How Sweet It Is…

Welcome back to our baking discussion focusing on our two preferred Pastry Chefs, how they got their starts, and the trends we’re seeing this year. For today’s post, I sat down with Delisa Wells, owner and Pastry Chef at Wells Family Baking Company, to see where she got her start and how her journey brought her to Gettysburg, and most importantly, why we offer her cakes in your wedding package.

Wells Family Baking Company


Delisa first started her baking career in 2001 while attending York Technical Institute and studied Pastry Arts until she graduated in 2002. After graduation, she began working for a bakery in Downingtown for a few years until she took an internship at Kiawah Island in South Carolina. While there, she met her husband and business partner, Orrin. At the end of her internship, Orrin got a job offer here in Gettysburg and Delisa put her talents to work in New Cumberland at Dingeldein Bakery before settling in at Seasons Bakery here in Gettysburg. For those of you who have lived in Gettysburg for a while, you might remember the place. Eventually, when the owner decided to sell the business, Delisa and Orrin jumped at the opportunity and everything fell in line.

When I asked her about the business name, why it’s not “Delisa’s Cakes” or “Delisa-icious Cakes” (I promise, I’ll keep working on my business naming skills), she replied that it was not just a cake company. When they opened their storefront here in town, her husband jumped on board as the Executive Chef and they offered made to order foods, sandwiches, soups, fresh breads, pastries, cookies preordered desserts, and of course, wedding cakes.

Business was great in downtown, but food is perishable and the products have a short shelf life. After much deliberation, they decided to move their business to the Intersection Church where she rules the kitchen and now only offers pre-ordered items, switching their business model to a by order only bakery. This has allowed her more time to hone her craft and focus on her passion… creating the perfect wedding cake… just for you!

“Being able to create something that they couple will look at for years to come,” she says is the most rewarding part of what she does. Looking back on those memories, reliving the moments and knowing that her work was a part of the day makes it all worth it! I asked her if she felt there were any challenging part to her job and she was hard pressed to find an answer and said, “Nothing. It’s cake… no pun intended!”

Delisa offers a wide variety of flavors, the most popular of which are the typical standards, though yellow cake with strawberry buttercream and chocolate with raspberry buttercream do have the edge. Her husband, however, would protest that the hazelnut chiffon with hazelnut mousse is the winner by far. Sponge cakes, which have a similar lightness to an angel food cake and chiffon cakes, which are incredibly light and airy are the most requested thus far this season. When she bakes them, she’s exceedingly careful with the batter so it doesn’t fall flat.

This year’s trends seem to be pretty consistent as far as finishes go; simple, clean cakes with smooth icing coupled with fresh flowers. The fall weddings had lots of burlap ribbons and seasonal flavors such as spice and pumpkin. She’s noticed a heavy shift in colors for the seasons with a lot of coral for the spring and summer and jewel tones like teals and purples later in the year. I asked her about the cupcake craze and she said “Thank you Jesus, the cupcakes are going out!” Cupcakes are a great idea and we all understand the appeal, but from a baker’s perspective, they’re much more difficult to transport and setup. Another thing she said she does not see coming back anytime soon is fondant. Did you know it’s not supposed to be eaten? I just learned that this summer and can hopefully spare you from making the same mistake I did!

One really fun part about Delisa’s cakes are that you get to combine whatever flavors and icings you wish. Most times, they’re pretty normal pairings, but sometimes couples surprise her when they sit down and start pairing flavors at their tasting! Recently, she’s had two couples in a row pair the orange cake with chocolate ganache (sounds amazing to me) and two other couples chose red velvet with lemon buttercream. She has no limitations on combinations of flavors or tiers, which can sometimes be a means of compromise for indecisive couples.

“I really try to put as much thought and effort into creating something special for my couple’s wedding days, treating it as if it were my own. I treat every individual as if this is my first time doing something for them. Just because I’ve been doing this for 15 years, I listen to what they want and create it.” ~ Delisa Wells

Wells Family Baking Company – Where quality is perfection.

All You Need is Love… and a Little Cake

Here at the Gettysburg Hotel, we take our dessert very seriously and offer you only the best Gettysburg has to offer, which is why we include a wedding cake by either Karen Rodkey Cakes or Wells Family Baking Co. in all of our wedding packages.

I sat down with both of our baking masters to learn a little bit more about their journey to where each of them are today.

Karen Rodkey Cakes


What I found most interesting is that Karen got her start completely by accident. After she graduated from culinary school, she worked at Baltimore’s Pimlico restaurant for a time before taking a ‘normal job’ elsewhere. One day, she got a call from the chef at the Westminster Inn who was familiar with her work and asked her to make two wedding cakes for the coming weekend. Their current baker had quit mid-week with no notice and Karen stepped in to save the day. Little did she know that would be the start of a 24 year journey that continues to thrive.

I asked her about the changes she has seen over those 24 years and what’s currently trending. The biggest change is that when she started out, she offered a variety of flavors that were sure to be crowd pleasers. Over time, she’s kept those originals, but has created flavors and fillings that suit her palate, most notably Orange Ambrosia and her signature White Chocolate with Raspberry Cheesecake Filling. At this point, she offers over 30 flavors, each paired with the perfect filling, that are the delightful finish to a flawless wedding day.

When asked about her favorite flavor, Karen said, “It would have to be carrot cake, a flavor my mother made for us growing up all the time.” The most popular flavors are consistently Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Ganache, Strawberry Shortcake and Red Velvet, though some flavors do gain popularity seasonally. For example, Pumpkin Spice and Apple Cinnamon start trending when the weather turns cold and the White Chocolate with Raspberry Cheesecake Filling is a hit as spring emerges.

The steady popular trend that we’ve seen again and again over the last two years or so is the shabby chic wedding reception, complete with burlap and mason jars. In cakes, this trend manifests itself in designs that include plaster-like finishes and naked cakes. In some cases, cupcakes fill the bill for this more casual theme. Karen told me she feels that most couples choose a cake to match their venue and thus, has been bringing a lot of classic wedding cakes to grace our Grand Ballroom. This year’s trend has been an increase in blush and navy, metallic accents and soft, feminine patterns, such as lace or damask.

I asked her about transporting the cakes, which she replied is “probably the most nerve wracking part; being aware of the other drivers, trying to be patient and watching out for the safety of the cake because there is no second chance.” But she says that’s not the hardest part. “The most difficult part of making a wedding cake is all of the unseen hours that go into the process.” The average cake can take upwards of 15 hours or more to create, but that brings us around to her favorite part. She loves that she can look at her counter filled with common ingredients of the finest quality, (fresh produce, gourmet cocoa, real Land O’Lakes butter) and through all of those long hours, she can shape not only a gorgeous, but delicious creation, custom designed to be the perfect fit for one lucky couple’s wedding.


A huge thanks to Karen for taking the time out of her busy baking schedule! Check back next week for more on our wedding cake discussion as we speak with Delisa Wells about her journey opening Wells Family Baking Co.

Your Destination Wedding in Gettysburg

If you think Gettysburg is too far away for your wedding, guess again! If you’re thinking there is nothing for guests to do traveling here to celebrate with you, guess again…again! We have so much to do and see that your guests will have no shortage of entertainment and activities to occupy their time and make your wedding weekend one to remember.

Here’s how to do it…


Contact Destination Gettysburg at 1.800.337.5015 and ask for their complimentary gift bags. The bags come complete with a large map of our town, visitor’s guide, a restaurant list and information about things to do in town on that weekend. They just need to know when you need the bags and how many to prepare. Then all you have to do is pick up the bags and bring them to the hotel. Our friendly front desk staff will distribute the bags on your behalf.

If you’re interested in putting together your own itinerary for the weekend, but need help finding out what’s going on, visit the Destination Gettysburg calendar, enter your dates and choose from all the fun events!

If you’re still in need of some ideas, here is a helpful list we’ve compiled of awesome vacation activities your guests can enjoy.

Battlefield Tours
InSite Gettysburg
Gettysburg Battlefield Bus Tours
National Riding Stables at Artillery Ridge
GettysBike Tours
Segway Tours of Gettysburg
Gettysburg Guided Historic Walking Tours

Golf
Carroll Valley Resort Golf Courses
Mountain View Golf Club
The Bridges Golf Club
Quail Valley Golf Course
The Links at Gettysburg

Museums
Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park
Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum
David Wills House
Shirver House Museum
Jennie Wade House

Photography & the Arts
Victorian Photography Studio
Adams County Arts Council
Lord Nelson’s Gallery

Theatres
Majestic Theater
Totem Pole Playhouse
H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center
Eichelberger Performing Arts Center

Wineries/Distilleries
Adams County Winery
Hauser Estate Winery
Reid’s Orchard & Winery
Mason Dixon Distillery

Enjoy Romance in Gettysburg This Valentine’s Day

Valentine's DaySpring is near and love birds are flocking to Gettysburg!

Want to whisk away your valentine this year, but haven’t made your reservation yet?  That’s okay!  There is a lot going on at the Gettysburg Hotel!  Reservations are still available in One Lincoln where we are serving a stellar four-course prefix menu, complete with mouth-watering appetizers, delicious salads, enticing entrées and heavenly desserts!  You are sure to impress your sweetheart when you make a reservation with us.  Call us at 717.338.5455 now to reserve your seat and join in the fun!

Interested in staying over?  We are offing our Cupid’s getaway package for any night the entire month of February.  All packages come with a romantic dinner for two in our award-winning Gettysburg restaurant, One Lincoln, fabulous gourmet truffles from Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium awaiting you in your guestroom and a bottle of champagne.  Feel free to sleep in the next morning because you also get complimentary late checkout and breakfast for two!  Reservations can be made by calling 717.337.2000.  Room type availability varies throughout the month, but we are sure to have the perfect location to get away with your other half.

Lincoln Wedding Fair

Here’s to love, laughter and happily ever after at the Lincoln Wedding Fair!

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Engagement season is well under way and our available dates are quickly being crossed off the calendar.  Don’t miss your opportunity to be married #happilyeverafteratgettysburghotel and to join the elite list of couples who have experienced our first class service, making you honorary royalty for the day!  If you’ve never been to the Gettysburg Hotel or are interested in another look, the ideal opportunity awaits you on Sunday, February 19th from 12:00 – 3:00 pm when Once Upon A Time Events hosts their wedding expo at our gorgeous venue.

The afternoon will be brimming with excitement as you start to plan one of the most special days of your life.  Meet with over forty vendors, including eleven from the Gettysburg Hotel preferred vendors list, providing a huge array of services, from attire to cakes, photography to transportation, DJs, jewelry and so much more.  We invite you to sample our amazing cuisine and take part in a vendor scavenger hunt to win fabulous door prizes, including the possibility of an overnight stay at the Gettysburg Hotel with dinner and breakfast for two!  We invite you to sip as you stroll when you purchase the show’s signature cocktail, the blushing bride, created by our in-house mixologist Peter Bales, available at the cash bar all afternoon.

Free pre-registration is going on now, but these tickets are limited.  You can claim yours now by visiting their website.  If you missed the free pre-registration, you’re still welcome to join us for the day’s festivities.  Just pay $5 in advance online or $10 at the door.

PURCHASE TICKETS

 
Come early or stay late so you can hang out with us a little longer.  Our award winning restaurant, One Lincoln, will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  We look forward to you joining us so we can show you how to make “Our history… your destination.”

Newly Engaged? Look No Further Than the Gettysburg Hotel

2017 gettysburg hotel wedding look bookCall April Rose today to book your tour and discover everything the Gettysburg Hotel has to offer to make your wedding stand out from the crowd!  Our newly refinished ballroom seats up to 240 guests with a huge dancefloor and because the ballroom was formerly a bank, you’ll have access to the bank vault throughout the entire evening!

And the best part, we’re running an amazing special to fill our remaining dates for early 2017.  If you book your wedding to take place on any available date between January 1st and April 30th, 2017, you’ll receive complimentary use of the ballroom (up to $1,375 in value) and our gold Chiavari chairs (valued at approximately $500, depending on the size of your reception)!

When you meet with April, be sure to ask her about our preferred vendor list too!  We’ve just unveiled our new bridal book, in which you’ll find our updated list, including vendors from a huge variety of categories.  The vendors we recommend are the best in our community and work as hard as we will to make sure your wedding day runs smoothly so you can sit back and enjoy every moment.  Check back monthly for our vendor spotlight where we will feature a few of our preferred vendors in greater detail.

View our new bridal book.

Our recommended vendors are:

Bakery
Karen Rodkey Cakes
Wells Family Baking Company

Bridal Salons
Tamzen’s Bridal at Butler Manor

Ceremony Locations
Gettysburg Foundation

Coffee House
The Ragged Edge Coffee House

Confections
Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum & Candy Emporium

Dance Lessons
Dancing Fox Consulting

DJ & Entertainment
Great Scott Productions
Phantom Shadow

Entertainment
Christopher Entertainment Group

Event Rental & Design
The Gala Event, LLC
Gettysburg Rental Center

Floral
The Flower Boutique
The Flower Shop

Hair & Makeup
Gettysburg Day Spa
Serenity Salon & Spa of Gettysburg

Jewelry & Gifts
Jewelry Designs by Gail
Scott & Co. Fine Jewelers

Limousine
A Touch of Class Limousine

Mensware
T&S Clothing and Gifts

Officiant
A Wedding by Summers
Reverend Ronald B. Crawford, Marriage Minister

Photobooth
Creative Force Photography, Inc.
Great Scott Productions
Phantom Shadow

Photography
Creative Force Photography, Inc.
Leer Photography
Time Passages Photography

Realtor
Brittanie Woodward, Realtor with Trish Rowe Realty

Tours & Transportation
Gettysburg Tours, Inc.

Travel & Honeymoon
Just Vacations

Up Lighting
Great Scott Productions
Phantom Shadow

 

Gettysburg New Year’s Eve

It’s Almost Time to Ring in the New Year!

 

NewYearsXSmall183x108jpgThat’s right!  December is here and it’s time to make your plans to celebrate the arrival of 2017!  Join us on December 31st for a night you’ll remember long into the New Year.

Ready to book? Click here

 

New Year’s Eve Dinner Menu

Our gourmet, five course dinner includes:

  • Jumbo lump crab and smoked cheese fritter on Yukon gold potato served on lobster and pancetta succotash with citrus burr blanc.
  • Hotel Gettysburg New Year’s Eve Salad of exotic greens, cinnamon spiced butternut squash, candied pecans, gorgonzola cheese and roasted shallot vinaigrette
  • Roasted breast of duck with saffron and brussel sprout potato gnocchi
  • Pan seared coriander rubbed veal rib-eye with an exotic mushroom au poivre, sweet potatoes and cognac reduction
  • Assorted mini desserts

Live Entertainment

Live entertainment will be provided by Soul House Quartet, a classic rock, R&B, jazz and blues band brought in from Hershey Pennsylvania.

Ready to book your NYE Package? Click here.

 

Drinks

Your package includes two drink tickets per person and a champagne toast at midnight.

New Year’s Fireworks

Don’t forget to step outside a few minutes before twelve to experience the fireworks display in the square.  The fireworks are launched off the roof of the parking garage located directly behind the hotel and your view from the square will be the best seat in the house!

Hotel Accommodations on New Year’s Eve

Ready to book? Book Now.Gettysburg Fireworks New Year's

Upscale accommodations for two are included in the package, accompanied by complimentary late checkout on New Year’s Day at noon.

Formal seating will being at 6:30pm and dinner service will begin promptly at 7:00pm.  Stay all evening.  The party goes until 1am!

Traditional Room – $369.95 (per couple)
Premier Room – $399.95 (per couple)
Luxury Suite – $439.95 (per couple)
Deluxe Suite – $469.95 (per couple)

All packages include taxes and service charge.

Book the Gettysburg Hotel New Year’s Eve Package Now

 

Gettysburg Holiday Events

A rundown of everything related to the holiday season in Gettysburg. Gettysburg is the Place to be this Holiday Season!

 

If you’re still looking for a way to bring a little more magic to the holidays, look no further.  Gettysburg is offering a wide variety of events, sure to please our visitors and townsfolk alike!

First Friday Cookie Walk

December 2, 2016 from 5:00-7:00pm

first-friday-logo
Treat yourself to Santa’s favorite treat, Cookies and Milk, in One Lincoln on December 2nd from 5:00-7:00pm.  Don’t let the name fool you though.  This is a little stronger than what Santa is used to.  Cookies and Milk is our featured beverage on First Friday’s Cookie Walk.  The $7 dink consists of vodka, Kahlua and Bailey’s Half & Half.  The appetizer featured that night is our Blackened Salmon Risotto with Granola Crunch, only $5.  If you enjoy the Cookies and Cream, be sure to come back throughout December because we are featuring that beverage all month.  After visiting us in One Lincoln, don’t forget to stop by the front desk and enjoy a Christmas cookie.  Then, join the “Cookie Walk” and sample other holiday treats at participating vendors.

Breakfast with Santa

December 3, 2016 from 7:30-11:30pm

Don’t forget to join us bright and early on December 3rd as we welcome Santa to the Gettysburg Hotel for our 13th Annual Breakfast with Santa!  Tickets are $5 per person at the door.  Kids under 3 eat free!  Mrs. Claus will be joining him, as well as his most trusted reindeer, Rudolph.  Get your picture taken with Santa while you’re here and be sure to bring him your Christmas wish list!  The photo is included with admission and will be sent to your mom or dad.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Greens Wreath Class

December 3, 2016 from 1:00-3:00pm

The Greens Wreath Class at the Adams County Winery Farm location is back by popular demand.  They have once again partnered with Ashcombes Farm and Greenhouse to bring you a beautiful selection of fresh assorted greens with which you’ll make a stunning wreath to adorn your entryway.  If you’re intimidated by the idea of making your own wreath, cast those concerns aside.  Andrea Bitzel, with Ashcombes Fram and Greenhouse, will be there to instruct you every step of the way.  Adams County Winery will be featuring a selection of their most popular wines that afternoon and you’ll have the opportunity to sample a glass, included in your package.  Guests under 21 are more than welcome.
The class is $45 per person and reservations are required.  Call to reserve your seat today.  (717)334-4631

Olde Getty Place Christmas Parade

December 3, 2016 at 7:00pm

old-guard-fife-and-drum-corps-webThe 2016 Olde Getty Place Christmas Parade is coming to town.  Bring your mittens, a thermos of cocoa and a comfy seat and join us as we enjoy seven floats, baton twirlers, musicians, youth groups, local radio stations, a live nativity and much more.  Mayor and Mrs. Streeter will be there to help you usher in the holiday season.  And this year, it is Gettysburg’s honor and pleasure to welcome the United States Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps to our small town to lead the parade!  And what Christmas Parade would be complete without an appearance by Santa Claus himself, escorted by the Gettysburg Fire Department!

Unwined & Relax

December 4, 2016 from 1:00-5:00pm

After a busy week of cooking for Thanksgiving, putting up the Christmas tree and getting your early bird shopping in, you deserve a break.  Head over to the Adams County Winery Farm Location and take their free essential oils class, presented by doTerra, from 1:00-2:00pm.  The class is free, but reservations are required for planning purposes.  After the class, enjoy time to shop at a variety of vendor booth for purses, clothing, jewelry, mini manicures by Grace Kelly Salon and much more.  Other vendors include LuLaRoe and Mary Kay, just to name a few.  The vendors will be there from 2:00-5:00pm to help you  “unwined & relax”.  Call to reserve your seat today.  (717)334-4631

 

GARMA Gives the Gift of Christmas Cheer to Gettysburg This Year!

Gettysburg Christmas TreeThe Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association, known to our small town as GARMA, has undertaken a massive fundraising effort to replace Gettysburg’s worn out, but well-loved Christmas Tree.

The iconic tree has served us well, but we’re ready to deck the square, thanks to GARMA’s impressive efforts, with the new 26’ tree.  Join us on November 25th as we light up our town and introduce the tree to its new home.

Holiday music by roaming street carolers from the Totem Pole Playhouse will fill your ears, hot chocolate compliments of One Lincoln will warm your tummy, coffee from the Ragged Edge will waken your sprit, candy and cookies from Kilwin’s Chocolates and Dunlap’s Restaurant and Bakery will tempt your sweet tooth and the magic of the season will fill your heart as Santa’s shanty opens at 5pm.  Be sure to come early for his arrival by Victorian Carriage Company.  And don’t miss out on telling him your Christmas wishes because he’s only there until 8pm!

Interested in taking in a little history that night?  Visit the David Wills House, located at 8 Lincoln Square, for a tour of the house where Abraham Lincoln stayed when he gave the Gettysburg Address.  Sip on local cider provided for the entire family while your children make their very own Victorian Christmas Tree ornament.  On your tour by a National Park Service Ranger, you’ll learn about 19th century holiday traditions and the significance of the David Wills House to our town.  Admission has been reduced to $2 per adult and the tour is free to anyone under 18.

Many of the participating businesses with GARMA will be open late that night to help you celebrate Gettysburg style.  But with all the fun going on, don’t forget to be back outside in the square around 6pm to experience the grand illumination.

For more information on the evening’s festivities or to make a donation toward the final phases of enlarging next year’s tree, please visit www.gettysburgretailmerchants.com or check out GARMA’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MyGARMA/.

Community partners include Kennie’s Markets, Destination Gettysburg, The Ragged Edge Coffee House, Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association, Gettysburg Hotel, Kilwin’s Chocolates, Victorian Carriage Company and Dunlap’s Restaurant & Bakery.

2016 Gettysburg Christmas Tree

13th Annual Breakfast with Santa

Calling all children and those who are kids at heart!

Santa Claus is coming to town on December 3rd to meet all the nice little boys and girls in Gettysburg so he can check that you are on his flight plan for Christmas Eve!  Santa will be arriving at 7:00am with help from our special friends. 

Come early to experience the excitement of his arrival and stay for breakfast, starting at 7:30am.  Breakfast will include silver dollar pancakes, eggs, bacon, sausage, donuts, pastries and so much more!  And, included with your breakfast is a complimentary photo with Santa Claus himself and time to tell Santa your every Christmas wish.  In the week following the event, the photos will be emailed directly to your mom or dad’s inbox with permission to print and use the photo as necessary.  Also included is a gift from Gettysburg Dental Associates and a piece of fresh fruit, given to you by Santa’s pint sized helpers.

While you’re here, be sure to introduce yourself to Santa’s star reindeer, Rudolph, who is making the long trip from the North Pole to meet you!

Since Santa cares about all the little boys and girls of Adams County, all proceed from this event will be donated to the United Way of Adams County.  The United Way’s mission is to strengthen families by focusing their efforts on education, income and financial stability and health.

Admission to the event is $5 per person.  Kids under 3 eat free!  Pre-registration is not required.  Feel free to drop by anytime between 7:00am and 11:30 to take part in the fun.  We can’t wait to see you there!