I had a lovely weekend with a couple girlfriends that left me feeling so much sunnier. Stephanie and Anika came down to visit from Knoxville, TN. We'd worked together at Magpies Bakery and have formed a friendship that lasted after our time there together. I was so happy to have a weekend with them- a quiet weekend spent exploring Greenville and Spartanburg, SC. We wandered downtown Greenville on Saturday, stopping for margaritas at Guadalajara on Main Street and gelato at Luna Rosa Gelato Cafe. The intense summer heat gave us a pretty good beating by the time we made it to the West End. A quick stop at Trader Joe's for nibbly bits, wine, and pasta to make for dinner and another quick stop at The Bavarian Pretzel Factory for cheese and dessert. YUM! We spent the night eating good food, enjoying wine, and spending time catching up. Sunday morning we got up early, had a light breakfast and headed out the door to pick peaches at Fisher's Orchard in Greer, SC. I wanted to take them to a great diner for lunch, so we made our way to Stax Omega Diner in Greenville, SC and sat at the curved bar for a fantastic lunch. Drove around Spartanburg for a bit, then back to Luna Rosa for drinks (them) and gelato (me). Another stop at Trader Joe's, and the girls were on their way back home.
I finally ventured into downtown Spartanburg, SC to visit Hub City Bookshop and its neighbor, Cakehead Bakeshop. After visiting the bookstore and finding out more about what they do, I can't say how thrilled I am to have found them. I purchased a membership on the spot, with very little coaxing from the clerk, along with "Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It" by Maile Meloy. I'll let you read in their own words what Hub City is all about:
The Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg, SC, is a revolutionary independent bookstore. With each book purchased at our store, we and our customers nourish new writers and help launch authors into the literary world. That’s because all proceeds from the sale of books fund creative writing education and independent book publishing in our home community.
Located in the heart of downtown’s Grain District, our store shares the ground floor of the landmark Masonic Temple with Little River Coffee Bar and Cakehead Bakeshop. From its windows you look out on historic Morgan Square, the city clock tower, and the statue of the victorious Revolutionary War General Daniel Morgan. Operated by the non-profit Hub City Writers Project, the Hub City Bookshop specializes in new releases, regional authors, children’s books, literary fiction, history, and of course, Hub City Press titles. Though we are brand new—our doors opened in June 2010—we have big plans. Our event calendar will soon full up with a mixture of national touring authors and homegrown talent.
Our staff and volunteer workforce includes published writers as well as local book lovers. In fact, sometimes the person ringing you up at the counter can give you an author signature in the book you just purchased! If you are interested in joining the crew, contact our store manager, Erin Haire. Anyone who volunteers at least six hours a month can participate in our “Staff Picks” store display. The Hub City Bookshop has a central area called “What Spartanburg Reads” with a regular exhibit and inventory of books recommended by local luminaries, such as college presidents, politicians, businesspeople, key nonprofit leaders, and ordinary readers. It also has rotating displays about the works and personalities of successful Upstate literary figures.
We carry mostly new books, but we do have an area of select used books. We accept donations of good-condition, contemporary and classic hardbacks and trade paperbacks during store hours, and can provide you a tax deduction in exchange. (For a larger selection of used books, we suggest you visit the Friends of the Library Used Book Store at Cedar Spring Shopping Center, open Mondays 5:30-8 pm).
When you shop with us, you help send our community’s best young writers to college. You help us publish beautiful and important new books. You participate in bringing a writer in residence to our city. You underwrite creative writing workshops. You help create a cultural hot spot. You make our city a literary center of the South.
In the same building as Hub City Bookshop is a coffeehouse and at the back of the coffeehouse, occupying roughly the same space as a walk-in closet, Cakehead Bakeshop. I immediately adored it for its charm and very delicious looking cupcakes. It reminded me of Magpies old location in the Old City (Knoxville, TN)on a much smaller scale. I took a pair home with me to sample- red velvet and bananas foster. I've eaten the red velvet, which was quite tasty, and am looking forward to a bananas foster dessert after dinner. Their menu includes cakes, pies, cookies, and breakfast pastries. I'm looking forward to eating more of the goodies from this lovely shop.
A little bit about me. I'm an Army brat that's finally somewhat settled after a childhood spent....everywhere. We just moved to Upstate South Carolina, and I've got to say, I love it here!