Growing up with their grandmother in New York, Arianna and Justine Zitz spent a lot of time in the kitchen. Their Grandma Jennie loved baking, and the sisters would join her every chance they got.?

  Opening a bakery was Justine and Jennie’s dream, Arianna said, and the sisters’ loss of work at the beginning of the pandemic created an opportunity to make that dream come true. Under the name?Little Jennie’s Baked Goods, they?started making breads and desserts?to order, many based on family recipes, from their home kitchen in Inman with a simple goal — for customers to taste the love in every bite.

  <img class=gnt_em_img_i style=height:439px data-g-r=lazy data-gl-src="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2021/03/03/NHEJ/75a9eb1e-1f86-4d5e-987a-381e75c97975-SHJ_Little_Jennies_Baked_Goods_13.JPG?width=660&height=439&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp" data-gl-srcset="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2021/03/03/NHEJ/75a9eb1e-1f86-4d5e-987a-381e75c97975-SHJ_Little_Jennies_Baked_Goods_13.JPG?width=1320&height=878&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp 2x" decoding=async alt="Citizens & Southern Event Center will soon be home to a start-up bakery, Little Jennie's Baked Goods. Little Jennie's owners, sisters Justine Zitz (pictured) and Arianna Zitz, work in the bakery at Citizens & Southern Event Center, on Morgan Square in downtown Spartanburg, Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

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  ”We love what we’re doing, and I?think it shows,” Justine said.?”You can get custom-baked orders?baked by people who are truly enjoying what they’re doing and are going to make sure that when you go home and?take a bite of this, you’re like ‘Oh my gosh, this was baked with love.’”

  In January, they decided they needed?a bigger space and moved their start-up into the Citizens and Southern Event Center kitchen on the corner of West?Main?and Magnolia streets in downtown Spartanburg.?The sisters create all of the breads served at Citizens and Southern’s events?and offer made-to-order cakes, pastries and breads for the public.

  <img class=gnt_em_img_i style=height:439px data-g-r=lazy data-gl-src="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2021/03/03/NHEJ/06e9ab46-cf77-4321-ba9f-5d5c52977e50-SHJ_Little_Jennies_Baked_Goods_4.JPG?width=660&height=439&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp" data-gl-srcset="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2021/03/03/NHEJ/06e9ab46-cf77-4321-ba9f-5d5c52977e50-SHJ_Little_Jennies_Baked_Goods_4.JPG?width=1320&height=878&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp 2x" decoding=async alt="Citizens & Southern Event Center will soon be home to a start-up bakery, Little Jennie's Baked Goods. Little Jennie's owners, sisters Justine Zitz, left, and Arianna Zitz, right, work in the bakery at Citizens & Southern Event Center, on Morgan Square in downtown Spartanburg, Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

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  However, starting Saturday, March 13, customers will be able to buy their breads in-person, straight from the kitchen?at Citizens and Southern Event Center, 148 W. Main St.?Their first?pop-up bakery sale will coincide with the Morgan Square art market. The bakery will have a table set up either in front of the event center or just inside its doors from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.?Saturday.?

  <img class=gnt_em_img_i style=height:452px data-g-r=lazy data-gl-src="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2021/03/03/NHEJ/1cbf2037-b73e-4070-88c5-7b32bd52b2b3-SHJ_Little_Jennies_Baked_Goods_10.JPG?width=660&height=452&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp" data-gl-srcset="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2021/03/03/NHEJ/1cbf2037-b73e-4070-88c5-7b32bd52b2b3-SHJ_Little_Jennies_Baked_Goods_10.JPG?width=1320&height=904&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp 2x" decoding=async alt="Citizens & Southern Event Center will soon be home to a start-up bakery, Little Jennie's Baked Goods. Little Jennie's owners, Arianna and Justine Zitz, work in the bakery at Citizens & Southern Event Center, on Morgan Square in downtown Spartanburg, Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

  Homemade Irish Soda Bread.”/>

  For their first event, the sisters will be baking some of their pretzel braids, a variety of pastries, as well as?Irish soda bread and other St. Patrick’s Day goodies. The pastries will be available individually or as part of a custom variety box.

  They’ll also have fresh loaves of bread and some of their specialty New York-style bagels, unlike any you could find at the supermarket, says Arianna.?

  <img class=gnt_em_img_i style=height:465px data-g-r=lazy data-gl-src="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2021/03/03/NHEJ/9ecfe471-d8aa-49ff-917a-c140ed2ed4ac-SHJ_Little_Jennies_Baked_Goods_12.JPG?width=660&height=465&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp" data-gl-srcset="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2021/03/03/NHEJ/9ecfe471-d8aa-49ff-917a-c140ed2ed4ac-SHJ_Little_Jennies_Baked_Goods_12.JPG?width=1320&height=930&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp 2x" decoding=async alt="Citizens & Southern Event Center will soon be home to a start-up bakery, Little Jennie's Baked Goods. Little Jennie's owners, sisters Justine Zitz, and Arianna Zitz (pictured), work in the bakery at Citizens & Southern Event Center, on Morgan Square in downtown Spartanburg, Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

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  ”I feel when you start to mass produce stuff, you lose something in the process. The bagels are hand-rolled, they’re kneaded with these hands right here and those hands right there. They’re holed by us,?they’re boiled and baked by us,” Arianna said. “We hope that this takes off, but we want to keep it homey because we started out of a cottage kitchen.”?

  ”I want to keep it where you take a bite of this and it’s like you’re in grandma’s kitchen,” Justine said.?

  While their?kitchen is in the building of another business, Justine and Arianna said they really feel at home in Citizens and Southern and have since they first toured the building. The sisters have?worked with them?on several public events including a Valentine’s Day dinner where they provided their signature mocha coffee cake, made with locally-roasted coffee.?

  ”When I walked in the door, I was like, ‘This is it.’,” Justine said. “It was like we were all meant to be together, and we all work great together.”?

  <img class=gnt_em_img_i style=height:463px data-g-r=lazy data-gl-src="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2021/03/03/NHEJ/e6823f5b-9931-4ab1-8341-d35bf90fe61d-SHJ_Little_Jennies_Baked_Goods_9.JPG?width=660&height=463&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp" data-gl-srcset="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2021/03/03/NHEJ/e6823f5b-9931-4ab1-8341-d35bf90fe61d-SHJ_Little_Jennies_Baked_Goods_9.JPG?width=1320&height=926&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp 2x" decoding=async alt="Citizens & Southern Event Center will soon be home to a start-up bakery, Little Jennie's Baked Goods. Little Jennie's owners, Arianna and Justine Zitz, work in the bakery at Citizens & Southern Event Center, on Morgan Square in downtown Spartanburg, Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

  Soft Pretzel Braids.”/>

  For her part, Aimee Cheek, director of events at Citizens and Southern Event Center,?was sure the bakery could help bring their service to the next level.?

  ”When we looked at opening our kitchen to other partners, we looked for people and products that would complement what we already have here, and when they came in, I looked at their products and tasted their things, we were like, ‘This is what Citizens and Southern needs,’ ” Cheek said.

  Cheek said partnering with a start-up like Little Jennie’s Bakery and with local chefs is a win-win.?

  “Partnering with businesses like Little Jennie’s Bakery allows us to offer a broader range of house-made items on our menu and in return allows them the opportunity to grow their business. The same is true with our Supper Club and local chef collaborations — partnering together offers the chef exposure while utilizing our building to benefit the community with a night out,” Cheek said.?

  <img class=gnt_em_img_i style=height:443px data-g-r=lazy data-gl-src="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2021/03/03/NHEJ/fdf8497e-3dc8-4f72-8f72-48399cd5670d-SHJ_Little_Jennies_Baked_Goods_7.JPG?width=300&height=443&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp" data-gl-srcset="https://www.gannett-cdn.com/presto/2021/03/03/NHEJ/fdf8497e-3dc8-4f72-8f72-48399cd5670d-SHJ_Little_Jennies_Baked_Goods_7.JPG?width=600&height=886&fit=crop&format=pjpg&auto=webp 2x" decoding=async alt="Citizens & Southern Event Center will soon be home to a start-up bakery, Little Jennie's Baked Goods. Little Jennie's owners, sisters Justine Zitz, left, and Arianna Zitz, right, work in the bakery at Citizens & Southern Event Center, on Morgan Square in downtown Spartanburg, Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

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  Little Jennie’s Baked Goods?will offer?regular pop-up events in addition to taking custom orders, selling at Citizens and Southern Event Center?and at Hub City Farmer’s Market on alternating Saturdays, and at Citizens and Southern on Fridays and Sundays. They also will sell?at the Drayton Mills Weekly Farmer’s Market?in April.?

  The bakery takes its orders via email at littlejenniesbakery@gmail.com, phone at 864-529-7411, and direct message on their Facebook and Instagram pages.

  Samantha Swann covers Spartanburg County K-12 schools and colleges and the food scene in downtown and beyond. She is a University of South Carolina?Upstate and Greenville Technical College alumna. Contact her at JSwann@gannett.com.?

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