Kicks! Quicks | New bakery, coffee house duo in Carolina Forest pleases all palettes

01/15/2014 12:00 AM

01/14/2014 5:22 PM

Taste and See Bakery & Catering and Holy Grounds Coffee House recently moved into Carolina Forest. The two businesses share space and are mutually owned by mother/son business partners Cindy Joyner and Chris Hardee.

Chris runs the coffee shop and serves lunch. The coffee house features gourmet-flavored coffees, espressos, lattes, cappuccinos and more. I tried the caramel latte and it was perfect: not too sweet and just the right temperature.

There is always a collection of muffins and other homemade sweets available. Hardee is friendly and loves to chit-chat. He truly enjoys getting to know his customers.

“Our mission at Holy Grounds Coffee House is to serve you in the spirit of excellence and to offer you a place of refreshment before or after your day has begun,” Hardee said.

The menu is small but more than significant for lunch and there is always a daily soup or chili.

The chili was delicious. Joyner has an excellent recipe that doesn’t have too many beans and is the perfect consistency ($2.50).

There is also a featured salad, the Turkey Trail. It comes with oven-roasted Boar’s Head turkey combined with cucumbers, red onions, cranberries, walnuts and feta cheese served on a bed of iceberg lettuce and spring mix ($8.95).

The six sandwiches and wraps feature Boar’s Head meats and cheeses and all include a side and pickle spear. Choices include a turkey club on garlic pesto wrap; chicken salad on a croissant; roast beef on a spinach or garlic pesto wrap; corned beef Reuben on marble rye; ham and Swiss cheese on a croissant; and the blazin’ buffalo chicken wrap ($7.95-$9.95). Every day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. they offer a discounted lunch special.

Joyner’s passion is baking and Taste and See Bakery is her dream come true. She loves creating custom-occasion cakes and wedding cakes. Her custom cakes are so creative, they could be featured on a TV show. She is an artist.

She is stocking up for Valentine’s Day and will make sure she has plenty of candy, gift items, cookie bouquets and maybe even flowers for one-stop shopping for your valentine.

The baked goods are fresh and change daily. She always has a collection of homemade cakes, muffins, cookies, candy, pies and other baked goods available. She also has an enormous list of cakes, pies, specialty desserts, pound cakes, cookies, brownies and candies that can be ordered in advance to take home and enjoy with family and friends.

The oversized blueberry muffin was served warm and melted in my mouth.

“We are definitely off the beaten path but have found that once someone comes in for a bakery item or lunch, they come back,” said Joyner.

This is a cozy neighborhood place to have a cup of coffee, sandwich or enjoy a sweet treat. The atmosphere is clean, neat, friendly and smells of fresh-baked goods. What more could you ask for?

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