Photo Essay: G Charles Bakery

The first time I knew anything about the G. Charles Bakery in Aberdeen, NC, was at a birthday party for a preschooler. After the dinner and presents, a cake was brought out, heaped with fresh fruit and the obligatory candles, and the little girl’s mother (a native of Spain) assured us all, “It’s not too sweet. Don’t worry.” 

For someone who loves the frosting and doesn’t get why anyone would say anything is ‘too sweet,’ I was cautious. Then, two bites into the cake, I got it. The cake was light, moist, fresh and sweet without being cloying or heavy. There was no sugary grit clinging to my teeth, and it was as if I had a revelation, a moment, if you will: sweet and sugar are not actually the
same thing. 

I know. You all know this. What can I say? I’m a late bloomer.

The cake was a specialty item from G. Charles Bakery, where my friend goes for all of her baked goods because owner Gary Clark isn’t afraid to tackle specialty items and bake cakes to suit his clients’ tastes. In fact, that’s part of what he’s been doing since he opened his bakery in 2016. Clark, who is originally from Connecticut, says, “The bakery has a northern flair. 

Locals here tell me what they want, and I try to come up with recipes to make their favorites, stuff they remember from their childhoods here in the south.” 

When I asked what the most unique thing he’s made has been, he says, “Cheese straws. I didn’t even know what those were before I came
down here.” 

Now Clark is baking up all sorts of gems including biscotti (his favorite item to bake) and blueberry scones (his favorite item to eat). He has cookies, cupcakes, croissants and cannolis on regular rotation. But the G. Charles Bakery is also famous for its bread line. Clark says, “The bread line took a while to take off. People think bakery and they think sweets. But the bread
is popular now.” The bakery has a presence at the Pinehurst Farmer’s
Market where Rosemary Olive Oil and Jalapeno Cheddar loaves are especially popular. 

We asked Clark his favorite part of owning his own bakery. He says it’s the independence. 

“I like making the meal and buying the ingredients,
if that makes sense.”

It does. And we can taste the hard work and pleasure in each slice of bread, biscotti or cake we try. 

Location: 

Town & Country Shopping Center
1319 N. Sandhills Blvd. | Abderdeen, NC 28315
910-757-0394
Hours:  M – Th  7 a.m. – 6 p.m. | F – Sat.: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. 
Closed Sunday (open by appointment only)