What’s cooking with Judy Holdorf, owner of King Arthur’s Pasties of Flint and Grand Blanc.
on October 06, 2011 at 6:00 PM
What’s cooking with Judy Holdorf, owner of King Arthur’s Pasties, 1261 North Ballenger Hwy. in Flint and 2259 East Hill Road in Grand Blanc.
How did you get involved with King Arthur’s Pasties?
King Arthur’s has been around since 1968. I started 26 years ago. I needed a job and filled out an application. After I was hired, the owners were really great. They told me, “Stick around and someday this will be yours.” I didn’t believe them, but 12 years ago my husband and I bought it. I learned everything I could from the owners.
We’re coming into our busy time with Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday orders. For Thanksgiving it’s pies — pumpkin pies. We have a lot of different varieties of pies. For Christmas, it’s just about anything. Everything is homemade so if you set it on the table you can tell everyone you made it. We do cookie trays, breads, rolls; not just one particular item.
What is a pastie?
It’s a meat pie wrapped up in a crust. There are vegetables and meat inside. We have different varieties: beef and vegetable, ham and cheese, all vegetables and Reuben.
In addition, we have breads, cookies, cakes, pies, muffins, quiche and we do wedding cakes. We’re just getting into yeast breads. I’m doing cinnamon rolls and sticky buns.
People come in for one item and go out with a grocery bag. It’s nice to make them happy.
Have you had formal training?
I had a class in cake decorating but I’ve mostly learned as I went along. My first job was in a bakery in Owosso. They taught me a lot about cake decorating. After working there, I said, “This is what I like. This is what I want to do.” It’s worked out well.
What is your favorite thing to make?
I like to decorate cakes. I’ve done that pretty much since I started in the bakery business. When you have a special order for someone, it’s nice to see them smile when they come to pick it up. When the kids come in, I love to see their faces when they see their cakes. Plus, they’re future customers.
Who inspired you to cook?
My mom started it. She was a good cook. We always had Sunday dinner and she liked to bake. I watched her and learned from her. She always made everything taste good.
She took a cake-decorating class and I picked it up from her. When I started the job in Owosso I told them, “Yeah, I know how to decorate cakes.” I could make a few flowers and do a border. I learned a lot.
What is a must have ingredient or tool in your kitchen?
We make so many products. Everything in baking is flour, sugar and eggs whether it’s pie, muffins, or cakes. Those would be the staples I have to have.
With the pasties, we get our vegetables from the farmers market. We try to get everything locally; the meat, the vegetables.
We have two large Hobart mixers. One is a 20-quart and one is a 60-quart. We use rolling pins, whisks and lots of measuring cups.
Who would you like to compete against on Food Network?
I’d like to be on “Cupcake Wars” or one of those shows where you have to create something out of the ingredients you’re given. I think I can decorate cakes really fast. Anything like that would be fun.
Where would you go on a food vacation?
I don’t really travel. I’m happy where I’m at. The Wilton School in Chicago, that would be fun; to see how they do things there. Maybe I would go to Cornwall, England. That’s where pasties originated. It is a northern Michigan thing, too. We have people who come here from up north and take our pasties back with them.
What would you do if you weren’t cooking?
I have three German shepherds, which I train. I take them to obedience training and I’m getting into agility and tracking. That’s my passion, getting their education. I belong to the Companion Dog Training Club in Flint.
Dogs are so great. They prevent heart attacks, help us live longer. I don’t know what I’d do without my dogs. I have one who picks up everything you drop and gives it to you. Even if you don’t know you dropped it, she’ll pick it up and wait for you to come back and notice. Of course, she wants a treat.
— King Arthur’s Pasties in Flint is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Grand Blanc location is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
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