A year and a half after New York chef Sarah Simmons opened Rise Gourmet Goods and Bakeshop in her hometown, the Spring Valley High School graduate has announced she will be relocating the business with the last day at its Five Points location being Sunday, May 7.
Simmons opened Rise at 926 Harden St. in Five Points in October 2015. However, the number of customers and demand for products and services at the 450-square-feet counter service eatery has exceeded what the space is capable of providing, Simmons said.
"We outgrew this space a year ago," Simmons told The State. "We need a location that allows us to produce the quantity of products to meet the demand and we want to take advantage of the increase in demand that would come from having actual seating. We hear all the time from guests that Rise is their favorite place and they would eat here three or four times a week if they had seating. People want to eat our food but they want to dine while eating our food so we need a location that will allow us to produce the quantity of food requested and provide seating for our customers."
Simmons is also concerned her building--which she leases from owner Joe Taylor--will be sold in connection with the recent announcement that the greater part of the 900 block of Harden Street, including longtime Columbia mainstay El Burrito restaurant, has been bought by Campus + Main, an investment group that specializes in commercial development near college campuses.
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"We have guests all of the time tell us that our building has been sold so we assume it's a matter of time before our building becomes a part of the new development," Simmons said.
Simmons is hoping she can find such a location soon in downtown Columbia so she can relocate the restaurant there this fall.
"Right now we are exploring Main Street because we love the energy downtown and we would be thrilled to be a part of the revitalization that is happening there right now," Simmons said.
In the meantime, fans will be able to continue to get a taste of Rise at Soda City Market and City Roots and through local weekly pop-ups Simmons plans to host this summer.
Simmons is also working with local restaurants on providing them with bread and pastries for their bread services and is working on a number of pastries exclusively for Indah Coffee when its location opens in Cottontown on North Main Street.