Carmi and her daughter Thora recently made the trip from California to Georgia to visit family. While here, they got together with Ashley and her daughter Kathryn for a fun July 4th photo shoot. They thought it would be fun to have their moms share a bit about their lifelong friendship and love of cooking.
BLOGGERS: THE TWO OF THEM
A MOTHER’S PERSPECTIVE
From Kathy Pack (Carmi’s Mom)
Since their earliest years, Carmi and Ashley were thrown together through family friendships and church activities. They quickly formed a strong bond that developed into a lasting relationship. Their friendship is a classic example of the old adage: “Opposites attract.”
Even as a child, Carmi was tall, composed, and elegant, with long, blonde hair framing a pleasantly serene countenance. Ashley, on the other hand, was a shorter, more athletic brunette with dark eyes full of good-natured mischief and a “dimples-to-die-for” smile. Together, this unlikely pair found hours of non-stop fun and adventure.
As different as they were, and are, as individuals, the two share a surprising number of characteristics in the warp and weft of their family backgrounds. Both were raised in large families in which a premium was placed on hard work and healthy lifestyles. As home-schooled students, they both had the freedom to pursue interests for which their God-given talents had suited them.
For Carmi, this pursuit included bringing home armloads of cookbooks from each library trip, experimenting with elaborate recipes (such as the gingerbread village that covered the better part of a six-foot table), and volunteering regularly to make dinner for our large family (Hallelujah!). I still remember the holiday season for which she saved her babysitting money to purchase nearly $100 worth of specialty baking items: all for Christmas treats. Her gifts, which took days to craft, were joyously devoured in minutes by the grateful recipients! Eventually, Carmi went on to attend the Atlanta Art Institute’s Culinary Division, where she graduated as a bona fide, certified chef.
Now, life and opportunity have brought Carmi and Ashley back together to work as a team—and they always were a great team! It’s with great joy and anticipation that I look forward to seeing what this new collaboration will produce: I’m thinking recipes for food that is delicious and healthy. Can’t wait!
FRIENDS SINCE BIRTH: ASHLEY AND CARMI
A MOTHER’S PERSPECTIVE
From Sue Becker (Ashley’s Mom)
Carmi and Ashley were born into their friendship. Our families spent time together on a regular basis. We would often have lunch together after church, take day and weekend trips together, and of course regularly swap children around to play with each other. Good times were had by all and many strong bonds of friendships were formed between both the adults and children alike, not the least of which included our daughters, Carmi and Ashley.
Their friendship was unique. Despite their stark differences in both personality and appearance, they shared similar values and interests. Both came from large families and were taught the importance of hard work, clean living and entrepreneurship.
Ashley comes from a long line of Southern women who love to cook and share their food with others. Both her grandmother and great grandmother worked their way through college baking biscuits in the school cafeteria. Following in their footsteps, 9 year old Ashley enlisted the help of her younger brother and started a small business out of our home. Faithfully getting up every morning at 4:30 a.m. to prepare for a 6:00 a.m. delivery of biscuits and cinnamon rolls to sell to a local business. The spirit of an entrepreneur and leader began developing.
Even at a young age, Ashley’s strength became evident. She was outgoing and “never met a stranger”. As the oldest of 7 children, she knew how to handle responsibility. In 1992, my husband and I started our own home business, that has now grown into a corporation that encompasses BBI Wholesale. Ashley, though only a young teenager, became our right hand. She loved accomplishing what ever task she was given and was not afraid to take charge. As our business grew, so did Ashley’s contributions to its success. She has embraced any job she has been given. Positions including bookkeeper, customer service representative, retail store manager/buyer, recipe developer, and cooking class presenter to currently being sales manager for the Ankarsrum Original Assistent.
Ashley and Carmi have a unique and treasured friendship that has stood the test of time. Though their lives have followed different paths and they live miles apart, their similar interest and values have brought them together again. I have no doubt Carmi and Ashley will make a great team in this endeavor together, building upon each other’s strengths, sharing their gifts, talents and expertise with others. I look forward to enjoying each and every post.