Bakery celebrates one year in business
The past year has been a sweet adventure for two sisters and their family.
Crystal Cannon and Jessica Gatlin opened Hansel & Gretel’s Bakery in November 2016 after dreaming about having their own bakery for several years. The bakery is located at 66 Main Street, Barnwell, in the building that previously housed the Gingerbread Shoppe for 23 years.
“We really appreciate the support we’ve gotten from the community,” said Ken Dodson, Crystal and Jessica’s father, who helps with the business.
In fact, four generations of their family work at the bakery, including the sisters’ grandmother, Mildred Williams, and Crystal’s children. While they’ve always been a close family, the business venture has only enhanced that.
Growing up, the sisters worked for Carolyn Jowers at the Gingerbread Shoppe. Their mother and grandmother also worked there at times. Even before they worked at the bakery, a love of baking was instilled by watching their mother and grandmothers cook and bake at home.
Owning a bakery wasn’t their original career path because Jessica and Crystal planned to either be nurses, teachers or missionaries. Crystal became a teacher while Jessica spent a year in Mexico as a missionary. They later made a career change and started nursing school at the same time.
However, after the closure of the Gingerbread Shoppe in 2012, the sisters began to consider the possibility of opening a bakery. With the assistance and support of family, Hansel & Gretel’s was opened.
The sisters don’t look at what they do at the bakery as jobs, but rather as a passion. It’s the same recipe they’ve applied to their patients for years.
“We try to make everything with love,” said Crystal.
“Food brings people together,” said Jessica.
They have an assortment of cakes and pies ready to eat, but are happy to accommodate special requests, such as themed cakes. They can also create an edible version of your favorite photo to go on cakes. Jessica said she enjoys baking and frosting cakes, but leaves the decorating side to her creative sister.
The bakery’s display is filled daily with a variety of single-serve sweet treats, including brownies, cupcakes, cookies, cheesecake squares, ooey gooey bars, and white chocolate raspberry oatmeal bars. Many are favorites that customers of the Gingerbread Shoppe will remember, but the sisters have added some new items. They’ve also tweaked some recipes, including the pound cake which is now a cream cheese recipe.
The building’s exterior has been updated with a fresh coat of brown paint and new awnings. The inside has also been painted and a colorful display of shingles installed to add a little extra character.
Hansel & Gretel’s celebrated its first birthday with a celebration on Saturday, Dec. 2. They gave away hotdogs to the first 100 customers and also gave away gift cards and cakes.
They hope to continue to grow the business while having fun and growing more as a family.
The deadline for Christmas orders is Friday, Dec. 8. They also cater and can make meat and sandwich trays for parties and events.
Hansel & Gretel’s is open Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Contact the bakery at (803) 450-5074 or visit their Facebook page.