The Marshall sisters 

Mountain romantics on a mission

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Like most young people living in Whistler in those days, Tricia had to supplement her meager hotel wages with a second — and in her case, a third — job. "I was so-o-o-o busy — teaching skiing on Whistler, working at the Delta... and baking cakes at Florentyna's."

Baking cakes? At Florentyna's? "That's right," she says, "Ron Hosner let me use the kitchen as long as I supplied him with his desserts."

Okay. Moment of nostalgia for longtime Whistlerites. Remember Mountain Muffins? I do — they were both filling and delicious, and quickly earned iconic status in the valley. "I had a background in cake decoration," explains Tricia, "so it wasn't that big of a stretch for me." Still, her Mountain Muffins were big news. "We were written up in The Answer (Whistler's then-alternative weekly) and everything," she laughingly tells me. "I was known as the Cake Lady in those days. And I can tell you — my cakes and muffins made the rounds!"

Meanwhile, her older sister, Linda, was still in Victoria, still employed in school administration, and still wondering if this was the path she really wanted to take through life. In 1985, she decided to apply for a leave of absence from her school in order to travel to Europe. "My plan," says Linda, "was to spend some time there, get a job, you know, live the European lifestyle." But things didn't quite turn out that way. "I got sick," she sighs, "and had to come home to recuperate."

On a whim, Linda decided to visit her sister at Whistler. "I came here to relax," she admits. "But there were employment opportunities at the Delta Inn, so..." She smiles. Sighs. "Before I knew it, I was working in the sales office there."

Linda launched Creations And Delights in 1989. "It was essentially a gift shop," she says, "but a gift shop that specialized in cards and balloons." She laughs again. "Remember the '80s? Remember how popular balloons were back then?"

But Creations and Delights provided a base of operations for a much more ambitious project. "There weren't any event planners at Whistler in those days," Linda reminds me. "So we started organizing special events. You know, anniversaries, birthdays, children's parties... that kind of thing."

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