Downtown Clover poised for growth as town joins Main Street South Carolina program
Author: Kendall Morris
Published: 6:38 PM EST January 24, 2022
Updated: 9:11 PM EST January 24, 2022
CLOVER, S.C. — Downtown Clover is poised for big moves over the next three years as the city joins the Main Street South Carolina program at the aspiring level.
The small town’s downtown district is filled with the familiar charm of historic buildings, with a mix of businesses ready to welcome people off the streets.
“I always say it’s like the little town of Mayberry, but just like a 2022 town of Mayberry, I guess you could say,” Alicia Griffith, one of the owners of Carolina Chocolate Company, said.
It’s part of the reason why Griffith opened a storefront a block off Main Street about six years ago.
The chocolate company has grown from a group of stay-at-home moms sticking on the labels to grocery store chains now selling the sweet treats.
“It’s fun and crazy and exciting,” Griffith said. "And it’s a lot of work.”
The shop only serves retail customers from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, benefitting from the foot traffic as downtown Clover has grown over the last few years.
“A lot of younger families that are getting out and walking ... and you know, wanting to support small businesses and local, so it’s just been a really nice growth to sit and be a part of," Griffith said.
The Vault Bottle Shop is part of the growth in Clover.
The shop opened in January 2021 as a new addition to Main Street.
“Saw that this place was available, and I had been kicking the tires on opening a bottle shop outside of Charlotte somewhere, so it all just fell into place,” Brent Voye, owner of The Vault Bottle Shop, said.
Voye transformed the former bank, complete with a vault for authenticity, into a new spot downtown to grab a beer or glass of wine in-house or on the go.
“You’ve got a couple new businesses,” Voye said. “I think two or three, as well as myself, that have all opened over the last year or so, so I don’t think it’s going to stop anytime soon.”
The growth downtown is happening as a resource team from the Main Street South Carolina program is set to visit in March.
According to its website, “Main Street South Carolina empowers residents with the knowledge, skills, tools and organizational structure necessary to revitalize their downtowns, neighborhood commercial districts and cities/towns into vibrant centers of commerce and community.”
Over the next three years, the program aims to revitalize the area, while preserving its history and the progress that’s already been made.
“What we want to do is celebrate those businesses and their investment in the downtown,” Jenny Boulware, state coordinator and manager of Main Street South Carolina, said. "But we also want to find opportunities to expand the work that they’re doing and find good neighbors to be a part of downtown’s growth.”
Boulware said the program will focus on design elements, identifying partners, promoting and branding the downtown area, and addressing economic development.
By the end of the three-year program, Boulware said she hopes to see downtown Clover 100% occupied, or close to it, and to have a renewed enthusiasm in the Main Street area.
“Downtowns are bringing back a lot of that community fabric of knowing your neighbors, supporting them, and knowing that you’re buying local,” Boulware added.
View more news