EASLEY, S.C. (WSPA) The Hester General Store is now open in Easley after being vacant for nearly 45 years. For the first time in decades, scents of fresh cakes, pies and bread fill the air along Hester Store Road.

The building is now home to Katie Chaney and her force of women transforming the Dacusville community.

“I wanted to restore something and redefine what tradition looks like in a space, it means everything,” said Katie Chaney, owner of Hester General Store. “It’s amazing when you see a vision that you thought about for so long come to life finally.”

But it was after meeting Claudia Amezquita that Chaney realized her vision could come to life. Amezquita has a deep culinary background with her roots from Colombia, South America.

“I am away from home, my whole family is back home so pretty much Hester for me is my family, my child, my everything,” said Claudia Amezquita, head of culinary operations. “So it’s been a process being part of this, seeing Katie get her dream come true and me being able to participate in it.”

By connecting with local farms and food hubs to provide more than just baked goods and coffee, the store not only holds a deeper meaning for the staff, but for the community too.

“We are located in a food desert in Dacusville, there’s no grocery store within a 10 mile radius of this store so it was not only important but also imperative that we created a grocery here to help service our local community and we’re so excited when people come pick up ground beef and say thank you you just saved my dinner.”

The food reflects the backgrounds of employees,

“With me being tropical Katie has allowed me to work with passion fruit, with key lime, with banana and with flavors that represent a lot to me,” said Amezquita.

And customers too.

“What pie do you have on your Christmas table or what cake are you getting for your childs birthday?” said Chaney. “We want to start becoming part of those memories for people.”

Although Chaney said some thought the idea was a long shot,

“We had to convince a lot of people that this was a worthwhile investment to do,” said Chaney.

The amount of people that the store has seen since opening on Friday is speaking for itself.

“This community is amazing and it completely overpassed my expectations, I’m just excited to see what the future holds for this,” said Amezquita.

The Hester General Store is on the National Register of Historic Places and was awarded that honor in 2013. All of the renovations that were done this past year were approved by the South Carolina Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service.