somebody that is always willing to DO the work, as opposed to skip[ping] the work. There are always shortcuts available to you, but are you willing to do the work? Be willing to look crazy, like, certifiably you get a check in the mail every month crazy! Also, be willing to risk it all, you may not have to, but you should be willing to. If you are not, you probably should not be an entrepreneur. I found out it is riskier to be safe, and safer to be risky.”

“Every customer that I have is my boss. They are the ones who make sure my operations are consistent enough for them to come back.”

UHN: “How did the name Crumbville come about?”

Ella Russell: “You will THINK that someone did you wrong, but God will reveal they did you a favor. First of all, my customers call themselves ‘crumb-heads’, which is obviously a pun on the word ‘crackhead’. They feel like [my treats] are very addictive. The actual name of my product is E-dub.a.licious Treats. That name became because years ago a friend of my son’s father said I was too cool not to have a nickname. When I started doing poetry, they shortened [my name] to e-dub. When I started baking they would say, ‘e-dub these are delicious’! So, it became E-dub.a.licious Treats. Also, my customers call themselves ‘crumb-heads’, and they are a community of cookie lovers. When I think of communities, I think of towns or villes. This is Crumbville!”

UHN: “The food scene in America is changing, so many people are making the decision to be vegan. How did your Vegan options come about?”

Ella Russell: “I accidentally began making vegan treats. I have a taste tester, over 75% of this stuff, I have never tasted [it] before. [My taste tester], is vegan. He was compromising his diet to taste my treats for me. It was so bad [that] he had to take [lactose] pills after tasting for me. I felt so bad, I had to start making treats that he could eat. That is how I started making them.”

UHN: “One last question, what is your legacy?”

Ella Russell: “I believe my legacy is my granddaughter running Crumbville. She has been coming to Crumbville since she was six weeks old. I can see her mocking me. I believe she will take the reigns. I do not know what she will make it, but she will stand on my shoulders and go from where I left off.”


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