Exchange Co. coffee bar and bake shop at 110 S. Main St. Simpsonville is one of those hidden gems of the greater Greenville community for multiple reasons thanks to the vision of owners Michael and Roxanne Bacaro.
Here are a few:
Business with a mission
The name “Exchange Co.” speaks to the Bacaros’ desire to create community and a gathering place to support adoption and foster care efforts.
As parents of two biological children, one adopted child, and one in foster care, they are passionate about helping others in the same situation and supporting local non-profit efforts. They serve on the board with A Home for Me fostering and adoption network and are currently hosting a gift card drive at the coffee shop for the 14-18 year-olds who are aging out of foster care. Customers can take an ornament from the tree and return with the gift card listed on the tag.
Additionally, the Bacaros allow adoptive and foster care families to use their space free of charge for any events they may want to host and continually host fundraisers for local efforts.
Eventually, the goal is for the business to be profitable enough that it could support efforts in more ways than fundraisers, Michael Bacaro says.
Exchange Co.’s unique menu is not so secret if you normally spend time on Simpsonville’s quaint Main Street. But if that’s not your normal stomping grounds, you likely aren’t familiar with the coffee shop and café turning out crepes, pastries, breakfast bowls, and lunch items, most of which are allergen-friendly. The menu includes mostly gluten-free items, and many vegan and dairy-free options.
When Exchange Co. launched at the Simpsonville farmer’s market in 2014, only a few months before signing the lease on their current location, the Bacaros had been baking and cooking that way already to accommodate their family’s severe allergies. To do that for the general public, they knew everything had to taste great and not like a substitute. As proof they succeeded, when they started serving crepes, customers didn’t even realize they were gluten-free, Michael Bacaro says. But all of the 12 savory and sweet crepes on the menu are always gluten-free to avoid the risk of cross-contamination with the ability to customize with vegan and dairy-free options.
The gluten-free, vegan cinnamon rolls baked only on Saturdays sell out regularly before 10 a.m. The menu now goes beyond pastries and crepes to include protein bowls and salads and breakfast sandwiches that have become a fast favorite.
Because food allergies vary in severity, and the Bacaros want to be as inclusive as possible, all of their baked goods are made on site in order to control the ingredients and cross-contamination, and that extends to their coffee syrups, as well.
Locals supporting locals
The Bacaros are Simpsonville residents, and opened Exchange Co. for their local community. But beyond that, they also source ingredients for the menu as locally as they can.
Their coffee comes from Mozza Roasters in Spartanburg. Michael Bacaro says he and his wife prefer Ethiopian varieties, and Mozza had what they were looking for and can react to their supply needs quickly.
Also on the menu, Bethel Trails Farm, a sustainable farm in Gray Court, is listed as a supplier of eggs and chorizo for the breakfast crepes, bowls, and sandwiches, and Upstate Greens is Exchange Co.’s source for micro greens for the protein bowls.
Hours of operation are Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m.