Healthy Eyes Are in Focus at the Eye Center of Charleston

Protect Your Eyes with Help from an Ophthalmologist in Mount Pleasant, SC

If there's one thing that most people can agree on, it's that our human senses are extraordinary. They help us interact with the environment around us every day of our lives. Our brain processes signals from various neurons associated with our senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch to provide us with a meaningful perception of the world. The truth is, though, that we tend to take our senses for granted unless we experience a malfunction in any of them.

Humans have five senses and the same number of organs to complement those senses: a tongue to taste, a nose to smell, two ears to hear, skin for the sensation of touch, and eyes for sight. Of those senses and organs, our eyes are often considered the most essential, as they enable us to perceive up to 80% of all the impressions we encounter daily.

If other senses like taste or smell stop functioning, our eyes protect us from potential dangers. But they also help provide us with distinctly human memories. Think of all the picture-worthy moments that you have experienced over your lifetime. From seeing your baby smile or walk toward you for the first time to enjoying a memorable movie, it's safe to say that our eyes play an incredibly important role in our daily lives.

It makes sense, then, that we would want to protect our eyes and have them checked regularly to make sure they're healthy and functioning as they should. According to data by Ipsos, however, only 39% of Americans have been to an eye doctor's office in the last year. Fortunately, if you live in the Lowcountry, finding an eye doctor in Mount Pleasant, SC, is easier and more convenient than ever when you visit the professionals at Eye Center of Charleston.

Service Areas

 Eye Surgeon Mount Pleasant, SC

The Eye Center of Charleston Difference

Unlike some eye doctor offices in South Carolina, our team uses the most advanced technology paired with our esteemed clinical and surgical skills to precisely diagnose and treat a wide variety of eye conditions and diseases. We focus on a number of vision conditions, medical conditions, and physician services, including but not limited to:

  • Cataracts
  • Presbyopia
  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Styes
  • Diabetic Eye Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Excisional Biopsies
  • Dry Eye Syndrome
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Flashes & Floaters

It all starts with an introductory appointment with one of our experienced eye doctors, who will take as much time as needed to get to know you, learn more about your needs, and better understand the symptoms you're experiencing. Once we know the extent of your eye care needs, our doctors will provide you with an effective, efficient diagnosis and plan of action to remediate any issues you're facing.

From nuanced eye surgeries to standard eye exams, we've got you covered. In fact, we offer the latest technology in Varilux Progressives, Transitions, Crizal Anti-Reflective Lenses, Prescription Polarized Sunglasses, and Thin Lightweight Lenses. With a wide selection of frames and sunglasses, you're sure to find the glasses you need in a style you love.

 Eye Doctor Mount Pleasant, SC

What is an Ophthalmologist in Mount Pleasant, SC?

When people think about eye doctors, they often think about professionals who conduct eye exams and prescribe contacts. They don't realize that an ophthalmologist is different than other professionals, like optometrists. So, what is an ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a vision health professional who plays a specific role in the field of eye care. Along with optometrists and opticians, they are part of a comprehensive eye care team. However, some patients may need clarification on the similar-sounding names of these three types of eye care providers. Each one has unique skills and training for the tasks they perform. You should understand these differences so you can choose the best professional to address your vision needs.

What are the Differences Between Ophthalmologists and Other Eye Care Specialists?

Opticians, optometrists, and ophthalmologists each have a separate role in the field of eye care.

 Eye Treatment Mount Pleasant, SC

Optometrists

These professionals conduct eye exams, vision tests, and can prescribe corrective lenses that help address and solve eye conditions.

 Eye Surgeon Mount Pleasant, SC

Opticians

Opticians are often labeled "eye doctors," but they focus mostly on filling prescriptions for contact lenses, glasses, and sunglasses. They're also experts at repairing glasses and adjusting frames as needed.

Ophthalmologist Mount Pleasant, SC

Ophthalmologists

These medical doctors treat and diagnose certain eye diseases. However, it's not uncommon for ophthalmologists to provide vision services similar to those of optometrists.

At Eye Center of Charleston, we offer patients all three eye care specialists to provide the most well-rounded, effective eye care services in Charleston and beyond.

Are Optometrists and Ophthalmologists Basically the Same?

While optometrists have a four-year Doctor of Optometry degree and can provide primary vision health care, ophthalmologists are medical doctors who have received approximately three times the education and training.

They can perform all the same services as an optometrist but can also provide treatment, including performing surgeries such as cataract removal, vision correction, and eyelid lifting. Optometrists may detect signs of eye diseases during routine eye exams but are unable to treat them, so they often refer patients to ophthalmologists at The Eye Center of Charleston.

Surgical Specialties at The Eye Center of Charleston

While we serve many different types of patients with a wide variety of needs, many clients visit our eye surgeon in Mount Pleasant, SC, for very specific procedures. Keep reading below to learn more about those surgeries and the conditions that necessitate an eye doctor's intervention.

While we serve many different types of patients with a wide variety of needs, many clients visit our eye surgeon in Mount Pleasant, SC, for very specific procedures. Keep reading below to learn more about those surgeries and the conditions that necessitate an eye doctor's intervention.

In a young and healthy eye, light passes smoothly through clear ocular structures and is then focused on the retina, the light-sensitive lining inside the eye. The lens, which is a slightly flattened marble-shaped structure, helps to focus the eye. If the lens becomes cloudy, yellow, or limits the amount of light that travels through it, it is known as a cataract. Cataracts can occur at any stage of life, from birth to old age.

Some of the most common symptoms of cataracts include the following:

  • Blurry or Dim Vision
  • Lights Are Too Bright
  • Lights Give Off Halo Effect
  • Faded Colors
  • Vision at Night is Poor
  • Vision Distortion

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause damage to the optic nerve due to high pressure in the eye, leading to possible vision loss. Therefore, the primary focus of treatment is to control eye pressure. Early intervention is crucial in preventing severe vision loss. While most patients can avoid severe vision loss with the use of topical eye drops, some require additional treatment.

It should be noted that some patients prefer to have less dependence on eye drops. Along with medical treatment, several safe and effective procedures are available, including laser trabeculoplasty and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery. To learn more about these treatment options, talk to your eye doctor at The Eye Center of Charleston.

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for sending visual information from your eye to your brain and is essential for good vision. While high pressure in your eye is often associated with optic nerve damage, glaucoma can occur even with normal eye pressure.

Although glaucoma can happen at any age, it is more prevalent in older adults and is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. Unfortunately, many forms of glaucoma produce no warning signs. The effect of the condition is so gradual that you may not notice a change in vision until the later stages of the disease.

That's why it's essential to have regular eye exams that include measuring your eye pressure. Early recognition of glaucoma is a very important part of that process because it can help slow down or prevent vision loss. If you have glaucoma, you will need to undergo treatment or monitoring for the rest of your life.

Some of the most common symptoms of glaucoma include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Eye Pressure & Pain
  • Low, Blurred, or Narrow Vision
  • Bloodshot Eyes
  • Nausea
  • Seeing Rainbow-Colored Haloes Around Light Sources

A pterygium is a non-cancerous growth that appears on the surface of the eye, causing blurry vision. It usually occurs in individuals who have a long history of exposure to sunlight or UV light. Should you need pterygium surgery at The Eye Center of Charleston, you can rest easy knowing that your eye doctor in Mount Pleasant, SC, will be highly trained and experienced in the surgical treatment of pterygia.

Also called surfer's eye, a pterygium is an overgrowth of the conjunctiva, which is a thin and clear membrane on the surface of the eye. It can appear as a fleshy growth and is usually found growing from the inner corner of the eye, close to the nose. However, it can also appear on the outer corner or on both sides of the eye. The condition is not cancerous and does not spread to any other part of the face or body. It can cause redness and irritation in the affected area.

If left untreated, a pterygium can grow across the cornea, which is the transparent 'window' that covers the pupil and iris, further impacting vision. In such cases, surgical treatment may be necessary. However, it's important to note that pterygia may grow back even after successful surgery.

Some symptoms of a pterygium include the following:

  • Itching & Burning
  • Inflammation & Bloodshot Eyes
  • Minor Eye Pain
  • Issues with Blocked Vision

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes

If you have diabetes, you may be wondering if the disease can affect your eyes and whether or not an ophthalmologist in Mount Pleasant, SC can help. To provide the best answer, it's important that you understand how diabetes can affect your eyesight.

Diabetes is a condition in which your body fails to properly convert food into energy. This is because your body either cannot produce or does not respond to insulin, which is a hormone responsible for transporting glucose (blood sugar) to the cells in your body. When there is an excess of glucose in the bloodstream, it can cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves throughout your body, including the eyes.

Understanding Diabetic Eye Disease

When we refer to diabetic eye disease, we're talking about a group of eye conditions that stem from diabetes. Those conditions include the following:

3 Easy Ways to Protect Your Eyes Everyday

Eye problems can be easily prevented if you adopt some easy-to-follow habits for eye care in your daily routine. Even though these habits are practical and easy to accomplish, many people brush them off - until they have serious eye problems. To maintain good eye health and sharp vision, try incorporating these eye care techniques into your daily routine.

Eye Center of Charleston Pro Tip

Swing by one of our eye clinics to see our selection of fashionable and chic sunglasses. Our licensed opticians keep a number of popular sunglass options available at all times, like Costa, Kate Spade, and Juicy Couture. Protect your eyes and look great at the same time!

num-list-one

Use Protection from the Sun

It's important to be mindful of the potential risks associated with exposure to sunlight and UV rays. These hazards include an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration, as well as the possibility of cornea sunburn or photokeratitis. To protect your eyes, try wearing sunglasses that have UV protection. If you don't like wearing sunglasses, you can opt for UV-protected eyeglasses or contact lenses instead. You can also try wearing caps, visors, and hats for added protection.

num-list-one

Try Not to Rub Your Eyes

One of life's little pleasures is rubbing your eyes when you're tired or have had a long day. It may feel good, but we don't recommend doing it. Reason being, your hands come into contact with a great deal of dirt, dust, and bacteria on a daily basis.

Every time you touch or rub your eyes, these harmful particles can be easily transferred to them. If you avoid touching your eyes with your hands, you can better prevent infections and irritations.

num-list-one

Try the 20-20-20 Rule of Thumb

To keep your eyes in the best shape possible, consider adopting this handy rule. It states that:

  • Look away from your computer screen or TV every 20 minutes and fixate your gaze on something that is 20 feet away.
  • Blink your eyes 20 times in succession. This helps prevent dry eyes.
  • Get up out of your seat or away from your desk every 20 minutes. Then, take 20 steps. Doing so helps you vision and also helps promote healthy blood circulation and posture.

See a Brighter Future with Help from An Eye Doctor in Mount Pleasant, SC

At The Eye Center of Charleston, we're proud to offer a breadth of eye care services under one roof tailored to you and your whole family. From pediatric myopia management and treatment for dry eye to popular eyewear options and complicated eye surgery, we're ready to help. Regardless of the reason why you visit our eye care office, you can have peace of mind knowing that your patient experience will be comfortably curated for you.

Contact our eye care center today to learn more about our practice and to schedule an initial consultation with one of our expert eye doctors.

Free Consultation

Latest News in Mount Pleasant, SC

11 Newest Brunch Spots in Charleston, May 2024

If you've made your way through the essential brunch restaurants in Charleston and still yearn for another mimosa in a different setting, we present this list of the new spots servicing the early crowds. To be on the Brunch Heatmap, these establishments must be less than a year old (with some consideration for those barely over the mark or changes in the kitchen). ...

If you've made your way through the essential brunch restaurants in Charleston and still yearn for another mimosa in a different setting, we present this list of the new spots servicing the early crowds. To be on the Brunch Heatmap, these establishments must be less than a year old (with some consideration for those barely over the mark or changes in the kitchen).

Read More

Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process. If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

For those in search of a killer bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich in Mount Pleasant, make your way to the new location of Bodega. This is the second outpost of the downtown Bodega, which specializes in breakfast sandwiches, brunch cocktails, and New York-inspired lunch items, like a chopped cheese on a kaiser roll.

New Mount Pleasant addition Spread Bagelry offers wood-fired Montreal-style bagels, which are thinner than the New York style and with a larger hole. There’s plenty of choices of bagels and spreads, but the stacked sandwiches are the way to go for a really filling meal — the melted pimento cheese with bacon and tomato is a standout star.

Upper King bar Bourbon N’ Bubbles now offers a sophisticated brunch service with caviar deviled eggs, bomboloni, a crispy rice bowl, and plenty of espresso martinis.

Filipino restaurant Kultura now has permanent residence in the former Baguette Magic space on Spring Street. This has given chef Nikko Cagalanan a chance to experiment with brunch on Sundays. The menu includes ube lattes, guava “Pop-Tarts,” egg sandwiches with pork belly adobo, and pancit with local lump crab. There’s also karaoke for a bit more fun.

Upper King hangout Prohibition has a new brunch menu full of small plates meant for sharing. Chef Greg Garrison has introduced flavors from all around the globe with items like Turkish eggs, a street corn tostada, a chopped cheese sandwich, and Charleston fried rice.

Have brunch on the rooftop terrace at the Peacock (formerly named the Habit). Take in views of the harbor with a mimosa and a breakfast sandwich, shakshuka, or hash browns and caviar.

European cafe Azur serves hearty brunch items like the Azur burger (beef burgundy, tomato, and Emmental cheese on a croissant bun) and lighter plates, like the shrimp salad on avocado toast. There’s plenty of quiches, frittatas, and mimosas to go around too.

Caviar for breakfast? Italian restaurant Sorelle can make that happen. The swanky Broad Street spot launches brunch service on May 12 with selections ranging from stone fruit caprese to carbonara pizza to mortadella panino. For real indulgence, pair the caviar service with lobster Benedict and a round of champagne.

Beach oasis Sullivan’s Fish Camp now offers brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Visit the stylish spot for chef Nick Wilber’s takes on the classics. On the sweet side, there’s lemon ricotta pancakes with peach chutney, and on the savory side, there’s avocado toast or a smoked salmon platter. The restaurant is also leaning into fun drinks like the Island Buzz with espresso rum.

Florence’s Lowcountry Kitchen has reopened on James Island and offers brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Visit for Southern favorites like shrimp and grits, chicken and biscuits, and more.

The Harlow brings its oysters and burgers to brunch, plus crab omelets, breakfast burritos, and shrimp and grits. The kid-friendly spot has a children’s menu of favorites, like chicken fingers or French toast.

For those in search of a killer bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich in Mount Pleasant, make your way to the new location of Bodega. This is the second outpost of the downtown Bodega, which specializes in breakfast sandwiches, brunch cocktails, and New York-inspired lunch items, like a chopped cheese on a kaiser roll.

New Mount Pleasant addition Spread Bagelry offers wood-fired Montreal-style bagels, which are thinner than the New York style and with a larger hole. There’s plenty of choices of bagels and spreads, but the stacked sandwiches are the way to go for a really filling meal — the melted pimento cheese with bacon and tomato is a standout star.

Upper King bar Bourbon N’ Bubbles now offers a sophisticated brunch service with caviar deviled eggs, bomboloni, a crispy rice bowl, and plenty of espresso martinis.

Filipino restaurant Kultura now has permanent residence in the former Baguette Magic space on Spring Street. This has given chef Nikko Cagalanan a chance to experiment with brunch on Sundays. The menu includes ube lattes, guava “Pop-Tarts,” egg sandwiches with pork belly adobo, and pancit with local lump crab. There’s also karaoke for a bit more fun.

Upper King hangout Prohibition has a new brunch menu full of small plates meant for sharing. Chef Greg Garrison has introduced flavors from all around the globe with items like Turkish eggs, a street corn tostada, a chopped cheese sandwich, and Charleston fried rice.

Have brunch on the rooftop terrace at the Peacock (formerly named the Habit). Take in views of the harbor with a mimosa and a breakfast sandwich, shakshuka, or hash browns and caviar.

European cafe Azur serves hearty brunch items like the Azur burger (beef burgundy, tomato, and Emmental cheese on a croissant bun) and lighter plates, like the shrimp salad on avocado toast. There’s plenty of quiches, frittatas, and mimosas to go around too.

Caviar for breakfast? Italian restaurant Sorelle can make that happen. The swanky Broad Street spot launches brunch service on May 12 with selections ranging from stone fruit caprese to carbonara pizza to mortadella panino. For real indulgence, pair the caviar service with lobster Benedict and a round of champagne.

Beach oasis Sullivan’s Fish Camp now offers brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Visit the stylish spot for chef Nick Wilber’s takes on the classics. On the sweet side, there’s lemon ricotta pancakes with peach chutney, and on the savory side, there’s avocado toast or a smoked salmon platter. The restaurant is also leaning into fun drinks like the Island Buzz with espresso rum.

Florence’s Lowcountry Kitchen has reopened on James Island and offers brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Visit for Southern favorites like shrimp and grits, chicken and biscuits, and more.

The Harlow brings its oysters and burgers to brunch, plus crab omelets, breakfast burritos, and shrimp and grits. The kid-friendly spot has a children’s menu of favorites, like chicken fingers or French toast.

$2.4B deal buys 3 South Carolina hospitals, including Mount Pleasant facility

Three area hospitals have been sold in a $2.4 billion deal to North Carolina-based Novant Health by the previous owner, Tenet Healthcare of Dallas, Texas.The sale of East Cooper Medical Center in Mount Pleasant, Hilton Head Hospital in Hilton Head and Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville includes the associated physician clinics and other operations, according to a news release from Novant Health.“We are beyond thrilled to welcome our new team members and grow our presence in South Carolina,” said Carl S. Armato...

Three area hospitals have been sold in a $2.4 billion deal to North Carolina-based Novant Health by the previous owner, Tenet Healthcare of Dallas, Texas.

The sale of East Cooper Medical Center in Mount Pleasant, Hilton Head Hospital in Hilton Head and Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville includes the associated physician clinics and other operations, according to a news release from Novant Health.

“We are beyond thrilled to welcome our new team members and grow our presence in South Carolina,” said Carl S. Armato, president and CEO, Novant Health, which is headquartered in Winston-Salem. “Novant Health’s long-term vision is to transform the health and wellness of these communities through expanded specialty services and clinical expertise. We are energized and united behind our cause to create a healthier future together by building connections with patients and clinicians in coastal South Carolina.”

The East Cooper Medical Center includes 15 physician clinics. Hilton Head Hospital includes the Bluffton Okatie Outpatient Center and 12 physician clinics. Coastal Carolina Hospital in Jasper County includes the Tidewatch Free-Standing Emergency Department in Bluffton, according to the news release.

Novant Health said continuity of care is a priority and appointments and procedures will continue as scheduled during the transition period. “We are working closely with our new Novant Health team members to ensure a seamless transition for patients and team members,” Joel Taylor, market CEO of Hilton Head Regional Healthcare, said in the release. “We are eager to move forward together in support of our teams and know decisions will be made with our community’s needs at the forefront.”

“There’s a lot to be excited about when planning for our future,” Tyler Sherrill, CEO of East Cooper Medical Center, said in the release. “Novant Health is known for elevating clinician leadership to provide patients with a trusted health care experience through world-class technology, personal connections and convenient access to care.”

Tenet Health also owns a cluster of imaging centers and urgent care clinics in York, Rock Hill and Fort Mill, but those South Carolina properties were not part of the deal for the coastal hospitals.

“We understand that taking care of our patients starts with taking care of our people, so I’m delighted to join a leadership team that strives to not only be a healthc are provider of choice but also an employer of choice,” Ryan Lee, CEO of Coastal Carolina Hospital, said in the release. “I look forward to expanding the resources available to our team.”

Novant Health supports health and wellness programs in the community, including health education/screenings, community health workers and mobile cruisers. Each year, Novant Health provides hundreds of programs that serve patients, neighbors and some of their communities’ most vulnerable citizens, the company said in the release.

The Novant Health network consists of more than 1,900 physicians and more than 38,000 team members who provide care at more than 800 locations, the release said.

-

Pickleball Kingdom Location Announced in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C., April 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Pickleball Kingdom, the nation's premier indoor pickleball franchise, is excited to announce the opening of its newest location in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, situated at 680 Long Point Rd Mt Pleasant, SC 29464. This location underscores Pickleball Kingdom's commitment to providing an unparallel pickleball experience throughout the state of South Carolina. ...

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C., April 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Pickleball Kingdom, the nation's premier indoor pickleball franchise, is excited to announce the opening of its newest location in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, situated at 680 Long Point Rd Mt Pleasant, SC 29464. This location underscores Pickleball Kingdom's commitment to providing an unparallel pickleball experience throughout the state of South Carolina.

Continue Reading

Ace Rodrigues, Founder, and CEO of Pickleball Kingdom, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "We are thrilled to bring Pickleball Kingdom to Mount Pleasant, SC, and we couldn't be happier to have Chris and Kelly Ogden leading the charge. This expansion marks another milestone in our mission to bring a premier indoor pickleball experience all around the world."

Chris and Kelly Ogden, esteemed franchisees of Pickleball Kingdom, are spearheading this endeavor in Mount Pleasant. Their dedication to the sport and enthusiasm for community involvement position them to make the Mount Pleasant North location a hub for the pickleball.

A Hub for Pickleball Enthusiasts

The Mount Pleasant North location boasts state-of-the-art indoor courts designed to accommodate players of all ages and skill levels. With a focus on inclusivity and fostering a sense of community, the venue will offer leagues, open play sessions, tournaments, and professional instruction.

"Pickleball is more than just a sport; it's a community builder," remarked Chris Ogden. "Our aim is to create a welcoming environment where people of all backgrounds can come together to enjoy this exciting sport. Mount Pleasant is the perfect setting for Pickleball Kingdom."

Join the Pickleball Kingdom Family

As Pickleball Kingdom continues its expansion efforts, the company is actively seeking passionate individuals to join its franchise family. Prospective franchisees will benefit from comprehensive support from the Pickleball Kingdom team and the opportunity to be part of a rapidly growing industry.

"This is a remarkable opportunity to be part of the fastest-growing sport in the country," noted Rob Streett, COO of Pickleball Kingdom. "We're eager to welcome entrepreneurs who share our vision for growing the pickleball community."

www.pickleballkingdom.com/franchise

For Franchise & Media Inquiries:

COO Rob StreettEmail: 376109@email4pr.comPhone: 888-788-0999

About Pickleball Kingdom

Pickleball Kingdom is the premier indoor pickleball franchise, dedicated to promoting the sport through high-quality facilities, instruction, and community engagement. With a vision to create a worldwide network of pickleball venues, Pickleball Kingdom is reshaping the landscape of sports.

SOURCE Pickleball Kingdom Franchising

How does Trader Joe's choose new locations? Here's what analysts say.

The California-based grocery chain has a reputation for being highly selective about where it opens new stores — even if that means choosing a second location a few miles from an existing one.Trader Joe’s confirmed in January that Mount Pleasant will soon have not one, but two stores in town.The announcement sparked excitement, praise and a fair amount of grumbling from outside fans of the grocery chain who believe their communities are more deserving of a new Trader Joe's location. A post about the chain's plans fo...

The California-based grocery chain has a reputation for being highly selective about where it opens new stores — even if that means choosing a second location a few miles from an existing one.

Trader Joe’s confirmed in January that Mount Pleasant will soon have not one, but two stores in town.

The announcement sparked excitement, praise and a fair amount of grumbling from outside fans of the grocery chain who believe their communities are more deserving of a new Trader Joe's location. A post about the chain's plans for Mount Pleasant drew more than 800 comments on The Post and Courier's Facebook page.

"This is the craziest decision," one reader groused. "Right around the corner basically from the current one...why not spread out a bit and go to James Island, West Ashley, N. Charleston or Summerville?"

"Do better Trader Joes," another demanded. "Two locations in the same area is preposterous."

As one might imagine, the news received a much more favorable reception in Mount Pleasant.

Tasha Blomquist and her son perused the floral offerings in front of the store on a cloudy morning. Blomquist said she stops by the store twice a week and is eager to see a new location, hopefully, in the northern part of town, where she lives.

“I live way in north Mount Pleasant, so I’m happy there might be one there,” Blomquist said. “I think it’s needed though because every time I’m here … I feel like you have to do multiple laps around the parking lot just to find a spot.”

Another shopper, Kelly Crowley, who lives near Brickyard Plantation, said opening a second store will hopefully cut down on crowds.

“We come by here pretty regularly. If you come here on Sunday or even Saturday, it’s lines all the way back into the aisle," Crowley said.

Though Trader Joe’s has not disclosed where the new store will be, multiple sources have told The Post and Courier the grocery chain is considering the old Bi-Lo building at the foot of the Isle of Palms Connector — a few miles from the store on Johnnie Dodds Boulevard that opened in 2011, and not farther into northern Mount Pleasant as customers like Blomquist would hope.

The proximity to an existing store seems like a head-scratching move — why does Mount Pleasant get two stores 5 miles apart, bypassing places like Summerville or West Ashley?

Demand for a Trader Joe’s in these areas is high, as evidenced by petitions that attract thousands of signatures calling for the chain to open the shop in their towns and cities.

One such petition from 2020 that called for a store in Summerville earned nearly 5,000 signatures. Another in West Ashley gained over 6,000.

Similar efforts also crop up in Myrtle Beach regularly. The city is one of South Carolina’s fastest-growing, yet you won’t find a Trader Joe's in the coastal municipality. Former Horry County Director of Planning David Schwerd said he had that conversation over and over during his 30-year tenure.

“'We need Trader Joe's. Everybody always wants a Trader Joe's. Pretty much every time a commercial rezoning or development planning comes up, it's usually the first one that gets mentioned,” Schwerd said.

Jeff Campbell, the University of South Carolina's department of retailing chair, said grocery stores, particularly Trader Joe's, are extremely strategic in opening new locations. You won't see a Trader Joe's on every corner, and they take their time scouting areas before settling on a city.

"Typically, they would use a variety of metrics in site selection, and while location is still an important consideration, they'll look at things like projected foot traffic, the demographics of the area, where the current transportation routes are, where competitors are located," Campbell said.

Myrtle Beach being a hot spot for tourists might not be attractive to the chain either. People who visit the coastal city are looking to stock up for the week, heading to Walmart or Costco for items in bulk, rather than prepackaged, single-serve foods, Campbell said.

People can request that Trader Joe’s consider their city for a new store. Nakia Rohde, a spokesperson for Trader Joe’s, said the company receives “tons” of requests for stores nationwide.

The company doesn’t share much about how it chooses the perfect site for a new Trader Joe's. But Schwerd has a hunch. He pointed to the region’s median income, age and education level — factors the grocer is thought to consider when choosing sites for a new store.

“They have their undisclosed lists of what they're looking for in demographics,” Schwerd said. “Even though Trader Joe's does not list any specific criteria in their evaluation, that's what they're looking for. They have an upscale, educated clientele.”

An interview with Joe Coulombe, the store’s founder and namesake, published in the LA Times in 2011 demonstrates this ideology that seems to have stuck with the company: “Unless you have enough well-educated people, Trader Joe’s will not work.”

Because of these factors, Schwerd said Horry County or Myrtle Beach are unlikely to get a Trader Joe’s any time soon.

According to U.S. census data, Myrtle Beach has a median income of $57,713, a median age of 51.5 years and 28.8 percent of residents who hold bachelor’s degrees or higher.

Mount Pleasant’s median age of 41.3 years is slightly higher than the state’s 40.5 years, but in Greenville and Columbia, where the other two Trader Joe’s are located, the median ages are much younger at 35.9 and 28.4, respectively.

“They want younger consumers, they want a little bit better-income consumers," Campbell said.

Mount Pleasant, where the median income is $114,237 and 66 percent of residents hold a bachelor’s degree, is far above the state’s median income level of roughly $64,000 and where 32.6 percent of the state hold bachelor's degrees.

So, Trader Joe’s wants to open stores in higher-earning areas with higher volumes of college-educated folks, and Mount Pleasant happens to fit the bill. It fits so well that shoppers will soon find half of South Carolina's Trader Joe's in town.

Campbell, who lives in Lexington, said he’d like to welcome a store in his city, but it’s not likely — it's just not what Trader Joe’s is looking for.

“They're not trying to sell to everybody. They're trying to sell to a particular demographic, and that demographic tends to do very well,” Campbell said.

Reach Anna Sharpe at 843-806-6790.

Get carried away at newly-opened southern market in Mount Pleasant

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Get carried away at Mount Pleasant’s new southern market and eatery!Located in the heart of town, Get Carried Away offers everything you need whether it’s a delicious grab-and-go meal or stylish glassware for your next dinner party.Happening Saturday, Feb. 3rd, the store will celebrate its grand opening of ‘The Perch,’ their outdoor patio and your new favorite hangout spot for an afternoon spritz and sandwich.We caught up with the owners, Sassy and Brian He...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Get carried away at Mount Pleasant’s new southern market and eatery!

Located in the heart of town, Get Carried Away offers everything you need whether it’s a delicious grab-and-go meal or stylish glassware for your next dinner party.

Happening Saturday, Feb. 3rd, the store will celebrate its grand opening of ‘The Perch,’ their outdoor patio and your new favorite hangout spot for an afternoon spritz and sandwich.

We caught up with the owners, Sassy and Brian Henry, to learn more about their business ahead of this weekend’s celebration.

“A lot of what we do is entertaining and hosting,” said owner, Brian. The idea for the shop has been derived from their love for food, hosting, and entertaining family and friends.

Get Carried Away’s first location was founded in Pawleys Island, but the Henrys decided to expand services to reach a larger audience. “We felt like Mount Pleasant was a comfortable jump,” Sassy said.

The Henrys want to accommodate Charleston’s vacationers and local folks.

Sassy went on to say, “When people are on vacation and going to the beach, they don’t want to have to cook entertaining-type foods for large groups of people.”

The market offers a variety of items for the typical vacationer to pick up on their way to the beach house or for the everyday locals to sip and shop.

Not only does Get Carried Away offer takeaway meals and a wide selection of beer and wine, but you can also find everyday groceries there such as meat, seafood, fruits, dips, milk, eggs, and so on. And of course, you can’t miss out on their famous chicken salad or pimento cheese!

You can get carried away in their home section, too, if you’re not careful. It features gorgeous glassware, decorative napkins, kitchen towels, candles, and much more! “We’re trying to keep it all food and beverage oriented,” Sassy mentioned about the products featured in the home section. It’s worth checking out if you’re looking to elevate your tablescape.

The fun doesn’t stop there! You and your family can join the Henrys on Saturday, Feb. 3rd from 12:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. for the grand opening of ‘The Perch,’ their outdoor patio and bar. The celebration will include a complimentary Lowcountry boil as well as their homemade crowd-pleaser appetizers.

‘The Perch’ will provide a full lunch and drink menu this spring with specialty cocktails: The Perch Punch, Coleman Cosmo, Old Village Fashioned, and the Moultrie Margarita.

Get Carried Away is located at 644 Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant. They’re open from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sundays.

Disclaimer:

This website publishes news articles that contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. The non-commercial use of these news articles for the purposes of local news reporting constitutes "Fair Use" of the copyrighted materials as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law.