TELLICO PLAINS (WATE) - An East Tennessee bakery has created such a buzz over the last decade, it attracts people from out of state just for a cup of coffee and a bite to eat.
We also found out the building itself, has quite a spot in local history.
You may wonder what a wood-fired oven, homemade baked goods, and a nearly century old bank vault have in common?
You'll find them all under one roof right in the middle of Tellico Plains at Tellico Grains Bakery.
"There are people out there who seek places off the beaten path," said Anissa Shull. "I just like it to be a pleasant surprise when people come down the road."
It's not just a business for Anissa and her husband Stuart, it's a way of life. The two purchased this old bank building from 1908. They preserved its character, while also converting it into their dream, complete with a renovated second floor they call home.
"My wife wakes up at 3:00 am and she's down here until noon. I take the children to school and when I get back from taking them I have to prep up for the night," Stuart said of a typical day at the bakery.
Their commitment to freshly-made tiramisu, cheesecake, muffins and breads has helped make it a gathering place for locals and for travelers, too.
During our visit, we met Bernie Echt who drove in on a rainy day, on his motorcycle from Georgia, just to have lunch here.
"I've been coming here for about six to eight years," Echt told us. "Whenever I get anywhere in this vicinity, I try to come back."
During our three-hour visit, we tried to figure out the one big draw here, but quickly learned it's hard to point to just one thing.
"The local favorites are the cinnamon rolls and the scones and the bacon cheddar biscuits. We use Benton's bacon and anything you put Benton's bacon in is usually a hit," Anissa said.
Anissa and Stuart have found a way to use Benton's bacon and sausage in several offerings and they are big supporters of other local products.
Another thing we learned, while the wood burning oven adds to the ambiance here, it was originally built to bake their signature bread that they now ship to several local locations.
"It just provides this loft that you just don't get in other ovens," Anissa explained. She also told us the inconsistent heat gives her bread character.
You can buy their bread on site, or in Knoxville at Three Rivers Market and in Maryville at The Market on Washington and High Streets.