Some of the most beautiful historic homes in Norcross are open to the public. Both 173 Carlyle House and Flint Hill, located in the historic district, host weddings, parties and other special events.
Flint Hill, with its white columns, is compared to Margaret Mitchell’s Tara. Built more than 150 years ago, the Norcross gem was owned by Stephen McElroy, a former mayor of Norcross. It remained in his family until 1979, when Norcross historian and entrepreneur Fraser Duke bought the house, restored it and was responsible for its placement on the National Historic Register. Flint Hill has been a special events facility since 1986, and a year later, Magic Moments Catering & Event Facilities took over it. It has been certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council.
173 Carlyle House was built in the 1900s and has been a special events facility for the past 16 years. It is run by the Janousek family, who have been in the hospitality and food service industry for five decades. Chef Janousek studied in Paris and for the past 30 years, has been part of the Atlanta culinary scene. Carlyle House was named a 2012 “Brides Choice Award” winner by WeddingWire.
This week, Patch talks to Gerise Janousek of 173 Carlyle House and Libby Terrell of Flint Hill.
What makes you unique?
CH: We are a family-owned business and have only one location. We do not use caterers; all the food is prepared on site by our chefs. The chef won several awards during the 20 years he had his restaurant. We won WeddingWire’s “Bride’s Choice Award” this year.
FH: We’re set up as a one-stop shop. Whether it’s a bride or a corporate client, they can come to our venue and get their decor, award-winning food and a professional special event planner without having to stress with shopping around for those services elsewhere.
Our menus are sustainably crafted with fresh, seasonal food (much of it local), with dishes capable of shining in a catering environment. We recently purchased a 30-acre farm just outside of Athens and will be growing a large percentage of our food there.
We were just certified as a Woman Owned Business. It’s actually very hard to get this certification and is a long process.
What is rewarding about owning/running your business?
CH: It's very rewarding being part of so many people's special events. Just last week we made someone's wedding special, had a rehearsal dinner for a lovely young couple, and ended the weekend with a going-away party for a couple that had lived in Norcross for 25 years. Everyone always says they feel like they are part of the family by the end of an event.
FH: Running Flint Hill is so rewarding because we’re a part of one of the most important days in each couple’s lives. It’s really gratifying to see the bride and groom smiling at the end of their event and to receive notes they write us even just a few days after their wedding saying how much our level of service impacted their big day.
What do you like about being located in Norcross?
CH: We love having a business in Norcross. The city has made so many improvements and continues to improve. We have a beautiful new sidewalk in the front of the house with pretty trees, the downtown is so pretty with the white lights in the trees, and Lillian Webb Park is a great backdrop for additional pictures for our brides. They really enjoy all that Norcross has to offer, too.
FH: We love being located in Norcross because it’s a central location for brides coming from both inside and outside of the perimeter. Our brides love to utilize the beautiful downtown historic shops as a backdrop for their engagement photos. We believe that a strong sense of community is important, as well as supporting local businesses, so each time a bride reserves our venue we encourage them to go have dinner and a glass of wine at one of the local restaurants in historic Norcross to celebrate.