Virginia | Mankin Mansion Blog - Part 2

Q&A with Cakes by Graham

June 4th, 2012
Sweet treats are always a big hit with wedding guests and we here at the Mansion always love to oooh and ahhh over the wedding cakes. We have had the pleasure of tasting a few (okay, maybe a little more than a few!) cakes from Cakes by Graham and we’re here to tell you that they are both gorgeous and delicious. We sat down with Graham to find out how he got his start and he was also happy to share some tips for our 2012 brides.
Take it away, Graham-
Mind giving us a little background as to how you got your start in the wedding industry?

I graduated High School at 16 and joined the Army, where I served 16 years with the British Military.  My interest in cakes started as a hobby.  I served as a Master Chef Instructor in the British Army.   In Ft. Lee, I served with the American Army as the Pastry Team Captain and Technical Advisor.  I trained food service personnel and the U.S. Army Culinary Arts Team (USACAT).

In 1991, I got out of the British Army and worked at 2 local bakeries back to back.  I worked at each of the bakeries for about a year.  It was during this time that I had the desire to start my own business.  In 1994, after I wrote my business plan, I sought advice and opened Cakes by Graham.  Wanting to stand out from what was already existing, I came up with the slogan “More than just the icing on the cake” and “Richmond’s only custom cakery”.  Weddings became a large part of Cakes by Graham.

What is your favorite part about working in the wedding industry?

My favorite part of working in the wedding industry is meeting with the bride, finding out what her vision is, and taking her vision and transforming it into a visual/physical object for everyone to savor.  It is about seeing the end result and hearing the feedback from the bride that the cake exceeded her expectations, ultimately, adding even more joy to such a memorable day.

What question do you most often get from brides about wedding cakes?

One of the most common questions I get from brides about wedding cakes, especially in the beginning of the planning process, is about budget.  Initially, she does not know how to set a budget and pre-printed articles use statistics and averages to determine cost.  Every bride is an individual and not “the average”.  I work with the bride to meet her needs.  It is important for the bride to know that “a cake doesn’t have to be expensive to look expensive”

Are there any favorite wedding trends that you’ve liked as of late?

One of my favorite wedding trends is the bride’s desire to make the cake what she wants it to be.

Any tips you’d like to share with our 2012 brides?

The one tip I have for 2012 brides:  Use websites such as Pinterest, Facebook, Etsy, and Instagram as a guide.  Use them as inspiration only.  Don’t think that all pictures apply to all circumstances- keep in mind that the pictures will probably need to be changed to meet the needs of her individual wedding.  For example, a picture of a 5-tier cake would need to be scaled down to 3 tiers to accommodate a bride’s guest count of 100.

To learn more about Cakes by Graham and set up a tasting, visit their website! Thank you so much Graham for chatting with us!

Paula & Martin Ramirez

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds, Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.

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The Sounds of the Season

November 17th, 2011

The Holidays are just around the corner and we have just the right concerts that will put you in the mood of season. The Mannheim Steamroller and Trans Siberian Orchestra are making a stop in Richmond for their Winter Tours.

The Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller by Chip Davis will roll through town on November 26 at the Landmark Theater. Mannheim Steamroller has been in the music game for 30 years and has become one of the most popular bands in its genre. The band is described as combining the sounds of classical, rock, acoustic and electronic together to create a beautiful one of a kind sound. With the use of lights and special effects along with the music it creates a complete experience. The event starts at 8pm and ticket prices range from $37- $67.

The Trans Siberian Orchestra will be in town November 30 at the Richmond Coliseum kicking off the holiday season with a bang. The show that Trans-Siberian puts on is like none other, with explosions, lasers, lights, fogs and so much more to create a rock concert feel. With the music being described as “rock opera,” the Trans Siberian Orchestra boasts 7 million albums sold and multiple tours to its name. The fun will explode at 8pm continuing on through the evening.

Both bands take your favorite classic Holiday music and present it to you in a new and exciting way. Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance and don’t miss out on these amazing winter concerts.

For More Information:

http://www.richmondcenterstage.com/event/christmas-music-mannheim-steamroller-chip-davis ,

http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/010046FDD31EC0BB

See you soon,
~Paula and Martin Ramirez

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds, Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.

Photo Credit: http://www.wunderground.com

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Theatre IV: The Children’s Theatre of Virginia

November 10th, 2011

With the holidays just around the corner, Theatre IV, has a great line up of plays for the next several months that everyone’s inner child will be sure to enjoy!

Theater IV brings children’s classics alive on stage, and the 2011-2012 season includes A Year with Frog and Toad, The Stinky Cheese Man and Seussical. Currently,A Year with Frog and Toad is running now through December 31. The play follows the upbeat frog and his grumpy friend toad as they learn important lessons about friendship and life. The Stinky Chesse Man begins February 17- March 18 and is based on an award-winning book that takes fairy tales and puts a new spin on them. And last but certainty not least Seussical will run April 27-May 20 and will take the most famous characters from Dr. Seuss books to create a wonderful story.

The different play ticket prices run from $14- $38 depending on the show and the seating assignment. Concessions are available for everyone to snack on during the shows including candy, chips and drinks available for purchase before the show begins and at intermission. Parking can be a bit of a challenge, so be sure to arrive before your show time; parking is available on the street or at parking lots located around the theater.

For More Information: http://www.theatreivrichmond.org/

See you soon,
~Paula and Martin Ramirez

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds, Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.

 

Photo Credit: http://www.theatreivrichmond.org/

 

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Toys for Tots and Historic Mankin Mansion Partner!

November 22nd, 2010

We love the holidays here at the Mansion and it’s at this time of year that we are especially grateful and want to give back. With that being said, we’re pleased to announce a partnership that will allow us not only to help a great cause, but also assist others in doing the same.

This year, Historic Mankin Mansion, is teaming up with the national Toys for Tots program by serving as a toy donation drop off location.   Bring your new, unwrapped toy to the Mansion and help us spread a little holiday cheer!

Toys for Tots, a 63-year national charitable program run by the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, provides happiness and hope to disadvantaged children during each holiday season.  The toys, books and other gifts collected and distributed by the Marines offer these children recognition, confidence and a positive memory for a lifetime.  It is such experiences that help children become responsible citizens and caring members of their community.  Last year the Marine Corps fulfilled the holiday hopes and dreams of 7.4 million less fortunate children.  Since 1947 over 195 million children have been assisted. For more information, visit www.toysfortots.org.

We will be available for drop off Monday through Friday from 9-5pm during the days of November 29-December 10. Thank you in advance for your kind donation!

We’d also like to take a moment to thank those veterans who stayed with us as part of the B&Bs for Vets program on November 10. We had initially offered one room and then opened it up to three suites after we received hundreds of phone calls. We had two couples from the Air Force and one from the Army- from Maryland, Williamsburg and Richmond. Each enjoyed their respective stay as laughs abound and friendships were made.

See You Soon,
Paula & Martin Ramirez

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds, Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.

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First Fridays Art Walk

November 3rd, 2010

When guests come to the Mansion we like them to get a real feel of Richmond, to feel like a local. The First Fridays Art Walk in downtown Richmond is a perfect way to experience the Richmond scene.

The First Fridays Art Walk stretches between Belvidere Street and 8th Street, from the Historic Jackson Ward to Monroe Ward. It is a self-guided tour every first Friday of the month that takes you on a historic, artful, and delicious stroll. The Art Walk is now in its tenth season and is still going strong with art galleries, restaurants, and stores supporting them along the way. No need to watch the weather reports- the Art Walk is rain or shine.

The Art Walk was started to showcase Richmond’s thriving art and culture. Eleven galleries total feature many mixed mediums such as paintings, photography, drawings, collages, and crafts. Quirk, a store located on Broad Street along the trail is exactly what it sounds like- an extremely cute little store featuring quirky, trendy gifts, souvenirs, and home décor. Eateries along your way will make sure you don’t go hungry or thirsty, so pull up a chair and take a load off. You can check out the Richmond Ballet, the newly renovated Centerstage, and the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia.

Make sure on your next visit with us you get the full experience of the artful, trendy city.

For more information, please visit their website . The best news? It’s just a few minutes drive from the Mansion!

See You Soon,
Paula & Martin Ramirez

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds, Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.

Photo credit: InsidersPassport.com

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Raise a Pint with the Spirits of Richmond

October 25th, 2010

Halloween is just around the corner so here at the Mansion, we are getting in a spooky sort of mood. There is so much history surrounding the city of Richmond,  it’s bound to have a few ghostly ghouls walking about. We found the perfect way to incorporate this holiday with some fun for the “big” kids.

The Spirits and Spirits Haunted Pub Crawl sounded right up our guests’ alley, as you take a walk to Richmond’s most haunted pubs. Once you get to the bar, you can sit back and relax with a drink if your heart desires, as your spirit guide tangles a web of ghastly tales. During the tour, you will encounter the spirits of the Berkeley Hotel, the permanent guest of the Railroad YMCA, along with other ghostly surprises that will surely arise.

You can raise your glass with the spirits every third Wednesday of the month starting in May and continuing into early November every year. The pub crawl begins at Tobacco Company, a favorite local restaurant. So why not have dinner or a cocktail before to work up those nerves before your ghoulish experience starts at 7pm? You must be twenty-one to attend the event, however drinking is not required. Tickets are thirteen dollars a person and can be purchased online before the tour.

So, for your next visit with us why not hang out with the lingering locals of Richmond?

For more information please visit their website http://www.hauntsofrichmond.com/home.htm

See You Soon,
Paula & Martin Ramirez

Paula and Martin Ramirez are the proprietors of Historic Mankin Mansion, a wedding resort and
bed and breakfast just minutes from Downtown Richmond. They enjoy new restaurant finds,
Virginia wines and discovering fun events and activities throughout the area for their guests.

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