By Emma Castleberry
Like so many social and celebratory gatherings in every culture, the food is a central part of any wedding’s success. Couples on the hunt for a unique cake or stellar desserts will be delighted to find that Western North Carolina is home to many artistic, innovative culinary operations.
Olga Jiménez, owner of Short Street Cakes, says that wedding cakes are a central part of the business for her four-person team. “When you do it everyday, it’s not so stressful,” she says. Some brides ask for “crazy things,” but Short Street Cakes doesn’t shy away from a challenge. “Everybody works together to figure out how we’re going to do the cake,” says Jiménez. “I have a wonderful team.” Whether you have a wild idea you’d like to bring to life, or just want to be assured your wedding cake is made with all natural, organic and local ingredients, Short Street Cakes can realize your dream. The bakery likes decorating wedding cakes with fresh, edible flowers and they can coordinate with your florist to match your overall theme. Wedding cake prices start at $3 per serving.
Karen Donatelli at Donatelli Cake Designs says personalization is key for every wedding cake she makes. “I truly enjoy and am passionate about my work and my bakery,” she says. “I am also passionate about marriage, weddings and creating sensational cakes that are designed for each bride individually.” Karen Donatelli Bakery & Cafe started in 2011 and opened its retail location at 57 Haywood Street in spring of 2012. Donatelli can provide a variety of options beyond the traditional tiered wedding cakes. “I also make fabulous dessert and cupcake presentations,” she says.
While the traditional wedding cake will always have a place in marriage celebration, there are a variety of other options available for couples who aren’t so cake-crazy. Baxley’s Chocolates in Sylva has been serving up handcrafted chocolates like malted milk balls, peanut butter meltaways and sugar plums since 2015. Steve Baxley says truffles are a common request for weddings. “When we meet with couples, we like to know the flavors they enjoy, the other foods to be provided and the reception theme so that we can offer suggestions that complement the event,” says Baxley. Baxley’s has provided seashell chocolate lollipops for a beach wedding and bacon truffles for a breakfast reception. If chocolates fit into the dessert menu at your wedding, Baxley’s prefers reservations six weeks in advance. This January, the chocolate shop can be found at their new location at 546 West Main Street.