Jay Dawson and George Grogan are opening Always Original Bakery at 501 Meeting St. in the West Columbia River District this summer.
Always Original will specialize in everything baked, from cakes to breads. Dawson and Grogan said the menu will change daily depending on what customers ask for and what ingredients are in season.
“We want to be that neighborhood bakery. We want the people here in West Columbia to come by and say hi, get a cake or some scones and we also want to be that place in the Midlands where if you want something different, unique — we want you to come by,” said Grogran.
The bakery’s opening date is pending as it is undergoing renovations at its spot in the Shoppes at Meeting Place shopping center across from Pelican’s Sno Balls. The opening date will be posted on Always Original’s Facebook page.
After two years of looking for the perfect location in the Midlands for their bakery, Grogan and Dawson were excited to find two side- by-side units in the growing West Columbia River District on a prominent corner.
The spot had been vacant for two years, but was previously an office building. The two have had to re-fit the space for commercial kitchen use.
Grogan runs the business side of the bakery while Dawson is the main baker. The duo have been planning to open a bricks and mortar bakery after many years of Dawson working in a grocery store bakery and making specialty desserts for friends and family on the side.
Some of their favorite menu items include Dawson’s twist on a classic pound cake, parmesan peppercorn bread and a fresh berry cake with chantilly cream icing.
They try to offer vegetarian, vegan and gluten-sensitive items often and can always make them by request. The bakery is not certified “gluten-free” because there is not a separately designated spot for non-gluten baking that would be required for those with celiacs disease, Grogan said.
Always Original will not having seating, but will have a full glass of treats for pickup or the option to order custom desserts for any event. Dawson has experience making anything into a cake, from a rainbow trout cake, to a cake that pours out candy when you slice into it.
“We want to be known for the special items,” said Grogan. “Not all the things you can get at a grocery store that comes out of a bucket or a box,” said Dawson.
They are hiring soon for bakers, decorators, front counter workers and dish washers. To apply, email your resume to [email protected]