For 27 years, Mother’s Finest Catering has been cooking for metro Atlanta.
February 27, 2014 12:05 AM | 4709 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
James Ashcraft, left, along with brother, Tony, flank their mother, Wilma Ashcraft, in the kitchen at Mother’s Finest Catering in Mableton.
James Ashcraft, left, along with brother, Tony, flank their mother, Wilma Ashcraft, in the kitchen at Mother’s Finest Catering in Mableton.
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Wilma Ashcraft prepares to make some of her patented banana pudding.
Wilma Ashcraft prepares to make some of her patented banana pudding.
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Squares of red velvet, strawberry, carrot and chocolate cake.
Squares of red velvet, strawberry, carrot and chocolate cake.
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Italian Cream Cake
Italian Cream Cake
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For 27 years, Mother’s Finest Catering has been cooking for metro Atlanta. What started as a small catering business now serves more than 700 corporate clients in the Atlanta area. Mother’s Finest specializes in homestyle catering to black-tie affairs.

“We give people a great price, and they get a great product,” said Wilma Ashcraft, founder and president of the company. “That’s our recipe for success.”

Mother’s Finest is known for its made-from-scratch Southern fare such as fried chicken, turkey and dressing, country fried steak, mashed potatoes, pole beans and cream corn along with delicious pies, cakes and puddings.

“It was just word of mouth. No advertising — we’ve never advertised. It’s just been a good ride the whole time,” said Ashcraft, whose first catering job was with her church, Mt. Harmony Baptist in Mableton.

“They asked me if I’d be interested in preparing the food for (a Valentine’s party). It was very successful. From that people asked me to do other things,” she said.

More opportunities arose after she catered her son Tony’s wedding such as rehearsal dinners and receptions.

“It just started from there. That’s how we started getting people to do weddings with us,” the Mableton resident said.

For two years, Ashcraft worked out of her home. In 1985, she established Mother’s Finest Catering with her sons, James and Tony. After working 30 years with Six Flags Over Georgia, she retired.

“When I retired, I immediately came to work at Mother’s Finest. I worked every day since,” said Ashcraft, who turns 82 in July. She also has a daughter — Melinda Ashcraft, a former Six Flags executive.

In 1985, the company rented a 1,000-square-foot building and added another 1,000 square feet in the next three years until purchasing the space in 1989.

“We stayed there for 17 years, and then we built and developed our own building,” said James, a Paulding County resident.

Wilma Ashcraft learned to cook from her late sister-in-law, Myrtle Ashcraft, when she visited her mother-in-law in Alabama every three weeks as a young bride.

“Myrtle was a great cook and she actually taught me. She helped me. I have to credit my sister-in-law for teaching me how to cook,” Ashcraft said.

Ashcraft passed her cooking knowledge on to her sons and together they grew the business.

“As I grew, my mom taught me how to cook,” James said. “She and I do all the desserts. I learned everything I know from my mom. I can cook, but I’m not a fancy cook. My brother is the chef. He doesn’t even have to look at recipes. He just makes it.

“We came from humble beginnings and we’ve turned a mom and pop catering company into a nice corporation,” James said.

Individual and corporate orders are welcome. For more information, visit mothersfinestcatering.com or call (770) 944-9277.

½ cup (1 stick) margarine, softened

½ cup shortening

2 cups sugar

5 egg yolks

2 cups plain flour

1-teaspoon baking soda

1-cup buttermilk

1-teaspoon vanilla extract

½ (12-ounce) package frozen coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

5 egg whites, stiffly beaten

DIRECTIONS:

Cream the margarine and shortening in a mixing bowl until smooth. Beat in the sugar until smooth. Add the egg yolks and mix well. Sift the flour and baking soda together. Add to the cream mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Stir in the vanilla, coconut and pecans. Fold in the egg whites gently. Pour into 3 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Frost with Cream Cheese Icing.

Italian Cream Cake

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

½ cup (1 stick) margarine, softened

1-teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (1-pound) package confectioners’ sugar

Cream the cream cheese and margarine in a mixing bowl until fluffy. Add the vanilla and confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.

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