A huge thank you to all of the hard-working small business owners who have survived and thrived one of the most challenging years ever to be in business. Here is the latest on a slew of entrepreneurs taking the new business plunge, as well as a pair of Old Town businesses celebrating milestones.
• Maggie and Me, 6 Bruin Road, Bluffton, 843-707-9083: This boutique offering “sophisticated but casual” clothing, shoes and accessories for women, teens, infants and toddlers, recently celebrated its one-year anniversary in Old Town Bluffton. Rebecca Mancini already had an established boutique in Circleville, Ohio, and was looking for a “next chapter” after 20 successful years up north, so like many Ohioans, she looked to the Lowcountry. Her sorority sister, Leslie Trenta, lives in Stock Farm and saw the storefront post a “For Rent” sign. She alerted her fellow Marshall University alum, who had visited Old Town a few times through the years. Within 48 hours, Mancini was in town to sign paperwork and four weeks later, she opened the doors of the converted cottage. Hats off to Mancini for betting on Bluffton in the middle of the pandemic and for hitting the one-year mark in town.
• Joe’s Ice Cream and Beverage Company, 15 Bruin Road, Bluffton, 843-707-9514, joesicecreambeverage.com: Just across the street from Maggie and Me, owner Joe O’Rourke is celebrating two years serving his unique blend of traditional flavors along with four wine-based ice cream flavors and shop specialties. Wine flavors, for adults 21+ only, include chocolate cabernet and a boozy shake, along with a number of off-menu daily specials. Joe’s also offers more classic offerings like soft serve, sundaes, milkshakes and floats. On the beverage side, you’ll find coffees, teas and espressos with a number of add-on options. Joe’s has won numerous awards for his concoctions and we’re thrilled he’s hit the two-year mark as a hometown ice cream option in Old Town. Joe’s is open Wednesday through Sunday serving via its window and is both pet and kid friendly.
• Harmonic Egg of the Lowcountry, 23 Plantation Park Drive, Suite 301, Bluffton, 843-865-0107, lowcountryharmonicegg.com: Welcome to a new chapter in advanced energy healing. The Harmonic Egg is named in part due to its egg-shaped chamber created to promote mental, emotional, physical and spiritual healing and wellness. The resonance chamber utilizes sacred geometry, light, color and sound frequencies to restore and rebalance the body. Owner Shembra Carter has brought the technology to the Lowcountry after 20 years of serving as a registered nurse and seeing the need for alternative modalities. She decided to bring the Harmonic Egg to Bluffton after flying to Colorado to meet with inventor Gail Lynn and experiencing the positive impacts of the therapy herself.
• Coastal Carolina Smoke Shop, 24B Palmetto Bay Road, Hilton Head Island, 843-757-3339, CBDStoreBluffton.com: Larry Moran has been busy educating Lowcountry customers about the health benefits of hemp and cannabidiol, and is now preparing to open his third location after opening at Berkeley Place in Bluffton and Boundary Street in Beaufort. Moran has become as trusted source of CBD oils, edibles, gummies, smokable hemp bud flower, vapes and roll-on pain creams for humans, and veterinarian-formulated CBD calming chews for dogs. Moran and his team are experts in all-organic CBD, hemp, Delta-8, Delta-10 and Kratom products.
• 5th and Mill: Lisa DiTroia, her husband and two kids visited Bluffton from New York in February 2020 and fell in love. She launched her online clothing boutique on Nov. 20 after years of planning. The store offers the latest trends in women’s and children’s clothing, shoes and accessories from more than 100 curated vendors, and is offering a slew of grand opening and holiday promotions. Visit the online boutique at 5thandmill.com.
• May River Boat Detailing, 843-505-8822: Alexander Matos made a life-changing gamble when he moved his family to Bluffton after many years serving all over the world in the Navy. Matos has long been a fan of boating, so he set out to combine his military work ethic with his passion for the water in opening up his new business. May River offers wash and wax serves, oxidation removal, metal polishing, paint correction, seat restoration and ceramic coating. He offers new customer specials and an ongoing discount for veterans.
• May River Pressure Washing, 843-415-6545, mayriverpressurewashing.com: Bubba and Krista Flanders were raised in the Lowcountry, each coming from families that owned successful construction companies. As they dreamed of launching their own business, they decided to focus on bringing out the true value of the gorgeous properties they saw popping up around them. The bonded and licensed team uses a hot water wash system that works beautifully for house washing, driveways, fences, pool decks, gutters, patios and porches.
• Cupcakes 2 Cakes, 108 Buckwalter Parkway, Berkeley Place Suite 2C, Bluffton, 843-415-5678, cupcakes2cakes.com: This is a mother-daughter-owned bakery that was born out of years of Linda Ashby honing her love of baking while teaching middle school kids overseas. What began as a home-based business has spawned a brick-and-mortar location where Linda and her daughter Erica display Ashby’s latest creations – from ham and cheese scones to cookie pies, cocoa bombs to muffins, and the centerpiece of Ashby’s portfolio, her custom-made cupcakes and cakes. Check out her website for designs, pricing and serving guide before visiting the store to avoid being overwhelmed with all the deliciousness.
• E-Z-GO Carts Factory Direct Store, 25 Sherington Drive, Suite F&G, Bluffton, 706-250-9372, ezgohhi.com: The iconic Augusta-born golf and utility cart company has opened its latest store in the former Stooges Breakfast Café location in Sheridan Park. The new dealership will feature an expert service department to provide parts and accessories, maintenance and cart care. The factory-trained service staff can customize E-Z-GO carts, giving every client the opportunity to own a one-of-a-kind vehicle. The store will offer a range of financing options on new vehicles and will accept all trade-ins, regardless of the brand. They also have a wide variety of cart rentals available for tournaments, weddings, parties and other special events.
• The Kneady Cat Books And Gifts, 108 Buckwalter Parkway, Berkeley Place Suite 2D, Bluffton, 843-504-0973, thekneadycat.org: Carla Onofrio is a proud mother of two girls and four sweet kitty cats. She wanted to help drive awareness to the cat overpopulation epidemic and the need for having cats spayed and neutered. She is fulfilling that mission and dream by opening a used bookstore and gift shop where customers can drink some coffee, pet some cats, and read (and buy) donated books. A portion of the store’s profits will go to the Palmetto Animal League. Gifts at the store include every feline creation you can dream up, from teapots to ornaments to puzzles, toys and games, kitty pens, journals and kitty gift baskets.
Tim Wood is a veteran journalist based in Bluffton. Contact him at email@example.com.