Mon, May 20, 2024

CSRA retailer rises from the smoke to a sweet new location

It’s been a wild ride for True Aiken shop owner, Sarah Dodge since the first of the year. That might seem appropriate for a retailer smack in the middle of Aiken’s horse country and whose first sales came from last year’s Steeplechase event in November.

Response was great for her line of merchandise, much of which is Aiken-branded. In January, Dodge opened at 311 Hayne Avenue SW. Less than two months later, the office next door caught fire and the smoke damage was too much, resulting in the closing of her business.

With the determination of a thoroughbred running the Steeplechase, a few days ago, she announced True Aiken will reopen in a new location, 146 Laurens Street.

“I’m so excited. We had about 600 square feet of space in our former location and now, we have more than double that amount. It’ll be great to have additional space in the back for storing inventory,” Dodge explained.

Cyndi’s Sweet Shoppe at 146 Laurens Street

If True Aiken’s new address sounds familiar, it was the home of Cyndi’s Sweet Shoppe for 10 years. Cindy and her husband, Dick Rudisill closed the popular candy store in September 2023. As she posted on social media, “When the rent on the space went up by a lot, we just couldn’t afford that.”

Dodge has had a different experience so far with the owner and recognizes that the location is good for building her business.

“We are looking at adding inventory and creating a new space so that when customers shop here, they will tell their friends, ‘If you are in Aiken you have to check out True Aiken.’ “

Her goal is to reopen the shop in May. “Hopefully by Mother’s Day.”

Editor’s Note:
Mitzi Oxford is a veteran broadcaster and features writer who also worked at the same television station in Columbus, Georgia as Augusta’s Brad Means! If you have a South Carolina story idea for Mitzi, please email her at mitzioxfordcreative@gmail.com.

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