Highlighting Some Incredible Charleston Small Business Owners

Highlighting Some Incredible Charleston Small Business Owners

Charleston, South Carolina has a lot to offer, from its Southern hospitality to its charming historic architecture and delicious food options.  In particular, the small business scene in Charleston is absolutely incredible!  In today’s blog, we’re highlighting just a few of the extremely talented small business owners doing their thing (and doing it oh so well) in Charleston.

Rodney Scott – Rodney Scott’s BBQ  

Rodney’s love for barbecue started at a young age: He has been cooking whole-hog barbecue since middle school! He opened Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ in 2017 to immediate popularity and well-earned recognition, including a spot on Bon Appetit Magazine’s 50 Best New Restaurants of the year list. In addition to making finger-licking good food, Rodney has a spirit of generosity and positivity to be admired.  The restaurant’s motto (“Every Day is a Good Day”) sums it up perfectly!

Sean Mendes – Gillie’s Seafood and Soul Food 

Sean Mendes opened Gillie’s Seafood as an ode to his grandmother and her comforting recipes. He not only owns the restaurant but is the chef as well, making everything on the menu from scratch with love! His talent in the kitchen is no secret, as he’s been featured on everything from the Travel Channel to Food Network. But even more important at Gillie’s is the warm, homey feeling Sean’s food can provide to all of its customers. 

Sani and Felicity Huger – Hannibal’s Kitchen 

Hannibal’s Kitchen has been in the Huber family since 1985, and is now run by sisters Sani and Felicity Huger. Sani and Felicity are true to their family’s tradition of providing affordable, authentic lowcountry cuisine to the community. They feed the souls and the stomachs of their customers, but they do so much more than that as well.  The Huger family has always made sure their restaurant is involved in the betterment of their community, from festivals to cookouts to youth programming.

Nigel Drayton – Nigel’s Good Food 

Nigel Drayton is a perfect example of persistence and working your way up.  He started out in the restaurant industry as a busboy and by the ripe age of 25 had become a Kitchen Manager.  It was all uphill from there: He now owns 2 locations of Nigel’s Good Food, along with the Slaughter House BBQ and Brew.  His skills in the kitchen can’t be denied, but it’s his dedication to his family and community that is really most admirable about Nigel.

Carolyn and Kenyatta McNeil – Nana’s Seafood and Soul

The mother and son duo of Carolyn and Kenyatta NcNeil is a force to be reckoned with!  They established Nana’s Seafood and Soul in memory of their mother/grandmother and have spent the past decade nourishing both souls and stomachs with their fresh lowcountry cuisine. They can always be found serving up their delicious soul food with a smile!

Ebony Mullins – Leeah’s Old Village Wine Shop 

The owner of Leeah’s Old Village Wine Shop, Ebony Mullins, is impressive for a number of reasons!  Not only did she and her wife Kym open Leeah’s in the middle of a pandemic, but Ebony also holds two Masters degrees, and won the “Modern Technology Leader” award at the Black Engineer of the Year awards.  Her talents are many and varied, just like the selection of wine, beer, and snacks in her wine shop in the heart of Charleston.

Mimi Striplin – The Tiny Tassel

Outside the world of food and drink, there are tons of other incredible Charleston small business owners as well.  One of these amazing individuals is Mimi Striplin, the owner of The Tiny Tassel.  This adorable brand launched online originally, before setting up shop in their flagship store in Charleston in 2021.  Mimi brings a pop of color and happiness with all of the handmade apparel, accessories, jewelry, and more in her shop. Beyond her successful boutique, Mimi does great work for the small business community as well, particularly in working on behalf of BIPOC business owners like herself.

These 7 small business owners are all making waves and leaving their mark on the Charleston community in their own unique ways.  From barbecue to wine to fashion accessories, their products are amazing, but these dedicated entrepreneurs are even more amazing themselves! 

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