SC Real Foods operating in renovated building
FLORENCE, S.C. — S.C. Real Foods has moved to a different location, but its goal stays the same: to provide the Pee Dee with wholesome, enjoyable foods that taste good and provide health benefits.
S.C. Real Foods, started in 2011 in the old Pee Dee Christian Book & Supply Store at 120 Sebrell Street by Andrew and Valerie Criswell, relocated to 1225 Celebration Blvd. in the old Mi Tierra’s building in 2018.
Valerie Criswell, president of the company, said the store — after two months of renovations — was able to hold its grand reopening last week.
“We are so excited,” Criswell said. “This has been a long time coming. We’ve served the community for six years in what seemed to be a remote location with our niche customer base, but now we’re looking to expand out to provide good, healthy products that can benefit everyone.”
Criswell said the store introduced a new LED lighting system, replaced the ceiling tiles, had an electrician reconfigure the electricity to handle the S.C. Real Food refrigerators, completely gutted the kitchen and put in new equipment, freshened up the new walls with paint, and put a new sign outside on the building.
“It’s been a lot of fun to watch customers who were when it was the Mi Tierra’s Mexican restaurant to walk in and see the transformation that we’ve done here,” Criswell said. “I know it was difficult for our customers as we had two months of being closed as we moved from the old building to this one and did renovations, but I think people see why it took so long when they come in. We love to watch their faces as they see the transformation we’ve made.”
Criswell said that the work on the building could not have been done without her staff.
“My staff normally cooks, bakes and handles things of that nature,” she said. “They graciously stayed in employment by painting and cleaning. I appreciate them and the dedication that they worked with in the effort to help get this store up and running.”
Criswell said the company is excited to be the anchor store at the corner of West Palmetto and Celebration and believes the new location will help it serve a much wider range of people in the Florence area.
“Our traffic flow has greatly increased,” she said. “There are a lot of people working during the day in the community that will be well-served. We know that it’s a great alternative for those lunch customers where they previously only had options of the fast-food sort. They have an opportunity to have a wholesome home-cooked meal during their busy day.”
The company has partnered with Victor’s Restaurant to provide fresh meals and is continuing to look for other opportunities to promote healthy lifestyles in the Pee Dee community.
On the big sign out front, you’ll see a windmill. Criswell said that windmill represents that S.C. Real Foods is the only store, to their knowledge, that provides fresh-milled flour and fresh-milled baked goods.
“We have our own flour mill in the back,” she said. “We take the whole grains and we mill them right here in our store and use whole-fresh flour. Our customers have access to that product as a baking ingredient for themselves which we do for them. We do it right here on site, on demand, for the customer.”
For more information, follow S.C. Real Foods on Facebook or visit screalfoods.com. On the website, the company has a weekly e-mail list for customers to stay up-to-date on what’s going on at the store.
“We love that families can have access to quality, nutritious food that will add to their health,” Criswell said. “We know that it’s in great demand. Time is extremely constrained for most families. So many times, families find themselves in a bind where the kids are screaming or you’re just hungry and have a headache after working all day and you just need some food. Now, they have the option to get something that is just as if they would’ve prepared it at home from scratch.
“That is a blessing to them and it’s a blessing to us, as well.”