The reboot of Sugar Magnolia has been exciting to watch. When the popular bakery and eatery closed a little more than a year ago, the community mourned the loss of another great local restaurant.
Statesboro entrepreneurs Caroline and Gene Joyner also missed Sugar Magnolia and decided to step up and save it. After purchasing the business, they began major renovations. They gutted the bakery and rebuilt it to make it more accommodating to the faithful followers and to newcomers alike.
“There was so much that we loved about Sugar Magnolia,” Caroline Joyner said. “We worked hard to incorporate all the favorites from the pastries and homemade breads to the pizza. But we wanted to freshen it up and expand the reach of the restaurant. The end result is something we are very proud of and as we prepare to celebrate six months since re-opening, our customers and the community seem to like what we have done very much.”
They were excited that Sharena Williams, who trained under the original owner Steve Jones and continued with Barry Turner, rejoined the team as the head baker. In addition, they hired Jordan Gunter as head chef. Jordan trained under the extremely talented and popular chef Jason Scarborough at the Blue Moon Café and later at Emma’s inside the Holiday Inn. Ashley Nobles rounds out the leadership team as the bar manager. The addition of a full bar has been one of the changes that’s popularity has surprised the owners.
Even though neither of the Joyners had any direct restaurant ownership experience, they were both leaders in their professions. Gene Joyner continues to work as an electrical engineer and Caroline Joyner left her job as associate vice president of campuses for East Georgia State College to manage Sugar Magnolia.
Their management and leadership skills are on full display when you enter Sugar Magnolia. It looks much different, with fresh inviting colors and the walls adorned with photographs of local landmarks. The operation has expanded to five menus covering breakfast, lunch and dinner, brunch on the weekends and a full menu of signature cocktails, beers and wines.
They are open daily and offer upscale dinning for dinner Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The Filet Mignon, Bison Burger and Tomahawk Pork Chop are three of the most popular dinner entrees. They also offer dinner pizzas for dine in or take-out.
They have reintroduced the popular pizza by the slice at lunch daily where you can get two slices of the pizza of the day combo with a side salad and drink. In addition, they offer tacos, house and Caesar salads and a large selection of sandwiches for lunch.
One of the most popular items they have introduced is their selection of homemade ice cream and for the extra adventurous, “adult ice cream.” Adult ice cream is infused with alcohol and has names like Boozy Cinnamon, Brown Sugar Bourbon and Boozy Butter Pecan.
They have expanded their coffee selections with the addition of two baristas. Also, they added cappuccino and express options along with offering specialty coffees in addition to their house brews.
Sugar Magnolia, in keeping with the traditions of its founders, has remained focused on promoting and using locally-sourced ingredients when possible and continue to be good stewards of our environment. All of their to-go cups, paper bags and paper products are made of environmentally conscious materials.
They are launching a catering service that includes box lunches and party trays. Coming soon, you will see their catering and delivery van on the road.
Stop in soon, check out the all-new Sugar Magnolia, and meet Caroline Joyner and her team. You will be pleasantly surprised with what you discover with this creative re-boot of an important business in our downtown. They are located beside Eagle Creek Brewing at 106 Savannah Avenue. You can learn more about Sugar Magnolia on their website www.sugarmagnoliabakerycafe.com