BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
The Camellia City Bakery, a mainstay on Commerce Street in downtown Greenville, celebrates its 10th anniversary of operation in the City of Greenville on Dec. 9.
Ann Judah, who started the bakery with her husband Ozzie in 2011 in a small shop at 101 Church Street, now runs the bakery with just herself and one employee.
“Ozzie and me started in basically a closet before moving to this location,” said Ann. “After we were open and successful for a few years, the city approached us about this building. Ozzie looked at it, we prayed about, and the rest is history.”
Ozzie passed away Jan. 14, 2014, and Ann took a couple of months off and then got back on her feet and went back to work because that’s what Ozzie would have wanted stated Ann.
She added “There are good people in this community and I said after Ozzie passed, if he was going to drop me off somewhere, this was a good place to drop me. We came from owning and operating a 256 seat fine dining restaurant in Dothan to Greenville to be close to our daughter LeeAnn’s new family and found the people here to be just wonderful.”
As you enter the bakery there is a sign above the serving counter which states ‘Enter as strangers ~ Leave as friends.’ “When Ozzie and I started our little bakery, we wanted that close knit feel. We wanted to feel closer to the people we were serving,” Ann added.
She continued, “Ozzie wanted two things. One was a place where people felt at home and the second was that they laughed. I think we have accomplished that.”
There’s hardly a person who enters the bakery that Ann doesn’t know by name or what they are probably going to order. The bakery also hosts the 9:30 Breakfast Club and caters to various events and businesses in the Greenville area.
At the bakery, Ann has had politicians to host campaign events, authors to host book signings, artists and even tourists from various countries in Europe.
“You never know what each day is going to be like,” said Ann. “Every day is new and I wouldn’t be in business now if not for the good people of Greenville who supported me and this bakery during the pandemic shutdown.”
She added, “They would call me and place orders for days in row because they didn’t want to see us leave. You wouldn’t have gotten that in Dothan, Alabama. You had to be in a little town and that’s our story.”
Serving fresh made muffins, pastries, soups, salads, coffee and sandwiches daily Monday through Friday, the Camellia City Bakery located at 121 West Commerce Street has something good to offer in a variety of tastes.