Lowcountry Bakery Doubles as Coffee Shop & Green House
By: Jeff Walker, Restaurant Review
After a few years cruising the Lowcountry dispensing their popular sweet treats and sandwiches from the BkeDSHoP Charleston food truck, the owners decided it was time to throw open a permanent eatery, with 99 Westedge St. in downtown Charleston becoming their first brick & mortar locale. Piggybacking on their success they added a second location just prior to the pandemic at 408 Nexton Square in the busy Shoppes at Nexton in Summerville, with a Mount Pleasant site planned in late 2022. Sounds like a sweet success story!
Their present-day accomplishments aside, husband and wife owners Keila and Christopher Garate were destined to find success when the couple met at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York more than a decade ago. Keila from Texas and Chris from New York City discovered they both had a passion for food, which no doubt led to a more enduring union. With their marriage blessed by the culinary gods, the couple eventually made their way to Charleston much to the delight of many donut fans.
Sweet and savory is the best way to describe BKeDSHoP, with a majority of the equation leaning more to the sweet side. While Chris focuses on operations and customer service, Keila oversees quality control in the kitchen. She has honed her skills as a master baker, turning out a plethora of donuts, breakfast pastries, and delicious late day desserts that have patrons often lined up out the door, especially on weekend mornings.
Keila and her baking crew make their way to their respective locations in the wee morning hours to begin making fresh mostly yeast risen donuts alongside bagels, croissants, home-made poptarts, pretzels, fruit bars, cookies, and her signature Ho-Ho’s and banana pudding. If BKeDShoP menu items haven’t excited your taste buds yet, they damn well will after you’ve sunk your teeth and gums into their array of delectables.
BKeDSHoP keeps a dozen or more yeast raised brioche donuts on display every day, many in regular rotation with a few daily and weekly specials, as well as Blueberry Cake. Among customer favorites are the CinnamonSugar, PecanToffee, and the BrownButterWaffle. Creativity is one of Keila’s specialties. Don’t think for a minute she’s excluded plant-based eaters. A half dozen options on the Vegan menu including AppleFritter, VanillaBean, and MapleBrownSugar. Can you say healthy and scrumptious!
Maybe you’re popping in on the way to work or for a light lunch and something savory is more to your liking. Aside from their Bagel Sundays, your best option is any of their four signature pretzels including SeaSalt, Ham&Cheese, Pesto, and Onion flavors. Hearty enough to be filling, without overkill. Ideal at 7am or noon.
If you’re hoping to satisfy both a sugar and salty craving, I recommend the Pastelito, a Latin American puff pastry baked to golden perfection and infused with sweet or savory fillings, usually cream cheese & pureed fruit. Keila apparently likes to think outside the mixing bowl and offer up menu items that pique interest and have wide range appeal. Mission accomplished.
Need a sugary pick me up during the day or want to take home something special for the family. BKeDShoP offer their version of Ho-Ho’s, a chocolate rolled cream filled cake born in America nearly a century ago. The best way to simply describe is chocolate decadence. Keila bakes up three of her own recipe three must have cookies, the Sugar, X2ChocolatePB (double chocolate), and the gold standard ChocolateChip. Her secret ingredient according to Chris is an extra dose of love!
I know you’re saying, the pastries and desserts sound awesome, but what about liquid refreshment? BKeDSHoP offer several of your favorite go-go juices, including fresh brewed drip and cold brew coffees using Charleston based King Bean. Of course you can order a double shot of espresso, cappuccino or a macchiato.
There specialty lattes mirror their donut selections with SaltedCaramel, MaplePecan, and BrownSugarCinnamon among their eight everyday made to order selections. Rounding out the beverage menu are a Vietnamese Coffee, Chai Tea Latte, and an array of seasonal hot chocolates and Earl Grey teas. A perfect blend of hot and cold drinks to complement their incredible edibles.
Young or old, born in the Carolinas or hailing from the southwest and northeast like Keila and Chris, BKeDSHoP serve up a cornucopia of handheld sweet and savory items that tickle your fancy and delight the palate. Whether you’re a kid craving their Cereal&Milk donut or a cocoa loving big kid eyeing their ChocolateSprinkle. BKeDSHoP has you covered, smothered, sprinkled or Nutella filled. Yummy to the max!
While they are a bakery that doubles as a coffee shop, BKeDSHoP offers a distinctive spin which is evident from the home page on their website. It clearly reads Donuts – Coffee – Plants. You read that right, plants! BkeDSHoP operate a mini nursery in their dining hall, specializing in a selection of plants and planters, they hope bring the outdoors in!
The green space in Nexton provides for lots of natural light with the adjacent window wall allowing patrons and youngsters a view of the kitchen where all the magic happens. With appropriate soft music playing in the background the plant den is ideal for catching up on emails or reading your favorite book, all while enjoying a sweet treat and a robust caffeine selection. Life goes by quick, sometimes it’s okay to just chill for a while.
BKeDSHoP’s original location remains at 99 Westedge Street on the west side of downtown Charleston, with their Summerville location just a half mile off I-26 in the shoppes at 408 Nexton Square. A third location is planned for Carolina Park in Mount Pleasant by the end of 2022.
Open 7am-4pm Monday thru Friday at both locations, 8am-4pm Saturday & Sunday (downtown) and 8am-7pm & 8am-4pm Sunday (Nexton), BKeDSHoP goes above and beyond to please the customer. Yes you can call ahead. Yes they do customized catering, if you pick up the order yourself. Come in on Sunday and enjoy a bevy of seasoned bagels. They live, serve, and bake by their mantra, ‘Donut Kill My Vibe’. Discover more at https://www.eatbkedshop.com/
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