A new, sweet business will soon open up in Downtown Aiken.
La Dolce, which is Italian for “sweet,” in collaboration with Tea Inspired, will tentatively open its doors some time this month. The new business will offer gourmet desserts, coffees and teas.
The business is run by Executive Pastry Chef Kirstie MacVean and her mother, Tea Master Lady Kelly MacVean. The two are proficient in their chosen arts and are excited to share their talents with Aiken.
“We know what our niches are and, in between, where we have to connect, we tend to find common ground,” Lady Kelly said about putting the business together. “So far, so good.”
The family is originally from northern New York, and spent some time in the United Kingdom before moving to Aiken seven years ago. The mother and daughter duo decided to open a business together in Downtown Aiken.
“We combined forces and then fell into this space,” Kirstie said about their Laurens Street location. “It’s an absolutely great location and a great place to do it.”
Lady Kelly is the training director of the American Tea Master Association and a certified tea master in the U.K. and the United States. She has owned Tea Inspired for about a year and other businesses throughout her career. She also offers classes to those who would like to become tea masters or upgrade their tea service at their restaurant or hotel.
Kirstie has been baking since a young age when her mother started teaching her and, when she got a little older, she began assisting a woman in New York with novelty cakes. Kirstie then found herself working at a renowned bakery in New York and became the cookie manager at the age of 17, where she had to lead the baking of 25,000 cookies for the Kentucky Derby and 15,000 for the Women’s PGA Tournament.
When Kirstie first went to college, she was thinking about equine science or wildlife biology, but she later found herself at the New England Culinary Institute where she graduated top of her class and won the Baker’s Award.
“In the course of all of that, I realized what I was meant to do and what I really enjoyed doing,” Kirstie said.
The teas will be loose leaf, and the type of tea service offered will be an experience in itself, Lady Kelly said – she is also a pro at serving tea in the tradition of English afternoon tea. The coffee will be from local roaster One Tree. They will also have spices from local Chef Belinda for sale.
The gourmet baked goods will include pastries, cakes, muffins croissants and more. All occasion cakes will also be made, and artisan bread will be baked daily. Everything is made fresh and from scratch.
“Tasting her (Kirstie’s) baked goods is worth it right there,” Lady Kelly said.
They both offer catering services, too, either on site or at the event location.
The atmosphere of La Dolce is peaceful, with cool colored walls and a classic touch with the chosen decor. The front of the store will be where people can purchase baked goods, spices, coffee, tea and more, and there will be space for around 40 to 50 people to sit. A room has also been set aside for brides and their family or friends to sit with the chef and discuss wedding cake options.
“This is a place where people can come to calm down and take a break from their busy lives,” Lady Kelly said. “It’s turning out to be very beautiful.”
The MacVeans hope to have the business open the week of Thanksgiving. Business hours will be Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 or 3 p.m. They also plan to be open Sunday mornings for a trial run and later, possibly stay open in the evenings during the weekends.
The new business is located at 123 A Laurens Street.
La Dolce can be reached by calling 335-1440 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, visit www.ladolce-aiken.com.