Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Local mill owner feeds customers to say thanks

A Colleton County business owner has turned a customer appreciation dinner into an anticipated community event, and recently fed more than 200 people. He even sent plates of food to area shut-ins and elderly residents.

Mac McClendon owns and operates Mac’s Farm Supply, a local grits mill and seed store on the outskirts of Walterboro. The store also specializes in making and selling an array of locally-made jams and jellies, country sausage, smoked hams and goods.

The mill portion of the store grinds locally-made grits, while a separate section of the business supplies customers with locally-grown vegetable plants, fruit trees and vegetable and fruit seeds.

The store even sells hardware, and has a separate area where customers can buy animal feed and seed. There is even a section of the store that supplies customers with veterinary supplies.

For the last 15 years, McClendon has been hosting an annual customer appreciation dinner.

The once-a-year dinner is held on the grounds on the business, inside the store’s grain warehouse.

It is a free dinner for any customer of the business.

“They feed me 364 days a year. I can feed them once,” he said, speaking about what he does for his customers at the annual event. “It’s giving back, and I think people appreciate it.”

The actual dinner began as a small affair. Throughout the years, it has grown, now averaging about 200 people each year. This year, the menu consisted of 20 “bunches of collars,” 60-quarts of chicken bog, 12 lbs. of hunter’s stew, 2 whole deer, multiple Boston Butts to make hash and grits that is ground at the on-site mill.

Many of the store’s customers also bring baked goods for desserts. “The ladies supply cakes and pies and baked goods,” he said. “It’s a country event, so people want to bring something and participate. I appreciate that.”

This year’s dinner was held on Thursday, Dec. 27th. The dinner is usually held during the week between the Christmas and New Year holidays. With more people attending each year, McClendon says it takes a substantial amount of time to clean out the warehouse for people to participate in the dinner.

“We started out serving about a dozen people under a tent in the backyard and last week we fed about 200 through the line,” he said, on Monday. “We also sent plates to about 30 to 40 people who couldn’t come for whatever reason.”

The business itself is located in Round O, at 751 Cottageville Highway. Prior to opening the retail mill store, McClendon was a contracted landscaper and forester. He is from Alabama but came to the Colleton area for work and decided to stay, he said.

Mac’s Farm Supply and Mill is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. It is also open from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The store is closed on Sunday.