The best countertops make a statement in your home that other features cannot. You've worked hard to incorporate unique designs and flavors throughout your home, so why should your countertops be any different?
At Real Deal Countertops, we aspire to combine the beauty and durability of natural stone with unrivaled, personalized attention to all customers. With the highest quality materials and the most helpful customer service, we give our clients the opportunity to make informed decisions that they feel good about for years. Our story in the countertop fabrication and manufacturing industry began more than 19 years ago, when Rafael Quedevez started out as a sales representative in Massachusetts. Working his way up through the ranks, Rafael soon made his way to South Carolina to open and manage his own companies. In 2013, we created real Deal Countertops. Since that time, we are proud to have served more than 5,000 customers in South Carolina and beyond.
Our leadership team combines more than 40 years of experience in the home remodeling service industry. Always striving to create a better product for our customers, we use the latest in robotics technologies and the sharpest minds in the business to craft countertops of unparalleled quality. Unlike other countertop companies in Knightsville, SC, we only source the finest stone slabs in the world.
At Real Deal Countertops, we offer a wide range of styles and materials to choose from, including:
We are committed to ensuring that granite, marble, and other unique, exotic stones are attainable to all who desire them. If you're in search of a trustworthy counter company with a team of knowledgeable, helpful experts, you have come to the right place!
Most Popular Countertops in Knightsville, SC
Choosing the best countertops for your kitchen is an important decision, but it doesn't have to be a hard one. One of the best ways to narrow down your search is to find out what kind of countertop material you'd like to use. While it's true that material and style trends change over time, there are several counters that have always been top sellers.
Some of the most popular countertops we sell include:
Marble Countertops in Knightsville, SC
There's no way around it - marble adds jaw-dropping beauty to just about any room and is known for its good looks. It is a dense stone that comes in many different hues like greens, browns, pinks, greys, whites, and more. While marble countertops often have otherworldly beauty, they can be susceptible to stains and cracks. Marble is also considered one of the most expensive counters to choose from, though the truth is marble comes in a wide range of qualities and prices.
- Pros: Stunning beauty, plenty of beautiful choices.
- Cons: Not always used in kitchens due to chance of staining.
- Popular Colors: Portinari, Shadow Storm, Super White, Lumen, Calacatta Linconni, Nobulato Honned, Shadow, Grey Imperiale Honed.
Granite Countertops in Knightsville, SC
When it comes to popularity, granite countertops take the cake. Granite countertops usually contain a blend of quartz, feldspar, mica, and other minerals. Granite can add an edge of elegance and even a country-chic feel to your kitchen, making it a well-rounded stone. Granite is durable and scratch-resistant, though it can require sealing and DIY chip repair.
- Pros: Luxurious, rich look featuring natural stone that is durable, heat resistant, and scratch-resistant.
- Cons: Hard material that may require DIY chip repair and sealing.
- Popular Colors: Blue Jeans, Creama Pearl, Alure, Galaxy White, Luna Pear, Steel Grey, Ubatuba, Oro Brazil.
Quartz Countertops in Knightsville, SC
Quartz is a manufactured material that represents one of our favorite four-letter words: easy! If you're looking to add a high-end feel to your kitchen or bathroom, quartz is an excellent material to consider. Like granite, quartz countertops can add a decadent vibe to any room. Unlike granite, you may not have to seal quartz quite as often (if ever).
- Pros: Quartz countertops come in plenty of colors to choose from and are easy to clean. They are also strong, scratch-resistant, and don't require sealing.
- Cons: Quartz is not as heat resistant as other materials like granite counters. Sharp corners tend to crack, but that can be remedied with rounded corners.
- Popular Colors: Noble Grey, Raw Concrete, Frosty Carrina, Shitake, Pebble, Pietra Grey, Sierra Madre, Arctic.
Silestone Countertops in Knightsville, SC
A manufactured material made from quartz crystals, Silestone countertops are equal parts gorgeous and practical. Known for being a durable, non-porous choice, Silestone is resistant to stains, scratches, and even some forms of bacteria. Homeowners who choose Silestone do so because they can get a high-end look without having to worry too much about maintenance. Silestone counters look great in many different homes, from contemporary abodes with modern accents to vintage-looking kitchens.
- Pros: Silestone countertops are non-porous, meaning germs and bacteria can't lodge themselves inside this material. This makes Silestone counters great for kitchens and bathrooms alike. This material also comes in a wide variety of colors and resists scratches and chips. Overall, Silestone is an excellent choice if you want to make a solid long-term investment without much upkeep.
- Cons: While Silestone is great if you're looking for a low-maintenance counter option, it can be sensitive to harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia. Silestone is also not recommended for outdoor use since the resins used to make the material do not do well with UV light.
- Popular Colors: Daria, Gray Expo, Lagoon, Calacatta Gold, Arctic, Blanco City, Gris Expo, Desert Silver
Quartzite Countertops in Knightsville, SC
Not to be confused with quartz countertops, which are manmade, quartzite is a naturally occurring stone that is quarried much in the same way that granite is. If you're a fan of marble counters, quartzite mimics its looks without as much upkeep. Like granite, it is a very durable choice and adds an upscale feeling to almost any room you choose.
- Pros: Since it doesn't require any special cleaners, quartzite looks great without much maintenance. When it gets dirty, soap and water should be all you need to clean. Quartzite is also a great long-term option since it doesn't wear down quickly at all.
- Cons: Heat is required to form quartzite. However, you should avoid putting hot pots and pans on your quartzite countertops. Because quartzite comes in many different varieties, some forms of quartzite need to be sealed more often than others.
- Popular Colors: Maya, Fusion, Locomotion, Callacata, Airy Concrete, Cocada White
Which Countertop is Right for You?
If you're just beginning your search for new countertops, it can be a little overwhelming trying to whittle down your options. We've got good news - with over 19 years in the industry, our team of experts has learned a thing or two about countertops. When you come to the Real Deal Countertops showroom, one of our goals is to educate you about our products and your countertop options, so you can make an educated purchasing decision.
How Will You Use Your Countertops in Knightsville?
The first and perhaps most crucial part of your countertop choice should stem from how you and your family use your countertops. For example, if you have kids, your counters will probably see a lot of activity. Between standard eating times and "in-between" meals that teens are known for, your counters might double as food prep stations. As such, you might need a countertop material that is resistant to most food and beverage stains. If you own a rental property that sees a lot of foot traffic from strangers, you might want to consider an economical material that is also durable.
- Do you cook a lot?
- Do you host a lot of parties?
- How long will you be living in your home?
- How long will you be living in your home?
Once you figure out exactly how you'll be using your countertops, you can begin to narrow down your choices.
How Much Upkeep Is Too Much?
Be realistic and honest with yourself about this question. Before you fall in love with how a countertop material looks, be sure you understand how much upkeep is needed. Some materials require more care, while others don't need much at all.
Keep these points in mind:
- Materials like quartz only need to be wiped down occasionally.
- Materials like granite, marble, and limestone will need to be sealed at least once a year.
- Some materials may be durable but aren't stain resistant.
The bottom line is this: Assess the maintenance demands that come along with the materials you're looking at. Marble countertops in Knightsville, SC are elegant, but if you'e unwilling to keep them looking their best, why bother buying the material?
You should be aware that most countertop materials will require some form of upkeep, even if it' minimal. To help keep your counters in pristine condition, consider these care and precaution tips:
- Many common foods contain acids that will dull or even damage the surface of stone countertops.Use coasters to protect your counters, especially if you'e drinking something with citrus juices or alcohol.
- Do not place scalding hot pots or pans directly on your countertops.
- Use mats or trivets to place under hot dishes.
- If you spill liquid on your countertops, blot the spill with a paper towel ASAP. Wiping the spill will cause it to spread.
- Use mild soap and plain water to clean up stains.
Which Colors and Materials Match Your Home's Aesthetics?
For many homeowners, this question is almost always top-of-mind. After all, you want to choose colors and materials that fit well with other features in your home. When selecting your countertop materials, try to choose a tone that contrasts with your other amenities, like your cabinets. Don't go for a perfect match. As an example, black granite is a beautiful contrast to white cabinets.
Consider these questions when choosing your countertop materials:
- Are there one or two colors that you love more than others?
- Does your choice go well with the color of your kitchen's walls?
- Do you want to switch up your kitchen's style or keep it the same?
- Will you be painting your kitchen a different color in the future?
- Will you be replacing your appliances soon?
Real Deal Countertops Pro Tip:
Because your home's accessories and paint job may change with time, your countertops should have a versatile color. That way, you won't have problems matching them with new paint colors or appliances.
Countertop Remodeling Done Right
At Real Deal Countertops, our #1 priority is your satisfaction. Unlike some countertop companies in Knightsville, we make it a point to exceed our customer's expectations. We strive for excellence with every transaction we complete and pledge to faithfully implement innovative techniques to ensure that our products remain affordable. With the help of Real Deal Countertops, remodeling your kitchen and bath will be painless and easy.
The appearance of a kitchen or bath depends on the right countertop selection, proper fabrication, and expert installation. Are you interested in granite countertops in Knightsville, SC? Maybe quartzite is a better choice for your family. Whatever you choose, know that our skilled installers and fabricators will make a template so that all custom pieces fit perfectly in your home.
What Clients Say About Us
Countertop Installation for Sue Gregory
Custom Countertops for Ellen Bowdon
Granite Countertops for Holly Washington
Kitchen Countertops for CFR Williams
Quartz Countertops for Judy Galuppo
Countertop Installation for Emma Fitzpatrick
Laminate Countertops for Carla Greene
Countertop Replacement for Barbara Piper
New Countertop for Daney Herrera
Custom Countertops for bob shafer
Granite Countertops for MrMunsters1313
Kitchen Remodel for Barbara Piper
Kitchen Countertops for Carol Moura
Quartz Countertops for Shoshanna Richek
Marble Countertops for David Glunt
Quartzite Countertops for Jim Brennan
Bathroom Remodel for Cody Griner
Countertops for Pam Kemmerlin
Countertop Installation for Al Walters
Granite Countertops for Amy Marion Langstone
Kitchen Countertops for Jose Feliz
Quartz Countertops for Mark and Marilyn Atanasoff
Laminate Countertops for Sandra Bryson
Countertop Replacement for Paul Scott
New Countertop for Steven Barbieri
Latest News in Knightsville, SC
Cool Teacher: Knightsville Elementary School’s Mrs. Kristi O’Callahan
KNIGHTSVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – “She lights up my world.” “She changed my life.” “She’s fun and creative.” “She helped my son.”These are just a few words of adoration used when students and parents talk about Knightsville Elementary Special Education Teacher Kristi O’Callahan – the News 2 Cool Teacher of the week.O’Callahan has a passion for teaching special education. “I feel like this is what I was born to do,” she said. “I never wante...
KNIGHTSVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – “She lights up my world.” “She changed my life.” “She’s fun and creative.” “She helped my son.”
These are just a few words of adoration used when students and parents talk about Knightsville Elementary Special Education Teacher Kristi O’Callahan – the News 2 Cool Teacher of the week.
O’Callahan has a passion for teaching special education. “I feel like this is what I was born to do,” she said. “I never wanted to be anything else.”
The New York native teaches special education kindergarten through fifth-grade math and English at the Dorchester District 2 school. It’s a role she’s had for the past six years.
“A safe place to love, and learn, and just be awesome,” she said, “They’re not less than. They’re awesome. They’re amazing, and I love them! I love my kids.”
Sixteen years dedicated to special education, O’Callahan said she always wanted to be a teacher.
“The special ed part was a close family friend of ours. Growing up, their son had Down’s syndrome. I saw the way people looked at him differently, or the way they acted around him, but my brother, my cousins, his siblings – we didn’t treat him differently. He was just Patty to us.”
She went on to say, “I just knew I wanted him and kids like him to not feel less than. I just want them to feel special and important. I think that’s what we do here every day, myself, my T-A, that’s what we strive for.”
O’Callahan said she uses a fun multi-sensory approach to teaching.
“We do reading and math primarily, we have fun, too. It’s all about a hands-on multi-sensory approach. So there’s kinesthetics, so we’re moving. I think the most important thing is the relationships that we form first. I think the bond, rapport, and communication. I want them to feel safe, and loved, and important, and special.”
“Once they feel those things, I think then we kick in academics and that’s when they really thrive. I just want to make a difference when they come here because being pulled out of your Gen-Ed setting makes you feel a little different and weird, so I just want them to come here and be happy and excited about my classroom,” she added.
Fourth-grade student Ariyah Hallock says Mrs. O’Callahan changed her life. “She lights up my world. I want to come to her classroom every day because how grateful I am. Over the two years, I’ve been with her, she’s been helping me read and everything she’s done for me, and I’m so thankful for her. She is making a difference,” Ariyah said.
The principal at Knightsville Elementary School, Claire Sieber, said O’Callahan’s energy level and expertise to meet children where they are and to help them grow academically make her the right fit for the school.
“She makes those connections with students that help them to engage in the learning, feel proud of their successes, and want to take the next step in their learning to continue to fill in the academic gaps they might have,” she said.
Parent Bridget Sowards’ son, Daniel, is one of Mrs. O’Callahan’s students. She nominated her to receive the Cool School Teacher award. “She’s making a big difference in our school. Mrs. O’Callahan is an amazing support for Daniel. She would send me emails sometimes and say ‘oh I saw this and thought of Daniel, and maybe you can implement this at home as well.’ It just blows my mind how amazing she is with the kids, and how Daniel is so excited to come to school to be with her and how he has improved in the last two years in English Language Arts by leaps and bounds where he was really struggling,” she said. “He’s beginning to catch up to his peers, which is the whole point of her being with her. She’s really amazing.”
O’Callahan said she’s thankful for the special accolades and recognition. “It’s super overwhelming! I just don’t think about things like that. I come here, I love on my kids. I teach my kids and that’s the most important thing. I love it! It’s amazing! It’s such a good feeling!”
If you would like to nominate a Cool School or educator, send an email to Octavia Mitchell at email@example.com.
FIRST ALERT: Tornado watches end for Lowcountry counties
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - Tornado watches around the Lowcountry have been allowed to expire as Tropical Depression Nicole moves farther from South Carolina.Remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole put the Lowcountry under tornado watches throughout Thursday night going into Friday morning.Most of the watches ended Friday morning, and a watch for Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties ended just before noon. Two tornado warnings were issued in the Tri-County during the storm activity.A tornado warning was issued at 12:20 a.m. f...
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - Tornado watches around the Lowcountry have been allowed to expire as Tropical Depression Nicole moves farther from South Carolina.
Remnants of Tropical Storm Nicole put the Lowcountry under tornado watches throughout Thursday night going into Friday morning.
Most of the watches ended Friday morning, and a watch for Georgetown and Williamsburg Counties ended just before noon. Two tornado warnings were issued in the Tri-County during the storm activity.
A tornado warning was issued at 12:20 a.m. for parts of Charleston County, however, it expired at 12:41 a.m.
Another warning came Thursday afternoon as a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located at 5:17 p.m. near Knightsville The warning expired at 5:45 p.m.
The National Weather Service has not verified if any tornados touchdown during either of the warnings. Meanwhile, the South Carolina Emergency Management Division says county emergency managers across the state reported minimal damages. None of the managers requested state assistance.
Click here to download the free Live 5 First Alert Weather app.
Live 5 Meteorologist Joey Sovine says gusts to tropical storm force are possible Wednesday through Friday.
A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.
A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form, but does not indicate that any actual tornadoes have been detected.
Tropical Storm Nicole has sent multiple homes collapsing into the Atlantic Ocean. Nicole made landfall as a hurricane early Thursday near Vero Beach, Florida, but the brunt of the damage was along the East Coast well north of there, in the Daytona Beach area. Its damaging coastal surge was hitting beachfront properties in Daytona Beach Shores that lost their last protections during Hurricane Ian.
The Live 5 Weather team declared Thursday and Friday as First Alert Weather Days because of possible impacts from the storm.
Sovine says coastal flooding is likely through Friday around high tides with beach erosion and high surf also likely.
Sovine said heavy rain could be possible with rainfall totals between one and four inches. Breezy conditions could occur through Friday and winds may occasionally gust to, or over, 40 mph near the coast.
Nicole became the 14th named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season on Monday.
As of 10 a.m., Nicole was a tropical depression with its center located near latitude 34.2 north and longitude 84.3 west, about 35 miles north of Atlanta, Ga. The storm was moving to the north-northeast at 23 mph and its estimated minimum central pressure is 1001 mb or 29.56 inches.
Forecasters say an acceleration toward the north and north-northeast is expected Friday.
On the forecast track, the center of Nicole will move across central and northern Georgia Friday morning and over the western Carolinas later.
Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. Nicole is expected to become a post-tropical cyclone Friday, then dissipate Friday night or early Saturday as it merges with a frontal system over the eastern United States.
Tropical Storm Warnings are now in effect for Charleston, Berkeley, Coastal Colleton and Beaufort counties. Gusts to tropical storm force(40+mph) are possible today through Friday near the coast. pic.twitter.com/VOkWBvcYTx— Joey Sovine Live 5 (@JoeySovine) November 9, 2022
City of Charleston officials say they will be closely monitoring the tropical storm. Crews have already begun preparing for potential storm impacts.
“Residents are asked to keep an eye on reliable local weather reports over the next few days,” Emergency Management Director Ben Almquist said in a news release. “If bad conditions do arise, citizens are advised to follow the guidance of Emergency Management officials and, as always, motorists should avoid driving through high water when they encounter it.”
The city’s stormwater department has prepared temporary pumps for low-lying areas. Crews will also be cleaning out ditches and drains in flood-prone areas.
To find out how you can help, visit the Adopt-A-Drain website by clicking here.
The Atlantic Hurricane Season runs through Nov. 30.
Nicole made landfall near Vero Beach as a Category 1 hurricane at about 3 a.m. Thursday, more than a hundred miles south of Daytona Beach Shores, before its maximum sustained winds dropped to 60 mph, the Miami-based center said. The storm was centered about 30 miles southeast of Orlando. It was moving west-northwest near 14 mph.
Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami advised people to understand that hazards from Tropical Storm Nicole “will exist across the state of Florida today.”
Nicole came could briefly emerge over the northeastern corner of the Gulf of Mexico Thursday afternoon before moving over the Florida Panhandle and Georgia, he said.
The storm left south Florida sunny and calm as it moved north, but could dump as much as 6 inches of rain over the Blue Ridge Mountains by Friday, the hurricane center said.
Nicole became a hurricane Wednesday evening as it slammed into Grand Bahama Island. It was the first to hit the Bahamas since Hurricane Dorian, a Category 5 storm that devastated the archipelago in 2019.
For storm-weary Floridians, it is only the third November hurricane to hit their shores since recordkeeping began in 1853. The previous ones were the 1935 Yankee Hurricane and Hurricane Kate in 1985.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.
Rescued primates living longer, happier lives at Summerville sanctuary
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – It was 1973 when Shirley McGreal, then living in Southeast Asia, saw beady bright eyes staring back at her from between the slats of a wooden crate.The eyes belonged to a gibbon — a primate native to the region — who had fallen victim to the dangerous world of the pet trade, where gibbons were being sold into homes, zoos, or labs, only to later be discarded.In 1977, McGreal created the Inter...
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – It was 1973 when Shirley McGreal, then living in Southeast Asia, saw beady bright eyes staring back at her from between the slats of a wooden crate.
The eyes belonged to a gibbon — a primate native to the region — who had fallen victim to the dangerous world of the pet trade, where gibbons were being sold into homes, zoos, or labs, only to later be discarded.
In 1977, McGreal created the International Primate Protection League (IPPL) in Summerville as a gibbon sanctuary. The now 47-acre property remains nestled in a quiet area of the Lowcountry that is illuminated by the sounds of the primates singing to one another.
Meg McCue-Jones, the Compliance and Outreach Manager, explained that the land was a sod farm in the late 70s and started taking in the gibbons that needed help soon after.
One of the sanctuary’s residents, Gibby, is one of the oldest known living gibbons at over 60 years old.
Like most of the gibbons at the sanctuary, his life started off rough.
McCue-Jones said that Gibby was wild caught, and “with every gibbon wild caught, they shoot mom out of the tree, hoping baby falls, and then they take the baby.”
He was first sold into the pet trade in by a Bangkok dealer, but that was just the beginning. Gibby went to labs at Hofstra University and the State University at Stony Brook.
Researchers embedded electrodes in his skin as part of a locomotion project.
The electrodes and thin wires were inserted into his muscles and connected him to a suit that would measure his muscle movements. McCue-Jones explained that this was obviously not an ideal situation on any aspect, whether it be a human or animal.
At 44, Gibby made it to his first sanctuary, but the conditions were hard on his body. In March of 2007, just four years after his arrival, the IPPL reached out to the sanctuary to relocate not only Gibby, but several other gibbons.
For Gibby, like the other 29 at the sanctuary, Summerville is his last stop. McCue-Jones says that the sanctuary is their forever home.
But with the pandemic, their home has become more difficult to manage.
With fear of COVID-19 spreading to the primates, volunteers were no longer allowed to assist with the many daily tasks necessary to keep the place running.
From hosing the outsides of the enclosures, to raking, food prep, and even assistance inside the office—the staff was left with mounting responsibilities.
The economic impacts of the pandemic left donors and community partners reeling financially, but the bills at the sanctuary remained steady.
As a non-federally funded organization, the IPPL relies heavily on donations to meet the needs of the animals.
Stacy Lambert, a Senior Animal Care Giver, said that since a lot of their population has started to reach geriatric ages, their vet bills are getting bigger as they are having more interventions and medications, different procedures, and checkup appointments with Dr. John Ohlandt.
While expensive, their system of care has proven to work.
Lambert says that in the wild, gibbons usually live about 30-35 years. However, in captivity, gibbons living into their 40s is normal. However, the IPPL has quite a few gibbons that are up in their 40s and 50s while, of course, Gibby is 62.
Although the interventions from the IPPL show the ability of the sanctuary, McCue-Jones said all those at the IPPL ultimately wish there was not a need for them at all, and that the gibbons could live freely in the wild.
McCue-Jones said, “as Shirley has spoken of before, if you really think about it, do humans need sanctuaries, should we have them? Should we be treating the animals this way?”
To send the Gibbons a care package full of nuts, click here.
To donate to the IPPL’s missions and day-to-day operations, click here.
To send specified items needed by the IPPL via Amazon, click here.
Closing of area’s last roller rink sends skaters into spins
It’s the end of an era for roller skaters. Music in Motion Family Fun Center roller rink in Summerville shut its doors for good Sunday night. A rink employee confirmed Monday that the skating facility has permanently closed.Last Thursday, at the rink’s final adult night, skaters zipped along, displaying skills that spanned from spinning and dancing on wheels backwards to apprehensive first-timers feeling it out. A disco ball spun along with the tunes that weren’t necessarily child-appropriate.As word spread th...
It’s the end of an era for roller skaters. Music in Motion Family Fun Center roller rink in Summerville shut its doors for good Sunday night. A rink employee confirmed Monday that the skating facility has permanently closed.
Last Thursday, at the rink’s final adult night, skaters zipped along, displaying skills that spanned from spinning and dancing on wheels backwards to apprehensive first-timers feeling it out. A disco ball spun along with the tunes that weren’t necessarily child-appropriate.
As word spread the rink would close permanently, skaters unabashedly filmed one another to document their joy and camaraderie as they zoomed around in circles grooving to the beat.
The closing of Music in Motion is a major cultural loss for the area, many say, especially since the only other rinks in the area, Hot Wheels Skate Center and Stardust Skate Center, closed in 2014.
Summerville native Demont Teneil said he has skated at Music in Motion for 14 years. For him, roller skating is therapy to help navigate career and relationships changes.
“I needed something that no one could take from me — and it was skating,” Teneil said. “It’s been my outlet. I just kept going and just kept trying new tricks and it rolled me out of depression.”
Teneil said he heard from his fellow skaters that Music in Motion, which opened in 2001, would not be a roller rink much longer.
“I’m sad that it’s been sold but it will definitely still always be a part of me, because I’ve learned so many of my tricks at the skating rink,” Teneil said. He plans to start traveling to Savannah, Ga., and Columbia to rink skate, and will hit the outdoor skate areas, such The Bridge Spot off of Poinsett Street in downtown Charleston.
The dynamic of teaching and learning is a big part of the roller skating experience at Music in Motion, others said.
“Everybody’s really nice and supportive,” said Nick Velez, who’s been skating regularly at Music in Motion since February. He has roller skated for about 16 years and used to be an instructor in Southern California before he moved to Goose Creek.
“Everybody’s really cool and down to help out,” he said. “If you’re struggling, don’t fear. They’ll help you up. If you have any questions, if you want to learn something, they’re more than happy to show you how to do it. If you’re trying to pop off and be yourself, they’re all about it.”
Shmeika Hall from Goose Creek said she worked at Music in Motion for almost a year before she left her position as a rink floor guard last June.
“Working here was important to me because I was able to teach people how to skate,” she said. “I was able to interact and make skating friends. When I first started skating here, maybe five years ago, it was a very small crowd of adults, but over time it has grown. [The rink] was like a safe place for adults to come and have fun, and I don’t know how we’re going to do that now.”
A few months ago, Auburn Fiore, who lives in Knightsville, visited Music in Motion for the first time in 10 years. As a child, she said she visited frequently.
“When I came here for adult skate night, I realized how joyous and amazing the community is here,” Fiore said. “While we’re here, we’re all one big community that loves to come together, dance and have a great time. I’m definitely scared of losing a place for us all to gather and bond over roller skating.”
Roller skating is just as much about congregating as a group as it is the privilege to have a space to skate, she said. Outdoor roller skating isn’t an ideal option for beginner skaters, she added, because of uneven concrete, blistering heat and rules that prohibit skating at sports courts around the area.
“It’s definitely devastating,” Fiore said. “Now all the people that have bonded over this super-interesting talent and hobby, there’s nowhere for us to congregate.”
While the future of roller skating in the area is unclear, one option exists for women skaters: Lowcountry Highrollers Derby, a local women’s roller derby team. It’s offering a meet-and-greet Thursday.
Highrollers president Traci Doutaz of Ladson remembers going to Music in Motion often between 2015 and 2017 after Hot Wheels Skate Center closed.
“For beginners, it’s super important to have a roller rink to learn not only because the floor is amazing, but [it] also has skates to borrow,” she said. “Roller skating is not the easiest hobby to just pick up and not having a local roller rink and its community just takes that option away for a lot of people.”
Doutaz joined Highrollers in 2010, and she said it was popular up until about 2015 when the group lost its bouting venue at The Citadel. Then Covid-19 hit and roller skating blew up, Doutaz said, so there was renewed interest in Highrollers. After more than a year of searching, North Charleston Coliseum offered the group a space to practice and hold bouts currently. The closest roller derby club for men is in Columbia, she said.
Doutaz has been roller skating for almost 30 years. She worked her first job as a carhop on skates at a Sonic in Kentucky.
“Emotionally it’s my escape,” she said. “It’s how I deal with things. It’s my happy place. I’m more comfortable with wheels on my feet than anything else.”
The Highrollers group offers a haven for women skaters who need to be shown the ropes.
“We will teach you everything: how to skate and how to fall,” Doutaz said. “You can show up even if you have never put skates on before.”
Lowcountry Highrollers Derby is hosting a meet-and-greet 6-9 p.m. Aug. 25 at Rusty Bull in North Charleston.
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The large benefits of a very small berry
A few core beliefs have guided Minde Herbert to build a business that is taking the Lowcountry by storm and giving people a boost towards living more healthfully.Through her company, Sea Island Organics, she is furthering the wisdom that food can heal; that it matters where food comes from and how it’s grown; that it’s easier to stay well than get well; and that when we help each other, we all rise — something especially important in business.Sea Island Organics hand-crafts small-batch elderberry products; chi...
A few core beliefs have guided Minde Herbert to build a business that is taking the Lowcountry by storm and giving people a boost towards living more healthfully.
Through her company, Sea Island Organics, she is furthering the wisdom that food can heal; that it matters where food comes from and how it’s grown; that it’s easier to stay well than get well; and that when we help each other, we all rise — something especially important in business.
Sea Island Organics hand-crafts small-batch elderberry products; chief among them are its elderberry Syrup and elderberry herbal tea blends. It is the first elderberry company in South Carolina to be designated “Certified SC” by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture; its process is distinguished by a Registration Verification Certificate (RCA). Only one other elderberry company in the state has similar credentials.
Minde Herbert has become the familiar face for the business, bringing her products to farmers markets across the local area. On Saturdays, she can be found at the Summerville Farmers Market, dispensing good cheer and useful information about how to use elderberry products. Her products can also be found at Coastal Produce on Cedar Street and Knightsville General Store. Currently, Sea Island Organics offers products in over 40 locations in the Lowcountry area in a variety of places such as specialty farmers markets, food stores, bodegas, neighborhood stores and corner markets. With products found from Awendaw to Edisto, Folly Beach to Summerville, the company continues to grow across the Lowcountry and into out-of-state markets. See the handy store locator on its website: https://seaislandorganics.com/pages/store-locator
Herbert is on a mission to let her customers know that they are buying a beneficial, nutrient-rich food, not a drug or an unregulated supplement. “You use our products like fresh produce, living food,” said Herbert. “It doesn’t sit on the shelf for two years.”
This sets the company apart from other marketers of elderberry products, according to Herbert. Supplements are not regulated in the state of South Carolina. “It is really important to me that I am making a food — a safe, healthy product for children and families to consume,” said Herbert. Depending on the characteristics and factors around a food, manufacturers and crafters have to get approval from either the FDA or DHEC to sell to grocery stores or specialty markets.
“We didn’t want to be regulated by the FDA which is how other elderberry syrups are regulated,” said Herbert. “We know that food heals and we wanted to create a product that helps families stay healthy. We’re regulated by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture.” Sea Island Organics products are produced in a DHEC approved kitchen, lab tested by Clemson University and are ServSafe® certified, a food safety program accredited by U.S. Restaurant Association, ANSI, and the Conference for Food Protection.
Sea Island Organics uses six real food ingredients for its products: fresh raw ginger, cloves, raw local honey, Ceylon cinnamon, organic lemon juice, elderberries and Oconee Valley artesian water, directly from the bedrock with no filtering. “You see syrups that have 12 or more ingredients, but I believe less is more,” said Herbert. “We use a simple, traditional recipe.” Their products are made every week; they are sold chilled and need to remain chilled. They will last for four months from the date of creation.
Herbert is critical of companies that use what she calls the ‘dump and boil’ method of processing. “Boiling something to death doesn’t protect or increase the nutrients. You wouldn’t boil your lettuce or kale. We have a very specific cooking and filtering process to preserve as many nutrients as possible.”
Other products offered by the company include seasonal elderberry mulling spices, elderberry powder that can be used in baking or sprinkled on cereal or yogurt, and craft-yourself elderberry syrup kits. “Elderberry for everyone,” said Herbert. “It doesn’t have to be expensive because it’s trendy. If the products aren’t within your budget, buy a kit and make your own.”
Herbert is not allowed by law to make health claims for her products. “We know the fruit has health benefits, but I can’t tell you that my products improve health. I can tell you that there is evidence-based research on my ingredients that says they are beneficial. Nobody’s done research on my syrup, but much is known about the benefits of elderberries. I can talk all day long about those.” Loaded with antioxidants, elderberries are known to offer powerful immune system support that could reduce inflammation, lessen stress, help prevent and relieve cold and flu symptoms and help protect the heart.
There’s nothing new about the use of elderberry syrup. Many centuries ago, people learned to cook down and sweeten elderberries into simple syrup to access its health benefits. The practice has been revived and is popular today. Sweetening tempers the natural tartness of elderberries.
When asked by potential customers why they can’t just buy elderberries from the grocery store, Herbert explains that they are not to be eaten raw. They are tangy and astringent and just don’t taste very good. Plus, they contain a compound that can cause gastrointestinal problems. The seeds, stems, leaves and roots are considered toxic.
Sea Island Organics obtains its elderberries from small trusted farms that only produce elderberries. The company seeks to buy from local and regional sources as much as possible, according to Herbert. “We’re careful to choose partners that are in line with our integrity and beliefs,” she said. “We seek out growers that are USDA certified organic and practice fair trade. I need to meet the farmer and know the source.”
The small, purplish-black elderberry is not a picky crop. It’s prolific along the highway; scattered in ditches. It grows quickly and is happy with a lot of sun and moisture. It doesn’t have natural pests other than birds, deer or aphids. “The biggest problem is birds,” said Herbert. “They seem to know when they’re ripe before we do.”
Herbert’s background positioned her well to be successful with Sea Island Organics. She has a solid background in public relations and branding and she studied nutrition in college. Recognizing the importance of nutrition for her children, she decided to pursue opportunities in that field. Prompted by the 2008 recession, she started a company to teach people how to live well and affordably organic on a budget. She gave lessons in making elderberry syrup and other products that were typically expensive so people could make them on their own. “Eventually people just wanted to buy my syrup,” said Herbert. “That’s how I became a food producer.”
“I found that I wanted to help other moms and families. It’s really expensive to be sick, nobody wants that. My focus has always been to help people to be well — nutritionally, financially and with businesses,” said Herbert.
Herbert is in the beginning stages of setting up a non-profit to help women establish and grow their businesses and support each other. Her mantra is “We rise together.”
She adds: “When a wholesaler is interested in selling my product, I don’t require delivery fees; I don’t have minimums for sales. We rise together. Share the wealth and we all get rich. We are meant to be on this earth to help each other.”