"A Place Where Nature Creates an Everlasting Union"

Monday, April 7, 2014

Partners in Wedded Bliss | Karen's Cakes & Cafe Pharr

One of the best perks about working in the wedding industry is the exposure to delicious foods and sugary sweets EVERY. SINGLE. WEEKEND. It is by far one of our biggest weaknesses and when we know a cake has been baked by Karen Pharr of Karen's Cakes & Cafe Pharr, it is impossible for us to resist! We recently chatted with Karen about her work and how she came to be an integral part of this industry we all love. Read all about her story below......

How did you get into baking cakes? 

I was a very young mother who was trying to figure out a way to have a special birthday cake for my beautiful daughter who was turning one. I didn't have a lot of resources at time to purchase a cake so I bought some decorating bags and tips and began a mission to make it happen! I didn't have a mixer so found one at a yard sale for $3...ha! This particular mixer wasn't grounded little did I know. Every time I made a cake and touched something stainless it would shock me! Ouch! I used this mixer to make her cake and everyone loved it! I still have the topper I used for her first birthday.....35 years ago! Everyone at the party really liked the cake and I even got a order that day for my first order that I would actually get paid for. I began a business out of my home and would save every dime for a NEW mixer.....I was tired of getting shocked! After few years of making cakes, we moved to a little house but didn't have room to bake. So over a period of 4 years my husband, Mike, worked on a 16x20 room built onto the side of house so eventually I would have a place to bake. We called the health department and began our journey!

I truly believe we all have a gift that we are good at that God gives you! You just have to figure out what that is! Mine is cakes! I love to decorate them. So I guess you could say I began my journey into the cake industry to help support my family and found out I had a talent to create beautiful cakes that not only taste good but looked good! After lots and lots of hard work and research, I didn't give up on the idea of having my own business. I would read every book on cakes I could get my hands on. I am a self-taught entrepreneur with determination that most people would have given up on facing the hardships of growing up with very hard childhood and at 16 trying to start a business! Karen Pharr Cake Decorating was born which later became the Karen's Cakes and Cafe Pharr that it is today. We have had 35 years of pleasing our clients! 

After years of working alone I convinced my husband to quit his job and help me. It worked and now I couldn't even lift the large commercial bowls that we make our cakes and icing in on my own!

What do you enjoy most about working in the cake industry? 

I enjoy meeting brides and helping design the cake that will be beautifully displayed in her photo album for her kids to see for years to come. She can tell them I had a cake made that tasted great!! 

I am actually doing cakes for children of brides I made wedding cake for! Even doing grandchildren's cakes for those same brides! So along the way a lot of my brides feel like family cause they have came back over and over for special celebrations. The cake is a special part of the wedding that people love to taste and leave a wedding saying it was good. I take great pride in my cakes and always want the cake to be a hit! 

What is your favorite part about displaying your cakes at The Arbors Events? 

I am always excited to deliver a cake to The Arbors! It's a very pretty and inviting place for a bride to have her wedding! Both sites offer such beautiful backgrounds for pictures and cake cutting. The Arbors is a place I could have dreamed about having a wedding when I was young! Just beautiful and I love the rustic feel yet romantic upscale detail. 

What price range do your cakes fall into? 

An average wedding cake would be around $500 and can go up from there. It really depends on the amount of people and flavors you choose! I think we offer top quality cakes for a VERY reasonable price in today's market! 

Do you have a cake that you have created that is your favorite? 

I have many cakes I love that I have created......I can't pick just one! The one below was inspired by wooden barrels. The client drove all way from the Outer Banks of North Carolina en route to Wyoming to take this cake to her daughter's wedding! I also did her eldest daughter's wedding cake a year or two before and she wanted us to design this cake as well. This is one of those situations where they feel like family!

The second cake I made was one year ago and I loved how it turned out! I also love the backdrop that is at the Main Site venue at The Arbors.

Our brides often use this wall as a backdrop for their cakes! It's an antique ceiling that was salvaged from a home in India! The hooks that hang off of it were used to display ornamental decor and lighting from above. 

This one below was at Arbors years ago before they had built the sites! Love the rustic icing and edible birds and nest! 

I also love these hay bales I created. Clients here in the farming country love these! 

This last one....I could go on and on!  This one was taken at the Pavilion Site venue at The Arbors. I loved the fireplace background! Just a beautiful place at The Arbors Events no matter which site you pick!

This is one of our personal favorites too! The simplicity of the design and florals compliment the decor perfectly!

Below is our famous Strawberry Cake Cheese Cake that customers drive from Charlotte and surrounding areas to get a slice all the time! We are well know in our community for our homemade cheese cakes between our cake layers. People that know of us will be driving through the area and stop by for slice to take home to family! I thank God for my gift and him allowing me this opportunity to design cakes! 

Don't you just love Karen?! She has such a big heart dedicated to what she loves. We can personally vouch for her cake/cheesecake cakes......they are AMAZING!! 

Whether you are getting married, planning a birthday, or just have a itching for something sweet, give Karen a call or pay her a visit! You won't be disappointed and the charm of her and Mike's cafe will win you over instantly!

Karen Cakes & Cafe Pharr
170 River Hill Road
Statesville, NC, 28625

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wedding at The Arbors Events on a Budget; Here's How.....

Finding a bride that is trying to plan the wedding of her dreams with an unlimited budget is like finding a unicorn.....they just don't exist! A budget is put in place at the beginning of wedding planning to set the parameters on how much you can splurge on everything from a venue (clearly the MOST important aspect in our eyes!) down to the thoughtful favor you will gift your guests with to remember your big day by. Today we want to give you some tips on how to make our venue fit into your daunting budget no matter how little it is!

Tip #1-Be open to off-peak seasons. Everyone within the wedding industry has their own thoughts on when exactly this is but for us we consider our off-peak time of year to begin around the third week in November and last until March. During this time of year we have deeply discounted rental facility rates and we even offer both of our venues together as a package. All of our buildings are climate controlled and have beautiful wood working fireplaces that can be started at any time to make your ceremony and reception warm and inviting. Winter wedding are some of our favorites! The warmth and ambiance of our buildings make everyone involved feel loved, which is exactly the way you want your wedding day to feel!!

Jaime & Steven were married at our Main Site on January 18, 2014
Photo Credit: Real Life Photography

Real Life Photography

Real Life Photography

Real Life Photography

Real Life Photography

Tip #2-Fridays and Sundays are offered at cheaper rates than compared to Saturday dates. Change your mindset that your wedding must be held on a Saturday. What works best for you and your fiance as a couple? Are you a nurse that works most weekends? Do you work in the food and beverage industry and weekends are your bread and butter? Is there is a long holiday weekend that you have your eye on? The guests that want to be there to witness your nuptials will make it a priority and make the necessary arrangements to be present!

Marla & Luke were married at our Main Site on a Sunday last October!
Amanda Castle Photography
Tip #3-While our off-peak rates are the lowest, our summer rates are a close second. If you desire the blooms of spring but not the peak season rates, this is the time to be married on our farm! Often there is more color in the mulch beds and trees in July and August than in the spring months. Our property is littered with Crape Myrtles and they tend to bloom in the Carolinas around mid to late June so spring brides don't always get to take advantage of these.

Jordan & Clay were married at our Main Site on July 20, 2013
Erin Kranz Photography

Erin Kranz Photography

Erin Kranz Photography

Erin Kranz Photography

Erin Kranz Photography

Erin Kranz Photography

Erin Kranz Photography

Erin Kranz Photography

Erin Kranz Photography

Erin Kranz Photography

So call us to explore the possibility of hosting your wedding day at The Arbors Events. If you are on a budget and are open to any of these tips then we can find a date that works for you!

We can be reached at (704) 614.5856 or thearborsevents@gmail.com

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Woodland Wedding at The Arbors Events

Matt & Lindsay were married on the farm during one of the rather cooler months last fall but with our fireplace and fire pit crackling the day seemed effortlessly warm and cozy.  We couldn't be more pleased with the efforts of Meg, owner of  Lime Green Photography, once we finally got our hands on these images. They are moody yet lighthearted and have won their way into our hearts!

Thanks again to Lime Green Photography for sharing! 

Photographer | Lime Green Photography