Main Street will have a new addition later this year, and its arrival will be good news for food lovers.
Local Yocal. a boutique food market, will open its doors at 1712 Main Street this summer. “The store is the brainchild of [owner] Ayme [Rushing] and myself,” said Jennifer Zagata, the new store’s chief creative officer. The two have been working to make the project happen for almost four years, and have big plans for its future.
Zagata is a Columbia native, and Rushing is a local attorney and longtime resident. “I have watched the city grow, and now to be part of something that takes everything I love about this city, it really is exciting,” Zagata said.
The new market will not be a “grocery store,” but a boutique, offering a variety of items designed to appeal to those Zagata and Rushing hope will become their regular customers. “We’re here for the patrons of the Main Street district and the surrounding area,” Zagata said. “We are very focused on local.”
The store will carry locally produced grocery items and beer and wine, but that’s only the beginning. “I tend to go way far in creativity,” Zagata said. “I’m not limiting us.” The plans include offerings such as a freshly pressed juice bar, milkshakes, flavored boiled peanuts, grab and go gourmet sandwiches and salads, and much more.
“You could come in and pick up a box and it has portioned out, already ready ingredients for something like chicken marsala,” Zagata said of her plans for “take it and make it” boxes. “You go home, you open the box, you pull out a pan, and you cook it.”
Zagata and Rushing are ready to adapt to the needs of their customers, and hope to create an atmosphere which makes people want to come in again and again. They plan to have tables out front for guests to relax and enjoy a beverage. Patrons can also sip a glass of wine or beer as they shop. The store will be a family-friendly one, offering gift baskets, old-fashioned toys, and local art on display and for sale.
“I think we need to reconnect as a community,” Zagata said. “I want to have an area where kids can go and touch things.” Rushing and Zagata plan to support local nonprofits too, focusing on a different one each month and selling fundraising items.
Rushing and Zagata are working with local contractor Bobbitt on the construction, and praised the work of the Bobbitt team as well as help received from Security Federal and City Center Partnership. The store’s building housed the law offices of the late attorney Harvey Golden for many years.
“It’s going to be great,” Zagata said. More information on Local Yocal is available here.