This fall visitors to the main location of Richland Library will be able to check out some culinary delights in addition to a few good books.
In partnership with chef Sarah Simmons, the library will feature The Café which will offer some new tastes from Simmons as well as a selection of Rise Gourmet Goods & Bakeshop signature items. Simmons is opening The Café with her husband and business partner, Aaron Hoskins. The eatery will feature beverages, baked goods, snacks, sandwiches and salads in a newly renovated space on the library’s first floor. In addition, according to Simmons, the eatery will host pop-ups with local food entrepreneurs.
"The library has always been one of my favorite places in Columbia, and I'm thrilled with the opportunity to play a part in all of the incredible programs they offer,” said Simmons, a graduate of Spring Valley High School who made a name for herself as a world-renowned chef with her restaurants City Grit and Birds & Bubbles--both located in New York City. Simmons became a household name in her hometown when she opened Rise Gourmet Goods & Bakeshop on Harden Street in Five Points in the fall of 2015. She closed the location earlier this year with plans to relocate Rise to a larger, dine-in space elsewhere in Columbia.
Throughout the fall, Simmons and Hoskins will operate The Café while putting the operational systems of the program in place to turn The Cafe into a restaurant operator residency program for the food and beverage industry. This program will give aspiring restauranteurs a low-risk opportunity to experience the day-to-day running of a restaurant. Working closely with Richland Library, they will select the participants for the program which is scheduled to commence in January 2018.
"I believe this partnership will help Columbia’s budding food entrepreneurs get a feel for what it’s like to run the day-to-day of a café with the support of our team, essentially allowing them to get their feet wet without the risk of drowning,” Simmons said.
Richland Library is located at 1431 Assembly St.