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Posted: February 23, 2013 7:50 p.m.

Life of Pie and other sweets

Noring Farms launches new dessert cafe and restaurant

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Chris Day studied as a hair and makeup artist; her gift for catching life-changing luck comes naturally. When the Air Force transferred her husband to Anchorage, the city’s seven months of wintry gloom might seem grim for a woman who said she “loves pink, flowers, glitter and all things girly.” But Day promptly landed a job in the Sheraton Hotel’s luxury spa doing spray tans and makeovers.

She made new friends by baking and decorating whimsical pastries. When her husband inherited a Covington home about a year ago, that talent would give her new friends and a new career as a pastry chef.

When Day met Noring Farms owners Christina and Andrew Norman, they hired Day to work in their 5177 Floyd Street store. She often sold her baked treats there. And now, Day is opening her own dessert café, Sugar Shack, in a tiny white cottage in the corner of Noring Farms’ front yard.

Sugar Shack’s grand opening is March 2, the same day Noring Farms officially reopens. The Normans also plan to open their new Clark’s Grove Italian restaurant in March. It is called Milazzo’s Ristorante, named after Christina Norman’s grandfather. Milazzo’s replaces Gallery in the Grove at 4167 Raphael Street. Andrew Norman is the chef. Day will make desserts for Milazzo’s as well as Sugar Shack.

Her Sugar Shack menu includes cupcakes in decadent flavors — Girls’ Night (chocolate red wine cake topped with dark chocolate frosting), Strawberries and Pink Champagne, Honey Lavender, Chocolate Bourbon Pecan and Apple Pie with Salted Caramel Butter Cream. Her husband Brett, gave her the idea for the Good Morning, a cupcake made with pancake dough topped with maple butter cream and chocolate covered bacon. She will also sell ice cream and tiramisu.

As his wife tested recipes, “I gained 30 pounds,” Brett Day said.

He worked hard helping convert an old wooden shed into the lovely Sugar Shack, where three crystal chandeliers splash light onto a black and white tile floor. An adjacent deck offers outdoor dining overlooking the firetrucks, flowers and wind-chimes decorating the yard.

Meanwhile, Christina Norman has installed coolers for the craft beer and boutique wine Noring Farms can now sell.
The Normans had their own unique journey from Atlanta wage-earning workers to Covington business-owning employers.

“We’re hiring staff now for the restaurant and it is a big responsibility, knowing that people with families are depending on you for their livelihood,” said Norman, the mother of 13-year old Savannah and a 12-year old Alex. “But my husband and I really had no choice but to remake ourselves into business owners.”

“When the economy fell off the cliff back in 2008, we both lost our jobs,” she continued. “It was very scary. Andrew was a successful wine broker but no one was buying $300 bottles of wine. We bought a small farm in 2007. I took a job selling heirloom produce in farmers markets to pick up a little money.”

They bought the existing produce store in Covington and sold signature treats like tomato pies to its wares. Now, they want a shopper to be able to get an entire prepared meal, from bread and wine to dessert, at their store.
Despite the winding path that brought them to Covington, Christina Norman and Chris Day feel they are where they meant to be.

“Baking is so much more creative than hair and makeup,” Day said. “As a stylist, I had a client in a chair telling me what to do. With baking, I’m doing exactly what I want.”

Day wanted to give Covington News readers a special treat by sharing her grandmother’s secret recipe for pound cake. You can find it on our website.

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