Saturday will mark the end of an era for Andy Zalkin and the Army Navy Store in downtown Columbia.
“There is no place in downtown Columbia for a place like mine,” Zalkin said Thursday from his store at 1621 Main St. “I’ve spent six months trying to find a place and there is no place to go.”
The Army Navy Store has been a staple in downtown Columbia since 1947, when Zalkin’s great uncle, Danny Roth, opened the military surplus store on Washington Street after returning to Columbia following World War II. In 1982, the store moved to its 2,400-square-foot Main Street location and, for a short time, operated both locations before closing the Washington Street location. Zalkin took over as owner 28 years ago.
On Oct. 2, the building housing the Army Navy Store and Salina Café was sold to Agape Senior, the senior care services company. Salina Café closed shortly thereafter. Zalkin says he has been asked to vacate the space as well. Saturday will be his last day open for business there. The days to follow will be full of packing up the store’s goods, which includes a kilt from the movie Brigadoon.
While Zalkin could not find space to relocate downtown, he plans to keep the family business alive. He has located a space in West Columbia where he can maintain proximity to the city bus line and be as close as possible to his main customer base: students from USC, Benedict College and Columbia College. Because he has yet to finalize the lease for that space, he could not provide the address but says he hopes to be opening there within weeks.
‘Fountain of Youth’ spa opens in Forest Acres
For Debra Mitchell, a successful spa doesn’t just give good massages — it offers a wide assortment of wellness and therapy options tailored for every customer.
That’s why this week, Mitchell — a licensed medical doctor with a pharmacy background — opened Endless Vitality Aesthetic Center, a new full-service medical spa at 4406A Forest Drive.
The spa offers a range of beautification services, including customized facials, injectables, eye-lash extensions, spray tanning, non-laser skin treatments and laser services, such as hair removal, skin resurfacing, scar and stretch mark removal and hyperpigmentation removal.
In addition to Mitchell, the spa employs estheticians Valencia Conde and Brooke Baken.
Jerky craze comes to Columbia
And the anti-carb, gluten-free diet trend has been a great thing for the makers of beef jerky.
In fact, according to market research firm IRI, jerky has become a $1.5-billion industry in the United States and sales are up 46 percent since 2009.
That’s great news for Kassandra Segars, owner of the new Columbia Beef Jerky Outlet, which will celebrate its grand opening Saturday at 1206 Bower Parkway off Harbison Boulevard.
“Beef jerky is the latest food craze — Americans (are) craving high-protein, low-fat snacks,” said Segars, a former teacher in Lexington School District One.
Now a national chain that began with one store in Seymour, Tenn., in 2010, Beef Jerky Outlet has six founder-owned stores and 47 franchise locations in 26 states with plans to grow to more than 100 locations across the United States in 1.5 years. The shops can already be found in Greenville, Florence, Conway, Myrtle Beach and Charleston.
The Columbia location specializes in more than 200 jerky varieties and sizes, including specialty meats like kangaroo, alligator, venison and elk with flavors ranging from Moonshine to Cajun.
The store plans to donate 10 percent of Saturday’s sales to the Palmetto chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.