Thursday, September 20, 2012
Scarlett’s Gourmet Pantry and Pastries owner Cindy Hunt showcases cakes, cupcakes, brownies and thumbprint cookies on the front countertop for patrons to purchase daily.
Guests taking in the sweet smells surrounding them can also order lunch items, from chicken salad to egg salad to egg and olive salad to pimento cheese sandwiches. Sides such as fruit cups with gourmet dip, soup of the day and pasta salad can also be ordered.
“We have the best chicken salad in the South and the best cranberry tea,” said Hunt. “I always eat either chicken salad or a gourmet salad of mixed greens, mandarin oranges, candied pecans, feta cheese, craisins and a scoop of chicken or egg salad.”
She opened the restaurant/catering business in December 2011 after a short sabbatical. Hunt owned the former Scarlett’s Tea Room in downtown Chickamauga from 2000-2010. She decided to sell the former business, where she lived upstairs, and relocate her residence to Rock Spring. After many calls from former patrons, she said she decided to reopen on a smaller scale on Highway 27 in Chickamauga next door to Greg’s Restaurant. Hunt’s husband Donnie Hunt remodeled the store.
“Everyone was still calling requesting my chicken salad and thumbprint cookies,” said Hunt. “Since we used to be a tea room we sell teacups with your choice of cookies.”
Chickamauga residents Benny and Louise Ware said they enjoy stopping by Scarlett’s a couple of times each week to purchase lunch or dessert.
“The food is good,” said Benny Ware. “If you eat here you’ll like it. I like the egg and olive sandwich on either a wrap or flatbread. Once you try the food at Scarlett’s you’ll get addicted to it.”
“Everyone becomes like family here,” said Hunt. “We lost a gentleman [that passed away] the other day that I always had cranberry tea and thumbprint cookies waiting for him. He was an Alhambra Shrine clown nicknamed Cookie. Another gentleman comes in regularly that I make pie or cake for often. You get real close to people and learn their names and orders here.”
Louise Ware said she likes to order the special occasion cakes.
Cake and cupcake flavors offered at Scarlett’s include German chocolate, red velvet, carrot, coconut, Italian cream, butter pecan, French vanilla, lemon, triple chocolate and strawberry. Specialty cakes can be made for celebrations but must be pre-ordered.
A Walker County native, Hunt is an alumna of Rossville High School and a self-taught cook. Her granddaughter Kayla Martin, a student at Dalton State College, assists her in making homemade creations daily.
Thumbprint cookies are the most popular dessert found in the store.
“We are known for our thumbprint cookies,” said Hunt. “We sell tons of the cookies, all homemade.”