Meghan Zalich and Kenneth Beaver are married Marine Corps veterans who are opening a new DIY business, The Wooden Loft, in Old Town Bluffton. COURTESY WOODEN LOFT

In this very special episode of the Business Update, we give you the scoop on the various bits of dirt being moved around the region. There have been plenty of new businesses announced and opened since last we met. Let’s get to it.

New Goodwill set to open near roundabout: Goodwill Industries is notoriously close-mouthed about divulging details about new locations, but we’ve heard that a new location is set to open in a new build just off Bluffton Road on the WalMart side of the roundabout. Store officials say they are shooting for an Oct. 24 grand opening of the new store while still thriving at the Island West location off Fording Island Road.

Farewell to Bluffdog: We here at the Business Update are huge boosters of the burgeoning food truck revolution here in Bluffton. My dad was in the meat industry for 45 years, working his way up from a route driver to sales director for Jordan’s Meats in Maine. They made an incredible hot dog, at one time the official wiener of Fenway Park. Between Jordan’s and my time with the Yankees in Major League ballparks, I’m a bit of a hot dog aficionado. And I can honestly say I’ve never tasted a finer dog than what Mark and Michelle Banks put forth with BluffDog.

However, now their moms need them in Virginia, so they are headed up I-95 after their last public date on Oct. 30. The Bankses plan on coming back for one-off events whenever possible, and don’t count them out to someday join me in The Boomerang Club. Check out their Facebook page @BluffDogHotDogs for their remaining October appearances.

Ivybrook coming to Buckwalter: Multiple folks have asked me what that dirt is that’s being pushed on Buckwalter near Optim and the Omelette Café. You might have seen the signs by now, but here’s a little bit more information about Ivybrook Academy.

The award-winning preschool franchise was founded by Jennifer and Drew McWilliams in Charlotte in August 2007 and has since grown to nearly 50 locations nationwide. The Bluffton location will be the third in South Carolina when it opens in early 2022. Scott and Stacey Foley are opening the location, fulfilling a dream of opening a school. For more information about Ivybrook, email

Starbucks opens in May River Crossing: It sounds so ho-hum, so cliché. Another Starbucks opening. Yes, we all want to support locals like Corner Perk or The Grind Roasters, but remember, these Starbucks folks are planting roots here, too. And the folks at New Riverside, Cypress Ridge and Lawton Station – and that’s a town’s worth of folk right there – need their morning java fix.

They have some tasty pastries as well and a very friendly staff. There’s plenty of good karma going on over there out of the gates, as we’ve seen multiple social media thank-you posts about drive-thru folks paying for customers behind them. From what we hear, the new location is currently only open until 3 p.m. as it continues to staff up during tough hiring times.

Ice Cream Stop update: There is positive news on another May River Crossing business as well. The Richmond Hill-based Ice Cream Stop is moving toward opening their third location there. The family-owned business was shooting for a summer 2021 opening, but, as with most every building project, lumber supply and labor shortages moved the date back a bit. There is much construction action happening in the location next to Bill’s Liquors, and store officials say they are optimistically hoping for a November opening.

The Wooden Loft coming to Old Town: Meghan Zalich and Kenneth Beaver are married Marine Corps veterans who ended their military careers at Parris Island and are now transitioning into civilian life. They have decided to begin that journey by opening up a DIY workshop at 16 Church St. in Old Town.

The Wooden Loft began in Murrysville, Pa., with the vision of hosting instruction group project outings that allow folks to create their own custom signs to fit their décor. The Bluffton location will host private parties, corporate events, school functions, fundraisers, church gatherings and good ol’ get-togethers with friends.

Learn more about the business on Facebook @WoodenLoftBluffton and on the web at

Ma Daisy’s Porch coming in 2022: We hope you read Gwyneth Saunders’ outstanding feature on Bridgette Frazier in the Oct. 5 issue of this newspaper. But in case you didn’t, here’s the scoop on what the councilwoman/Chef B’s Eatz owner is up to. Frazier announced in late September that she has closed on the 1.8-acre parcel of land that houses the old Pepper’s Porch.

It’s exciting news for Blufftonians hoping the land would stay in local hands and that it would not sit dormant for too long. Frazier is working with Shoreline Construction for a full reimagining of the space, which we hope will include a permanent home for all of Chef B’s amazing dishes. Frazier is planning to begin a full renovation of the property in early 2022.

Got exciting updates on a new or existing Lowcountry business? Send your big news to Tim Wood is a veteran journalist based in Bluffton