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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Cooking gives her confidence.

The kind of confidence Martha Gilreath needs to make her king cakes.

And the confidence she needs, WGNO Good Morning New Orleans features reporter Bill Wood is discovering, to make it through the day.

With her Mardi Gras team, Martha’s in the kitchen at NOCHI, that’s the New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute.

It’s where she bakes.

And it’s where she graduated as valedictorian.

Martha’s menu was not always full of sugar.

She used to live under the Crescent City Bridge.

She was homeless. Altogether homeless for almost eight years.

Hooked on drugs and estranged from her family, it was in rehab, she learned she loves baking.

It’s the relationship that saved her life.

She’ll never forget her old address or her old neighbors from under the bridge.

Every king cake has a story.

It’s one-of-a-kind, just like no other.

Just the like journey of the baker behind it.

If you’d like one of her king cakes, just click right here.