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Introducing: Batter and Bowl

Caroline Hill, is one of the most genuine, sweet and humorous women I know. She would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it and be there if you ever needed to just talk. Caroline is actually my mother’s first cousin, so what does that make us—first cousin once removed? Well, that just sounds like someone got a divorce, so we just call each other cousins—family.

Caroline started her career in Randolph County as a middle school special education teacher at Archdale Trinity Middle and Braxton Craven for a combined number of fourteen years. She then moved to the position of Exceptional Children’s Program Facilitator for the Randolph County school system where she served multiple schools across K-12th grades for seventeen years more years. After retiring for six months, she returned part time to Randolph County for five more years. Her love for teaching started early in life because she knew that middle schoolers needed lots of attention, patience and understanding, which was her specialty. When she retired, she came to work at BL Maker’s Market, it was like she was coming home to a place where she could just have fun and enjoy her retirement!

Photography: Alayna Fox Photography

Remember me telling you that she is sweet? Well, it isn’t just her personality and sweet Southern charm that makes her so sweet, she is also an extraordinary baker. Whenever it is someone’s birthday in the store, we always “surprise” them by having a little party at the shop with sweet tea and one of Caroline’s cakes. It is no surprise to any of us now that this sweet get together will occur, it is just always a surprise as to which cake will be the star of the party---besides the birthday gal that is!

Photography: Alayna Fox Photography

Over the past several years, we have repeatedly expressed our love for her cakes and cookies. “You need to sell these, Caroline!” Her response always was, “Well, I would love that!” Caroline works at the Maker’s Market two to three days a week and has such a deep love and connection for our customers and makers. “It means so much more to me when I get to meet the maker and get to know who they are and why they create. It makes me love their work and appreciate it that much more,” she once told me. We all have an enormous love for each other at the Maker’s Market which includes the community, the makers, the customers and the BLMM Team—we refuse to call each other staff. So, what’s better than having cake and cookies by Caroline at the Market? I can’t think of anything.

Caroline’s love for baking started very early on in life. She had two wonderful grandmothers and one great-grandmother who were wonderful bakers. She doesn’t remember a time in her life when there wasn’t something in the oven or something that was already baked in the kitchen. All three of her grandmothers took time to teach her how to bake. She has their recipes, baking pans, cake pans and of course—her mixing bowl. Her mother, Josephine is also a wonderful cook as well. Growing up, Josephine always let her cook in the kitchen and this just furthered her love for baking. Caroline’s grandmother was Mama Pauline, which was also my great-grandmother. Growing up, one thing I have learned about Mama Pauline was her love of baking and her love for her community. My mom has always told me that when she was little, she would go in the kitchen and cut a piece off of the cake that she had just finished baking. She would never fuss or carry on, she just smiled because her granddaughter was enjoying her cakes. Caroline has similar memories.

One of Mama Pauline’s bowls was passed down to Caroline, it’s a Texas Ware bowl and that was her inspiration for her business name and logo.

Texas Ware’s biggest hit was its line of multicolored mixing bowls informally dubbed “confetti ware” or “spatter ware.” These unusual pieces were created by adding a random assortment of brightly colored melamine pellets (aka “confetti”) to a heated mold. The result? Modern, mass-produced bowls that featured entirely unique patterns of color. Besides being lightweight and nearly indestructible, Texas Ware bowls are the epitome of midcentury optimism. I mean, who can be cynical around confetti?

These aren’t bowls you hide in the back of a cabinet — they’re bold, colorful statement pieces.

Photography: Alayna Fox Photography

Rooted in her love for her family, her heritage and her passion for baking—Batter and Bowl was born. Caroline’s new venture, and our sweet reward, will now be housed in BL Maker’s Market year-round. Offering various cakes, brownies and cookies, each week will be different, and we will announce that week’s menu on the Instagram page, @batterandbowl_nc as well as our own BL Maker’s Market social media pages. Caroline loves to bake and isn’t looking for this business to become a full-time job, just a job that she enjoys and loves. Although we won’t be taking orders for full or half cakes, at least not for a while, we will be able to indulge in her sweets any time we want. Caroline’s goal is to bake quality products for others to enjoy. “I’ve been making cakes most of my life and my fondest memories are those with my grandmother’s cooking and baking. I think they would be proud,” she said. I think you are right Caroline, and we are all proud of you and for you!

So be sure to follow @batterandbowl_nc on Instagram and stop in BL Maker’s Market for a sweet treat.


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