December 2013

Staying Power

Author: Special to CH2

45 Years
Sea Pines Montessori Academy

Secret to Success:
Treat your students and parents like family, and always hold high expectations.

Sea Pines Montessori Academy is South Carolina’s first Montessori school and holds a tri-accreditation. Established by Mary Fraser, wife of Sea Pines Plantation developer, the school is rich in history and experience. Montessori is about community, trust, and growth, and nurturing not only the whole child, but also the families. SPMA knows that when school and family work together and become one unit, each child feels comfortable, safe, confident, loved and most importantly, happy.

Choosing a school is easy. Choosing the right school is a challenge. A Montessori school should feel like home, a “Children’s House” to be exact. When Maria Montessori opened her first classroom in 1907, she dubbed it Casa dei Bambini, or Children’s House. It was “owned” by the children, which is truly what sets Montessori apart from other schools. This ownership of the environment that the students feel contributes to their pride, independence, confidence and love of learning.

In the same regard, Montessori teachers are very special. They are trained for a specific age group and know that range in and out—socially, emotionally, and academically. You will not find a general K-12 instructor. Instead you will see a highly developed curriculum, amazing enrichment courses, Chinese immersion, STEM and Robotics, and a growing athletics program. SPMA welcomes your questions about their work, philosophies, and school life, and they value the opportunity to begin this journey with you.

“We have 45 years behind us, and an endless number of years in front of us!”

For more information on Sea Pines Montessori, call 843.785.2434 or visit

42 Years
Peter Wolf and Associates

Secret to Success
Bringing every client comofrt and peace of mind.

Peter Wolf has been practicing law on Hilton Head Island since 1971, mainly in the areas of estate planning, estate probate, and real estate closings. In the early ’70s, when Highway 278 was a two-lane road, the island had only a couple of traffic lights, and a swing bridge that opened to let boats pass (tying up traffic seemingly forever). Wolf says he survived only because of the support of some wonderful friends who believed in him and wanted him to succeed. These friends included, among others, Ralph Hilton and Tom Wamsley, who founded the Island Packet in 1970, and Ben Racusin, who became the first mayor of the Town of Hilton Head Island.

Racusin encouraged Wolf to get involved in the Hilton Head Community Association, the unofficial representative of island residents prior to incorporation, where Wolf eventually served as president. He also became involved in the Committee on Incorporation of the Town of Hilton Head Island. Inspired by Hilton, Wolf took an interest in education here, as well, joining the Island School Council, the public school parents’ organization, and eventually served as its president.

Upon reflection, Wolf says that three principal factors kept him going:
1) After living through the stressful life that his father experienced, reducing the stress of his own life became a priority for Wolf. As he practiced law, he came to see that many people were looking for the same thing, particularly as they became older. Estate planning and estate probate involve a lot of emotion and stress for most people, and he found that, as much as his clients needed him to undertake the legal work involved, they needed even more to feel comfortable that he cared about their situation, that he would maintain very strict confidentiality with respect to their discussions, and that they could rely on him to help them get past the stress and emotion that they were experiencing. “It is my goal with every client I assist to bring each of them comfort and peace of mind,” Wolf said.

2) As Wolf gained experience, being a creative person at heart, he found better and better ways to help people avoid, or at least deal with, issues that could arise in the areas of law in which he practiced. This was particularly true in drafting wills and revocable living trust agreements, where the documents must address a wide variety of very personal, and often unanticipated, matters that could possibly occur far into the future. “In these areas of the law, experience is a great teacher, and I have never stopped learning,” Wolfe said.

3) Some 20 years ago, Wolf was fortunate to hire a bright young paralegal named Nikki Campbell. For the past 20 years, she has worked with him as an estate planning and probate paralegal. “She is one of the best and, equally as important, she takes a genuine personal interest in our clients and shares my goal to reduce their stress and bring them peace of mind,” Wolf said.

Two years ago, Wolf moved his office to 70 Main Street. For his real estate clients, he made an arrangement with the Law Offices of James F. Berl, P.C., which is located in the same building; Berl’s staff processes the closings and Wolf oversees and manages the closing process. Campbell and Wolf continue to maintain the estate planning and probate practice, which is based almost entirely upon returning clients, referrals, and word-of-mouth recommendations.

“After 42 years, I am still practicing law on Hilton Head Island, I still enjoy my work, and I still feel good every time I am able to help someone,” Wolf said. “I consider myself to be a very lucky person.”

For more information, call (843) 842-2202 or visit

40 Years
Earle of Sandwich Pub

Secret to Success
Quality food at a good price.

The Earle of Sandwich Pub’s nickname should be The Earle of Stay-wich. Celebrating 40 years of business, this Coligny Plaza mainstay is one of the oldest existing restaurant/bars on Hilton Head Island. For 23 years, current owner Jeff Flenard has been serving up local favorites like the pub’s signature dish, The Earle—a yummy combination of thin slices of roast beef, sautéed onions and mushrooms, and melted mozzarella cheese. And Flenard’s staff is a dedicated group of longtime employees. “Wendy’s been with me for 16 years,” Flenard said, pointing to Wendy herself who was delivering a tray of delicious-looking plates that were prepared by Lina, his cook of almost 20 years.

Even though The Earle of Sandwich has been around for decades, the restaurant is forever keeping things fresh. “I value my customers and I always want to adapt to their needs,” Flenard said. He plans on creating outdoor bar seating because, “people like to sit up high, be social and be outside at the same time when the weather is nice.” This outdoor space would complement The Earle of Sandwich’s cozy interior, which Flenard describes as an “authentic style pub with a biker theme.” Flenard, a Harley Davidson repairman, showcases a fully operational Harley Davidson Sportster, as well as other biker paraphernalia. These features combined with tavern-like elements such as dark wood, brass and stained glass provide a comfortable, Cheers-reminiscent feel.

Yet, the main attraction for The Earle of Sandwich regulars is the food. “We believe in good food quality, and we know how to prepare it,” Flenard said. Offering homemade half-pound hamburger patties, potato chips, coleslaw, macaroni, and tuna and chicken salad—just to name a few—The Earle of Sandwich treats patrons like royalty with flavorful comfort food at comfortable prices.

Call (843) 785-7767 for more information

41 Years
Plantation Interiors

Secret to Success:
“Over the years we have maintained our reputation as a trendsetter as well as a friendly, easy-to-work with interior design firm that offers our clients a high degree of personal service.”

Plantation Interiors has been the Low Country’s leading interior design firm since 1972.
Their extensive 25,000 square foot facility includes a design center, resource library and furniture showroom complimented with seasoned management and award-winning professional interior designers.

Plantation Interiors is the only Hilton Head & Bluffton area interior design firm with an on-site warehouse and trucks complimented with full time installation and warehouse personnel. Plantation Interiors feels that being able to control product throughout the design process allows them to be more responsive to their client’s needs and better control the quality of their service.

Client satisfaction has been a top priority at Plantation Interiors for more than 40 years. Their thorough, attentive and responsive service focuses on quality, accountability, flexibility and efficiency, therefore, completing projects on time and on budget. As a result Plantation Interiors clients have requested their design expertise from New York City, to the Caribbean, to the South of France.

Plantation Interiors takes pride in the many local, regional and national awards they have won throughout the years, including 11 “Aurora” awards for interior design in the surrounding twelve state region and the Caribbean. They have also received 3 “Grand Auroras” & the coveted “Golden Aurora” which is given once yearly from more than 2,500 entries.

Plantation Interiors is also a two-time recipient of the national award, “The Best in American Living Award.” This prestigious award is sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders and Professional Builder Magazine.

Plantation Interiors is located at 10 Target Road on Hilton Head Island. They are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. and Saturday by appointment.

For more information, visit their website at or phone 843.785.5261 or email

41 Years
Billy Wood Appliance

Secret to Success:
“The bitterness of poor service lingers long after the sweetness of low cost.”

One cannot talk about businesses with staying power without mentioning Billy Wood Appliance. The question the current owners, Cal and Mary Navis are most asked is, “Who is Billy Wood?” In the 1970s, Billy Wood was the island’s only appliance repairman. His business turned into an appliance store when he couldn’t fix the appliance and the customer had to buy new. When the Navises purchased the business in 1998, they decided to keep the name because of the store’s great reputation and name recognition.

Billy Wood Appliance is a family owned business whose goal is to provide the best value in home appliances and the highest level of service to all customers—builders, remodelers and homeowners alike. The two daughters, Carrie Haertel and Betsy Miller, work in the showroom and are well known for their product knowledge and commitment to customer service. Mike Haertel leads the delivery team and is a certified installer for all the major brands.

In 2006, Billy Wood Appliance was chosen by Sub-Zero/Wolf to be the first “Living Kitchen” in the Southeast. This started the process of remodeling and expanding the entire building. The result is a state-of-the-art 14,000-square-foot showroom and warehouse, showcasing the latest in appliances and kitchen design.

To view their entire line of appliances and showroom images, visit their website,, or stop by the showroom at 6 Marshland Road, Hilton Head Island.

40 Years

Secret to Success:
Being a part of an island tradition that has felt like coming home for generations of families.

Honoring an artist’s legacy is a lot of responsibility. In 1992 Pierce and Bonnie Lowrey took on that challenge when they purchased the iconic CQ’s restaurant. Opened in 1973, and nestled under the crooked and lovely live oaks in Harbour Town, CQ’s was originally designed by illustrator Ralph Ballantine as his studio, with the architecture reflecting his study of Lowcountry rice barns. Interest in what was going on in the unique building was so great that Ballantine gave up the idea of a peaceful artist’s colony, and CQ’s was born.

Having established itself as a favorite tradition for families visiting and living on Hilton Head Island, the Lowreys found a way to take the restaurant to the next culinary level, while maintaining its charming history. Under Bonnie’s design direction, the interior is filled with décor, treasures, and murals reflecting the history of Sea Pines and Harbour Town; its dining rooms are named with a nod to the land’s heritage: The Plantation Room, The Rice Room and the Indigo Roon to name a few. CQ’s is the quintessential Hilton Head stop just off the golf course or for a sparkling special occasion.

Guiding the kitchens at CQ’s and its sister restaurant Old Fort Pub, Executive Chef Keith Josefiak focuses the CQ’s menu on American cuisine with a Lowcountry influence. On any given day, the professionally trained staff creates an exceptional dining experience, practicing their art with sustainable seafood and local resources from area farmers and fishermen.

Ballantine imagined his rice barn-inspired studio as an artist’s retreat, and remarkably, that is exactly what it became. The medium may be a bit different than his pens, pencils, and paint brushes, but the result truly honors his legacy.

CQ’s is located at 140 Lighthouse Road, Hilton Head Island. Reservations are recommended. Please call (843) 671-2779 or visit

40 Years
Old Fort Pub

Secret to Success:
The sunset view and an outstanding reputation

As Charles Fraser’s vision of Hilton Head Island was coming to fruition in the early 1970s, he commissioned one of the island’s art community pioneers, illustrator Ralph Ballantine, to design a waterfront restaurant overlooking Skull Creek in Hilton Head Plantation, adjacent to one of the area’s Civil War forts. Like its sister restaurant CQ’s, Old Fort Pub was formed from the mind of a man in touch with the Lowcountry and all its nuances. It is these nuances that Pierce and Bonnie Lowrey so deftly protected and nurtured when they purchased Old Fort Pub, along with CQ’s, in 1992.

The only AAA four-star restaurant on Hilton Head Island, eleven years running, Old Fort Pub is a culinary masterpiece with sunset views and charming elegance emanating from every stunning angle and each delicious dish. Recently named in the “Top 100 Scenic Restaurants” by Open Table, and “Best View” by the Food Network, Old Fort Pub has a lot of competition for attention, and Executive Chef Keith Josefiak does not disappoint. His menu focuses on American cuisine with a French accent, featuring sustainable seafood and local farm-sourced produce.

With four decades of staying power, Old Fort Pub is the place for a special occasion, an everyday treat, or where you go to feed your culinary imagination. Guests come for the remarkable sunset view and then are simply wowed by the service and the food. Old Fort Pub has deftly balanced Fraser’s original vision with the future, nurturing guests again and again.

Old Fort Pub is located at 65 Skull Creek Drive, Hilton Head Island. Reservations are recommended. Please call (843) 681.2386 or visit

37 Years
Vacation Time of Hilton Head Island

Secret to Success:
Each year families of all shapes and sizes pack the minivan or Mini Cooper with pool noodles, boogie boards, pails, shovels, and sunscreen and make their way to I-95’s Exit 8. Getting off the interstate, and winding down Highway 278, the anticipation grows. Taking in that first glimpse of salt marsh and sea while crossing over first one bridge, then two, and finally arriving for their week of letting go on Hilton Head Island, the final step in their journey brings them to their accommodations. Cozy beds and efficient kitchens, clean towels and cable TV greet moms, dads, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends; all made ready by Vacation Time of Hilton Head Island, Inc. It truly is vacation time on Hilton Head.

It would be difficult to find a family or a vacation rental company who have greater staying power, or who know Hilton Head Island and its visitors better than the extended family of Dennis and Jean Lowes. In 1976 the Lowes purchased Hilton Head Island’s Adventure Inn on South Forest Beach Drive with a ground-breaking vision for the resort … timesharing. “Timesharing was an unknown product at that time,” says Michael Notartomaso, CEO and husband to the Lowes’ daughter Terry Notartomaso.

Terry and Michael are only two of the many Lowes family members working in the business today. Having ridden the timeshare boom, Notartomaso now says, “The continuous threads running through the history of the company have been property management, real estate sales, and vacation rentals.” The Lowes siblings all work for the business: Terry – VP of Marketing/Associate Broker; Laurie Fons – VP/ Manager of Sutton Place Design; Linda Roberts – VP of Villa Rentals; and Tim Clark – VP of Special Projects.

Laurie and her husband Gary Fons, now President and COO, ran the Adventure Inn’s iconic restaurant Fitzgerald’s for 30 years before it closed in anticipation of the redevelopment of the property. Tim’s wife Lois Clark is Manager of Timeshare Operations, and as further testament to the business’s staying power, Clark Fons, the company’s Long Term Rental Manager/Associate Broker represents the third generation of family members operating this empire.

Managing over 600 resort villas, including over 250 rentals, and substantial real estate assets there has to be a secret to their success. “The family has always stayed together as a cohesive unit. We’ve been able to put aside personal interests and personalities for the good of the family and for the good of the company, and we have some very focused and dedicated individuals within the family that have adapted well to change,” shares Notartomaso. He says that perseverance and family unity along with some committed, hard working non-family team members are the keys to their success.

In 1976 when Dennis and Jean packed their moving van, there was no Exit 8, and pool noodles hadn’t been invented; however, due to their courage and three generations of commitment and hard work, visitors can now count on that cozy bed waiting at the end of a day at the beach.

Vacation Time of Hilton Head Island is located at 3 LeMoyne Avenue, Hilton Head Island, SC 29928. 843-785-5151 or 800.845.9500

31 Years
First Dental of Bluffton

Secret to Success:
A relaxed and confortable environment.

Dr. Chuck Hobart knows how some folks feel about making a trip to the dentist, so he puts an emphasis on making them feel good about a sometimes reluctant decision. “I feel it’s important to always look at things from a patient’s perspective,” he said, “so we always make it a priority to have them feel comfortable and relaxed. I think that’s a big part of dentistry, as well as dealing with issues when they’re still small to avoid bigger problems later.”

Dr. Hobart took over the general dentistry practice in 2008 after practicing for 11 years in Spartanburg, SC. Guy and Susan Matthews, who opened the town’s first dental practice (hence the name) back in 1982, retired after practicing with Dr. Hobart for 1 year.

Dr. Hobart looks at dentistry from a functional standpoint. He said, “When we look at cosmetic cases, we have to start with making things work properly first.” This has directed his practice towards a full range of procedures from implant to oral surgery. Crowns, bridges and veneers are now fabricated in the office. They still do many “fillings” as well.

Dr. Louis Costa, III, joined the practice about 18 months ago to assist with procedures.
First Dental handles insurance paperwork and accepts payment from many insurance providers. They offer several payment options for all ages of patients. The open practice that offers Friday hours will move to a larger office just up the road at 181 Bluffton Rd. in February.

“We love the area and enjoy being on a first-name basis with our patients,” Dr. Hobart said. “We like them and they seem to like us.”

First Dental of Bluffton, 168 Bluffton Rd., open Mon.-Thur. 7:45 a.m.-5:45 p.m., Fri. 7:45 a.m. – 2 p.m., (843) 757-2828,

37 Years
The Hair Designers

Secret to Success:
Always On-Trend

Launched in 1976 by island icon David Bagwell, with a groovy name and hip vibe, The Vogue Stylon opened its doors and began a 37 year salon odyssey rooted in transformations; not only of its clients but of the salon itself. With locations in Palmetto Dunes and on Archer Road, stylist Mark Goodman joined Bagwell in 1978. In 1981 Goodman became part owner of the salon, and the name was changed to The Hair Designers to better reflect the times. In 1985 the Village at Wexford location was opened as the Archer Road location was closed. By the mid-1990s the Palmetto Dunes location shuttered and Goodman became sole owner, doubling the size of the salon in the Village at Wexford.

Always at the forefront of change, Goodman attributes his staying power to being an employee-based salon with a commitment to his staff being educated well-beyond the requirements of the state’s licensing board. “I expect all my employees to get as much education as is possible and to work as a team,” explains Goodman. The Hair Designers’ staff meets monthly to share what they have learned inside and outside the classroom.

Goodman understands that change is required to stay competitive, and in addition to promoting shared knowledge of all the tools and techniques of the trade, he also makes sure the salon stays up-to-date by making at least one change annually to the salon itself. Suffice to say that there is always something new, along with something familiar at The Hair Designers.

Call 843.686.HAIR for more information or visit

35 Years
Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort

Secret to Success
The personal touches provided by the staff and the service.

One of the best places to get a sense for what Palmetto Dunes was truly like when it was first conceived of in the late 1960s is from the seat of a kayak or canoe, navigating the eleven-mile lagoon system that winds its way through Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort. Paddling along with the gently flowing current, egrets and herons linger in the shallows, waiting to snatch their dinner, and Spanish moss feathers down from the crooked limbs of water oak trees. Just beyond the sandy banks are homes and villas dotting the waterway like nests, not made for birds, but for residents and visitors.

In 1978, at the encouragement of Hilton Head Island’s founding father Charles Fraser, Greenwood Development Corporation purchased the land that would become Palmetto Dunes. The lagoon system was the first project at what would quickly become a world-class resort destination with a whole lot of staying power, where the welcome was distinctly Lowcountry, and where families would come to create traditions and memories for generations.

Like coming home, “It’s been generational,” said Brad Marra, assistant vice president, resort director. “We have grandparents bringing their children, and their children bringing their children. In 10-15 more years, we’ll see another generation.”

Part of the heart and soul of Palmetto Dunes that keeps these families returning is the personality of the staff. “We have a lot of staff members who have been here for over 30 years, so when the customer walks in the door and sees the same face, I think that really touches them.”

Recognized by Travel & Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler as one of the most popular resort destinations, and striving to wow guests and maintain their world-class status, Palmetto Dunes takes the care and keeping of its amenities seriously, always working to better itself, while keeping the familiar for each generation to share with the next. Virtually the epicenter of island golf, the resort’s three courses, designed individually by Robert Trent Jones, George Fazio, and Arthur Hills, have been renovated and upgraded periodically throughout the years. Palmetto Dunes is giving golfers plenty of options to improve their experience; golf carts with GPS at the Jones course, a new Palmetto Dunes Golf App, the air-conditioned golf carts at the Hills Course, and new pull-carts available on the walking-friendly layouts.

Ranked first in the Carolinas and top 10 in the US by Tennis Magazine, the Palmetto Dunes Tennis Center maintains its award-winning status, “because of the size of our facility, our teaching team and all the pros. The different lessons, clinics, and programs that they do are extraordinary,” said Karen Kozemchak, director of marketing.

Over the past six or seven years, Palmetto Dunes has gradually evolved into a concierge-style resort. Visitors can make reservations and arrangements for golf, tennis, biking, kayaking, fishing, surfing lessons and parasailing from one centralized source, with new amenities and events added every year.

Visiting Palmetto Dunes without pedals under your feet would seem unimaginable, and Hilton Head Outfitters is the resort’s own bike and equipment rental facility, located inside the resort. Just across the street from Outfitters is the Palmetto Dunes General Store, where unofficially, the best fried chicken on the island is served. A short pedal to the opposite side of William Hilton Parkway, Shelter Cove Harbor, with its personality-filled shops and restaurants, and unparalleled view, plays host to Shannon Tanner, who for the past 25 summers has brought families together for his music and humor.

Visiting Palmetto Dunes without pedals under your feet would seem unimaginable, and Hilton Head Outfitters is the resort’s own bike and equipment rental facility, located inside the resort. Just across the street from Outfitters is the Palmetto Dunes General Store, where unofficially, the best fried chicken on the island is served. A short pedal to the opposite side of William Hilton Parkway, Shelter Cove Harbor, with its personality-filled shops and restaurants, and unparalleled view, plays host to Shannon Tanner, who for the past 25 summers has brought families together for his music and humor.

As the vision for Palmetto Dunes took shape over 40 years ago, it may not have included surfing lessons or fried chicken, but what guests have found to be true is that this special place in the heart of Hilton Head Island feels a lot like coming home.

For more information, please call (866) 380-1778 or visit

34 Years
Island Car Wash

Secret to Success:
Consistency and Teamwork

Island Car Wash has been keeping cars looking shiny and clean since 1979. Kelly Ogden recalls the days when cars were given finishing touches just a few feet away from Hwy. 278. In the past 30 years, many changes have occurred on the island and at Island Car Wash!

ICW offers full service washes as well as hand washing, detailing and more. “We’re definitely not your average car wash,” said Ogden, who handles advertising and marketing for the family-owned business. Her father, Robert Troch, bought Island Car Wash in 1986 and added a location in Bluffton complete with a Quik Lube and detail center.

To better serve their customers, the wash on Hilton Head was completely rebuilt in 2006, adding state-of-the-art equipment. “With the design of the new wash, we wanted to provide the ultimate in convenience and service and to take advantage of this beautiful island we call home, with outdoor patio seating complete with Wi-Fi. Inside, Internet access and televisions are available to catch up on news, sports and social media—something that was not even in the picture 30 years ago! The newly designed website,, offers the ability to buy washes and gift cards online.

“We have a wonderful team of employees; some have been with the company for many years, Ogden said, “and customers love having a familiar face taking care of their pride and joy. Thank you for your business during the past 34 years and we look forward to many more. Congratulations to Hilton Head Island for their 350/30 Celebration!”

Island Car Wash
1008B William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head
(843) 785-8944
1008 Fording Island Road, Bluffton (843) 815-2440
Open Mon-Sat 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Quik Lube—Closed Sunday

34 Years
Outside Hilton Head

Secret to Success:
Offering over-the-top outdoor experiences focused on safety, teamwork, sustainability, passion and excellence

Since 1979 the go-to source for grass-roots, feel-good energy on Hilton Head has been a little company called Outside. Grown out of fledgling windsurfing business, Outside is now a sizable operation with four distinct divisions: Destination Management, Specialty Retail, Team and Leadership Development and Leisure Recreation.

“Outside Hilton Head is a company made up of a lot of people, and for a lot of people, who, on any given day, would prefer to be outside rather than inside,” said Outside president and founder, Mike Overton.

It was Overton’s preference for being outside that prompted him to pack a truck and drive from Vermont to Hilton Head in the summer of 1979. He established Windsurfing Hilton Head, a company that offered over-the-top outdoor experiences focused on safety, teamwork, sustainability, passion and excellence. For the next ten years it thrived as the premier windsurfing school and race organizer on the East Coast.

By the ’80’s, the company had expanded its options and was renamed Outside Hilton Head in 1992. The same year won Business of the Year from the Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce.

As Outside’s offerings grew, Overton looked for new ways to get people outside. The answer came in the form of a 30-acre chain of islands, named the Page Islands. This adventure outpost is a hub for backwater boating and paddlesports excursions, a site for teambuilding activities and an unbelievable event venue.

In 2010, Outside established a destination management division, Destinations by Outside. This arm of the company constructs customized experiences for groups, including transportation, events, activities and teambuilding.

Outside has locations at Shelter Cove Plaza and Marina, Pinckney Island, The Westin, Palmetto Bluff, Daufuskie Island and Page Island. Their program offerings include kayaking, paddleboarding, boating, dolphin tours, tubing, ski trips, bike tours, scavenger hunts, surf camps, kids programs, and customized group offerings. At peak season, over fifty people make up the Outside team, each of whom shares the same passion for the outdoors that led Overton to Hilton Head in 1979.

For more information, visit or call (843) 686-6996.

33 Years
Randy Jeffcoat Builders

Secret to Success:
A close-knit community with a high level of personal attention.

Building an alliance between designers and builders is one of the most successful ways to build a home today, and Randy Jeffcoat Builders is rooted in that principle. Brought to the Lowcountry 33 years ago by founder Randy Jeffcoat, the company is a family operation with wife Brenda, as in-house design consultant, and sons Trey and Rhett as part of the operation. Understanding the value of remaining a small, family-run business, their focus on customer service and quality workmanship has given them a reputation for excellence.

The design-build team approach practiced at Randy Jeffcoat Builders is one of the secrets to their longevity and ongoing success. Combining project architects and designers, structural engineers and landscape architects, all working under one umbrella affords numerous benefits to their clients: saving time and money on construction plans; less time required to deliver the finished home; easier to budget; construction details are settled upfront, not during the construction process; permitting and review board experience and guidance; and an in-house one-of-a-kind photo gallery of building and finishing options.

With the successful experience and deep resources to build custom homes of any size, in any style, and in any design, there are more than just a few advantages to hiring a builder with this kind of staying power. Every member of the Jeffcoat team listens carefully to the client’s needs, wishes, and dreams, transforming them into a home that meets not only their imagination, but comes in on budget as well.

Attention to every detail is achieved with a hands-on approach taken by every member of the project team. From floor plan decisions all the way to cabinet knobs, a team of professionals collaborate with the client, lining things up, and making them fit into a spectacular final product. “It takes years to build a reputation and just days to destroy it,” Jeffcoat said. “This is why we value our work and demand perfection on every job.”

The foundations laid at Randy Jeffcoat Builders have firmly rooted them as one of the area’s premier home builders. Their execution of the design-build approach goes above and beyond what is expected and provides award-winning surprises around every elegant corner.

Randy Jeffcoat Builders, 40 Persimmon Street, Suite 103, Bluffton, SC 29910. Please call (843) 837-5133 or visit

32 Years
Captain Woody’s

Secret to Success:
Loyal customers, a great staff, and a great partner.

Captain Woody’s may have a great staff, loyal customers, and owners who keep it all feeling like family, but the real sustenance that gives this 32-year Lowcountry institution its genuine staying power is the staples of island life: great oysters, fresh shrimp, cold beer, and good conversation.

Still giving the pub his blessing, the original patriarch and founding father, Captain Woody Collins himself was recently in for a meal, said Russell Anderson, co-owner with partner Shannon Wright for the past 14 years. Some things change, and some stay very much the same. “Change is the process of survival,” Anderson said, and he and Wright know how to mix just the right cocktail of the familiar with the fresh, as both their recent move from Palmetto Bay to Target Road on Hilton Head Island and opening their Bluffton location in 2009 have been nothing but good.

Offering Sunday brunch, lunch and dinner menus, and now Saturday and Sunday game day offerings in their two bars, Captain Woody’s is throwing down the welcome mat all week long. On Hilton Head Island, the new outdoor bar curtains will be down and the heaters cranked up, giving fans a place to combine their favorite team with their favorite hang-out—the perfect perch for the playoffs.

Whether you are a local, or just want to feel like one, you know that Captain Woody’s has fantastic oysters, shrimp, and beer, but don’t miss the hush puppies!

Located at 6 Target Road, Hilton Head Island (843) 785-2400 and 17 State of Mind Street, Bluffton (843) 757.6222. Please visit

31 Years
Reilley’s Grill & Bar

Secret to Success:
Being ready every day to do what’s right for the customer.

“We’re like a Broadway play,” said Tom Reilley, of Reilley’s Grill & Bar and Reilley’s North End Pub on Hilton Head Island. His staff comes to work in the morning and, “They prepare the restaurant, they put on their uniforms, they open the door, and they put on a play every single day.” So far, it’s been a pretty successful 31-year run.

Backed by two of his customers from his sales days, Reilley, with his wife Diane, had a highly successful first year thanks to two out-of-the-ordinary events that he describes as really kick-starting his iconic restaurant. Less than three months after opening in December 1982, the final episode of the TV show MASH was aired on February 28, 1983. Reilley’s held a MASH Bash that was hugely successful. And just a couple short weeks later, Reilley agreed to start a St. Patrick’s Day parade, which culminated in a huge celebration at Reilley’s restaurant.

Since that first year when only about 20 people marched, the parade has grown to epic proportions, but still ends on Reilley’s doorstep, where he and his co-owners (his three children) sell the sizzle and not the steak. The Reilleys know you can get an excellent meal a lot of places, but understand that selling the experience is how you set yourself above the rest. “Make your customer’s experience a little better,” Reilley said.

Like a great Broadway play, Reilley’s has proven to have real staying power, and sells out most every night.

Reilley’s Grill & Bar, 70 Greenwood Drive (843) 842-4414. Reilley’s North End Pub, 95 Matthews Drive, (843) 681-4153. Please visit

30 Years
Faces Day Spa

Secret to Success:
Be a visionary. Stay on top of trends and be ready and willing to adapt to changes in the marketplace, your industry, and the world

There is something to be said about a business that wins an award. But there is something very special about a business that wins awards year after year. FACES DaySpa is one of those unique companies that has received accolades, not only locally, but on a state-wide and national level.

Over the past 30 years, FACES DaySpa has been recognized as the Hilton Head Small Business of the Year, the South Carolina Small Business of the Year, and the US Chamber’s Small Business of the Year for the entire southeast to name a few. In fact, the attention to detail and commitment to excellence that the management and staff at FACES DaySpa has shown, propelled it to being named the “Best of the Best” day spa in the country last year by Day Spa Magazine.

However, it is the recognition of their clients that matters most. The management team, front desk staff and spa therapists are hand-picked for their professionalism and customer care. The products and services that are offered have been carefully chosen for their effectiveness. At FACES DaySpa, the mission is to treat every client like a VIP by providing them with a relaxing escape from daily life.

This year, the FACES legacy continues with the newest addition of FACES Lash Studio, the Island’s premiere beauty lounge. The studio is a brand new concept where the main focus is on offering eyelash extensions in an elegant upscale setting. Much like its older sister, FACES Lash Studio is destined for greatness.

FACES DaySpa and FACES Lash studio are both located in the Village at Wexford. Call 843.785.3075 or visit for more information.

30 Years
Island Travel

Secret to Success:
Creating memorable experiences for lifetime memories.

Whether it’s a quick getaway to Atlanta, a round-the-world cruise booking or even an upcoming journey into sub-orbital space on Virgin Galactic, Jim Buckley and Island Travel will be there for you from bon voyage to homecoming.

The travel agency, which operates offices in Bluffton and Beaufort in addition to the Hilton Head location founded by Carlo Hilliard, offers more than can be obtained on ubiquitous websites or by calling “1-800 Who Cares,” said Buckley, president and partner of the independent firm that’s a member of Virtuoso, an exclusive invitation-only consortium of travel agents. “The trouble with websites is that they simply process you; they don’t have your history or take your specific needs into consideration.”

Face-to-face meetings with clients before they leave home help customize their itineraries and assure proper documentation and timely connections. “And if an incident occurs or people want to amend their plans en route, we’re here for them,” said Buckley, who has handled lost passports and credit card problems for travelers abroad. “We’re with them, virtually, throughout the trip.”

A one-time tour escort with his spouse and business partner Martha, Buckley continues to lend his expertise to local organizations and families looking to see the world together. “That’s one of our specialties, and we’re in position to arrange anything from a one-night stay or going on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, which will start flying next year,” he said.
The space trek costs $200,000 per voyager, and Island Travel is ready when you are.

Island Travel, 95 Matthews Dr. #B-3, Hilton Head, (843) 681-3033; 14 Johnston Way #C, Bluffton, (843) 757-5888; 12 Fairfield Rd., Ste. 5B, Beaufort, (843) 525-0777. Open Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. by appointment only.

29 Years

Secret to Success:
Creating a unique, satisfying and memorable dining experience for every guest, each time by maintaining a SERG commitment to excellence.

SERG is a locally owned and operated independent multi-unit multi-concept restaurant group. They are dedicated to providing guests with quality, value and genuine coastal hospitality at each of their unique award-winning restaurants. They strive to create a unique, satisfying and memorable dining experience for every guest, each time by maintaining a SERG commitment to excellence.

In 1984, they felt that Hilton Head was hungry for a real neighborhood pizzeria experience and were happy to deliver! The sheer delight they saw on the faces of their first Giuseppi’s Pizza & Pasta customers made them so happy, in fact, that they had to do it again, and again, and again.

Today, the SERG award-winning family of restaurants includes: Giuseppi’s Pizza & Pasta on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton, One Hot Mama’s American Grille, Frankie Bones Restaurant and Lounge, The Black Marlin Bayside Grill & Hurricane Bar at Palmetto Bay Marina on Hilton Head, The Lodge Craft Beer and Burger Bar, Skull Creek Boathouse Landmark Waterfront Restaurant, and WiseGuys Restaurant and Lounge on Hilton Head Island.

They have come a long way since they made that first pizza, but their philosophy that is served up every day in every SERG establishment remains the same. “We are humbled, proud and thankful every day for our dedicated employees and loyal customers. We never take anything for granted and continue to strive to be the best that we can.”

For more information, please visit

28 Years
Kelley Designs

Secret to Success:
Turning your design dreams into a reality

KELLEY DESIGNS, INC. is an award-winning, full-service design firm, specializing in residential interior design for over 25 years. The showroom and resource studio is located on Hilton Head Island. In addition to interior design services in the Lowcountry and neighboring coastal communities, KELLEY DESIGNS, INC. has completed projects in New York City, Chicago, Beaver Creek, Toronto, and Maui. Whether a simple villa renovation or the complete design, specification, and installation of your primary or vacation home, the company takes pride in providing unique, distinctive, and personalized decor for each project.

Turn your house or villa into an extraordinary place you can call home. Call KELLEY DESIGNS, INC. at (843) 785-6911; e-mail; or visit the showroom at 841 William Hilton Parkway, South Island Square, Suite R, Hilton Head Island, S.C.

25 Years
Player’s World of Sports

Secret to Success:
Family owned & operated, Player’s World prides ourselves on knowing our products and our customers.

Player’s World of Sports offers the best selection of everything you need for sports and fitness—from tennis rackets to running shoes, from soccer cleats to yoga pants and everything in between.

Tom & Julie Jilly have been active in our community for over 25 years. “We know our customers and they know us,” said owner, Tom Jilly, whose daughter Shannon serves as store manager. Tom and Shannon are always on hand to offer personal service and knowledgeable assistance to all.

Player’s World has the island’s best selection of everything tennis related, including rackets, apparel (home to over 90 different demo rackets and a huge selection of apparel), footwear, bags accessories and more. Quick turn around on stringing is sure to please everyone!
Brands carried including Babolat, Nike, Adidas, Head, Wilson, Prince, SofiBella, Lucky in Love, Bolle, Lija, K-Swiss, Lotto, Tommy Bahama and New Balance.

Player’s World of Sports is located at 890 William Hilton Parkway in the Fresh Market Shoppes. Open every day! Stop in and say hello. Call 842-5100 or visit for more information.

20 Years
Benny Hudson Seafood

Secret to Success: “Consistent product and impeccable customer service will always keep them coming back.”

It’s hard to believe that when the first Hudson arrived on Hilton Head Island in 1890, that the same family would still be in the seafood business today. Located just off Squire Pope Road, Benny Hudson Seafood Corporation is the last retail seafood market that actually off loads fresh, local seafood from its own docks on the island. After Benny and Barbara Hudson sold Hudson’s Seafood Restaurant to the Carmines family back in the mid ‘70s, they still had salt in their veins. That’s when Benny Hudson Seafood was born. They will be celebrating their 20th year of business right down the road from the restaurant where it all began.

The Hudson family opened their first oyster shucking facility in the early 1900s, at Bull Point, where the restaurant stands today, eventually expanding to three facilities, with the ability to shuck over 250 gallons of oysters a day! With the arrival of the bridge and electricity in the ‘50s, the family was also able to expand and optimize their shrimping fleet, which, at one time, was over 25 trawlers!

Today, Tonya Hudson-DeSalve, fourth generation Hudson, runs the family business located just one mile down the street from the restaurant. Whether she’s unloading boats, or helping customers in the market, you can see she still has that same salt running through her veins and that Hudson pride that makes their family name synonymous with seafood on Hilton Head Island.

Benny Hudson Seafood is located at 175 Squire Pope Road. For more information call 843-682-3474 or visit

24 Years
Bruno Landscape and Nursery

Secret to Success:
Getting up every day and doing the right thing.

Gary and Mary Ann Bruno built their landscape design and maintenance business from the ground up. As a matter of fact, “The business and the family have kind of grown up hand-in-hand,” says Mary Ann. Some would say timing is everything, especially with a successful operation like Bruno Landscape and Nursery on Hilton Head Island. However, in 1989 when Gary quit his steady job, with Mary Ann seven months pregnant, the timing was less than ideal. Rolling up their sleeves and quite literally rolling coins to purchase their first truck, the Brunos began putting in the real work. “The secret to our success really isn’t that big of a secret. It’s like raising kids; every day getting up and trying to do the right thing. I don’t think it’s much more than that,” shared Mary Ann.

The quintessential family business, at Bruno Landscape and Nursery Gary’s focus is landscape design, irrigation, and installation, while Mary Ann directs operations from the office. Mary Ann’s brother-in-law, Mark Nizolek runs the home maintenance division. Two of the Bruno children are part of the operation with middle daughter, Jenna, living and working in Greenville. Steven Bruno is graduating in May from Clemson with an agricultural degree, and will be joining the company fulltime. While youngest daughter Nicole recently joined the office staff; just in time her mother says, taking on the healthcare and e-verification work that has become a time-consuming part of operating a small business.

Wondering where the time went; reflecting on their years of honest, hard work, both personally and professionally. “It’s nice to feel pride. When someone compliments our business or our kids, it’s the same feeling. We have put a lot of effort into it,” says Mary Ann.

Bruno Landscape and Nursery is located at 109 Dillon Road, Hilton Head Island. Call the Landscape Office at 843.681.7022 or the Nursery at 843.682.2624 for more information or visit

24 Years
Nash Gallery

Secret to Success:*
Selling American-made fine crafts

Nash Gallery has been a family owned and operated business since 1989 on Hilton Head Island, beginning first as Trilogy Gallery. Its longevity has much to do with loyal local customers, appreciation of American made products, and the fact that customers always have fun in the gallery!

“Longevity is not the only measure of business success, but a lot can be learned from persevering over a long period of time—lessons taught only through the ups and downs of experience. It’s important to be adaptable and never stop learning what your customers want,” said Lynn Alexander, owner of Nash Gallery.

With the support of so many loyal customers, Nash Gallery will continue to showcase a sophisticated collection of extraordinary work by America’s finest craft artists for at least the next 20 years. “We’re going to give you glass, ceramics, jewelry, metal, and so much more, Alexander said. “I am proud to be an American business woman, living on our beautiful island, selling works of art all made in the USA!”

Nash Gallery is located at 13 Harbourside Lane, Suite 2H at Shelter Cover Harbour. The venue is open seven days a week, Mon.-Sat. from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and on Sundays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, including online shopping capabilities, visit For directions and other inquiries, please contact the store directly at (843) 785-6424.

22 Years
San Miguel’s

Secret to Success:
Avocados, salsa, fresh fish tacos, live music and margaritas.

It seems that avocados, salsa, and fresh fish tacos are used as fuel by San Miguel’s to help generate its phenomenal staying power. Add one of the best on-the-water locales, live music, margaritas, and every other California-inspired Mexican dish delivered from the restaurant’s kitchen, and it is understandable why San Miguel’s is celebrating its 36th anniversary on Hilton Head Island.

Already well-established, Scott and Maryanne Laskowitz took ownership of San Miguel’s in 1991. With Melvin Fields running the kitchen for the past 21 years, and Dave Thornton as floor manager, the Laskowtizs have a firm grasp on what makes this operation click. “We’ve been serving consistently fresh, prepared food. We have an incredible location in Shelter Cove Harbour and an outdoor bar on the water. We have great musicians seven nights a week the majority of the year; so we have a great atmosphere,” says Maryanne. “We really work at capitalizing on everything that is available to us.”

Making connections with customer is another key to San Miguel’s staying power. “We enjoy seeing our repeat people who have second homes here, and we’ve starting doing small rehearsal dinners outside. That’s been great. We’ve had a lot of celebrations and we have people come back on their anniversaries. That’s been a lot of fun,” shares Maryanne.
There’s always plenty of great fuel to add to the fire at San Miguel’s.

9 Shelter Cove Lane, Hilton Head Island. Open for lunch Monday – Saturday and for dinner every day. Happy hour Monday –Friday 4pm – 6pm. 843.842.4555

20 Years
Skillets Cafe & Grill

Secret to Success:
A Team that works like clockwork

Celebrating their 20th anniversary, Skillets’ owner Amie Baima knows that in addition to her customers, the real secret to her restaurant’s longevity and enduring fans is her staff. Whether in the kitchen cooking, creating, prepping, or washing dishes, behind the bar pouring drinks, taking orders, balancing trays, and serving guests, or manning the hostess stand keeping everybody happy and getting folks seated as soon as possible, Baima knows this team needs to operate like a well-oiled machine to succeed, and it usually does.

With ample tables, their prime Coligny Plaza location, and one of the best porches around to lean back and enjoy a leisurely breakfast any time of the day, lunch, or dinner, on any given day, the staff needs to hustle to keep it all running smoothly. The kitchen staff and wait staff really show what they’ve got, cooking, serving dishes from the three menus and keeping up with the creative changes made by Baima. Ever on the lookout for new culinary inspiration, Baima surprises her guests with delicious specials, inspired themes, and great menu additions.

With the potential for some chilly island days upon us, the timing is perfect to visit Skillets and check out the soup of the day. Every summer Baima’s mom and dad join the staff, with her mom helping at the hostess stand, and her dad helping with recipe development, particularly soup recipes.

Like its own little family, Skillets is a whole lot like coming home.

Skillets Café & Grill is located in Coligny Plaza at 1 North Forest Beach Drive, #225. Open daily 7 a.m.-10 p.m. (in season). For more information, please call (843) 785-3131 or visit

22 Years
Coastal Home by Marco Polo

Secret to Success:
Loving What You Do

Like many others, Bob and Martha Steele escaped rugged Pennsylvania winters for the warmth and charms of the Lowcountry. And the couple, who arrived with a successful retail background in home decor, found a perfect match for their new lifestyle when they purchased Marco Polo, a venerable north island outlet offering furniture geared for sunnier climes.

“We offer the type of furnishings you see in Coastal Living (magazine),” said Martha Steele, “which means a lighter look and feel with rattan and earth tones such as pale aqua, light greens and sand colors. They’re the type of things that are appropriate to the area, and that’s what people are looking for when they move here for the island lifestyle.”

The couple’s success required a larger showroom, so they moved to a fresh location in Bluffton in 2011, christening the 13,000-square-foot locale as Coastal Home by Marco Polo, located just off the U.S. 278 bridge connecting to Hilton Head Island. The showroom is filled with indoor and outdoor furniture from prominent designers, and the staff handles special orders along with delivery and in-home setup.

The business is a family affair—son Steve Steele and his spouse Heidi are part of the team—and they keep up with the latest trends in home design. “There’s been a move away from wicker and the pink and green Florida condo look to a more sophisticated feel with rattan and lighter color leather,” Martha Steele said. “It’s more understated today, and it’s décor that matches the Lowcountry lifestyle.”

Coastal Home by Marco Polo, 1528 Fording Island Rd., Bluffton, open Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., (843) 837-4100,

18 Years
The Big Bamboo Cafe

Secret to Success:
A relaxed setting, a creative menu, and a diverse lineup of great musical entertainment that appeals to all ages.

Escape to the Big Bamboo Café’s 1940s themed Pacific Island setting with an extensive menu of local seafood, burgers and a collection of funky salads, featuring a fully stocked bar with over 20 craft beers on tap and live music daily in season.

Made in house daily for over 13 years, the half-pound burgers include the original Bamboo Burger in Paradise; a Carolina Fire Burger topped with fresh jalapenos, Gouda and house Carolina Spice sauce and a Black and Bleu Burger blackened and stuffed with bleu cheese. Try “The Kish of Death” (Hot Meat Curry), in demand at local farmers markets, and now a permanent fixture on the menu and made on site.

The Big Bamboo has an ocean-facing deck on the second floor. Finished in 2013, adding an extra 60 seats, this outdoor area is the perfect place to relax while sipping a margarita, enjoying a delicious meal, listening to the latest bands and watching the world go by.

Entertainment lineup
The Big Bamboo Café has managed to beat the odds by attracting a loyal local following of all ages. From reggae, rock and acoustic classics t live entertainment is almost always on tap at The Big Bamboo Café. Tristan O’Grady, credits a large part of the restaurant’s success to the diversity of the musical lineup.
This fall, take a trip to the South Pacific without ever leaving the Lowcountry with a visit to The Big Bamboo Café in Coligny Plaza.

To check out the menu or the live music schedule, visit or call 843-686-3443.

18 Years
Two Tomatoes Catering

Secret to Success:
Making it right every time

Susan Lykins was a home cook who went pro. After working for a caterer out of the Bear Creek Golf Club kitchen from 1991 to 1995, she took over and formed Two Tomatoes Catering. Now the busy cook has over 10 employees, including the other tomato, Diane Dewitt, who has been a part of the magic for 17 years.

“At the end of the day, it’s just about making it right every time,” Lykins said. “I think people still just want good food. This is a place where people come to really enjoy life, and one of the best parts of enjoying life is enjoying a meal.”

With a real heart for her clients, Lykins has found a formula that has given Two Tomatoes real staying power. Keeping menus and pricing flexible, while never compromising on the making it right every time motto, results in events that exceed expectations.

With Two Tomatoes woven into the fabric of local catering, Lykins leverages her business to contribute to local service organizations such as Literacy Volunteers of the Lowcountry, Volunteers in Medicine, Knights of Columbus, Deep Well, Palmetto Animal League, and the Hilton Head Humane Association. “I have the ability to work with their budgets and give something back to the community that has given me so much,” she said. Showing up and making it right every time… “it’s a great job.”

For more information, please call (843) 681-7806 or visit

17 Years
Celebrations Catering & Events*

Secret to Success:
There is no detail left undone….and everyone loves the staff

Organic evolution is a pretty accurate way to describe how Celebrations Catering & Events came into being. As requests for catered events from the Old Fort Pub menu and venue grew beyond capacity, it made sense to allow the company to grow and a put down roots in their own kitchen and event planning offices. Seventeen years later, this offshoot is just getting better and better.

Having earned a reputation for unparalleled excellence, an invitation to an event planned and catered by Celebrations is always met with great anticipation. From the smallest affair to the most spectacular soirée, every detail is meticulously set out and executed by a team with the resources to make magic. Director of sales, Molly Kennedy and her staff are experts at executing virtually any imaginable event, from weddings and celebrations, to corporate events and skyboxes. And what Kennedy does for planning, Executive Chef Andy Borgmeirer does for the food. Delicious, creative, and beautiful describe selection after selection coming from his kitchen.

The latest shoot to sprout from the Celebrations group is B’s Kitchen, launched in 2006. Operating out of the Celebrations’ catering headquarters, fans of Chef Andy and his staff are getting to take home what they crave. Made with the same fresh ingredients used by the catering company, small-batch cooking is frozen and ready for pick-up.

Listening to what the customers want, and delivering it, is one of the secrets to how Celebrations Catering & Events continues to evolve. Just imagine what will come next.

Celebrations Catering & Events and B’s Kitchen are located at 12 Capital Drive, Hilton Head Island. Please call (843) 785-1185 or visit

15 Years
Main Street Cafe & Pub

Secret to Success:
Unpretentious setting, creative menu and fair prices

Widely known on Hilton Head Island’s north end as “the place where locals like to meet and eat,” this family-friendly café near Hilton Head Plantation’s main gate is embarking on its 15th year. It all started in 1999 when two local restaurant couples, John and Faith Roppelt, together with Aaron and Sharen Glugover, joined hands to take over what was then a struggling eatery known as Gulf Stream Café. The two couples, related by marriage, renamed it Main Street Café & Pub. Today Aaron serves as chef and Faith handles the front.

It has been Chef Aaron’s kitchen talent and intuitive sense of what his patrons enjoy that has propelled the café (which appears from the street as an unpretentious neighborhood pub) into a “Top 10 Percent Rating” among more than 300 Hilton Head Island restaurants on Trip Advisor—the Internet’s influential travel guide.

“We’ve had an evolving menu since the beginning,” Chef Aaron said, pointing out how the public’s dining-out expectations have perceptively changed in recent years because of the Food Network. “It also helps to have a talented and loyal staff. We’re like family. Some have been with us since we bought the restaurant in 1999.”

The popular club sandwich is about the only menu item remaining untouched since opening day” said Chef Aaron, who constantly seeks ways to please his patrons’ taste buds. Among today’s more asked-for items are the Café’s distinctive seafood chowder, fried green tomato BLT, parmesan encrusted grouper and the highly popular “all-you-can-eat” crab legs.

The prized crab legs are relatively new to the menu, first appearing in 2009 to draw summer vacationers from the island’s South End. But the legs quickly caught on with regulars too, and now are the signature menu attraction drawing folks from as far away as Sun City.

“People say they feel really comfortable dining with us,” Faith said. “We have a lively bar, and some even say we remind them of the pub in the TV show Cheers. That makes me smile. It’s a good thing.”

Main Street Café & Pub is located at 1411 Main Street. Call (843) 689-3999 for reservations; visit for more information.

12 Years
Sippin Cow

Secret to Success:
“Always pay attention to detail—especially with the customer.”

Every community has certain places where anyone can go and be a part of the family. It is a place where “everybody knows your name.” If they don’t, it won’t take long. These are the places where the Bluffton “state of mind” is in full swing. We really don’t know what that means other than that we are who we are and we are family. The Sippin Cow embodies Bluffton.

At Sippin Cow, people from all walks of life gather to enjoy the fixin’s, but better yet, share their lives and stories over some good home cookin’. It might be a secret or not, but if you want something not on the menu, just ask. Owner, Christy Pinski will try to make it happen. Pinski’s secret to success is that she is the Sippin Cow. She treats everybody like they are her family and her staff and customers do the same in return.
Some enjoy the atmosphere, some come out of habit, some come for fellowship; everyone comes for the food. If you eat at “the Cow,” you are family. Don’t worry, be happy. You won’t go away hungry.

Breakfast and lunch are served every day except for Monday when the crew catches a break. Come on and get in “a state of mind.” You never know. We might sing, dance, and just be plain old crazy. Who cares? We are at the Cow.

Sippin Cow is located at 1230A May River Rd. in Old Town Bluffton. For information, visit or call (843) 757-5051.

12 Years
Gilman Floors

Secret to Success:
Best selection, reasonable prices, expert service

In 2001, with only a van and a few samples began the humble launch of Gilman Floors. Bluffton was just beginning to bloom. It was serendipitous that they chose to locate in Bluffton—now it’s in the center of everything!

Customers frequently ask, “What would you put in your home?” The ability to honestly answer that question really sets Gilman Floors apart from their competition. “Our goal and inspiration is to help each customer to create a beautiful home. The floor is the foundation of every room and makes a big impact on how you feel about your home.”

What’s Popular?
Hardwood. Hand-sculpted, oil-rubbed, distressed & repurposed, wide planks.

CARPET. Super soft, patterned carpet with lifetime stain resistance and 25-year wear warranties, memory foam cushion with moisture barrier, custom stair runners.

Vinyl—LVT. Luxury vinyl tile offers the look and feel of hardwood and the resilience of vinyl. LVT is perfectly suited for rental properties and commercial offices. Make no mistake; this is not your grandmother’s linoleum!

Tile & Stone. Glass tile kitchen backsplashes, river rock shower floors, 12 × 24 porcelain tile

Area Rugs. Indoor/outdoor synthetic sisal and seagrass, custom made-to-fit area rugs, value 8×10 rugs starting at $259

Stop by the showroom and visit with the knowledgeable, friendly sales associates at Gilman Floors, 1113 Fording Island Rd., Hwy. 278 (next to Home Depot), Bluffton (843) 757-5800,

11 Years
Mellow Mushroom

Secret to Success:
To always have top of the line food, service, atmosphere, and employees.

Eleven years ago when John and Kim Boyce opened their first Mellow Mushroom on Hilton Head Island, things were a little different. “Winters are much busier than when we first opened,” Kim said. Now the island keeps a pretty steady pace until summer arrives, and she says, “Because business keeps flowing year around, we can keep the employees happy, and that pays off in the busier summers with trained employees.”

Changes in technology have helped the business evolve as well. “There’s no substitute for being in your restaurant and talking to customers,” Kim said. However, technology has helped manage food and labor costs and makes it possible to interact with customers on the Internet. Adding a second Mellow Mushroom in Bluffton in 2011, technology continues to help the Boyces do what they do best: run a thriving business.

Of course, one thing that never changes is the great food. Periodically throughout the year the menu may change just enough to entice customers to try some new flavors and combinations, while always offering all the favorites that Mellow Mushroom fans crave. Currently celebrating Bootleg Bacon Fest, Kim says, “We’ve got some amazing pizzas; imagine eggs and bacon, with asparagus and truffle oil.”

Mellow Mushroom is a very happy place to be right now. “We’ve been focused from day one on good quality food, good quality people, good quality service, and a quality location,” Kim said. It seems everything is top of the line.

Mellow Mushroom Hilton Head, 33 Office Park Road, Park Plaza (843) 686-2474. Mellow Mushroom Bluffton, 878 Fording Island Road (843) 706-0800. Please visit

12 Years
Smith Stearns Tennis Academy

Secret to Success:*
Being a family-style academy

There are three steps to winning any tennis match.

1) Win the first game. Smith Stearns Tennis Academy took to the courts in 2002 and did just that. With fewer than 10 students, serves were tossed and lobs were smashed as a tennis family was formed, offering a full time academy focused on getting players ready to earn scholarships to compete at the college level, along with camps and private lessons. GAME!

2) Win the first set. That requires utilizing all the tools in your duffle, and Smith Stearns packed an impressive bag. The academy’s greatest assets are its world-class instructors, and that include its three founders. Former world #1 player, and U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion, Stan Smith is known for an impressive ability to communicate technique, strategy, and mental toughness. Smith approaches each interaction with a sense of integrity, valuing sportsmanship and courtesy above all else. Having coached 24 All-American collegiate players and NCAA champions, Billy Stearns is pivotal in helping students achieve their goal of playing collegiate tennis, known for his ability to build precision tennis strokes capitalizing on a student’s strengths. And bringing his own University of Texas collegiate experience, along with 18 national championships, B.J. Stearns, as the academy director is the driving force behind the academy’s impressive growth over the past five years…SET!

3) Win the match. With over 55 students from around the world, a reputation of being one of the best academies of its kind, and proven results with over 300 state, sectional, and national champions, Smith Stearns is proving to have real staying power. The academy’s family atmosphere provides that special something extra. “The owners are hands-on. They are on the court every single day, with Stan on the court teaching every single day that he’s in town,” said Kelley Stearns, academy administrator, director of student services, and a former national champion herself. In addition to academy administration, her role includes scheduling tournaments and travel, along with the many social and fun events planned throughout the year. “It’s more than just tennis. We hope that we can help students become the best tennis player they can be, but also the best person they can be off the court.” MATCH!

Smith Stearns Tennis Academy is located at 1 Lighthouse Lane, Hilton Head Island. For more information, call (843) 363-4789 or visit online at

10 Years
Photography By Anne

Secret to Success:
Love what you do and treat people like you wish to be treated!

Wayne Gretzky, the Hockey Hall of Fame player was known for his speed and agility, but the trait that was most admired by his teammates and competitors alike was his ability to “skate to where the puck was going to be”. When wedding clients of Photography by Anne view the pictures of their special day, they are amazed that they were able to capture so much of both the look and feel of this extraordinary time in their lives. It’s not only their ability to see the shot before it happens that separates them from competitors, it’s also an unwavering commitment to provide professional interaction at every contact and a can-do attitude to create the most positive customer experience.

Anne and her team strongly believe in loyalty. Loyalty is defined as the firm, unwavering devotion to a person or cause. In business, the term loyalty can refer to customer, brand, or employee loyalty. Customer loyalty is very important in any business, because it is the customer that comes back repeatedly to buy more of the same or related products or services that keeps a company going for a long time. New customers are, of course, always valued, but a one-time customer will not have as large an effect in the company’s long-term well-being as a loyal customer will.

Photography by Anne is grateful to have continued relationships with first class clients who “live” by the above, such as CH2 Magazine, Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Resort & ICON Creative.

If you haven’t heard, Photography by Anne is in the process of opening a second studio in downtown Charleston. The only thing missing from the city’s rich history, well-preserved architecture and celebrated restaurant community seems to be this talented group!

For more information go to

11 Years
The Blue Parrot

Secret to Success:
Warm and welcome staff and intriguing product mix

The Village at Wexford store, The Blue Parrot, opened in 2002, and very quickly became a destination for seekers of fresh, interesting hand-crafted gifts. Pandora Jewelry was added to the offerings in 2004, followed by wonderful jewelry lines such as Lori Bonn, John Medeiros, Firefly, We Dream in Color, and Robin Goodfellow. Customer favorites include local wines, tide clocks, patio sculptures that are Bluetooth speakers, wooden Santas from Russia, handbags, wall art from Southern artists, Wolfard oil lamps, the wonderful Farmhouse Fresh products—one of the top five favorite body care lines in the U.S., and the adorable Wee Forest Folk. At the same time, recent additions of products from Charleston Shoe Co. and John Wind Jewelry, are typical of the shop’s intention to be constantly changing and always current.

The Blue Parrot is located in the Village at Wexford Hilton Head Island, SC. For more information call (800) 252-6653 or (843) 785-9877

9 Years
T. J. Anderson of Atlantic Spray Foam

Secret to Success:
Being honest and truthful

After almost a decade of building a reputation as one of the area’s most skilled technicians in the spray foam insulation business, T. J. Anderson is appreciating the fruits of his labors, but most certainly is not resting on his laurels. Early in his career there was a time when his product was a foreign entity to most builders and homeowners in the Lowcountry. “I would have to spend 30 minutes to an hour just explaining the process,” says Anderson.

Now he uses that time to discuss ways that customers can make their property more efficient, and that doesn’t always include changes to their insulation. “I look at everything on the house. I try to look at the whole scope. Insulation may not be the issue.”

Anderson believes that it is well worth it to lose a customer in the short-run because a more pressing issue with their property may have come to light during his inspection. However, what he has learned is that these are the owners who will be coming back to him when the time is right. Crediting honesty, along with well-trained applicators, as the keys to successfully growing his business and reputation, Anderson believes that doing it right sets him apart from the competition. Additionally, air seal testing is conducted on every project to insure the house is 100% sealed.

A native of Statesboro, Georgia, Anderson has invested a decade building a professional reputation and a business, and growing his family here in the Lowcountry. “I love being here and I love what I do,” he shares. Anderson’s two young sons can look forward to learning a great deal about integrity, hard work, and honesty from their dad.

For more information, please call 843.441.6690 or visit

8 Years
Oak Advisors

Secret to Success:
Placing the needs of the client first.

For more than eight years, Oak Advisors has been one of the Hilton Head Island area’s most respected fee-only, wealth management firms. The firm, independently owned by partners John Chiacchiero and Michelle Myhre, CFP®, is not a brokerage firm or dealer of securities; the company is not affiliated with any broker, bank, accounting firm, law firm or insurance company. The company does not sell any insurance or any products or receive any commissions. All advice clients receive is objective and in their best interest.

Serving as a fiduciary, the key to their success has been based on the core principle of placing the needs of the client first. As a fee-only firm, the company has removed the conflicts of interest that often arise when associates are paid by commissions on the products and services that they recommend. Simply put, the company feels that working on a fee-only basis is the only way to deliver objective advice to clients with complex financial needs.

While the company has experienced substantial growth since its founding in 2005, its goal remains to create customized solutions for each client and to build long-term relationships with them.

The company’s culture emphasizes excellence in all areas of financial planning and portfolio management. As a result, all company employees are required to have either an advanced degree such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a professional designation such as Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFP®) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

The wealth management process requires specific skill sets and professional experience. The Oak Advisors team (including Christopher Kiesel, CFA, Al Cerrati, and Jennifer Thompson, CFP®) brings this necessary expertise to the process and ensures that their clients with complex financial planning and investment management issues find solutions
As Michelle Myhre, CFP® states, “At the end of the day, helping people get what they want defines our success.”

Oak Advisors is located at The Plaza at Belfair, 3 Clark Summit Drive, Suite 201. Call (843) 757-9339 for more information or visit

8 Years
Island Winery

Secret to Success:
We establish the “something for everybody”“ motto

Tucked away on the north end of the island, off the beaten path, Island Winery is a hidden gem, offering a unique concept perfectly tailored to Hilton Head Island. They hand-craft award-winning red and white wines from fresh grapes selected from the finest vineyards in the world, making popular varietals such as Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Noir and lesser-known classics such as Sangiovese, Tempranillo and Barbera.

If traditional wines aren’t your thing, no worries. They also offer a unique product line called Low Country Specialty Wines made from local fruits, including Peach On The Beach, Cranberry Sunset, Apple Cinnamon Wine and Margarita Wine. These refreshing recipes have broad appeal, and labels feature original artwork with Lowcountry themes.

Whether you are a visitor or a resident, your experience at Island Winery won’t disappoint. Sip wines amongst the barrels while enjoying a cheese platter. The extremely friendly and knowledgeable staff will make you feel at home. Free wine tastings are available daily from 12:30-5:30 p.m.; wine flights with a cheese platter are available daily from12:30-2:30 p.m.; or enjoy Happy Hour starting at 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

Can’t make it to the winery? Here are a few places where you can purchase Island Wines: The Island Gift Shop in Harbour Town, mid-island at The Fresh Market or in Bluffton at Vineyard 55. You can also shop online for wines, which can be shipped to most states.
Visit to learn about barrel tastings, private parties and custom labeling.

Island Winery is located at 12A Cardinal Rd. Call (843) 842-3141 for more information of visit winery is closed on Sundays.

8 Years
Carabbas Italian Grill

Secret to Success:
Pride in From-Scratch Cooking

A well-known name and great mid-island location on US 278 turn out to be only minor details when it comes to the popularity of Carrabbas Italian Grill on Hilton Head.

“We operate under a (Florida-based) corporate umbrella but one of the things that set us apart from the competition is that almost everything we serve here is made from-scratch, including our meatballs and pizza dough,” said proprietor Chris Hurt. “We’re a family-style Italian restaurant and one of our big draws is that we have an open kitchen where people can see the smoke and flames as we cook on our wood-burning grill.”

The format and friendly pricing starting at $10 per person on up to more expensive fine dining options has proven popular at more than 250 Carrabbas locations east of Houston, TX., earning a dedicated following and a #1 ranking from Zagat Survey. “Tourists come to us a little quicker because they know the name, but we also have developed a great rapport with the locals and offer great happy hours during the week,” Hurt noted.

Other ongoing specials include Wine Wednesdays when bottles and house pitchers are discounted ten bucks and Amore Mondays that feature a fixed-price menu and other food discounts. The regular menu covers all manner of popular Italian fare with plenty of pasta plus fresh seafood, chicken and meat dishes. Online ordering allows for quick pickup for meals at home.

“We’re proud of our staff and service, of course,” said Hurt, “but pride in our food is really what we’re all about.”

Carrabbas Italian Grill, 14 Folly Field Rd., Hilton Head, 843-785-5007, open Mon.-Fri. 4 p.m.-9:30 p.m., weekends 11 a.m.-10:00 p.m.

7 Years
Fat Baby’s Pizza & Subs

Secret to Success:*
We treat people the way we wanted to be treated

Pete Bernstein’s family was both the motivation and the inspiration behind his neighborhood pizza joint, Fat Baby’s Pizza and Subs on Hilton Head Island. This former restaurant owner took a few years away from the professional kitchens to stay at home with his two small children, but when he and his wife decided the timing was right, he was ready to open the classic pizza restaurant he’d long imagined. The name was inspired by his daughter’s nickname as an infant. “Now she’s a beautiful nine-year-old who is very proud to tell everybody how the name came about,” Bernstein said.

With delicious homemade dough and sauce, everything is fresh and made-to-order: pizzas, calzones, subs, salads, and appetizers. “Our sales have increased every year that we’ve been open,” Bernstein said. Now he and his long-time island team are ready to take it to the next level. Planning to be open by the first of the year, Fat Baby’s is moving just around the corner to 1034 William Hilton Parkway. “We were looking for a newer facility, a bigger facility, better parking, and we wanted to stay in the neighborhood. This new location satisfies all the criteria.”

The joint may really be jumpin’, but customers will always be able to count on great food, friendly faces, and a big thank you on their way out the door.

Fat Baby’s Pizza and Subs is located at 120 Arrow Road, Hilton Head Island. For more information, please call (843) 842-4200 or visit

6 Years
Le Cookery Hilton Head Island

Secret to Success:
Relationships are key to any success.

The recipe for business success on Hilton Head Island is simple, said co-owner of Le Cookery, Laurel Greif: “people, and your relationships.” Greif and her husband Chuck have been helping cooks all over Hilton Head Island for nearly seven years, providing them the tools and the serving wear they need to make their culinary creations special and their dinner guests impressed. Of all the ingredients for their success, what they keep closest to their hearts are the customers they help and the friends they make along the way.

Their store has brightly painted walls and a fun atmosphere where only the finest hand-painted serving wear, pots, pans and linens are sold. Located in the Village of Wexford, this store has been crucial for many island parties and continues to be a hidden gem.

“The secret to our success is greeting people, meeting them at the door and striking up a conversation,” Laurel Grief said. “Are they here on vacation? Did they just buy a house, or redo a kitchen, or maybe they need something special. We truly care about the people who come in our store and the friends we make. We don’t tell them what to buy; the big box stores do that. We explain the benefits of the products and take our time to educate anyone with a question. I think that is our secret ingredient to success.”

Le Cookery, The Village at Wexford, 1000 William Hilton Pkwy, Suite B3, Hilton Head Island. For more information, call (843) 785-7171 or visit

5 Years
Lowcountry Spine & Sport

Secret to Success: “First and foremost, find your passion. When you have passion for something, you work hard for it. You know it, believe in it, and you love it. Your customers or patients will appreciate that. Second, like my mom used to say, ‘Don’t get too big for your britches.’ I’m a doctor, but I don’t mind sweeping a dirty floor, answering a phone, or calling a patient directly. These ‘small’ tasks go a long way in the eyes of staff, patients and colleagues.”

Committed to community

Dr. John P. Batson grew up in the Lowcountry, the youngest of six with a single mom. He graduated from Hilton Head Island High School, and through his early years worked as a windsurfing instructor and kayak guide with Outside Hilton Head. During college, he volunteered hundreds of hours with Hilton Head Hospital. He has raised thousands of dollars for the Volunteers in Medicine Center during Kayak for Charity events. His medical practice has been a patron sponsor for the RBC Heritage of Golf for the past four years, and he has organized local physicians to jointly sponsor the event when the future of the tournament was in jeopardy. For over five years, he has served aas a volunteer team physician with Bluffton High School. Batson and his wife Alice currently serve as the American Heart Association Heart Ball chairs for 2014.

Committed to medicine

Batson graduated from USC School of Medicine and completed internship and residency in Greenville, S.C. He then completed dual fellowships in both Sports Medicine and Spinal Pain Medicine. In fact, he is the only physician in the State of South Carolina to hold these dual board certifications. He has lectured extensively in the field of sports medicine and spine care and has personally co-authored three book chapters in sports medicine and spine care. He is a fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine as well as a member of the International Spine Intervention Society, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine and the Pain Society of the Carolinas. He is a reviewer for the journal Current Sports Medicine Reports. For his dedication to medicine, he has been presented with the USC School of Medicine Young Alumni Award.

Committed to you

In private practice for over five years in the Lowcountry, Batson provides nonsurgical spine and sports medicine care in a safe and compassionate environment. He has performed literally thousands of spine and sports medicine procedures, medically proven and effective for pain. “If you are in pain, I will make every effort to provide prompt medical care. I will listen to your concerns and take time to examine you. I will order medical tests only when necessary to diagnose your problem. I will perform procedures only when medically necessary to treat your pain,” Batson said. “I will personally call and check on you if I performed a procedure for your pain. Above and beyond typical care and medical practice. That is what I promise to you.”

Dr John P. Batson, Lowcountry Spine & Sport, 300 New River Parkway, Suite 37, Hardeeville, SC, (843) 208-2420,

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