The Cookie Box, Etc., a sweet Summerton business
by Laura Stone | May 9, 2018 1:02 pm
Cupcakes, cookies and candies. Oh, my! The Cookie Box, Etc., in Summerton has that and more. With a menu which includes a wide variety of baked sweet treats, The Cookie Box offers Oreo Balls, Peanut Butter Balls, Ginger Snapwiches, several brownies, monkey bread and multiple styles of cookies. They bake cakes to order, including wedding cakes, all with homemade icings and fondants, and will bake vegan, sugar free, or gluten free items as special orders. On top of these desserts, they offer lunch items such as home-made chicken pot pies, shepherds pies and chicken salad, many of which can easily be frozen.
But who is Leslie Coker-LeMense, the owner of The Cookie Box? Coker-LeMense was adopted by Carol and John Myers when she was six weeks old and grew up in Summerton. She attended Clarendon Hall and later transferred into Manning Middle School. After graduating from Manning High School, she attended Central Carolina Technical College. However, without a firm direction, she chose to delay further education and accepted a position at the local Piggly Wiggly. She soon married, and she moved away from Clarendon County.
After 18 years working in a daycare owned by extended family, Coker-LeMense moved to New Mexico. She attended the University of New Mexico, obtaining an Associates of Science degree in Elementary Education and in 2014, returned to South Carolina.
Upon her return, Coker-LeMense chose not to pursue her bachelor’s degree just yet, although it’s still in her long-term plan. Eventually she plans on attending the University of South Carolina. But for now she has felt led to pursue another avenue of interest.
“I talked to Mama about it, and we prayed about it. And all weekend there were things on TV about bakeries, and Mama said, ‘God, what are you trying to tell me?’” said Coker-LeMense. They both continued to pray about it, and regularly her mother dreamed of bakeries.
One night, Myers woke in the middle of the night, with a strong feeling God had just told her that her daughter should open a bakery. “I looked straight up at the ceiling and said, ‘Do what?’” said Myers, but she moved forward on faith.
Coker-LeMense and her mother traveled to Georgetown and priced used kitchen equipment, looked at property, put together a small business plan, and things were under way. “We had looked at other areas, like Manning or Santee. But Summerton desperately needed something.” The business soon opened on Main Street and has been in business for a year and a half.
Coker-LeMense regularly looks for new items to add to her bakery’s menu, and she is always open to customer suggestions. She is pursuing involvement in fundraising activities, to give back to the community she loves so much. The Cookie Box also has room for gatherings and Coker-LeMense would love to see monthly or weekly groups begin to meet at her store. To arrange for a meeting or place a special order, call The Cookie Box, Etc., at 803-485-8223.