Nestled snugly among a row of breathtaking Charleston homes, is a little shop called WildFlour Pastry. Palm trees line the street and the “Open” sign on the stained, wooden door invites you into the cozy store. I am immediately drawn to the cake plate of cookies, the various muffins wrapped in their individual wrappers, the gorgeous, bright red espresso machine - a necessary component that seems to take so much space in a tiny work area.
I am overwhelmed by the smells, and the laughs, and the choices. I turn around to see how seating might be configured and am pleasantly greeted by colorful window seats, beneath the large, sunny windows. As I turn back around, Lauren welcomes me with a smile and a somewhat stressed “Hello!”. I know this feeling; I have been in her shop less than a minute and I know exactly how she feels. Working in too small of a space and trying to finish the day’s baking with a smile and exhausted feet. But she must be doing something right - she was a 2011 James Beard Award semifinalist for 'Outstanding Pastry Chef'. Tomorrow is Sunday, not a day of rest for Lauren, but rather, I learn, ‘Sticky Bun Sunday’ - the morning when hoards of people will willingly squeeze into the shop like sardines to buy every last sweet, sticky bun. I already wish I could be one of those lucky customers.
Instead, my travel companions and I start rattling off everything we want, as Lauren delicately places each treat in a large cake box. We each order coffees to go, fuel for our trip home, thank Lauren for her time and her talent, and head on our way. Later that evening, back home with our companions and guests, I am happy to lead the way for a dessert tasting. I take a slice of every single treat we purchased: frosted sugar cookie, snickerdoodle cookie, oatmeal walnut with cranberry cookie, double chocolate cookie, strawberry oat bar, pecan cinnamon coffee cake, blueberry muffin, banana chocolate chip muffin, and pumpkin pecan muffin with cream cheese frosting. I happily hop back up on the stool and feel the heat of people staring; I peer up to see everyone eyeing my plate composed of all these little tastes. Everyone but Mike, I should mention; by now he is accustom to my quirks and greeted my gaze with a smile.
If you are in Charleston, be sure to swing by WildFlour Pastry to enjoy Lauren’s hard work. My absolutely, could-not-stop-eating favorites were the double chocolate cookie and pecan cinnamon coffee cake. I can assure you my next trip to Charleston, will be planned around a Sunday, just so I can stop in and grab a sticky bun.
73 Spring Street | Charleston, SC 29403
Hours: Tuesday - Friday 6:30 AM - 4:30 PM; Saturday 8 AM - 3 PM; Sunday 8 am - 1 PM