USC grad making Devine Street sweeter with Silver Spoon Bake Shop
After satisfying sweet teeth in New York and Charleston, Erin Nobles is creating delectable desserts in the heart of Columbia. Nobles says her passion for baking started during the Christmas holidays of her childhood.
Nobles earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Carolina in 2009 and returned to Columbia this summer to start up her own bakery. Silver Spoon Bake Shop opened Dec. 7 on Devine Street and offers an array of breakfast and dessert pastries along with a coffee bar.
She first began planning and researching the idea to open a bakery in February and said the shopping district in Five Points called out to her because of its accessibility to pedestrians. She found an available building and set out to bring something new to the neighborhood.
Nobles’ penchant and passion for bringing a smile to people’s faces with homemade goods stems from time spent with her mother and maternal grandfather in her hometown of Bennettsville.
“We would bake dozens of cookies at Christmas and then deliver them to our neighbors,” she said.
Nobles’ mother also hand-decorated her children’s birthday cakes each year.
“It’s in my blood,” Nobles said of baking.
In high school, Nobles set her heart on having her own shop one day, but she wanted to earn a college degree first. She studied hotel, restaurant and tourism management at USC and furthered her education at the French Culinary Institute in New York.
“I left a week after graduation,” she said. “It was a wonderful experience. I learned a lot of the classic techniques that are important for baking.”
Nobles completed courses in “classic pastry arts” and “art of international bread baking” along with courses in small business management and landed an internship with well-known cake artist Ron Ben-Israel of Ron Ben-Israel Cakes in New York.
After her internship, Nobles worked for a time in two Charleston bakeries.
“That made me realize that was the type of business I wanted to open,” she recalled.
Nobles has taken the best of all her experiences and established Silver Spoon. People can find everyday items like gourmet cupcakes and custom cakes but also nontraditional selections like French-influenced pastries, mini pies and muffins and even a salted caramel brownie.
“They can be little ‘pick-me-ups’,” Nobles said of her confections.
Nobles found it hard to choose a favorite item that she enjoys creating in the kitchen. She instead named the look of delight brought on by the end result of mixing, baking and decorating to be the highlight of owning a bake shop.
“I like to see people enjoy what I made,” she said. “It’s why I got into this.”
Nobles operates Silver Spoon primarily by herself and said the days start early and often end late.
“That’s a baker’s life,” she said.
Nobles was appreciate of her fellow Devine Street business owners and community residents for welcoming her.
“People in the neighborhood have been really excited and supportive,” she said.
For those who will be baking goodies themselves for the Christmas holidays, Nobles offered a few tips. She advised people to use their recipe’s exact measurements for baking soda and baking powder by leveling off the measuring device and to check their oven’s temperature with an oven thermometer. She said older ovens might not be putting out the correct cooking temperature, which can lead to undercooking or burning your favorite holiday dish.
For those wanting to skip the kitchen, Silver Spoon does take custom orders.
Silver Spoon is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 2507 Devine St.