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August 2009

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All in the Family
Written By: 
Kristen Gehrman

Ashley Bakery marries off its last daughter with a grand finale of confections


After 21 years in the business, this summer the Ferri family, owners of Ashley Bakery, created a trio of cakes and a sweet spread of confections for one of the operation’s biggest weddings yet—that of youngest daughter Elizabeth. Mom, Eileen Ferri, did the baking; middle sister Alicia Faia built the tiers; big sister Hayden Campbell decorated the sweets; second oldest Mary Ellen Shirley managed the kitchen; and Dad, Bernard, did the usual—he followed all of their instructions. It was the last run for the team to tackle a wedding of one of their own, as Elizabeth Lavelle was the fourth (and final) of the bakery’s clan to say “I do.” Growing up in the bakery, the sisters learned the business as kids: mixing frosting, cleaning the kitchen, and riding in the back of a delivery truck before they could drive it themselves. Since those early years, the family has stuck together to establish and maintain the shop’s reputation as a go-to bakery that churns out show-stopping, delectable confections. Given her history with the shop, Elizabeth knew exactly what cakes she wanted: three, three-tiered cakes—one to match the invitations and two frosted in Caribbean blue and cardinal red to match her bridesmaids’ dresses. Her family was behind her all the way. “We needed to go out with a bang,” says Eileen. “And since Elizabeth had seen her three sisters’ cakes, and so many more over the years, she knew exactly what she wanted.” Though making another family wedding cake will have to wait for the next generation to come of age, the Ferris will continue to hone their talents for other Lowcountry couples. “With all of us working here, it’s not always a pretty scene,” laughs Eileen. “But at the end of the day, it’s our family that’s putting out the best product possible.”




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Photos Courtesy of Ashley Bakery

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