Friday is pizza day at the bakery. Slices or whole pizzas are available to go.
The ovens are on early at Artsy Cakes and Bakeshop. Michael Elohim and his son, Michael Elohim, Jr., arrive at five to make sure breakfast is ready for the Kingstree residents who have made this place a part of their morning routine over the last five years.
Artsy Cakes and Bakery is open at 7 a.m. for breakfast Tuesday-Friday and 8 a.m. on Saturdays.
Photo by Nichole Livengood
They fill the case with donuts, Danishes, apple turnovers, blueberry muffins, cronuts and freshly baked croissants. When they open at 7:00am, orders come in for a bacon egg and cheese on a fresh baked everything bagel; two pancakes with scrambled eggs and two strips of bacon; an omelet with veggies. “When Huddle House closed in town, we expanded our breakfast menu and included traditional breakfast, diner-style,” he says. There is only seating for a few in the restaurant. Most orders are take-out or pick-up.
People come from hours away for Mariah Roman’s custom-made cakes.
Elohim opened the bakery with his mother, Darlene Roman and sister, Mariah Roman. Darlene is from Kingstree. She says that when she graduated, she had a bus ticket in her hand. She ended up in New Haven, Connecticut where she raised her family. In 2006, she retired as a correctional officer, and moved back to Kingstree to take care of her parents. Elohim joined her in 2014.
“We decided to take our skill sets and put them together,” he says. Artsy is the best of all of them. Elohim has a background in non-profit consulting, marketing and technology. His mom is an accomplished traditional cook. His sister is a talented baker and was running a bakery out of the house.
The Italian Sub with salami, pepperoni, ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise, oil and vinegar and seasonings.
“Mom said it was time to get my sister out of the house,” so the bakery was born. In September of 2018, Elohim had a business plan. They had to drive all over the state to find equipment. They even drove to Connecticut to pick up some refrigerated displays from a Starbucks that was closing. Three months later they opened for business.
The menu is a little different than normal southern fare. Some of the recipes are rooted in the south, but the menu is a nod to New Haven, Connecticut.
“Did you know that New Haven has five of the top pizza places in the country?” asks Elohim. Incorporating family traditions into the restaurant was important, so every Friday at Artsy is Pizza Day, just like it was back at home.
Before the pizza was ready for the menu, though, they had to find the right sauce, the right mozzarella, and not just any flour would do. They even are particular about the water they use to make the dough.
“In Connecticut, the number one go-to thing is subs,” he says. “We order a specific kind of Italian bread from Amorosa Baking Company in Philadelphia.” Philly Cheese Steak, Turkey BLT, Italian Combo, Grilled Chicken sandwich and Chicken Salad Subs are on the menu. The sub roll is perfection.
Darlene’s secret recipe sweet potato pie and cheesecake slices are ready to go in the case. So are small quiches, banana-less banana pudding, and cake slices.
His sister’s red velvet cake is a customer favorite. People drive hours to pick up Mariah’s custom-made cakes. Her custom designs are sought after for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions. Elohim’s son is the baking assistant. It truly is a blend of family talent.
“Our motto is put some love into everything we do. And we have to do it better than the day before. People can taste the love in our food,” he says.
Artsy Cakes and Bakery is open 7:00am-3:00pm Tuesday through Friday and 8:00am-1:00pm on Saturdays. They are located at 120 N. Academy Street in Kingstree. For a gallery of their cakes and offerings, and more information, go to www.artsycakesandbakery.com.
MARIAH - ARTSY CAKE CREATOR
My love of baking started when I was a young girl watching my mother create delicious baked goods. I have a passion for art in all forms and through time merged the two into one creative beautiful cake after another. The greatest satisfaction of my Artsy Cakes is seeing the joy on the face of my customers.
DARLENE - SOUTHERN CHEF , HOME BAKER
My love of cooking started whe I was 10 years old preparing meals for our very large family. Living in the south I would cook along with Julia Childs via radio. I found much joy in cooking and have over 40 years of experience in the art of cooking and baking delicious food made with love.