In November 2019, sisters Paula and Sam Kramer purchased Baguette Magic at 792 Folly Road. Since then, the duo has revitalized the bistro, creating a James Island staple voted Best Bakery two years in a row in City Paper’s Best Of awards.
When the Kramer sisters purchased Baguette Magic, though, they weren’t expecting to be hit by a global pandemic.
“We redid our dining room and went to Myrtle Beach,” Sam said. “And on the way back from Myrtle Beach, we got the message that all the dining rooms are getting closed.”
Despite the setback, they persevered and re-evaluated, setting up “Bag-ette” deliveries, providing weekly delivery services of kitchen essentials and groceries for Lowcountry residents from local farmers and purveyors like Legare Farms and Rio Bertollini’s.
And in the coming weeks, the Kramer sisters have their next project ahead of them — a downtown Baguette Magic location. The new location is slated to open at 73 Spring St. in the former WildFlour Pastry shop, which closed after 10 years in 2019.
This new endeavor has been on the sisters’ minds since they took over the original location, but to get a second location going, they needed the first one to generate capital, Paula said, adding that the cities of James Island and downtown Charleston also have different bureaucratic hoops to clear.
“We don’t have investors,” she said. “We’re just doing everything out of our profits, and so it is kind of like, we have to get the first thing open and then we can expand after generating some money. It’s been a lesson of learning, especially with bureaucracy. Overall, it’s been great though, and we have the best, most incredible contractors and architects. They have helped us along the way with floor plans and navigating some of these things because we’re just doing it all ourselves.”
Coincidentally, Baguette Magic beat out WildFlour Pastry as Best Bakery two years ago, but the coincidences don’t stop there. “Sam and I used to go to WildFlour for cinnamon rolls on Sundays and it was like a big thing when we both moved back to Charleston,” said Paula. “We were big fans. Our real estate agent — who’s also my best friend and convinced us to buy Baguette Magic — she put WildFlour in that building. So she was their agent for that when they signed the lease there. I called her and I was like, ‘They’re not doing anything with that space, it’s closed all the time. Can you reach out?’ And she said, ‘Oh yeah, I know the owner.’ And then she told me the story.”
Since securing the new site, the two have spent hours repainting and redecorating the former WildFlour space, building shelving and redoing the floor in the back.
The new Baguette Magic will be “significantly smaller” than its sister location on James Island and won’t carry the full Baguette Magic menu. The sisters say it’s going to be retail, coffee and pastries with grab-and-go options. “It’s been a huge transformation,” said Paula. “We’re so excited about it.”
Find Baguette Magic on James Island until their new location opens at 73 Spring St. baguettemagicchs.com.
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