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Local business closing doors after 36 years

If you live in the Lowcountry, chances are at some point in time you have stopped to shop at the Southside of Walterboro with Jamey Copeland. His family-owned business started in 1983 when his father Jimmy Copeland, bought Simons Farm Supply. He renamed the business to Walterboro Feed & Garden and started excelling in business from nearly day one. Jimmy took the existing business which sold feed and seed products and expanded it to offer items like tools, hardware, gardening, and pet supplies. From the start of the business, Jimmy wanted to offer quality products at reasonable prices. Three years after starting his journey of owning a business, Jimmy brought on his oldest son Jamey to help him as the store was growing so quickly. Twelve years later, Jimmy was diagnosed with cancer but kept a very positive outlook and felt at ease as he had trained Jamey in his own way on how his business should be run. Jimmy wanted all of his customers to be treated the way he would want to be treated and he reminded Jamey to always keep God and family at the top of his priority list.
The family-owned business has gone through many transitions over the last 36 years but Jamey never forgot what his daddy taught him. He has kept God first and his family close by his side. He never meets a stranger and could always be found at work offering fresh roasted peanuts or suckers to his friends and customers. In 2004, Jamey decided he wanted to work with family again and reached out to his mother Patricia Utsey. She had worked at the local hospital and Walterboro Family Practice and was excited when he asked her to come on board. The business evolved from a father-son partnership to a mother-son partnership. She took a Master Wildlife Course and Master Gardner Course through Clemson Extension and was a huge asset to Jamey in their lawn and garden department. Since she began, she has been helping Lowcountry residents add the right curb appeal to their home with the perfect additions from The Flower Barn and Old Seed Counter. Utsey was instrumental in renaming the business as it once again went through a transition in the 2000s. She has helped hundreds of children and husbands surprise their moms and wives with the perfect flowers and potted plants. She has come to know almost all of her customers on a deeper level than just a customer relationship.
Over the years, with all the moving parts and growing inventory, several employees have been part of the landscape. Many have been family members, and a couple of hires became like family to Copeland and Utsey. For the past 12 years, Jennifer Burns could be found twisting bows and curling ribbons often in her small “work cave” behind the cash register. She has become a vital part of the business and knows how Copeland wants things run and treats the business as her own. When faced with a challenge, she takes it and runs with it, leaving no doubt in the family’s mind that she was the right hire over a decade ago. Her organizational skills and attention to detail have helped their seasonal Christmas Tree and wreath sales skyrocket. Utsey sings her praises and has been thrilled to have her as part of their team.

Another complimentary employee has been Sally Hudson. Sally’s experience and love for all living things have helped Lowcountry shoppers pick the right things to plant to compliment their home. She has an eye for decor and even makes some of her own to share with those looking to add just the right touch to their outdoor areas.
The future looks much different for Jamey as he, for the first time, will be moving forward without either of his parents by his side and closing the store feels a little bittersweet. However, this evolution of family business is taking him in a different direction as he will now be stepping up to help his aunt Della Robertson run and manage the H & D Supermarket on Hampton Street. Like Walterboro Feed & Garden, H & D Supermarket has been a local landmark for many years and Jamey is ready for the new challenge. Over the past year, while preparing for the end of one family era with his mother’s retirement, he has been training with his beloved aunt and learning the ropes. Jamey says Robertson has always been his second mother and he is thrilled to be able to step in and help with her next phase of life as he continues in his own business growth and adventures. He looks forward to seeing all of their regular customers and also hopes his people-loving personality will bring new faces to see what the local supermarket has to offer to the community. He plans to continue to keep God first, family next followed by his friends and customers, sticking to the motto that has proved successful for his family for the past 36 years.

Christie Slocum (579 Posts)