Tamara Brown signed the lease at 114 State Street, West Columbia, on Feb. 14, 2020. She rode by the space and noticed it was available and she thought it would be a great place for JAK’s Essentials.
“Then COVID hit,” she said, “but I decided to power through anyway.” She’s glad she did.
Brown opened her store In May of last year. It will hold a big one-year anniversary celebration on Saturday.
“It’s been great,” Brown said. She has gone from making products for five companies to making products for 13 companies. She said foot traffic to the store has been good, too. “We have grown in this year of COVID,” she said.
Brown also said State Street is the ideal location for her. She said the West Columbia business community is growing and people have been great.
Debbie Truett owns The Cake House Casa del Pastel with her brother Brian. It opened at 323-B Ninth St. in West Columbia on April 10. It’s a dessert shop and bakery. “I needed my own shop,” she said. “And I’m glad we opened it.”
Debbie said business has been “really good,” but there is more to her story.
She was ready to open her bakery more than a year ago. “Then there was COVID,” she said. And the plans changed. During the lockdowns that were put in place to fight the pandemic, Debbie’s husband, Jonathan, used his weekends to work on the building that now houses the bakery. After more than a year he got it ready and things are going well.
Debbie has been in the baking business for more than a decade. She was once at Ft. Jackson. “I have a loyal following from Fort Jackson,” she said. Those customers have made sure to find her.
She also said her experience with the City of West Columbia has been very positive.
“Everything has been wonderful,” she said. And she credited the West Columbia Police Department for their help on one occasion.
“I was in here working late into the night,” Debbie said. “And a West Columbia Police officer came by to check to make sure everything was alright.” He was amazing; a super nice guy.”
Another relatively new West Columbia business is West Point Coins. It opened at 132 State St. in mid-August of 2020.
Owner Bob Klotzbach has been in the coin business for more than 30 years. He deals in coins, currency and bullion. He loves to look at coin collections and he can evaluate coins, too.
Despite opening his shop in the middle of the COVID crisis, Klotzbach said business has been great.
“It’s been excellent,” said Klotzbach. He also said he has followed all safety precautions including mask ordinances and social distancing.
Klotzbach said much of his clientele are coin collectors who like to buy gold and silver. In addition to a brisk business, Klotzbach is very pleased with West Columbia.
“This is a very nice community,” he said. “The people are really nice. It’s a nice place to have a shop.”
So there is good news, despite COVID restrictions. West Columbia’s business community is still growing.
Some other new businesses in West Columbia’s River District include:
- Savage Craft Ale Works on Center Street
- The Hideout in WECO on State Street
- Jakes on Meeting Street
- Gentleman’s Quarters in the Brookland Development