A pastry chef widely considered one of the best dessert makers in the Charleston area is relocating to New Jersey after failing to find a local bakery space she could afford to rent.
Melanie Durant, formerly FIG’s pastry chef, in 2017 opened Scram in a food truck which she parked on James Island four mornings a week. Durant had hoped to upgrade her operation to a permanent location, but years of looking at real estate didn’t yield any serious prospects.
“It’s either nice and too expensive, or too small and garbage,” Durant says of her search, which spanned the county. “The price per square foot is crazy.”
When a friend in Jersey City quoted her the rental price on a recently renovated bakery, Durant says she didn’t hesitate.
“It’s a really beautiful space,” Durant says. “It’s going to allow us to go into lunch and have longer hours.”
During Scram’s stay on James Island, the truck won over loyal fans with gougeres, crullers and milk buns. Durant knows customers who habitually drove miles to buy breakfast from her are going to mourn the loss.
“It’s going to be a lot of talking,” Durant said in anticipation of customers’ questions and attempts to change her mind.
But Durant doesn’t think she’ll miss much about the Scram setup.
“The truck is exhausting,” she says. “You have to pack it up, you have to tie it down; I can’t keep up. It’s wearing on me. It’s frustrating because we love it here, but it came down to bigger bang for the buck.”
Among other things, Durant’s rent money in Jersey City will cover a full-fledged plumbing system.
“We have three bathrooms coming our way, as opposed to zero,” she says.
Durant isn’t planning anything special for Scram’s last stand this weekend.
“We’re just going to make more stuff,” she says.
Scram is located in the lot of the Island Plaza Shopping Center at 1291 Folly Road. For more information, go to instagram.com/scramchs.