The fad of croffles (the marriage of a croissant and waffle iron) has made it to Charleston at Maccaro, a locally-owned family business in the heart of downtown on King Street. Maccaro Charleston brings a blend of local products, exciting flavors and a welcoming atmosphere to “bring everything together,” said co-owner Pramon Sembiring.
Sembiring and his wife, Wulan, opened Maccaro earlier this year in the former art studio next to Playa Bowls at King and Warren streets.
“We’ve seen the potential in Charleston,” Pramon Sembiring said. “But we asked ourselves, ‘How can we give it more?’ There’s already too much coffee in the area anyways, so I knew we needed something else.”
The concept for Maccaro had always been with them, and when the opportunity arose to open one in Maryland, they took the plunge. Sembiring’s brother, who lived in the area, optioned a spot in a Maryland mall, which opened in August of last year. With the swift success of the small business, the Sembirings knew it was time to open one in Charleston. “We just felt ready,” Sembiring said.
The concept of Maccaro was to bring together a blend of cheap bites, refreshing drinks and a positive experience.
Oh, and of course, the croffle.
At Maccaro, they only offer one flavor, because “it’s as good as it is,” Sembiring said. The signature croffle is a simple, sweet croissant from EVO Craft Bakery is pressed in a waffle iron and coated in a light sugary syrup for a crisp bite.
Other pastries from EVO line the cases at Maccaro, including cream danishes, chocolate drizzled croissants, scone lemon and more. A rotating variety of other sweets and savory snacks fill their smaller case. On an Aug. 26 visit, macarons in flavors like mojito, chocolate and chocolate coconut lined the pastry case alongside cream puffs, tiramisu, slices of chocolate cake and grab-and-go sandwiches.
Breakfast sandwiches, served on croissants, are also offered as a savory morning bite. The basics are egg and cheese, but bacon, turkey, ham or sausage can be added for protein. The sandwiches are made to order, and served with condiments to customize even further.
The Sembirings work with Charleston companies to sell local products in store, too. Along the wall of the store and on an island in the center of the space, is a collection of locally made products ranging from honey and popcorn to coffee and more.
Several items from food company Charleston’s Own can be found in the space, such as white grits, fig preserves, benne wafers, tartar sauce and pancake mix. To prepare for the fall weather, the Sembirings also started carrying apple cider, sticky buns and chocolate covered pecans from There’s No Place Like Charleston. Honey is provided by Bee City in Cottageville.
Because of the location on King Street, Sembiring said, they wanted to show tourists who visit the variety of flavors and products Charleston has to offer, and to take home a slice of Charleston.
Maccaro also offers smoothies and bubble tea, another growing fad in Charleston with big name franchises like ViVi’s and Ding Tea setting up in town.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” he added. “With ViVi’s and Ding Tea, but there is one thing that’s always basic to me — service, cleanliness and consistency of the product.”
And though many of the local and regional products cater to tourists, Maccaro has also become a home for many neighboring businesses and students, who receive a 10% discount. The prices at Maccaro stay low, according to Sembiring, because it’s hard to find a bite to eat and something to drink for less than $10.
“It’s for all the people who work here,” Sembiring added. “Coming here has become a daily thing for them now. So we’re happy not just to serve tourists, but the staff as well. It’s all part of trying to be part of the community.”
Maccaro is located at 427 King St. and open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
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