Former FIG executive pastry chef Caitlin Schumacher is bringing breakfast burritos, sourdough bagels and other sweet treats to James Island with Girl Nextdough, a small batch baking food truck that will hit the road this summer.
And, this isn’t just any old food truck — it’s the one another former FIG pastry chef made famous.
“I can’t replace Scram, but I plan to do breakfast and very similar hours to what Melanie had,” said Schumacher, referring to Melanie Durant’s Scram food truck, which served breakfast buns and other sweets at 1291 Folly Road from 2017-2019 before Durant relocated to New Jersey. “It’s all come full circle in a way.”
But, using the Scram truck isn’t the only thing making this a full circle endeavor for Schumacher, whose only employee will be the man who taught her how to bake in the first place.
“I grew up in North Carolina, and my dad is a big-time baker. He had me standing on a chair making pies and biscuits from when I was 6 years old,” Schumacher said. “My dad actually used to be one of Cynthia Wong’s baking assistants at Butcher & Bee, so he’s a pretty accomplished baker himself.”
Schumacher got her start at James Beard Award-winning Durham restaurant Magnolia Grill, which closed in 2012, when she replied to an ad in the classifieds section of the local alt-weekly newspaper, Independent Weekly (now INDY Week).
“I used to go pick that up from the post office and look through the classifieds. I saw an ad for an entry-level pastry assistant at Magnolia Grill. I took that job and pretty much instantly I was like ‘This is my life,’” said Schumacher, who met her husband Tori (chef de cuisine at The Ordinary) at Magnolia.
Owner Karen Baker, who died from cancer in February 2019, quickly became an early mentor for Schumacher.
“Just working with her and just that very first job having such an incredible teacher was very inspiring for me,” she said.
After a stint out west in San Francisco, the Schumachers moved to Charleston in 2015. The North Carolina native says she learned a lot in her six years at FIG, where she took over for Durant less than a year after getting a job at the Meeting Street restaurant.
“I was thrilled to work with Melanie. FIG has a culture that’s defined, and lessons and methods that just become part of you,” Schumacher said. “Six years later, I can say that if you work there for a number of years and buy into it, you’ll leave there better, faster, stronger, more organized.”
Although Schumacher did have a lot of creative freedom at FIG, the truck will allow her to be in complete control of all facets of the business. Once open, Girl Nextdough will serve a morning menu featuring breakfast burritos, homemade sourdough bagels, egg sandwiches, breakfast sweets and coffee, among other options.
Look for Girl Nextdough to debut in August, Schumacher said. She hasn’t found a place to park the truck yet, but hopes to find a home off Folly Road on James Island. Sound familiar?
For more information, follow @girlnextdoughchs on Instagram.