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DOGWOOD & MAGNOLIA: Sweet tastes, sweet smells, sweet spirit

Turn left when you drive into the entrance for Mooresville, Alabama, and you'll quickly come to a shop that fits its setting perfectly and is so much more than a bakery. The entire town of Mooresville is on the National Registry of Historic Places. It was, after all, the first town incorporated by the Alabama Territorial Legislature in November of 1818, a full year before Congress passed a resolution making Alabama the 22nd state in the Union. The building housing Dogwood & Magnolia was formerly the Richardson Country Store dating back to 1903. It has been attractively renovated but retains its vintage vibe.

Smells of cinnamon, freshly brewed coffee, and the welcoming smile of owner Alexis Smith will greet you when you walk in the door. Alexis does all the baking and has perfected some wonderful recipes for cinnamon rolls, cookies, cakes, macarons, muffins, and more. I walked out with a maple-iced cinnamon roll and a strawberry muffin. Both were fabulous!

In keeping with the "olden days" setting, Mrs. Smith stocks bottled drinks and candies that those of us of a certain age will remember fondly. She also supports local, woman-owned businesses by carrying jewelry items and note cards. She serves coffee blended by nearby 1818 Farms and also offers their wax sachets.

Dogwood & Magnolia's operating hours may seem a little odd until you know that Mrs. Smith is the mother of school-age children and opens the bakery when they are in school. Plan your visit for 9:00 -- 2:00 Tuesday through Friday or 8:00 -- 12:00 on Saturday. By the way, take note that orange rolls are often a specialty on Fridays.

My favorite sight at Dogwood & Magnolia was the prayer wall in the back. It is a place where anyone who comes in can post a prayer need in the hopes that others will see it and pray for that need. See? I told you this was a special place.

Go by for a visit soon and be sure to tell her that I sent you.

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