Watermelon-sized jackfruit, sweet potato multigrain tortilla chips and cowboy seasoned bacon are just a sampling of the many offbeat items customers will find at South Carolina's first GreenWise Market store and not at the conventional Publix supermarkets its parent company operates.
The organic and natural food emporium opens at 7 a.m. Thursday at 1720 Shoremeade Road in Mount Pleasant after a brief ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6:45 a.m.
The 21,535-square-foot Publix offshoot will anchor the new Indigo Square Shopping Center on U.S. Highway 17 across from Lowe’s and Mount Pleasant Towne Centre.
It's the second for the Florida-based supermarket chain. Three others are set to open this year in Alabama and Florida. A second South Carolina store will open next year in Lexington near Columbia.
"High-quality natural and organic products are the center of what we offer here," Publix spokeswoman Kim Reynolds said. "The store is designed to complement a conventional Publix supermarket."
About 70 percent of the items are organic or natural while the remaining 30 percent include either a local specialty item or a conventional product such as a brand of pasta.
The store also offers a large selection of prepared food items, including pizza, burrito and pasta bowls and artisan sandwiches.
In the meat section, customers will find 17 different varieties of sausages made in-house, including chili lime garlic pork sausage and spicy mango chicken sausage.
Shoppers also can select fresh seafood and have it cooked on the spot.
"We don't have that at Publix stores," said Bob Wabberson, business development manager for GreenWise.
The store also offers 157 varieties of bulk foods such as seeds, nuts and dried fruit. In addition, customers can dispense their own amounts of clover honey, coconut oil, olive oil or raw blue agave into provided containers. They are priced based on weight, with a scale set up beside the dispensary.
At the front, a bar is set up offering coffee, tea, smoothies and 10 local craft beer taps.
Each day, the store will offer a different event, including samplings of selected beverages, including wine.
Another difference is the name of different sections of the specialty supermarket.
"We don't call them departments," said GreenWise retail coordinator Allen Young. "We call them experience zones."
Items repeated at both Publix and GreenWise stores will be priced the same while Wabberson believes the company "still focuses on value" for remaining products.
The new GreenWise has selected three nonprofit charities in Mount Pleasant as partners. They include East Cooper Meals on Wheels, East Cooper Habitat for Humanity and East Cooper Community Outreach. A portion of sales on selected items will go to a customer's designated charity.
In addition, each GreenWise store highlights a local artist to display works across the store's front. Amelia Rose Smith's oil on canvas selections of coastal venues can be seen near the exit.
Publix operates 13 conventional supermarkets in the Charleston area, with plans to open three more. Its newest local store opened in March on the ground floor of the 10 WestEdge apartment building on the peninsula’s western side.
Other Publix locations are planned on Folly Road on James Island, Cainhoy Plantation off Clements Ferry Road and near the Summers Corner development south of Summerville.
Several other tenants already are open in Indigo Square, including a restaurant, phone store and workout facilities. Tenants include San Miguel Mexican Bar & Grill, Boxcar Betty’s restaurant, Blaze Pizza, AT&T store, CorePower Yoga, Club Pilates, Indigo Nail Spa, Motion Stretch Studio, Palmetto 80 Liquor and Independent Optical.
Some small shop spaces remain available, according to the website for Regency Centers, the developer of the 51,076-square-foot retail center in five separate buildings.
A two-decade-old hobby store will put away its toys at the end of June.
HobbyTown USA at 1559 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. in West Ashley will close June 30 after 20 years in business in different locations throughout the Charleston area.
"Sales just aren't what they used to be," said owner Charles Stokes. "The Internet is the primary reason."
Stokes started the business in 1999 in the Harris Teeter-anchored Westwood Plaza, where he stayed for 10 years before moving up the street. He later opened a second shop in Mount Pleasant on Long Point Road across from Belle Hall Shopping Center, where it operated for seven years before closing in 2016.
All merchandise in the West Ashley store is marked down 30 percent. The markdown will gradually increase through June on remaining items.
A California-based promotional company is opening a second location in North Charleston.
Team Phun will open in June at 1801 Reynolds Ave, Suite D-3.
The firm offers screen printing, custom apparel, design services and event merchandise.
Founder and principal Jesse Goodwick is moving to Charleston to open the new site. The original site in La Jolla, Calif., will remain in full operation.
"Charleston is a great location for us too because its like the East Coast San Diego, with an overwhelming amount of culture, food and beverage, hospitality and high-profile companies,” Goodwick said.
It already counts Callie's Hot Little Biscuits and Pride Charleston among its customers.
A pair of baby boutiques is moving to a new location in downtown Charleston.
Little Almond Blossoms and Under the Almond Trees are moving into the former Julia Santen Gallery at 188 King St., according to Susan Lucas with King Street Marketing Group. A total renovation will be done.
The shops are currently at 171 and 173 King.
A new barber shop recently opened in Mount Pleasant.
Frank's Gentlemen's Salon can be found at 353 N. Shelmore Blvd. near the I'On community.
Owned and operated by Cody Wright, it's open 9-6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. It's closed on Sunday and Monday.
Savannah Bee Co. now has three locations in South Carolina. The Georgia-based business launched a second Myrtle Beach area retail storefront last week. The new shop is at 4898 Hwy 17 South in Barefoot Landing. It offers honey, beauty and body care products, tastings and an observation beehive. It's the company's 13th location, including a shop in downtown Charleston.
The Charleston Friends of the Library May Book Sale is set for Friday and Saturday at the Cynthia Graham Hurd St. Andrews Library at 1735 N. Woodmere Drive in West Ashley.
More than 10,000 gently used books, CDs, DVDs and audio books will be available with prices starting at $1 for paperbacks and $3 for hardback books. Children's books start at 50 cents.
Funds raised help to support library functions and equipment.
The sale runs 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. For more information, go to www.CharlestonLibraryFriends.org.