Lowcountry Produce to open in downtown


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Lowcountry Produce to open in downtown

  1. 1. NEWS RELEASE alFor immediate release TriTuesday, July 5, 2011Contact: Scott Dadson, Beaufort City Manager, 843-525-7070 Award-winning Lowcountry Produce market to r F om open in former Beaufort City Hall downtown PD d.cA Lobeco-based specialty food company that’s been spotlighted by no less than Oprah Winfreyand The New York Times will open a storefront in downtown Beaufort’s former City Hall, theBeaufort Redevelopment Commission and Mayor Billy Keyserling announced today. iza omThe 1917 structure, beside the county library in the heart of Beaufort’s historic downtown,served as Beaufort City Hall until last summer when staff moved to the new facility at theintersection of Ribaut Road and Boundary Street. dfwThe Beaufort Redevelopment Commission tackled the task of finding a suitable tenant to fill the cuCimposing and important structure at Carteret and Port Republic streets. In March, a call for .pproposals brought only one informal response –but efforts behind the scenes continued with theCity’s newly created Office of Civic Investment. wDuring mid-March workshops as part of the Redevelopment Commission’s Civic Master Plan wwprocess, several people expressed interest in rehabbing and re-using the former City Hall, saidDoJon Verity, chairman of the Redevelopment Commission.“Lowcountry Produce is an ideal company to move into the old City Hall. This kind ofreinvestment in the heart of downtown, especially with such a historic and important building, iskey to keeping Beaufort a vibrant and thriving place to do business,” Verity said.Originally built as a post office, the structure has undergone multiple renovations in the past 90years. Under the lease agreement, Lowcountry Produce will make additional changes to convertthe corner building into a retail food market.Lowcountry Produce, led by Noel Garrett, his brother Dwight Garrett and Seabury Thorp, is apurveyor of specialty food products distributed to over 1,500 stores across the country. The 1
  2. 2. Garrett’s parents, Martha and Dwight Garrett, founded the company and still serve as its maincheerleaders, the Garrett brothers said.All products are handmade and hand-packed using only all-natural ingredients. The products aremade locally at the farmstand in Lobeco. The farmstand is the original “company store” wherecustomers can find local fruits and vegetables as well as a great hamburger at the grill. Thatfacility will remain open when the downtown location opens its doors early this fall.In six years, Lowcountry Produce has been mentioned by 0 Magazine for inclusion in OprahWinfrey’s Christmas 2010 "0-List," and has been featured in an article in The New York Times. alCountry Living Magazine named them one of the "Best American Pickle Brands" in July 2010.Their products have been talked about on “Good Morning America” and the “Today” show, andlast month the company earned the Civitas Award for Excellence in Free Enterprise from the TriBeaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce.In May, the Redevelopment Commission and City leaders celebrated groundbreaking forMidTown Square, a residential project on one and a half blocks of largely vacant land at BladenStreet in Beaufort’s Northwest Quadrant. When completed, MidTown Square is expected to r F omfeature up to 16 homes and six “live-work units” developed by Steven Tully and John Trask III. PD“As we saw with MidTown Square, people are responding to the investment made by the City toimprove Beaufort,” Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling said. “It’s going to take some time, and it’s d.cgoing to take more public-private partnerships to make it happen. Filling the former City Hallbuilding with an exciting company like Lowcountry Produce is another big step.” izaMartin Goodman, chairman of the Redevelopment Commission’s Commercial Redevelopment omCommittee, and his team coordinated the project to keep the old City Hall a vibrant part ofdowntown. dfwThe opening of the Carteret Street Lowcountry Produce store came as a result of their interest ina more urban storefront, Noel Garrett said. Downtown residents John and Erica Dickerson were cuCinstrumental in bringing the company to Beaufort, he said. .pThe City’s Office of Civic Investment and the Redevelopment Commission “met with the wowners of Lowcountry Produce to assess their needs and determine the best location in Beaufortfor their store,” said Demetri Baches, co-leader of Office of Civic Investment and owner of the wwplanning firm Metrocology. Interest in the City Hall building grew as plans for downtownDoBeaufort began to crystallize.The company, Redevelopment Commission and City leaders negotiated a lease for a combined10-year period in increments of an initial three-year term with renewals available for three andfour years. The company will be responsible for making all improvements to the structure.For more information about Lowcountry Produce, visit www.lowcountryproduce.com. To learnmore about Beaufort, try www.cityofbeaufort.org. END 2