Joyce Marie Taylor
For Ginger Walker of Mayo it all started with a vision in her mind of the way she wanted to pursue her career as an event caterer. From birthdays, weddings and anniversaries, Walker's newly designed outdoor setting at her home is the perfect place to hold such memorable events.
Her first event was held Saturday, April 7 with the wedding of a local couple, Jerry Mercer and Tiffany Cashmore.
Walker has been catering events all across the region for some time now, but packing up her trailer with all the essentials like dishes, glassware and food for 200-300 people and traveling great distances to places like Newberry, Valdosta, and White Springs was beginning to wear her down. Her solution was to create the perfect tropical setting in her own backyard and cater events there.
“I love to cater,” she said. “I just wanted everything to be convenient.”
It all began on Labor Day 2011. By April 2012, her masterpiece is nearing total completion with a gorgeous fiber-optic saltwater pool, complete with a waterfall, a gazebo and even a moat, as well as a covered entertainment stage for a band or DJ, a fire pit, an indoor dining area and tropical landscaping. Recently, she installed a brand new commercial oven in her outdoor kitchen, as well as all the other sinks and gadgets necessary for a successful catering business.
At one point, Walker said, she almost gave up on the idea of installing the pool that she envisioned because she didn't think she could afford it.
“I wanted it for a purpose, not just because I wanted a pool in my backyard,” she said.
She finally stumbled across a business card she found inside a feed store. It had a picture of a beautiful pool on it and she soon met Luke from McMillan Pools, who gave her an offer she couldn't refuse.
Walker said it wasn't planned, but if you look at the pool from the right angle it looks like it's in the shape of a heart, which adds to the romantic ambience of the complete setting. She also said there will be no need to decorate for events because the landscaping and trees, which are still in the process of being planted, will be all the decoration one would need; it will be an atmosphere of natural beauty with simple ingredients like evergreens that stay green year round and rose bushes to add color, along with hanging baskets of plants and flowers.
“It would be too much maintenance otherwise,” Walker said.
Walker said she decided to put up white fencing around the area in order to reign things in.
“Otherwise, we would have just kept going and going and it would have never stopped,” she said. “It gets expensive.”
An additional large covered patio, outdoor restroom and dance floor are in the works and should be completed soon, as well as extra parking space and more sod.
“I hope to be 100 percent completed by June,” said Walker.
When asked what her husband Dwayne did to help her with the project, Walker laughed and said, “He put the pine straw down.”
Walker utilized local businesses for her project, including Harper's Sod in McAlpin and Luke's Pools in Suwannee County.
This young 39-year-old entrepreneur is ready to serve the community with affordable catering in a beautiful country-tropical setting in the town of Mayo.
For more information about Ginger's Catering and Events, please call 386-854-0722.