Mary Lucille’s Bakery, Restaurant, and Tea Room bring Southern nostalgia to Cumming City Center

New mom-and-pop shop pays homage to owner Jill Harris’s grandmother

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Cumming resident Jill Harris grew up in Kansas, baking breads and pies and making jellies and jams with her grandmother, Mary Lucille Moore. After losing her spa director position during the pandemic, Harris started baking pies and giving them to friends and family. “People kept asking me to open a bakery,” she says. She started with a cottage bakery and sold 150 from-scratch pies the first Thanksgiving. “It took off like crazy,” she says. Fast-forward to early 2024. Harris debuted Mary Lucille’s Bakery, Restaurant, and Tea Room in Cumming City Center.

The 5,000-square-foot space looks like an old Victorian house with a patio and serves to pay homage to the original Mary Lucille. “She taught me to bake at age 8. She’s the reason I love food,” Harris explains. Much of the food is made using her original recipes, including cinnamon rolls and pies. Patrons can purchase items to-go from the bakery, from bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits to baguettes to brownies. Whole cakes and pies are also available, as are gluten-free and vegan options.

The dining room serves three meals a day Wednesday through Sunday. Options include brioche French toast, corned beef hash with eggs, a barbecue pork sandwich, chicken salad sandwich, shrimp and grits, and chicken-fried chicken. Nightly specials are also available. Diners can also eat at the bar, where signature cocktails change seasonally. The space seats 69 guests inside, where a blue-, white-, and gray-color scheme sets a soothing scene, and four chandeliers add light. A wall showcases old photos of Mary Lucille and displays her story.

Tea service is offered in a separate, 17-seat room to ensure tranquility. Seatings are held at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. on weekends, open to those ages 12 and up. Attendees can choose from the $55 “Georgia Lady” offerings (tea, scones, finger sandwiches, jams, jelly, clotted cream, and dessert) and the $65 “Georgia High Society” option (all the above, plus quiche or tomato pie and salad). Once a month, Mary Lucille’s hosts a “Little Princess” tea for the younger set. All tea room reservations must be paid in advance.

Owner Jill Harris

Harris works with an organic tea farm in India to source her 11 teas. The signature, peach iced tea, is made with peach nectar and simple syrup.

“My grandma’s heart and soul are in this place. I’m dedicated to making sure everything we serve is something grandma would’ve been proud of,” Harris vows.

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