Essy’s Sweet Bakery opens in Washington for the sweetest reason

Published 2:35 pm Monday, January 9, 2023

Essy’s Sweet Bakery is bringing back Mexican-American breads and baked goods Washington residents enjoyed from La Perla Panaderia. The co-owner of Essy’s, Esmeralda Chavez, is the sister of Heri Chavez who owned La Perla.

Essy’s opened on Friday, Jan. 6 with a ribbon cutting hosted by the Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce. Essy’s is located at 1249 Highland Drive and will be open every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Aimee Chavez, Esmeralda’s second daughter of three, said her mother opened the bakery so her daughters would have something to fall back on. Aimee has a cosmetology degree, her older sister (Zuley) is a certified nursing assistant and co-owns the bakery and her younger sister is a teenager. All three girls will be working at the bakery. 

“It makes me tear up sometimes,” Aimee said when she thinks about the hardworks her mom is doing for Aimee and her sisters. “She’s doing all of the work, and I’m seeing that. She’s putting her time, effort and money into us at the end of the day.” 

Aimee said her mom wants to leave a legacy of providing not just for her daughters but their children as well. 

“We all have the capacity to be able to achieve what we want,” Esmeralda said about co-owning a bakery that is owned and operated by women. She said she’s enjoying the experience of teaching her daughters how to bake traditional Mexican recipes that are being brought back to Washington. 

Customers wanted to see the bakery open a new Washington location, Aimee added. They were saddened to see it move to Greenville. Three months after opening a Greenville location, a fire destroyed the Washington location on East Water Street.  “The demand was there,” Aimee said when talking about reopening the bakery. La Perla in Washington was open from 1999 to 2020.