Market on Main
Healthy Food Loan
Healthy Food Enterprise
Rural Lake View, SC, located near the North Carolina border about 50 miles northwest of Myrtle Beach, was a small town without access to nutritious food. In fact, the closest place to buy fresh meats, fruits and vegetables was at least 10 miles away.
With help from the South Carolina Community Loan Fund (SCCLF), Matthew Elvington is going to change that. A pillar of the Lake View community, Elvington refurbished an old pizza place on Main Street and built the town’s only grocery store, offering healthy food at a fair price to the people of his community.
Elvington spent $60,000 of his family’s money buying the building, but banks were leery of offering him conventional financing. So he attended one of SCCLF's Loan Application workshops last year and worked with the Small Business Development Center to complete his business plan. He used his $75,000 SCCLF loan to renovate the building and purchase the necessary machinery and inventory.
Elvington says SCCLF staff went the extra mile to provide business advice, technical assistance and a blueprint for success.
Opening a store and providing nutritious food to his community is a dream of Matthew and his late mother Diane who used her 401(k) to help purchase the grocery store building but lost her life to cancer soon after. The acronym of the store’s name, Market on Main, is an homage to “Mom.”
The store is also important to the people of Lake View. “The community is tickled to death,” Elvington says. “They’re tired of travelling 13 miles to get a pepper.”
Besides bringing healthy food options to the people of his hometown, Elvington also planned to hire four people to start when the store opened.