Have you noticed a trend around here? By “around here,” I mean the business climate in Bluffton, on Hilton Head Island and the Lowcountry in general.
It seems every few months, we hear of another new craft beer brewery or pub emerging somewhere in Beaufort County. There’s even a new rum distillery on Daufuskie Island.
What’s interesting is that many of these new ventures are not only serving their products for on-premise consumption, they’re getting into the distribution business as well, so now you can find these locally handcrafted products on retail store shelves, and at your favorite restaurants, bars and hotels alongside major national brands.
As this wave of upstarts hit the Lowcountry, it was only a matter of time before the locally sourced, handcrafted concept spread from beer and spirits to coffee beans.
Usually when you order a cup of joe at a coffee shop or restaurant, or purchase your beans at a retail store, it’s not as fresh as it can be.
That’s because the beans were roasted days or even weeks earlier and were probably shipped over a long distance.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
I have a little motto that I like to use: If you’ve never had coffee on the day it was roasted, you’ve never had coffee.
When we moved Corner Perk Café to the Promenade in Old Town Bluffton, it was more than a change in location. We did it to bring Bluffton its first and only coffee roasting company, Corner Perk Coffee Roasters.
Like our fellow entrepreneurs in the beer and spirits businesses, we’re distributing locally sourced, freshly roasted coffee to Lowcountry restaurants, hotels and retail stores.
It’s pretty exciting to be part of this new trend in the Lowcountry business community. Over the years, leaders in our area have sought to attract new business sectors like high-tech and manufacturing to foster economic growth beyond the tourism industry that we have long been known for. Some of those efforts have returned mixed results.
Maybe we should have been looking in our own backyard all along.
Josh Cooke is the proprietor of the Corner Perk Café and Corner Perk Coffee Roasters. CornerPerk@gmail.com or www.CornerPerk.com