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Since Andrew Carmines took over as general manager at Hilton Head Island seafood restaurant Hudson’s on the Docks, he’s been working on cutting out the middle man. He believes in purchasing his products directly from the source, giving the customer the freshest product available. 

BrewmastersAs the South embraces craft beer, these three pioneers are changing the way you chug.

Beer. The single greatest liquid known to man.

For too long, beer was just beer. It came out of a tap or in a can. It was roughly yellowish in color and somewhat grainy in flavor. Foamy and forgettable, it made you burp and made baseball almost watchable. Almost.

But then a few enterprising brewmasters came along, changed the game, and the craft beer boom changed the way we drink. Suddenly the pale tasteless bilge water we thought of as “beer” exploded into a mouth-watering variety of pale ales, stouts, bocks and Hefeweizens. From the stinging bitterness of an IPA to the mellow fullness of a rich stout, beer is now simply a catch-all term for a kaleidoscopic array of potent brews.

donkirkmanExecutive director of the Hilton Head Island Economic Development Corporation shares his plans

If it takes big bucks to generate big business, then Hilton Head is on the right track. Back in June, Hilton Head Town Council approved a hefty $450,000 budget for the Hilton Head Island Economic Development Corp.’s 2014-2015 fiscal year. A chunk of that went to hiring its new executive director, Don Kirkman, who started in August. We caught up with Kirkman to give us a glimpse of his plans for this coming year, and the potential he sees for economic growth on the island.

Peter Kristian came to Hilton Head Island 15 years ago for a job. Soon, the general manager of Hilton Head Plantation realized that beyond its natural beauty, the island was setting national trends in community development.

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Now, he’s looking forward to showcasing that forward thinking to his fellow members of the Community Associations Institute (CAI), an international organization dedicated to building better communities.

The group will hold its annual Large Scale Managers Workshop with the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island serving as the home base for the sold-out conference from Sept. 17-20.

The grand opening of Hilton Head Island's Whole Foods Market takes place on Wednesday, July 30. Bread-breaking will be at 8:45 a.m. with mayor Drew Laughlin. 

Coligny-Plaza-Piggly-WigglyCOLIGNY PLAZA PIGGLY WIGGLY STILL A POPULAR STOP FOR BOTH VISITORS AND LOCALS

His hair is grayer than it used to be. He’s raised a family despite being married to a building and a profession. The megastores are spawning all around him.

Yet, as Dave Martin begins his 33rd year as the outfront man for a five-decade Hilton Head Island institution, he has never been more excited to come to work in the morning.

“You can only stack soup cans for so long without it getting monotonous,” Martin said while sitting atop a stack of boxes in the stock room of the Coligny Plaza Piggly Wiggly. “At the end of the day, the thing that still gets me charged up each day is the people and the idea that after all these years, we’re still giving the islanders something different each day.”

I recently read the results of a survey conducted by Jae Wang and Veronica Bravo for USA Today that showed that 42 percnet of the respondents thought it was more difficult to get a mortgage today than it was just one year ago.

Just 18 percent thought it was easier, while 18 percent thought it the same and 22 percent weren’t sure.

To be perfectly frank I’m concerned about their sampling methods when they have 22 percent not sure, but I’ll leave that to another month’s column.

Bluffton’s new-business accelerator helps small companies take large steps

David Ropes, co-founder of mobiPET, used the Don Ryan Center for Innovation to help get his business off the ground.Innovation isn’t just about apps or computers.

That’s the message that Executive Director David Nelems is emphasizing as the Don Ryan Center for Innovation begins its third year of operation in Bluffton.

When the new business accelerator first opened in May 2012, the first under the Clemson Technology Villages program, the buzzwords around town were “tech park.”

Here we are in July 2014, at the height of tourist season on Hilton Head Island, and I thought that this might be an appropriate time to take a look back on the economic calendar.  

It is a well-known fact that if one doesn’t learn the lessons of history, one is doomed to repeat those lessons. The economic events of the last decade have had a profound impact on our community, not only in the pure destruction of wealth, but in how we view ourselves and how others view us.