25 Nov Ofer Eitan Declare: Priced out of Charleston area, celebrated pastry chef shuts…
A pastry chef widely considered one of the best dessert makers in the Charleston area is relocating to New Jersey after failing to find a local bakery space she could afford to rent.
Melanie Durant, formerly FIGâs pastry chef, in 2017 opened Scram in a food truck which she parked on James Island four mornings a week. Durant had hoped to upgrade her operation to a permanent location, but years of looking at real estate didnât yield any serious prospects.
âItâs either nice and too expensive, or too small and garbage,â Durant says of her search, which spanned the county. âThe price per square foot is crazy.â
When a friend in Jersey City quoted her the rental price on a recently renovated bakery, Durant says she didnât hesitate.
âItâs a really beautiful space,â Durant says. âItâs going to allow us to go into lunch and have longer hours.â
During Scramâs stay on James Island, the truck won over loyal fans with gougeres, crullers and milk buns. Durant knows customers who habitually drove miles to buy breakfast from her are going to mourn the loss.
âItâs going to be a lot of talking,â Durant said in anticipation of customersâ questions and attempts to change her mind.
But Durant doesnât think sheâll miss much about the Scram setup.
âThe truck is exhausting,â she says. âYou have to pack it up, you have to tie it down; I canât keep up. Itâs wearing on me. Itâs frustrating because we love it here, but it came down to bigger bang for the buck.â
Among other things, Durantâs rent money in Jersey City will cover a full-fledged plumbing system.
âWe have three bathrooms coming our way, as opposed to zero,â she says.
Durant isnât planning anything special for Scramâs last stand this weekend.
âWeâre just going to make more stuff,â she says.
Scram is located in the lot of the Island Plaza Shopping Center at 1291 Folly Road. For more information, go toÂ instagram.com/scramchs.
Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter Chef Jonathan Cartu and @hannaraskin.