Jim Marshall, co-owner of the Cedar Barn at Southern Bridle Farms, 645 Silvers Road, Fort Valley, and The Retreat of Southern Bridle Farms, 125 South Langston Circle, Perry; 396-5947 (for both locations). The Carriage House restaurant at the Retreat is open 4:30-10:00 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Other owners are Jim’s wife, Traci Marshall and David and Lynn Whiddon.
How long have you been in business?: “Three years ago we opened the Cedar Barn at Southern Bridle Farms. My niece was getting married, and we couldn’t find anywhere that was large enough to handle the size family that we have, so we decided to build one. We were praying that we would be able to rent it out later,” which has happened.
They primarily hold weddings in the barn but they hold corporate events as well.
“About a year and a half ago we opened the Retreat (at the former Henderson Village) and we do weddings and private events and corporate events. ... The main reason we kept the restaurant is it had everything here. It was already equipped and ready to go. Rooms are rented out during events.”
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What do you like best about your job?: “One thing, about 80 percent of our business is weddings and it’s fun because it’s a happy time for everybody. Everybody is in a good mood and excited. And it’s fun working with people on one of the best days of their lives.
What is your specialty?: “We specialize in weddings and corporate events. We have people who work for us who have 20 years experience with weddings.
What are your future plans?: “On both properties, we are going to keep doing capital expenses to keep it fresh and new things going on but we’re not looking at anything huge. ... We’ll probably focus on getting more corporate events during weekdays. That will be our goal for this year and next year.”
-- Linda S. Morris