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New Market and Café Working with Lowcountry Farmers


New Market and Café Working with Lowcountry Farmers

By Samantha Day

This story appears in the June 3, 2021 issue of the South Carolina Market Bulletin.

The day before the grand opening of Lowcountry Fresh, co-owner Andy Rolfe heard the song “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke on his way to his newest endeavor. This is exactly what he hopes Lowcountry Fresh will be for his community and local South Carolina farmers: a necessary and positive change.

May 26 marked the grand opening of Lowcountry Fresh, a market and café located in Bluffton, South Carolina. Lowcountry Fresh carries fresh, tasty fruits and vegetables from farms located on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and elsewhere in the state. They also carry seafood straight from the ports, other meat products, and local artisan goods such as candles, soaps, and teas. The new business also acts as a food hub for the Lowcountry, which gives local farmers the opportunity to supply even more restaurants, school districts, and the like.

Owners Andy and Cindy Rolfe recognized key players in the opening of their newest endeavor during the ribbon cutting event. They were followed by speakers of local and state government officials.

Commissioner Hugh Weathers detailed how the Rolfes brought their dream, a plan, and their vision of Lowcountry Fresh to his office just two years prior. He highlighted the South Carolina Department of Agriculture’s role in the opening and how this business positively impacts local farmers, specifically members of the Gullah Farmers Cooperative. SCDA played a key role in building the lasting connections between these farmers and the Rolfes.

“Agriculture helps makes South Carolina a great place to live,” Commissioner Weathers said to end his speech.

S.C. Sen. Tom Davis said Lowcountry Fresh is a success for the entire Bluffton community. It helps preserve the area’s sense of place, meaning the Gullah culture and local farms won’t be lost or forgotten with the increasing development and infrastructure happening in the Lowcountry.

“People can look to a place like Lowcountry Fresh and say, ‘This is a way where you can be successful financially, but also in a way that gives back to the community and help preserve our sense of place,’” said Sen. Davis.

SCDA’s Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship (ACRE) also played a role in the opening, having awarded Lowcountry Fresh the funds to purchase their delivery vehicle.

Lowcountry Fresh marks a new and consistent opportunity for South Carolina farmers, something SCDA strives to bring to the people who support the number one industry in the state, agribusiness.


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