Taking Sides in the Kitchen
by Antonia M. Krenza & Laney Roberts
Subject: Pastry Chef / Owner Allison Smith, GLAZED Doughnuts
ORIGINS: Native Daughter - Charleston, SC
CAREER PATH: Graduating from the Culinary Arts division of the Art Institute of Charleston roughly three years ago, Smith's focus was the savory side. Never considering a career in pastry, she took only the required pastry classes to complete her degree. Her last position prior to her new business was Sauté on the line at Anson.
PATH DIVERGENCE: An ongoing conversation among family members unexpectedly refocused Smith's culinary career. It was about, you guessed it, doughnuts. The family shares a traditional, perhaps genetic, craving for those familiar rings of dough and sugar. They lamented the demise of Circus Donuts in North Chuck and decided that Charleston needed a doughnut shop with local flavor. With Mom, Brother and Cousin in tow, Smith jumped the culinary fence. She and her business partner/fiancé, following the Upper trending flow of King Street, opened up shop. That was seven months ago.
THE DEBATE: "Donuts vs. Doughnuts?", we asked. Okay, so Dunkin has Donuts and Krispy Kreme has Doughnuts. That doesn't help. What sounds more sophisticated, more elevated? Doughnuts. Dilemma resolved .
PASSIONATE DISTRACTIONS: Savory cooking and socializing are Smith's happy moments, but work now has her starting at 3am and hitting the sheets by 7pm. So much for a night life. It is fortunate that she can integrate her artistic abilities outside the kitchen into her storefront. The design and colors are her choosing. The wooden puzzle piece mural that adorns the wall of her store is her own creation.
GUIDING PHILOsoPHIES: Smith is admittedly OCD regarding quality control, the creation of beautiful flavors, and customer service. So much so that, when a young patron asked a favor, Smith graciously obliged. We met that patron when we stopped by. Smith, honored by the request, allowed a high school student from James Island to do her Job Shadow Day Program with the Glazed staff. Sam Howell was one sugar-glazed, satisfied apprentice/customer.
PATRON OF NOTE: Jeremiah Bacon. With abutting storefronts on Upper King, it's a no-brainer that the Executive Chef of The Macintosh would stop in to sample Smith's wares. Much to her delight, he has become a frequent patron. Bacon's favorite doughnut — wouldn't we all like to know?
By Antonia Krenza and Laney Roberts
Photography by Stacy Howell