A family recipe sparked Toran Gray’s idea to sell pudding desserts and now his business, Extraordinary Banana Pudding, has three locations in southern California.

The entrepreneur’s great-grandmother crafted a sweet banana pudding that was always a hit at family functions, according to Long Beach Post. Growing up, he noticed his relatives and family friends would always eat the sweet dish before dinner because the taste was too good to resist.

“It’s family, she kind of created it and it’s kind of just been passed on. It’s kind of something I want to keep in the family for years to come,” he told FOX 5.

After decades of seeing how the dessert would light up rooms and make people happy, Grays believed the public would also fall in love with the banana pudding recipe. He asked his family for the beloved recipe so he could perfect the flavor to his liking. After changing the magic formula to taste less sugary, he was ready to share it with his local community in early 2020. Unfortunately, though, the pandemic forced him to modify his original business model.

“Due to COVID, right at the last moment, I had to change everything up with the health department. They were like, if you want to stay open and bring this product to the masses, you have to change it up,” he shared with FOX 5.

To safely serve customers, the 40-year-old offered pre-packaged puddings on the weekends while working a full-time job.

“Barbershops, hair salons, grocery stores — anywhere I can talk to somebody, I would try to get them to try the product,” he said about growing his business during those early stages.

He first opened a brick-and-mortar spot in La Mesa. Quickly becoming a local favorite, he earned enough money to expand and open another location in Long Beach. Each location has several pudding options like French Vanilla, Red Velvet, Coconut, Chocolate and Butterscotch.

“It’s really like a taste where anyone in any type of culture, any ethnic group that would go, hey grandma, grandpa, can you make this dessert for me? This is where you got to get that little taste from home, right here,” La Mesa resident Andy Xaysittiphone told FOX 5.

Each morning, Grays drives outside the city to Scripps Ranch, where the Extraordinary Banana Pudding’s kitchen is located, to make fresh pudding. His motivation? His loyal customers.

“When you come in here and you get the smiles and the customers, it’s everything. I tell customers that all the time,” he said. “When my days are tough, and I see you guys and you guys come in here and you sample, and you tell me how great the product is, that changes my whole energy for the day.”

Business is booming for the 2021 Small Business of the Year Award winner, who plans on opening a third shop in Temecula sometime in February.

“I want to be able to let people try my products in a different area,” he said. “Hopefully, they love it.”