Country Lane Too has created a catering tradition in Clanton

Barbara Minor sits out on the porch of Country Lane Too’s location on County Road 28. The business has been at that location for 17 years. (Photos by Anthony Richards)

Barbara Minor sits out on the porch of Country Lane Too’s location on County Road 28. The business has been at that location for 17 years. (Photos by Anthony Richards)

Barbara Minor has been catering events in Chilton County and the surrounding area for the past 20 years, 17 of those as owner of Country Lane Too.

The business has grown since it began in 1999 and has evolved from catering family gatherings to corporate events.

Minor’s first kitchen was in the basement of her house, where she gained the proper licenses and ran the business for five years before outgrowing the location.

In 2004, she moved to her current location along County Road 28 in Clanton on the way to Lake Mitchell.

The location holds a special place in Minor’s heart, as it used to be Country Lane Curb Market and was owned by her grandfather. This was also the inspiration when naming the business.

“This is home,” Minor said.

Something that Minor and her close-knit staff take pride in is the fact that they have never received lower than a 98 rating from the health department.

“I like to keep it homey, because you can do a much better job,” Minor said. “My staff is extremely close and that shows in their work.”

Country Lane Too has the ability to cater an array of event from weddings to local lunches, as well as statewide events from north Alabama to Mobile.

The lunches normally include meat, vegetables, salad and dessert, while weddings can vary from very formal to country style.

Sandra Cleckler mixes up ingredients in the kitchen at Country Lane Too.

Sandra Cleckler mixes up ingredients in the kitchen at Country Lane Too.

According to Minor, weddings are the main source of business and her favorite events to cater.

“It is a great feeling once you see the finished product and see that the bride is happy,” Minor said. “No two have probably been the same.”

Weddings are already booked solid for April, May and June 2017.

One of the differences that caters encounter compared to others in the food industry is the fact that they are required to bring the food to the customers, as opposed to the customers coming to them.

Having a reliable source of food transport can be just as important as the food preparation itself.

The doors of the shop are open most days from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, a typical day normally starts in the kitchen at 4:30 a.m. and can last until 10:30 or 11 p.m. depending on the scheduled event.

“A lot of work must go on behind the scenes in order to get the job done,” Minor said.

Although Minor no longer makes wedding and birthday cakes, she still makes and sells a lot of pound cakes.

In the midst of football season, Minor receives an increase in people ordering and picking up game day foods such as dips and cheese straws for their weekend tailgate parties.

“I look forward to working with the new hospital at future events,” Minor said.

Minor has six granddaughters and each of them share her passion for cooking.

According to Minor, they all participate in the annual Peach Cook-off and have each won first place at some point over the years.

“That is a connection that we will always have,” Minor said.

 

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