What happens when a successful restauranteur, homesick for the South, and a rising pastry chef team up? The answer: only good things. Specifically, a bakeshop that celebrates what is delicious in Southern and French cuisine.

Sarah Simmons, a Carolina native and the mastermind behind New York City's City Grit and Birds & Bubbles, is partnering with Charley Scruggs, the notable pastry chef who most recently helped open The Oak Table in Columbia, South Carolina.

Country Ham on an English Muffin. Photo courtesy of Rise Gourmet Goods and Bakeshop.

Their new venture – Rise Gourmet Goods and Bakeshop – just opened in Columbia's eclectic Five Points District. The menu features French pastries like apple galettes alongside Southern staples such as buttermilk biscuits. In addition, they have sandwiches (including fried chicken) and schmears (think chicken liver pate or bacon butter) and so much more.

If that weren't enough, we're most excited about the desserts. Everyone in Columbia saved room for Charley's desserts at The Oak Table. He is the master of reconstructing childhood favorites with a sophisticated twist and from the sound of it, we'll be able to continue indulging in nostalgia by visiting Rise. In fact, his take on oatmeal cream pies will make an appearance.

For more information about restaurants in Columbia, visit


You may be wondering if travel to Columbia is advisable following the recent floods. The downtown hospitality districts saw little to no long-range flood damage. All major roads into the metro area, including interstates, are open. All hotels, attractions and most restaurants, including Rise, are open again and the visitor experience is "back online." Visiting Columbia is a very impactful and meaningful way to help local businesses bounce back after the flood.