Katie Chaney went from Anderson to the Governor’s College for the Arts … to Wofford Faculty … then Germany … Austin, Texas … and Portland, Oregon … earlier than touchdown again within the Upstate … the place she just lately opened her pastry retailer and grocery, Hester Normal Retailer in Dacusville.
Her journey wasn’t mere geography. As a baby, Chaney says she felt that she by no means slot in. However she in the end found a love of cooking, success as a human assets recruiter, marriage, a child, and now a enterprise – she goals she realized.
“The extra I put myself on the market, the extra I spotted I did belong,” she says.
“On the Governor’s College, I used to be amongst creatives. Then I went to Wofford, and I met professors who had so many good concepts. They traveled the world, they usually took me on these journeys.”
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Chaney, who majored in artwork historical past and German, selected to reside overseas after school – in a tiny city within the Black Forest area of Germany. Her two-year journey of hers was dimmed by loneliness within the distant locale.
However she cultivated a love of cooking to feed her creativity and the necessity for meals on a price range.
“It was very troublesome,” Chaney says. “One of many issues that stored me engaged was meals as a result of I needed to cook dinner for myself. I used to be a poor post-grad.”
“It began to click on into place… my examine of artwork historical past and structure and love of outdated issues. I had an concept of an extended pastry counter, the place folks would queue as much as see the pies, a stupendous merchandise show, and an out of doors space with chairs the place folks may take pleasure in group.”
She sought out seasonal substances and shopped at farmer’s markets, then learn meals blogs and books to show herself to cook dinner.
“I did not know it will begin this path for me, nevertheless it made me blissful as I used to be residing overseas and figuring issues out,” she says. “I noticed how folks hook up with their meals and the place they get their meals from.”
Chaney discovered her entrepreneurial spirit in Austin, the place she moved on the suggestion of a buddy, and began recruiting workers for startup corporations.
“I used to be often the primary HR employed at an organization, and I’d scale these groups as the corporate grew,” she says.
“I discovered so much about what it takes to get a enterprise going, the way to have interaction folks with a imaginative and prescient of what you are making an attempt to do.”
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She additionally discovered that folks in her house nation did not store and eat as they do in Europe.
“I used to be actually shocked that the US did not reside extra seasonally,” Chaney says.
Chef begins to understand entrepreneurial dream in Upstate SC
After she met and married her accomplice in Austin, they moved to Portland for 2 years. They returned to the Upstate and made a house in Vacationers Relaxation after their daughter was born.
The couple based a consulting firm, however Chaney nonetheless spent hours comforting a child who could not sleep.
“You are rocking, and also you’re excited about what you wish to do,” she says. “I used to be serving to my accomplice pursue their dream. I felt like we had been making good cash, and we had been doing nice issues.”
However Chaney needed an outlet for her personal entrepreneurial dream of making meals – and experiences.
“What wouldn’t it appear to be? What issues would I promote? What varieties of meals would I make?
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She took her concepts to her former artistic writing instructor, Mamie Morgan, who had taught on the Governor’s College.
Not solely did Morgan gush with enthusiasm, however she additionally claimed to know the right spot for Chaney to make her goals come true.
Chaney overcomes obstacles to acquire historic constructing
Excellent was within the eye of the beholder.
The Hester Retailer was in-built 1893 with common merchandise on the bottom ground and a barbershop upstairs. The Hester household owned the property till 1983, and it was listed on the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations in 2013. It is 16 miles from downtown Greenville and 31 minutes from downtown Simpsonville.
The constructing had been empty for years when Chaney noticed it for the primary time.
“It was in items, nevertheless it began to click on into place… my examine of artwork historical past and structure and love of outdated issues. I had an concept of an extended pastry counter, the place folks would queue as much as see the pies, a stupendous merchandise show, and an out of doors space with chairs the place folks may take pleasure in group.”
She made a proposal on the property in 2021. The financial institution mortgage was close to closing however fell aside when the property could not be authorized. It was basically nugatory.
“It was a devastating second,” Chaney says.
She turned to the LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce, the place somebody knew an SBA lender at South State Financial institution. By the beginning of 2022, the challenge was a “go” once more, besides… “We thought it will be three months. And it took eight months.”
The hurdles had been many – a historic constructing comes with a large number of authorized restrictions, no plumbing, outdated electrical wiring, no HVAC, and no refrigeration. The kitchen needed to be put in (partly by crane) on the second ground. And no hood or venting was allowed.
None of that stopped Chaney.
“Which means we’re cooking domestically sourced greens, and baking pastries in convection ovens,” Chaney says. “No smoke. No flames. No grease.”
This is what to anticipate at Hester Normal Retailer in Dacusville
Hester Normal Retailer was full and open on Dec. 16 with savory and candy house-made pies, desserts, breads, cookies, pastries, gluten-free and vegan goodies, grab-and-go hard-boiled eggs and fruit parfaits for breakfast, grain and bean bowls for lunch, and perishable and non-perishable grocery objects, together with frozen floor beef and pork.
Within the spring, the grocery will deal with make-your-own picnics and charcuterie boards.
Most might be sourced from native farms. Greenville artisans and entrepreneurs might be represented, together with Bare Pasta in addition to the greeting card firm, Ink Meets Paper – a female- and queer-owned firm that hand letterpresses its playing cards. Chaney says she’s dedicated to uplifting others, whether or not that is her de ella 15 workers de ella or different native companies, particularly these owned by ladies and moms and people within the LGBT group.
“My imaginative and prescient is that Hester Normal Retailer helps folks create magic moments. I take into consideration folks’s traditions. Whose pie or cake is on their birthday desk? For those who can hook up with folks by their meals, you may have a lifelong buyer,” Chaney says. “I am placing issues on the market that folks take pleasure in and love.”
Hester Normal Retailer might be open from 7 am to 7 pm seven days every week.