“Kudzu apple pie for breakfast. I will never be a thin woman, but I will be a happy woman.”
Although this recent Facebook post says it all, in the interest of job security, please allow me to expound upon the theme.
I was among those folks who awaited the opening of Kudzu like I once awaited the release of “Grateful Dead” concert tickets. Now, I was not willing to sleep in a parking lot for the doors to open, but it was pretty close.
For many a year, I have been part of a cadre of “Kudzu” devotees who would always offer to pick up “necessities” for fellow followers when they were making a run.
I have even called with a credit card, when S.C. 544 traffic prevented me from arriving before closing time, and asked them to please leave my order of two dozen oatmeal raisin cookies (for a maternity care package) outside the door. Crisis averted.
While chatting with owners, Jim and Shannon Lewis, I realized that I had an embarrassing wealth of Kudzu stories, some of which I bored them with, but aside the aforementioned references, I shall not bore you with.
Although I was confident that the bakery had a following that would flock to the new location, I worried that it might go unnoticed by the uninitiated. One delightful chat with Emily Cross put my mind at rest.
At eighty-something, she decided to step back from the oven after having baked all of her life. About that time, co-owners and husband and wife, Jim and Shannon opened the doors (oven and otherwise) at Kudzu.
“I went there and loved what I saw and loved what I ate,” Cross said. “Everything is just so good, and I’ve tasted everything. There isn’t anything that I can think of that is not good, even if I think real hard.”
Cinnamon Raisin Bread is a particular favorite.
“It’s different from any I have ever had. Oh, what they do with the brown sugar,” she said. “I also love the chocolate chip cookies ... and the Coconut Cake is to die for.”
She also loves the staff and the fact that it is so much more than just baked goods. They have everything from pickled beets to mango chutney – two of Cross’s must-haves – to cocktail mixes, artisanal dog treats, Benne wafers, Lowcountry Olive Oil, to name but a few and that is only the pantry items!
They make the Cranberry Walnut Relish in-house over the holidays, but outsource the rest to carefully researched “best of” purveyors, and as with all of their products, prefer locally sourced.
If you factor in the fridge and freezer reach-ins, you may never have to cook again. At the very least you need never stress over a housewarming or hostess gift, a dish for a church supper, how to stock a friend in need’s freezer or the perfect birthday cake.
Local foodie Juliet Casper loves the par baked breads found in the freezer.
“Your house smells like homemade bread, and you didn’t have to make it,” she said.
They also have in-house made cheese biscuits that will boost attendance at any gathering.
I am curious about their house made chicken pot pie and will wait with bated taste buds for the return of their exquisite tomato pie (only available when the tomatoes are worthy).
Like myself, both Cross and Casper enjoy Kudzu’s upscale brown bag lunches for dine-in or carry out.
“It’s the most reasonable place in Myrtle Beach to get lunch. It’s quality food and it’s quick,” said Casper, who favors the chicken salad and the pimiento cheese.
Proprietor Jim Lewis said most of his customers have faves, but they change. He knows of what he speaks. I was devoted to the oatmeal raisin cookies, but have been flirting with chocolate chip of late. My cake choices, however, change with the seasons – Peach Cake in the summer, Apple Walnut Spice in the fall and Chocolate Pound Cake in the in betweens.
My advice: Check out Kudzu Bakery and in a visit or two, you’re sure to have your own favorites. Perhaps start with today’s scheduled breads – Cinnamon Raisin (makes excellent French toast), White and Wheat.