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Due West: The Produce Patch

Melissa Billey, Project Manager – melissa.a.billey@gmail.com

April 17, 2018

DUE WEST — A charming produce market and store is nestled inside of Due West, SC.  The Produce Patch, 203 N. Main Street, Due West, SC, 29639, holds some of the most delicious, local produce found in the area.  The Produce Patch is owned by Cindy Adams.  Visiting the store is like visiting old friends.  Larry Posey, Store Manager, is there to greet you when you arrive.  The store is open daily, Monday through Friday from 9:00AM until 6:00PM, Saturday from 9:00AM until 2:00PM, and closed on Sundays.

This wonderful store is home to South Carolina grown produce along with specialty items from the Amish Country.  Cindy Adams travels South Carolina to find new items to be carried in her store.  The vast variety of items is amazing, along with the flavor and taste of these items.  And yes, I did sample a few items as “research,” and they were incredible.  You can find everything from fresh produce, to flavorful granola, tasty fruit juices, and so much more. 

The store began when Cindy realized that the area did not have a “local” grocery store, and she wanted to fill that gap.  The Produce Patch has grown into so much more though.  Instead of just being a store, she is carrying specialty items such as Certified SC Grown items, organic items, and teas that are grown right here in beautiful South Carolina.

 

The Produce Patch with its many varieties of items, April 17, 2018.

United Abbeville Group Meeting

Melissa Billey, Project Manager – melissa.a.billey@gmail.com

March 19, 2018

ABBEVILLE — A meeting of the United Abbeville Group was held on March 13, 2018, at 6:00PM at The Renaissance Retirement Center, 5 Frank Pressly Drive, Due West, SC 29639.  Paul Bell, The Renaissance Retirement Center, opened the meeting with a warm welcome.  Dinner was provided by The Renaissance Retirement Center.

 Lee Logan began the meeting with updates on the Capital Projects Sales Tax.  The “Penny Tax” would be utilized to benefit Abbeville County in funding projects to improve the communities in this county.  “We are dedicated to fund projects to create jobs and opportunities,” Lee explained.  This is an, “all or nothing, pay as you go, no bond,” investment in Abbeville County.  Brad Evans, Freshwater Coast Community Foundation, gave an update on the Freshwater Coast Center for Rural Development (FCCRD) and its partners.  He spoke about the work on the Abbeville Promise that will be beneficial to the students of Abbeville County that are graduating high school.  The Abbeville Promise will allow these students to attend Piedmont Technical College (PTC) with no cost to them for tuition.  Brad Evans also spoke about the advances that FCCRD, along with its partners, has made in Abbeville County, McCormick County, and southern Anderson County.  Many opportunities have been created and many more are in the works for these counties.  A collaboration between FCCRD, SCBDC, local consultants, and Piedmont Technical College has opened the door for workshops that benefit small business owners.  These workshops offer professional development and business training in marketing, finance, start-up, human resources, bookkeeping, computer software, sales, investment, and social media.  More than 100 businesses have participated in these workshops with an estimated 500 attendees of business owners and employees.  There have also been many grants awarded to fund revitalization in the communities.  In education and entrepreneurship, a Youth Entrepreneurship Education Program was created through a Business Plan Competition held at the high schools.  There was also a Workforce Development Program created through the Abbeville County Education Week.  The next person to speak was Dr. Betty Jo Hall.  She gave a school update for Abbeville County.  The meeting was finished out with Stephen Taylor giving the Strategic Plan update and both, Stephen Taylor and David Garner updating everyone on the litter campaign.  The meeting was closed by Bryan McClain, Chairman.

Brad Evans, FCCF, speaking during the United Abbeville Group Meeting at The Renaissance Retirement Center on March 13, 2018.

FCCF Business Plan Competition

Sally Caldwell, Communications Coordinator

April 20, 2016

DUE WEST — On May 9, 2016, Erskine College and the Freshwater Coast Community Foundation (FCCF) are proud to host their first ever Business Plan Competition at Erskine College.

During this competition, students from various high schools will present innovative entrepreneurial ideas in a PowerPoint presentation to a panel of judges. These judges will consist of successful local businessmen and women.

The competition will take place from 9:00am to 2:30pm. The Business Strategy class of Erskine’s business professor Tracy McCurry will assist in the planning and executing of the event. These Erskine students will carry out various tasks, such as timekeeping, greeting, monitoring rooms, and escorting, among others.

In order for high school students to compete in this event, they must first compete and win in their high school competitions. The students present their PowerPoint business proposals to their high school teachers and then the winners submit the PowerPoints to Erskine College. The Erskine business class students will then review the slides and notes and rank the competitors for the preliminary competition.

The preliminary competition will take place in Reid Hall on the Erskine Campus, and then the participants and their teachers will be escorted to Erskine’s Bowie Arts Center for the final competition. Following the final competition will be a guest business speaker from the FCCF, and then at 2:30pm the awards ceremony will take place.

Both Erskine College and the FCCF are excited to be a part of this competition. The community is welcome to come observe the competition and learn more about business ideas and how they become successful. The FCCF looks forward to the competition and to working with the business department of Erskine College.

The business students of Erskine College that will plan, host, and execute the upcoming Freshwater Coast Community Foundation Business Plan Competition on the campus of Erskine College.

The business students of Erskine College that will plan, host, and execute the upcoming Freshwater Coast Community Foundation Business Plan Competition on the campus of Erskine College.

Due West Community Enrichment Meeting

Sally Caldwell, Communications Coordinator

October 29, 2015

DUE WEST — Last Monday, at the Renaissance LLC Retirement Community, the community of Due West gathered with small business owners and experts to learn how to make Due West successful both in business and in creating community.

After enjoying a dinner catered by The Renaissance, the meeting began with an enthusiastic welcome from Will Ferreira and updates on how the Freshwater Coast Community Foundation (FCCF) plans to enrich Due West.

“Our goal is to promote Erskine College,” Will stated. Due West is a college town, and businesses and community alike must take advantage of this asset.

The town of Due West also plans to eventually build a Community Enrichment Center, a place that will provide everything from education to fellowship.

Will then introduced Rusty Burns, Administrator for Anderson County, who spoke about Due West’s greatest assets and the areas that the town could grow and flourish in. “You really have a beautiful town to start with,” Rusty encouraged.

Rusty sees great potential in even more economic growth through Erskine College and with public-private partnerships. Erskine notoriously sends many students to medical school and should play up this trait, while Due West should focus on creating good locations for buildings that could be used by potential business owners.

Next, Matt Wiggins spoke about opportunities for small businesses. Matt is the Area Manager and Business Consultant for the South Carolina Small Business Development Center (SBDC) stationed at Lander University, and he discussed the different areas of his free consulting services. Business planning, financial options and management, business growth, sales and market strategies, and business seminars are just a few of the areas that Matt and the SBDC serve the communities in South Carolina with.

To close the meeting, Heide Trull, owner of Grits & Groceries in Belton, spoke about her journey to success and how she stays successful by utilizing social media advertising and giving back to the community. She spends 80% of Grits & Groceries’ money within a 100 mile radius, buys from local growers, and has her employees write 25 thank-you notes every day. “We only want to promote what’s great about Due West,” Heide said.

Due West has many areas to improve in, but it has even more areas of success. The community in and around Due West is ready for growth, and the FCCF plans to do just that through promoting small businesses, building a Community Enrichment Center, and promoting Erskine College.

The Due West community gathers together to learn how to enrich Due West through economic development, small business opportunities, and social media.

The Due West community gathers together to learn how to enrich Due West through economic development, small business opportunities, and social media.

Due West Chamber of Commerce Meeting

Sally Caldwell, Communications Coordinator

August 11, 2015

Due West Chamber of Commerce Meeting Media

Will Ferreira, Matt Wiggins, David Earle, Cindy Adams, David Krumwiede, Susan Jackson, and Charles Angel listen as Alanna Angel discusses strategies that could better the community of Due West.

DUE WEST — Last week, a meeting was held at the Renaissance in Due West to discuss  how the Freshwater Coast Community Foundation (FCCF) can strategize to enhance the town’s community, agriculture, and small businesses.

The meeting began with discussion about what the FCCF is accomplishing through the website, public relations, feasibility studies, and more.

It was decided that the best way to improve the community in Due West is to first find out what the community cares about. This point led to the planning of the “Community Enrichment Night,” an event dedicated to bringing the community together to voice the town’s needs and interests.

Many ideas were brought to the table, including a new pool, a community development center, mentorship, a town survey, a fitness center, computer training for adults, a neighborhood crime watch system, and other ways to enrich Due West.

Plans were made to meet again in August to discuss the now-upcoming “Community Enrichment Night” on October 19, 2015 at 6:00 PM.

Due West is a family-centered, faith-based town that has great potential to become a destination for many besides those that grew up there locally. The FCCF is excited about enhancing an already wonderful town to its highest potential.