By Barry Kaufman | Photos by Rob Kaufman
FISH CASUAL COASTAL SEAFOOD COO OF COLIGNY PLAZA
COLIGNY ICE CREAM CONE
HOUSE OF JERKY
CAROLINA TASTING ROOM
CAMP HILTON HEAD
If you only know Coligny Plaza as the island’s premiere destination for shopping, dining and excitement, you don’t know the half of it. Yes, Hilton Head’s downtown offers a massive variety across 60 specialty stores and restaurant. And yes, the regular entertainment schedule makes every trip there an entirely new experience. But behind those storefronts, there’s something far greater than just an unforgettable shopping trip: there’s a dedication to community, and to making the island a better place.
It starts with the local focus that Coligny has always made a priority. Let the big box stores fight it out inland – Coligny is where locals not only shop and eat, it’s where they find opportunity.
Leading Man Jason Fackler knows first-hand the kinds of opportunities Coligny provides for locals. As a young college graduate, he saw opportunity here, opening up a sunglass kiosk as his first step toward entrepreneurship. Fast forward 15 years, and he is the owner of a string of sunglass stores from here to Savannah, as well as Carolina Tasting Room. With his wife, Kristin, Fackler has created a place that celebrates the flavors of the Lowcountry.
“I just wanted to sell sunglasses by the beach,” he said with a laugh. “It worked out really well and grew over the years. And my wife has a passion for wine, so it made sense to bring something to the area that showcased our local beer and wine.”
Another local who found his calling at Coligny is Pete Savarese, owner of Coligny Ice Cream Cone and, at one point, fresh-faced employee at the iconic creamery.
“I started working here in high school, and on my very first day, I said someday I was going to buy this place,” he said. Having just wrapped his first year as sole owner of Coligny Ice Cream Cone, Savarese credits the support of the entire Coligny community in stepping into the role. “David Martin at Piggly Wiggly extended a helping hand as I was a younger person in the plaza, and The Richardson Group have been a great company to work with. It’s a fun spot to be in.”
In some cases, whole families have joined together in creating unforgettable experiences at Coligny. Scott Lee and his wife Mandy already owned a string of retail spaces including Hilton Head Toys – Coligny when the opportunity came up to purchase the House of Jerky. It’s an opportunity they have gladly shared with their whole family, including sons Zach and John Curtis and son-in-law Abraham.
“They’ve all been involved and taken ownership. At 16, John Curtis is helping paint, remodel and delivering popcorn,” said Lee. “It’s pretty much a true family enterprise.”
Coligny is more than just the place you go when you want to spend the day experiencing Hilton Head Island at its finest. It’s a true community, one that harbors cherished memories of visits past while giving locals a chance to forge their own future. As COO of The Richardson Group with day-to-day responsibility over Coligny, Lee Lucier sees that balance as the key to Coligny’s longevity.
“Coligny is a gathering place for us, not just a plaza,” he said. “We’re lucky the Richardsons had the vision to build and let it be what it is, this eclectic gathering of stores.”
1 N FOREST BEACH DR, HILTON HEAD ISLAND | 843-842-6050 // COLIGNYPLAZA.COM