Photo Essay by: Diana Matthews
On a regular ol’ Thursday morning, the door to Burney’s of Fayetteville rarely stops swinging. A dog trainer waits in line for his usual pastries, a grin spread across his face in anticipation of the mid-morning treat. A woman comes in to pick up a pre-ordered cake for her son’s birthday party later that evening. A group of women huddles together near the bakery display, trying to choose between glazed croissants or apple fritters and end up making the perfect choice: both.
Behind the counter, the bustle of baking is on full display as bakers, decorators and kitchen staff hustle from one task to the next. One baker slathers coconut frosting over a multi-layered, German chocolate cake. The head cookie decorator and cupcake designer frosts a dozen cupcakes, which are then neatly placed into a take-out box and stacked beside the dozen other orders ready for delivery. And a young woman with a bright smile asks customers, “What can I get you today?”
Patrons place orders with the confidence that comes from having tasted and enjoyed Burney’s baked goods before. They don’t hesitate or waffle because they know whatever is boxed up and handed across the counter will be glazed just right, baked to perfection and taste as good as it looks.
Favorites of this North Carolina franchise (the original bakery is in Elizabethtown, NC) include the glazed croissants, apple fritters and an old-fashioned, fifteen-layer chocolate cake that reminds one patron of the kind of cake her grandmother used to make.
The best part of Burney’s, however, may not be the cakes or pastries. As Head Baker Terri says, “People feel comfortable here. They’ve become part of our family.” Time and again, customers told us they come to Burney’s as much for the friendly welcome from staff and the family feel of the bakery as they do for the lemon cake. Customers Lloyd and Patty Horn come daily, weather permitting, to enjoy coffee and a treat together now that they’re retired. As Patty says, “We come and enjoy the fellowship and getting whatever we want each morning. It’s good. It’s really good.” Lloyd chimes in, “Cold or hot, rain or shine, we come. It’s our routine.”
The Burney’s staff is so in-tune with customers they save the prettiest apple fritter each morning for one gentleman who comes daily for his favorite treat. Maybe Patty sums up what makes Burney’s so special when she says, just before putting the last of her apple turnover into her mouth, “It’s a nice feeling to walk into a place and they know who you are.”
Burney’s Sweets and More is located at 3319-B Raeford Road in Fayetteville. Hours of operation are M-F 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Call ahead for special orders at 910-745-8975.