Sunshine Cafe interior

The interior of the recently opened Sunshine Cafe. 

Those disappointed by the closure of Carolina Cafe and Catering's West Columbia location may soon find solace. The new Sunshine Cafe opened its doors in the recently vacated space last week.

Much like its predecessor, the new restaurant offers bagels, coffee and sandwich fare, but it plans to expand its menu with a "sweets" section and by incorporating customer feedback. 

“The last five years [I’ve been] looking for the right location, the right opportunity,” owner Shutondia Culcleasure tells Free Times. "This location was perfect."

Culcleasure, a baker trained at the Culinary Institute of Charleston, drew on that experience to craft the sweets section of the menu. It includes things like red velvet cakes and cookies and pies. 

Sunshine Cafe has seen a trickle of Carolina regulars since opening in the space, Culcleasure says.

“Ultimately, we just want to serve the community,” Culcleasure explains. “People know what they want.”

A Swansea native, Culcleasure grew up in a family that ran a small catering company. Starting her own cafe in the former Carolina Cafe space is a “great opportunity to build her brand,” she posits.

Carolina Cafe, the bagel and coffee purveyor which retains its downtown location location in downtown Columbia, had filled the West Columbia space since 2014, closing the location on Dec. 2. Carolina Cafe has since renovated its downtown space and menu. According to the restaurant's Facebook page, it reopened that location at the tail end of 2019.

Sunshine Cafe (located at 2250 Sunset Blvd. in the Westland Shopping Center) is open daily for breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

David Clarey joined Free Times in November 2019 as a food and news writer. He's constantly fighting competing desires to try cooking food at home and spending his entire paycheck on Columbia restaurants.

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