Plan early to get the right cake and food

From mom-and-pop shops to corporate grocers, numerous catering and cake options exist for Craig weddings.

And several business owners say that locally booked catered weddings are already filling up the coming summer months.

"Contact us as soon as possible," said J' Lea Driver, owner of Serendipity Coffee Shop. "We can only do two weddings per weekend."

Driver's shop offers not only wedding cakes but also sandwiches, salads and side dishes.

"We don't do meals," she said.

White, chocolate, carrot cakes and custom designs can be made -- $1.75 per serving for white and chocolate, $4 for carrot. Delivery within Craig is free, but charges apply for delivery outside of the city.

Serendipity's sandwiches, salads and side dishes cost roughly $7 each.

Driver suggests drawing up food plans sooner rather than later.

"Not that it takes that long to do," she said. "But we already have several booked up this summer."

Both of Craig's major grocers specialize in wedding cakes.

On average, most prepared cakes from City Market's bakery serve about 150 guests, said Aletha Dove, assistant bakery manager.

The smallest cakes start at about $75, she said, adding she's baked cakes serving up to 400 guests, stacked six tiers high.

Patrons can pick designs from a book at the store, or bring in photographs to be copied. White, chocolate, marble, almond, poppy-seed or carrot cakes can be layered with butter cream, whipped cream or cream cheese icing.

There's a $15 deliver and set-up charge.

Safeway, meanwhile, offers white, chocolate and carrot cakes, with either butter cream, whipped cream, or cream cheese icing.

Prices range between $50 and $300, depending on a cake's size and design difficulty, said Mandy Brackett, head baker at Safeway. Similar $15 delivery and set-up charges apply.

Brackett said the store needs at least a week's notice before the cake is needed.

Meanwhile, among catered dinner and snack options, Craig's Bad to the Bone can be booked up to nine months in advance.

The eatery provides food for groups of 20 to 500 people, from simple sandwiches and hot dogs, to prime rib and shrimp scampi at $35 per plate.

"Dealing with Craig budgets, you have to have that wide range of choices," said owner Josh Lawson.

"We prefer to have about 45 to 60 days notice," he added.

River Ridge Prime Rib and Lobster House also caters from its menu or takes special requests, as does Wallie's Restaurant and Lounge.

While dinners aren't offered, Ocean Pearl owner Paul Cheung said party trays are. The trays vary in price depending on the requested item, Cheung said.

On-site catering also is available from Craig's Holiday Inn.

Snacks as well as dinners, such as roast beef at $11 per plate to lobster tail and fillet at $30 per plate, are among the options.

"Give us as much notice as possible," said Rita Hall, restaurant manager.

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