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ALBEMARLE NEIGHBOR

Desserts Beasley's specialty at BJ's Carolina Cafe

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Strawberry cake with chocolate drizzled on top is one of Wanda Midgette Beasley’s dessert specialties at BJ’s Carolina Cafe in Currituck.

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By Anna Goodwin McCarthy
Correspondent

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Chocolate drizzled over scrumptious cake made with fresh local strawberries, and banana pudding full of wafers and sliced bananas are just a sampling some of Wanda Midgette Beasley’s delicious desserts.

Beasley prepares her delectable baked goods for her family’s restaurant, BJ’s Carolina Cafe, and catering company, Creative Catering By Wanda in Currituck County.

Beasley has been proud to call Currituck home her entire life. The only time she did not live in the area was when she attended North Carolina Wesleyan College where she studied education.

“I never really left,” said Beasley. “I love this area. All my family is here.”

Beasley returned to Currituck and taught school for close to three decades, spending the majority of her career as a high school social studies teacher before retiring in 2006.

Beasley always loved cooking desserts and was inspired by both her grandmothers’ cooking. So making desserts came naturally to her after she and her husband started BJ’s Carolina Cafe in 2005. Everything is cooked onsite, including their mouthwatering barbecue and ribs.

Beasley said her husband is the pit master and she is his assistant. The restaurant’s offerings include fried chicken, meatloaf, crab cakes, prime rib, chicken salad and hand-cut french fries. Breakfast buffets on the weekend and buffets for Thanksgiving, Easter and Mother’s Day are customer favorites.

Walking into the restaurant customers are greeted warmly by Beasley. A deli case in the front of the restaurant contains her freshly whipped-up sweet desserts that immediately catch the eye.

Beasley said she uses local produce to create dishes like her fig preserves cake.

“We definitely support and shop local,” she said.

While Beasley and her husband still spend numerous hours at BJ’s Carolina Cafe, they handed over the management reins to their son, Benjamin, seven years ago. Their daughter, Tara Elizabeth, also works in the family business.

Beasley said her passion is catering. Through Creative Catering By Wanda, she and her husband provide chef services. And thanks to social media, they’ve become a favorite of people vacationing on the Outer Banks who are seeking customized meals.

Beasley said she loves to cater weddings, and has even officiated at more than 100 weddings that she has catered.

“It should be the happiest time of your life,” she said.

When she’s not working at her businesses, Beasley enjoys remodeling her century-old home located near the restaurant that she and her husband have named Tara Elizabeth Manor.

“It is absolutely breathtaking,” said Beasley.