Myrtle Zachary Jackson, the matriarch of a Third Ward bakery shop previously known as Not Jus’ Donuts, has passed away after a long battle with COVID-19. She was 72.
Jackson, whose family owns Ms. Myrtle’s Bakery Shoppe located outside of downtown Houston for more than two decades, passed after her battle with the virus left her with heart and liver failure. She was first diagnosed with COVID and had been around her family at the bakery and informed them immediately after she tested positive.
“I must say, I was at peace when she passed. That’s probably why I’m here right now because I feel peace here. I know she’s here,” Rosharon Cotton, Jackson’s daughter, told ABC 13.
Individuals such as Bun B mourned Jackson on social media. In an Instagram post he shared on Thursday (September 30), the Trill OG remembered Jackson as one of the “sweetest people” he had ever met.
“I wasn’t ready for this,” Bun wrote. “This was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. I don’t care how backed up they were on orders, she always fit us in. Welcomed you with a smile. Third Ward lost one of their best representatives. Ms Myrtle you will be sorely missed. My condolences to her family and friends.”
Jackson opened the Not Jus Donuts Bakery in Houston’s historic Third Ward area in 2000 with the help of her daughters Andrea Jackson and Cotton. The trio struggled to keep the business alive amid tragedies and the nation’s economic downturn in the 2010s. In 2014 they were featured on Cake Boss and remained a prominent fixture in the Third Ward community long after the TV cameras were gone.
She urged her family to get vaccinated, including her daughter Andrea and one of the staffers at the bakery. However, Jackson and Cotton’s sister tested positive for COVID-19 the following week after their first shot.
“I regret not getting the shot sooner than I did because I had the opportunity. I just didn’t,” Cotton said.
Jackson had tested positive for negative earlier this week but remained hospitalized. The family’s legacy lies within her recipes, and although they’re closing the shop for a few weeks to grieve her passing, they’ll reopen in November.
“I used to tease her: your calling isn’t cakes and pies. Your calling is that people want to come and talk to you, hear you, and understand what you’re saying. They want advice from you,” Cotton said. “We’re going to stay and keep this legacy going as long as we can,” she said.