St. Stephen thrives with new business growth | Community News

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After moving to St. Stephen in 2021, Dan Kredensor was looking for a coffee shop and ice cream shop and found there to be neither for over 18 miles.

In January of 2022 he took matters into his own hands and began creating a business plan to share his love of coffee, ice cream and entrepreneurship with the people of St. Stephen. On June 23, Kredensor saw his plan come to fruition with the ribbon cutting ceremony of his new coffee and ice cream shop, Lowcountry Coffee Co.

Known as “Uncle Johnny’s Store,” Kredensor’s Lowcountry Coffee Co. resides in the oldest surviving commercial building on Main St. in St. Stephen.

“Uncle Johnny’s store was quite active until his death in 1931,” said Kredensor. “His death along with the Depression started a chain of events where ownership changed hands many times. In my lifetime I recall it being a general store, a dress shop, a bank and an insurance company.”

Lowcountry Coffee Co. is just one of many businesses recently making a name for itself in St. Stephen. The town has seen the opening of many new businesses including a sandwich and burger joint called Freda’s, a local gun store called Lowcountry Munition, Old Town Feed and Supply and The Capital Grille and Seafood. St. Stephen will also soon see the opening of a traditional Trinidadian restaurant called Ma Gloria’s.

Along with the town’s new booming businesses, St. Stephen also holds the Catfish Festival in the Spring, the Community Festival in October and the Berkeley Showoffs Car Show in November. Plus, the town holds a farmer’s market every Wednesday from 3-7 pm at Alice Park.

“St. Stephen is beginning to have a major turn around,” said Kredensor. “For me it all started in November of last year as I was able to meet with the town and propose a lease for the coffee shop and ice cream parlor. The goal after speaking with the mayor and some town council members was to create a space that could be the spark to begin to reinvigorate the St. Stephen’s Main Street Business District. We have also been working with the Berkeley County Economic Development Office, the Berkeley County Supervisor’s Office, Santee-Cooper Economic Development Office, and the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) Economic Development Office in ways that we can continue to attract and keep small businesses in St. Stephen.”

He said the goal for Lowcountry Coffee was to inspire more small businesses in a town that was ready for them.

“We know that growth is going to come slowly to St. Stephen,” he said. “We want to be a spot where you can come and bring the family, meet a business partner and get a great cup of coffee or a delicious scoop of ice cream.”

“[The most rewarding part of running LowCountry Coffee Co] is seeing people smiling after they have the first sip of coffee or the first taste of ice cream because coffee and ice cream do have an uncanny ability to put smiles on just about everyone,” Kredensor added. “Listening to the stories and history of all our amazing customers is a blessing. Also giving people a safe space to meet for coffee or ice cream, whether it be a date, a celebration or a business meeting is wonderful to see every hour.”

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