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Hey, What’s Up with the County Market Place and Gift Shop Cafe?

The County Market Place and Gift Shop in Walterboro. Photo by Herb Bailey.

By Herb Bailey

The first time I walked into the County Market Place and Gift Shop Cafe on 506 East Washington Street in Walterboro, I felt as if I was in a trendy bakery near Harvard University in Boston or Yale University in Connecticut. I’ve been in coffee shops in both places and I received that trendy feel right here in Walterboro! The County Market Place and Gift Shop Bakery has the look, the vibe, and place to be called another jewel in Colleton County. Located inside of the Museum and Farmers Market, as I strolled in it I needed to find out more. I observed a woman looking around and with her first visit there showed the surprise on her face to what she saw.
I was able to have a nice chat with Retail Assistant Lori Hiott at one of the nice tables with a relaxed atmosphere on a Saturday morning. I mentioned the place being unique and Lori very much agreed. Lori said, “It is a unique setting. It has only been open two years since May 2015 so we are still rather new. I enjoy interacting with the public and providing customer service. We get a lot of tourists and a variety of local patrons. There are a good variety of tourists and locals each day. I have had people here from Alberta, Canada, Israel, United Kingdom and all over Europe. We get compliments on the unique atmosphere and food selection.”
As I strolled through the marketplace, there were a variety of local foods and books from local authors. My first thought was how neat it would be for a local author to sign and share their book in that relaxed unique environment. Lori shared with me that there is a tremendous partnership with other businesses and sending patrons to local establishments. I was very happy to hear that. One only needs to look at the pastries in the glass or the sandwich specials on the chalkboard and see the County Market Place and Gift Shop knows what they are doing and have a clue that they are very unique. What I hear and will find out on my next visit is that their Hawaiian grilled chicken sandwich will have you coming back for more.
So what does Lori want the public to know about the Market Place and Gift Shop? Lori said, “Gifts plus food and books are here and people would be surprised at all we have in the Commercial Kitchen. With the Rice Festival coming up we will get busy as from last year a lot more people know about us. So back to the question of “what’s up with The County Market Place and Gift Shop Bakery?” and the answer is found in the words trendy and unique. It definitely will be another cornerstone of downtown main street revitalization. If you have an idea for a future column please contact me at herbbailey1964@aol.com or reach the paper at www.thecolletonian.com.

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