Cafe Dedicates Kitchen To Murdered Employee

Exactly a year ago, Carolina Cafe lost one of their own to a violent crime.

"She just had a work ethic like nobody I've ever met," Lauren Schlueter said.

Carolina Cafe owner Schlueter said she picks only the best to work at her restaurant.

But, she said she misses one of her star employees.

"Kelly said, 'Jump,' they all asked her, ;How high," she said.

On July 1, 2013, Kelly Hunnewell was working her early morning shift at Carolina Cafe's old bakery on Tommy Circle.

Around 3:30 a.m. three men burst into the business looking for money.

"I just remember my husband getting the phone call at 6 a.m. and all the color left his face, he grabbed his chest while he was on the phone," Schlueter said. "I was looking at him and he hung up the phone and said, 'Kelly was shot and killed.'"

After the murder, Schlueter found a new spot for Carolina Cafe operations.

"We had been planning on moving it before Kelly's murder, but that kind of pushed us to really get moving and to find some place," she said.

Now, the cookies and muffins Hunnewell was known for will be made in "Kelly's Kitchen."

"It's kind of like closing an old chapter, but opening a new chapter and having her still be a part of it," she said.

Columbia Police arrested three teens in connection to Hunnewell's murder shortly after.

One of the men was on bond which sparked a big debate on bond reform.


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