One of the greatest aspects of so-called Mom-and-Pop businesses is that they tend to have a deep sense of community. Some of them will team up together on a recipe (Brown's Court Bakery/The Green Door), while others will come together for a large event (Food Truck Rodeos).
The most heart-warming examples are when a small entity goes above-and-beyond for one of their customers. These types of acts strengthen the bond between small business and customer/city.
One of my readers recently experienced a situation like that and told me about it. Although the businesses involved aren't located in Charleston, I still felt the story needed to be passed along.
The reader's aunt, who lives in Maryland, is dying of ovarian cancer. The reader currently lives in Summerville and unfortunately can't make the trip to see her relative. On top of that, she rarely gets to even speak with her aunt because many times she is too weak to answer her hospital's bedside phone.
Thankfully, other relatives are able to pass along updates and stories, one of which involved the aunt mentioning how she was craving morel mushrooms. The reader immediately went on the hunt for them. The mushrooms weren't in season in Maryland, but the reader discovered that they grow in South Carolina earlier due to the weather. She made a few calls, sent out emails and eventually heard back from Mountain Mushroom in Liberty, SC. The business had some morels in stock (in dehydrated form) and were more than willing to help out. Mountain Mushroom was taking the dried morels from their personal stock and gave the reader a break on price.
The reader then reached out to a restaurant in Maryland called Black Eyed Susan because her aunt wanted them prepared a certain way, which this location was known to do. A chef at the restaurant not only agreed to cook the mushrooms, but would do so free-of-charge.
Both businesses involved also promised that they would do their best to hunt down fresh morels for the aunt.
I don't know about you, but that story is very touching. Both businesses not only offered to help a customer that they didn't know previously, but they went above-and-beyond to meet her request. If you ever have a chance to purchase from either of the businesses listed, you should do it. I know I will.