Friday is a Great Day for Food- A Teenage Perspective

Friday is a Great Day for Food- A Teenage Perspective

Friday is a Great Day for Food- A Teenage Perspective

After waiting all week, it’s finally time for my favorite day, Food Friday. Disclaimer: if you haven’t eaten lunch yet, this might be a little hard to read. My apologies. At first, I couldn’t think of a whole lot of local restaurants, but, after sitting down and naming them all, I realized I had a lot more options to choose from than my stomach could handle in one day. I sure did try, though.

After being convinced to wake up extra early, I went with my dad to Guignard Diner, where I spoke with Bobbie Richardson while I drank coffee (naturally) and had really good pancakes- a great way to start off my Friday morning. I felt bad for interrupting the Romeo Club that eats there every morning, but I had good reasons to do so. Everyone in the Sumter area and even all across America know who Bobbie Richardson is, but, for most who don’t know, he is actually the man responsible for re-introducing my grandparents and getting them back together, and if it wasn’t for him, I might have never even existed, so thanks. The former second baseman for the Yankees loves Outback steak, the Guignard Diner’s country cooking, and how supportive Sumter has been through all the years. He said Sumter used to even have parades for him in honor of him being named MVP on a losing team. He’s been a player, coach, speaker, and so much more throughout his lifetime, and I’m so glad I got the chance to speak with him and listen to him tell stories, and to also eat pancakes.

For my first snack of the day, I stopped at Willie Sue’s, where I ordered the same thing I get pretty much every time- the house salad. My waitress called me out for not being adventurous with my food-making decisions, which I guess I deserved, but the salad was still very good. It was a lot of food, so I decided to take the rest home in a to-go box, which, of course, I left on the table. Good going, me. I’ll be back soon, though, to try the gator bites my waitress suggested and to get the salad again, of course.

Next, we stopped at Yummy, the new Thai restaurant on Broad. I took my brother to get Pad Thai, and so I could try Boba tea for the first time. They make whatever flavor you want (and there are quite a lot of options,) and then you can add in the flavored beads that go with it. Since they had a buy three get one free option, we got a mango, banana-strawberry, chocolate, and Taro flavored (with the beads.) They were all delicious, but my personal favorite was chocolate. My brother also figured out that some flavors of the beads burst when you bite them, which is fun, until he thinks it’s a good idea to throw them at my car and watch them explode. I made him wash my car, don’t worry.

Sarah ended up joining John and I (again, but we love her,) for a snack of fried mac and cheese and collard greens at Simply Southern Bistro. I’ve always wanted to try the fried balls of mac and cheese, so today just seemed like the perfect day to do it. And, oh boy, was I glad I got those. I definitely give them a 10/10, and now I know what I’m ordering next time.

Considering my stomach was about to explode from the amount of food I had consumed, my last visit was to Baskin Robbins so I could try something else that was strawberry cheesecake flavored, my new favorite dessert- for the fourth time this week. I got a (small) cup of strawberry cheesecake ice cream, which, I must say, was very good, even though I couldn’t finish it all for obvious reasons. I realize my last stop wasn’t local, but, next time you’re thinking of stopping at another chain restaurant for the millionth time, why not try something local? They’re more options around you than you think that you can only find here, so go out and try something new today.

Yet Another Strawberry Cheesecake Treat

Always A Good Meal

Bishopville – A Teenage Perspective

Bishopville – A Teenage Perspective

Bishopville – A Teenage Perspective

I was told today was my day to explore the recreational side of the counties that form TheLINK. And, to spice things up, I went beyond Sumter County into Lee County to visit Bishopville. I’m a little embarrassed to say I’ve never been, but experiencing a town through new eyes ended up being really helpful to enriching my experience.

First, I started my morning out the way it should always start- with coffee. I cheated a little and got Starbucks instead of going local like I had previously promised myself I would do this week, but the drive-thru seemed like my best option so I could get going on my drive to Bishopville. When I got there, I obviously had to visit one of the town’s most well-known attractions, the topiary garden of Pearl Fryar. I hadn’t been since I was too young to even understand what I was looking at, but, wow, coming back and being able to take it all in is truly amazing. It’s quite the place over there and definitely worth the drive. I spoke to the man himself, briefly, but I’m sure it takes a lot of time to create and keep up with that insane garden of his. If you’re looking for a new spot to take pictures, which I always am, this is it (thanks to my friend Sarah for being my model for the day. If you’re reading this, you’re the best.) I might have gotten attacked by fire ants after accidently stepping in an ant bed (totally my fault, by the way,) but that didn’t change my mind about the gardens, thankfully. And, right across the street just so happened to be where I was going to stop anyway for lunch, so Harry and Harry Too became my next point of interest. I’m always up for a good wrap, so I ordered the Cedar Creek wrap and fruit, which was delicious. It’s always nice to find a new spot to eat other than Chick-fil-A or Cookout, A.K.A. my second homes.

Now, Sarah and I’s next stop was something neither of us ever even thought of being able to see. You guessed it, The Button Museum. After driving to what seemed like the middle of nowhere, we finally made it. I’ll admit, Sarah really didn’t have a say in whether or not we came here, but I think I speak for both of us when I say that was a pretty unique experience, and I have never seen anything like it, that’s for sure. The overwhelming amount of buttons is a lot to take in, but trust me, not every state can say they have an actual button museum. Not only that, but it was listed as the largest button collection in the 1990 Guinness Book of World Records. Pretty cool, huh?

While in downtown Bishopville, we stopped at Get Down Pound, the local bakery. Seeing as how I had lots of options to choose from, I decided to get a variety of cakes and such to try. I bought a slice of strawberry cake, red velvet cake, and strawberry cheesecake (obviously.) I “taste-tested” the strawberry cheesecake and strawberry cake, which ended up just being me eating way too much cake and telling myself “it’s for the blog” as an excuse. I also got a cup of banana pudding that I unfortunately did not get to try because of something I like to call “the younger sibling advantage,” meaning he gets to eat my food without asking with no repercussions. Thanks a lot, John. I also received a free slice of pound cake on the house for being a first-timer at the bakery. Thankfully, I’m able to tell you that it was really good, since I found it before my brother did. But, in all seriousness, it really was some of the best cake and best service I’ve ever had, so go get your free pound cake, first-timers.

We finished our day off with everyone’s favorite, the Cotton Museum. For just three dollars each, we got to see not only the Cotton Museum, but also the Veteran’s Museum. As a bonus, I got my change back in two dollar bills that were made out of 80 percent cotton. Wild, right? We also got a personal tour of part of the museum from Eddie Grant, the Executive Director. He also managed a fully integrated cotton mill for over thirty years, and is very knowledgeable in the cotton and veterans parts of the museum. I’ll be back there soon to buy the famous Lizard Man shirt, I can promise you that.

Other than getting a speeding ticket on the way home (sorry dad,) the day was over-all pretty exciting with plenty to keep us busy. Thank you, Bishopville, for showing me that the term “small-town” has nothing to do with the quality of entertainment this town provided for me today. I can’t wait to bring more people to enjoy one of the world’s largest button collections- they’re missing out..

Bishopville Mural

Car at Button Museum

Button Man

Pearl Fryar's Topiary Garden

Butterfly at Topiary Garden

Cotton Museum

Discovering ‘New’ Places – A Teenage Perspective

Discovering ‘New’ Places – A Teenage Perspective

Discovering ‘New’ Places – A Teenage Perspective

If you’re just passing through Sumter, it might just look like another basic little town. But, if you stop to look around and pay attention to the entertaining activities and rich history that lies here, you’d be impressed, just like I was.

I started my adventure off with a new local restaurant in downtown Sumter, The Sidewalk Café. I invited my friend Walker to come eat with me (mostly so I didn’t look like a loner eating by myself again.) The Caesar salad was delicious, and Walker rated his chicken salad sandwich and side salad (without tomatoes, of course) a “5/5.” The waitress said it was originally Watson Pharmacy, but is now a really cute café with really good food. It has been open since November of last year, so if you haven’t tried it yet, I suggest you do.

I passed by Lincoln High School on my way to my next stop, which I’ve never really heard anything about. That’s probably because it’s no longer open, but still, I wanted to check it out, because why not? It was open from 1874-1969 until it merged with Edmunds High School in 1969 to form Sumter High School. You learn something new every day, or at least I did today.

Knowing my friend Carly loves having fun just as much as I do, I asked her to come roller skating with me. Not really what I had planned for twelve o’clock on a Wednesday, but neither of us had been to Gamecocks on Wheels in years, and what’s more entertaining than wearing shoes with wheels and trying not to fall? We were definitely the oldest skaters in there by five years, but that just added to the experience.

Next on my list was the Sumter County Gallery of Art, which really is one of my personal favorite places to visit. Being able to admire other artists work from all over the area is truly remarkable. Walking through the classrooms upstairs made me nostalgic since I practically lived there in my childhood years.  The gallery opened in 1970 after the Sumter Artists Guild decided they wanted to establish a place to display their work along with other outside artists. The gallery eventually moved from its original location on Liberty to a home on Main Street built in 1850. Sumter County renovated part of the former Edmunds High School in 1850 into Patriot Hall, and later made the science wing into the gallery’s new location in 2003, where it still is today. And that, folks, is your history lesson for today. No need to thank me.

I brought my camera along for the ride and took some pictures at the Sumter Court House. It has been in operation since 1802 at its current location on Harvin but was wasn’t completely finished until 1806. I probably looked like a creep walking around taking pictures on the main lawn, but you gotta do whatcha gotta do. Most people probably never notice the World War II memorial or the statue of Thomas Sumter out front, but they’re there, and I have pictures to prove it. If you ever have time and want to learn some quick facts about the man this town was named after, I’ll leave it up to you to go check it out. You know you wanna.

My last stop of the day was probably (most definitely) the least historic place I visited. You guessed it- Pelicans, again. After I branched out Monday and ordered something other than pink lemonade, I decided to go with the strawberry cheesecake yet again. It’s now my favorite. I ran into some friends of mine, which goes to show how popular this place is, even at two o’clock on a weekday. And, if you’re wondering if my tongue is bright red again, it is, but it’s totally worth it.

Rolling Around Sumter

Gallery Classroom Flowers

Gallery Wall Art

Thomas Sumter Statue

Sumter Court House

Statue Outside Gallery

Interesting People – A Teenage Perspective

Interesting People – A Teenage Perspective

Interesting People – A Teenage Perspective

“Hello! My name is Elise Osteen and I’m interning at the Regional Economic Development Headquarters!” seems to be the top phrase of today’s adventures. My job today was to annoy the people of Sumter with oddly personal questions, such as where’s your favorite restaurant? What’s your favorite part of Sumter? Would you like to buy a box of Thin Mints? (I’m obviously kidding with that last one.) There’s a whole community of amazing and interesting people with different stories and backgrounds that I’ve gotten the chance to explore around town. With my assignment today just being “people,” I was a little nervous if I’m being completely honest, but, contrary to my prior beliefs, it was actually a relatively simple task. Basically, just meet new people. That doesn’t mean I went and introduced myself to every stranger on the street (don’t worry), it just means I was able to find out more about someone than just their label, such as waitress, store owner, or cashier, which ended up being incredibly fascinating to a teenager who used to see Sumter as another boring small town. I’m here to tell you it’s NOT. The people here make all the difference in the world to building an enjoyable and close-knit community like this one.

The first of many I had the pleasure of meeting today was Joe Perry, who is the Communications Coordinator for Sumter County Government and, additionally, claims that he is “good at lunch.” He’s been working and living in Sumter since 2005 but took time off to be a stay-at-home dad for a while. Perry also creates content for the county website, which Matthew Morse, who works in the tourism communications office, has been working on revising for a couple of months now. He claims it’s been more work than he thought, but the new and improved Sumter website will now have features such as being able to register online. There’s a lot more work than I thought that goes into tasks like these, I sure couldn’t do it, but shoutout to Perry and Morse for always helping out and looking for new ways to improve the county.

I stopped by my dad’s office at Coldwell Banker to say hello, like the sweet daughter I am, and to also ask for money, but that’s not important. I talked with one of his co-workers, Jay Davis, about his Sumter experience after living here his whole life. He said he wouldn’t change anything about Sumter and personally likes the downtown area. With two of his kids being in my class, he added that he feels it’s a great place to raise your children. I talked with another man at Little’s Cleaners who has also lived here his entire life, and even though the thought of living one place my entire life kind of freaks me out, Gary Elmore loves the small town, personal feel to Sumter. He said he gets the shakes if he goes too far out of town (which concerns me a little bit, but I assume he’s kidding.) It’s provided a place for his whole family to live, and a place to open his family’s dry-cleaning service that’s been in business since 1997. Despite Sumter bringing in new restaurants downtown, his favorite restaurant is his backyard. After I left, Garry stopped me in the parking lot to share with me his work (and life) philosophy: “The greatest human characteristic is to anticipate the needs of others,” which is now added to my “possible senior quotes” list. Thanks Gary.

Today I did something I never thought I’d do: visit the library. I met with Robert Harding, the director of the Sumter County Library and lover of Side Bar, who was also born and raised here. He informed me that it’s more than just a library, it’s a center of community. I also learned that they offer a number of programs for children, teens, and adults. Since I am, in fact, a teen, I learned more about the program, which allows people ages 13-18 to meet and talk about programming, explore, and get involved with the library. So, if you’re a tech wiz or a book nerd (or not, that’s fine too,) I highly suggest checking it out.

Since all I found to eat for breakfast in my pantry was a flavorless oatmeal packet, I decided I would grub at one of my favorite restaurants in Sumter for lunch, the Thai House. I ordered the spicy crab roll which I rate a 10/10. I get it almost every time I go, and it never disappoints. I keep telling myself I’ll branch out and try something new, but we all know that isn’t going to happen. My waitress, Saengduean, is from Thailand and has been living in America for 10 years now. She loves Sumter, even though she says she has no idea why she came, but nonetheless enjoys raising her three kids here. So, the next time you’re driving down Bultman, I suggest you stop by and try the spicy crab roll.

I had the wonderful opportunity to be my dad’s guest at Rotary, where we played a round of Kahoot to start us off. I’m not gonna lie, when I heard the Kahoot theme song start playing, I started to freak out because I’ve never heard that music outside of school, and I didn’t think I would hear it again until late August, but that’s okay. Two new members of Rotary spoke and told their stories to introduce themselves. Never did I think that Miss Nebraska would be joining the Sumter Rotary Club, but as I always say, life’s crazy. I learned that because of Rotary, the Polio disease has been reduced 99.9% since 1988 and that this year’s theme is “be an inspiration.” It was definitely an hour well spent.

Because my car’s A/C decided to break in the middle of July, naturally, I thought it would be a good idea to get a snow cone from Pelican’s, A.K.A. Sumter’s new hotspot. I was informed that one of the most popular flavors was strawberry cheesecake, so I decided to try it. There’s also a dill pickle flavor on the menu, but considering I hate pickles and that sounds disgusting, I passed on that one for now. I actually hate how much I liked strawberry cheesecake flavored ice, but yeah, I highly recommend it. The only downside is it turns your tongue bright red, which honestly is more of a bonus now that I think about it. So, if you’re ever wondering what to do in Sumter, sitting in your car listening to good music and eating flavored ice is a pretty solid option.

Since I still had time left after half of my snow cone melted from the lack of airflow in my car, going to look at animals seemed like the appropriate thing to do. I whipped on over to Petco to look at the cats and ferrets they had out and took some pictures. I went to look for someone to interview that worked there, and it just so happens that the girl behind me at Pelican’s was at the cash register (crazy, I know.) So, I talked with Beth about this strange encounter (and if you’re wondering, she got a fruity pebbles flavored snow cone) and found out that she thinks just like most other 20-year-olds living in a small-ish town. Like most people around my age, the goal is to get out as fast as you can and move as far away as possible, but, if you take step back, Sumter can actually be a really enjoyable place to live in our younger years. There’s a lot more to do than we think, we just have to venture out explore new possibilities. Even though Sumter might not have everything Columbia or the beach have (like a beach) like Beth said, it really does make up for that with the people in this community.

Joe Perry

Sumter County Library

Downtown Sumter

Industrial Park – A Teenage Perspective

Industrial Park – A Teenage Perspective

Industrial Park – A Teenage Perspective

Today was the day to explore the production side of Sumter County. And where better to do that then my favorite place to visit, the industrial park. I’m kidding, but in all seriousness, it really proved to be an extremely helpful learning experience. After spending all Tuesday morning finishing Mondays blog (oops,) I went to another one of my favorite local places to eat, Baker’s Sweets, with my friend Sarah. Unfortunately, most of our conversations that took place at lunch are confidential, like most topics within a high school friendship are, but to sum it up, it was an eventful lunch with good food and good company.

After lunch, I drove on down to the industrial park and, honestly, I don’t really know what I was expecting to see, but the amount of large buildings in one area is a little spooky to me. Nonetheless, I was able to talk to someone at three out of the five places in Live Oak Industrial Park that I visited (not bad if I do say so,) with the first one being Eaton Corporation. Eaton provides electrical services and switchboards for various customers across the globe. I spoke to the first HR Manager and face painter I’ve ever met, Detra Mardis. She loves the people she works with, but also loves going home to her twins and her husband. And, even though she lives in Columbia, she really enjoys Sumter and it’s nice atmosphere. The region she lives in is satisfying, but like most of us, would much rather live on a tropical island. I second that.

Next, I visited Mount Franklin Foods. I met with Jonathan Sterling, who when asked what his job was at the plant, responded “everything,” but later informed me that he’s the Plant Quality Development Manager. They produce nutraceuticals (which I’ll admit I had to ask how to spell,) to provide for major brands and retail. Even though he’s only lived in Sumter for two years, he seems to enjoy it. Other locations of Mount Franklin Foods include El Paso, Texas and somewhere in Mexico. Aside from all this, Jonathan also serves as the music director at Alice Drive Baptist Church. Thankfully, he is also a Gamecock fan and even has a rug in his office to prove it.

My last stop of the day has probably been my favorite thus far. I went to the International Paper Company and talked to the Plant Clerk, Adrian. This company has locations across the globe, Including India, which just so happens to be where Adrian has decided she does not want want to live because of the snakes that come out of those baskets on the streets like you see in the movies. Industrial Paper Company has been working on expanding its boundaries for exciting and new projects for the company. She was kind enough to show me around the office space and even show me behind the scenes of how the paper is cut and shipped off. Pretty neat stuff. I learned today that this site specifically cuts the paper into sheets and also that hippos cause the most deaths in Africa. I’m not really sure how we got on that last topic, but it seemed blog-worthy, so I had to write it down. About halfway through my hour-long talk with Adrian, I decided to just put down my notebook and listen. She is definitely one of the most entertaining people I have met here in Sumter, and I am convinced she is me in the form of a 55-year-old woman. We both agreed that the world is an incredible place that should definitely be explored during everyone’s life time if given the chance, even though Sumter is an exciting place to live, and that the value of differences are very important. There’s a vast majority of cultures all around us, and learning about them, she said, is very beneficial. Even though she claims she is now a POT (pretty old thing) instead of a PYT (pretty young thing,) Adrian is without a doubt one of the most interesting people I’ve gotten to talk to so far. Scratch that. One of the most interesting people I have EVER talked to. Might I add, she’s lived in Hawaii, Illinois (but hated it,) and grew up in Jersey. Adrian is a gem of Sumter, and I will for sure come back to visit.

Mount Franklin Nutritionals

Solar Company to Launch Projects in Lee County

Solar Company to Launch Projects in Lee County

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Southern Current, a leading developer in the residential, commercial and utility-scale solar markets, is expanding its solar farm portfolio with new facilities in Lee County. The company is investing in a total of five individual projects within Lee County, bringing a collective capital investment of $100 million.

Southern Current is an owner and developer of utility-scale solar energy facilities across the southeastern United States. With an in-house team of development professionals, the company manages projects from site selection and origination through construction and operation.

For more information on Southern Current, visit the company’s website at


“Southern Current is thrilled to make these clean energy investments in Lee County. These projects are the culmination of strong partnerships with our landowners, county council, the economic development team and all our consultants and vendors. Without their support and teamwork, none of this would be possible.” –Southern Current Chief Development Officer Paul Fleury

“This tremendous new $100 million investment in one of our rural counties is further proof of the business-friendly environment we’ve worked hard to build here in South Carolina. The future is bright for Southern Current and their solar projects throughout the state.” –Gov. Henry McMaster

“Team South Carolina works hard every day to cultivate a pro-business environment for companies of all types in our state, and this new high-tech solar project in one of our rural counties is further evidence that our team-first approach is paying off. Congratulations to Southern Current on this new project.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“We are excited about this new solar energy project and about our new corporate partner in Southern Current. We are confident this will be a mutually-beneficial project for the company and our community.” –Lee County Council Chairman Travis Windham

“TheLINK Economic Development Alliance is pleased to welcome Southern Current to Lee County and Bishopville. Clean energy projects are on the rise, and we are grateful our region is a part of this growth.” –TheLINK Economic Development Alliance President and CEO Jay Schwedler


Southern Current is launching new solar projects in Lee County.
$100 million of total capital investment through five individual projects within Lee County.
Southern Current is a leading developer and owner of residential, commercial and utility-scale solar projects across the southeastern United States.
The company manages projects from site selection and origination through construction and operation.
For more information on Southern Current, visit the company’s website at

Sumter Easy Home to Host Grand Opening Celebration

Sumter Easy Home to Host Grand Opening Celebration

Sumter, S.C. – Sumter Easy Home LLC, a supplier of Housewares and other retail goods, is celebrating the grand opening of its first US based operation in Sumter County, South Carolina. The company is projected to bring $37 million of capital investment and the creation of approximately 100 new jobs over the next 1-3 years.

Invited guests for the September 10th celebration include: President, Mr. Zhiqiang Lu and other upper level company representatives of Sumter Easy Home, LLC. In addition, representatives from Wal-Mart, Target, Lowe’s, The Home Depot and Whitmor, have been invited to participate in event, as well as Sumter County Council, Sumter City Council, Sumter Economic Development, TheLINK Economic Development Alliance, and The Sumter Smarter Growth Initiative.
Sumter Easy Home LLC produces and distributes home organization and housewares to a variety of clients, including Walmart and Lowe’s.

The company is housed in what was formerly Black River Spec Building, a 104,000-square-foot facility at 1521 North Wise Drive in Sumter, S.C. The opening of the Sumter operation was in response to the Buy America Hire America Initiative spurred by the current White House Administration according to information released by Sumter Easy Home, LLC.


“We are excited to share in the grand opening celebration with Sumter Easy Home, LLC and willing to support this endeavor to make sure it’s a wonderful success–Sumter County Council Chairman James McCain

“Sumter Easy Home’s decision to operate here speaks volumes about Team Sumter and our competitive, pro-business community. Hosting a grand opening event is yet another way this company and our community are teaming up for success”–Sumter Mayor Joseph M. McElveen

“Sumter is grateful for the investment of Sumter Easy Home, LLC and looking forward to continued success of the company in this area. The Sumter operation is yet another example of how our overall leadership, community and workforce agenda intersect and determine the growth of our region.” –Sumter Development Board Chairman Greg A. Thompson


Sumter Easy Home, LLC is hosting a grand opening Celebration in Sumter on September 10th.
$37 million investment to create near 100 new jobs by 2022.
Sumter Easy Home LLC. is a manufacturer and supplier of home organization and housewares to a variety of clients, including Walmart and Lowes.
The company operates in the former Black River Spec Building, a 104,000-square-foot facility on North Wise Drive in Sumter, S.C.
Sumter Easy Home, LLC President Zhiquiang Lu along with other upper level company executives and customer representatives are invited to attend the celebration.

BD Investing $150 Million in Sumter Operations

BD Investing $150 Million in Sumter Operations

COLUMBIA, S.C. – BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, today announced a $150 million investment in its existing Sumter County manufacturing facility. The company is projected to create an additional 125 new jobs over the next several years.

Employing more than 65,000 associates worldwide, BD is one of the world’s largest medical technology companies and supports health care providers in more than 190 countries around the globe. BD’s Sumter County facility has been in operation since 1970, manufacturing blood collection devices that are critical to the health care industry.

Located at 1575 Airport Road in Sumter, S.C., BD’s Sumter facility is actively hiring for the new positions, and interested applicants should visit for more information.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved job development credits related to this project, as well as a $600,000 Set Aside grant to assist with the costs of road work and site preparation.


“For nearly 50 years, BD’s Sumter facility has consistently delivered superior quality products, vital for our customers and their patients, through a talented and engaged workforce. We would like to thank TheLINK economic development alliance, Sumter Economic Development, the City of Sumter, Sumter County and the S.C. Department of Commerce for their continued support of BD and our employees as we continue to invest in the facility. We look forward to the ongoing success of our BD Sumter manufacturing team as they continue to advance the world of health.” –BD Executive Vice President of Global Operations and Chief Supply Chain Officer Jim Borzi

“After opening in our state more than 40 years ago, we’re thrilled that BD continues to grow and succeed here. This announcement once again demonstrates that South Carolina is a place where medical technology companies want to do business, and we welcome this new $150 million investment.” –Gov. Henry McMaster

“Not only does our state excel in advanced manufacturing, we’re also increasingly a top choice for companies in the life sciences sector. BD has been a strong member of Team South Carolina for decades, and we congratulate them on their ongoing success.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“BD has been a leading employer in this county since opening its doors in 1970. We are grateful for their continued investment in our community and our people.” –Sumter County Council Chairman James McCain

“We have long-enjoyed BD as a key component in the fabric of our industrial portfolio. This investment demonstrates their trust in our leadership, their commitment to the success of their business and their belief in our ability to regenerate the talent needed to produce the quality of goods for which BD is known.” –Sumter Economic Development Chairman Greg Thompson


BD is investing in its existing Sumter County manufacturing facility.
$150 million investment to create 125 new jobs.
Employing more than 65,000 associates worldwide, BD is one of the largest medical technology companies in the world and supports health care providers in more than 190 countries.
Located at 1575 Airport Road in Sumter, S.C., BD’s facility manufactures blood collection devices for the health care industry.
BD is actively hiring for the new positions, and interested applicants should visit for more information.


About BD

BD is one of the largest global medical technology companies in the world and is advancing the world of health by improving medical discovery, diagnostics and the delivery of care. The company supports the heroes on the frontlines of health care by developing innovative technology, services and solutions that help advance both clinical therapy for patients and clinical process for health care providers. BD and its 65,000 employees have a passion and commitment to help improve patient outcomes, improve the safety and efficiency of clinicians’ care delivery process, enable laboratory scientists to better diagnose disease and advance researchers’ capabilities to develop the next generation of diagnostics and therapeutics. BD has a presence in virtually every country and partners with organizations around the world to address some of the most challenging global health issues. By working in close collaboration with customers, BD can help enhance outcomes, lower costs, increase efficiencies, improve safety and expand access to health care. In 2017, BD welcomed C. R. Bard and its products into the BD family.

Merchant Iron Works Expanding Sumter-based Operations

Merchant Iron Works Expanding Sumter-based Operations

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Merchant Iron Works today announced an expansion of its existing Sumter County operations. The company’s $2.5 million investment is projected to create 27 new jobs.

With a combined staff of 35 experienced engineers, office support and fabrication personnel, Merchant Iron Works is a Sumter-based fabricator and installer of structural steel, miscellaneous metals and material handling equipment. Founded in 2001, the company’s services support the industrial and commercial markets.

Located at 3215 Beulah Cuttino Road in Sumter, S.C., Merchant Iron Works’ phased expansion will result in an 8,000-square-foot plant addition and a 150,000-square-foot outdoor steel processing and shipping area.

The Coordinating Council for Economic Development has approved a $100,000 Set Aside grant to Sumter County to assist with the costs of site preparation. For more information on Merchant Iron Works, visit the company’s website.


“We are very excited about this expansion. It will increase our overall production capabilities and allow us to process a product line in Sumter that we currently outsource to other states, thus providing further economic opportunities for our local community. It has been a pleasure working with the Sumter Economic Development team, TheLink and the S.C. Department of Commerce. They have been a tremendous resource and great partners through all of the various phases of this project.” –Merchant Iron Works, Inc. President David P. Merchant

“We’re always excited to celebrate a business investment in South Carolina, but it’s special when it’s one of our existing firms. In operation here for more than 17 years, Merchant Iron Works’ success speaks to the positive business environment we’ve cultivated across this state.” –Gov. Henry McMaster

“Today, we congratulate a longtime member of the South Carolina business community – Merchant Iron Works. By making this new investment, the company is doubling down on its commitment to South Carolina, and we look forward to watching them thrive here for years to come.” –Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“Merchant Iron Works continues to grow, delivering quality results and reliable solutions. We are pleased with the expansion of this company and the additional jobs it will bring to Sumter.” –Sumter County Council Chairman James McCain

“The strength of our industrial portfolio in this region is phenomenal. We are surrounded by companies that are not only committed to the growth of their business, but also to the well-being of our citizens and neighbors. We commend Merchant Iron Works for their expansion, and commit to them the continuous pool of qualified talent needed for their success.” –Sumter Development Board Chairman Greg A. Thompson


Merchant Iron Works is expanding its existing Sumter County operations.
$2.5 million investment to create 27 new jobs.
Merchant Iron Works is a Sumter-based fabricator and installer of structural and miscellaneous steel, chute work and material handling equipment.
The company’s phased expansion will result in an 8,000-square-foot plant addition and a 150,000-square-foot outdoor steel processing and shipping area.