Beaufort News

Lowcountry Produce to expand to Hilton Head

Lobeco-based Lowcountry Produce plans to open a store in mid-summer on Hilton Head Island.

The store will occupy a vacant 7,000-square-foot space in Sea Pines Center on Lighthouse Road.

The business -- which opened its second location in downtown Beaufort, in February -- offers specialty grocery items such as meats, baked goods, fruits and vegetables, and beer and wine.

The company produces a line of small-batch gourmet foods distributed to more than 2,000 stores nationwide, according to a release announcing the store's opening.

The Sea Pines store also will feature a cafe, which will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, depending on the day of the week.

The announcement is the latest change for the center, which recently was purchased by two local partners who have modernized its appearance.

Dennis Jaworski, head of the center's merchant's association, hailed the announcement as a coup for the formerly struggling center.

"Of course, we're all very excited about this," he said. "Everything's happening all at once."

He added that the storefront Lowcountry Produce will fill is the largest vacant spot in the 23-space retail center.

"We are absolutely thrilled to be a part of the Sea Pines Center family," Lowcountry Produce co-owner Noel Garrett said. "What especially excites us about this project is the timing of it. We are coming in at a time when the center is under new ownership, undergoing a major renovation and on the cusp of some exciting things."

The 65,000-square-foot Sea Pines Center, which opened in 1984, was purchased by local businessmen Ned Payne and Frank Fowler from a Florida-based commercial real estate development firm in December.

In addition to retail space, the center offers a gas station and convenience store, two restaurants and a spa. It also houses offices for several businesses and for the Heritage Classic Foundation and the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing pro golf tournament.

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Sea Pines Center sold to local buyers, Jan. 11, 2012