Elmcroft holds open house after renovations to Florence building

By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. — The Elmcroft Senior Living Community introduced its newly renovated facility on 3006 Hoffmeyer Road with an open house and ribbon-cutting celebration Tuesday afternoon.

Ambassadors with the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce joined Elmcroft executives in the celebration, which featured music, food, beverages and a tour of the building.

 Kristie Kronk, senior vice president of operations at Elmcroft, said the renovations were the first for the building in more than a decade and included updates in 45 apartments, new carpeting and flooring, paint, furniture and window treatments.

Kronk said many of the 72 residents had a voice in what happened with the renovations, which took approximately three months to complete and cost roughly $325,000.

 “As they have seen the transformation happen, it’s really fun and exciting for them because they feel as if this is their own home going through this renovation,” Kronk said. “Putting money back into the building and keeping it updated not only for our residents and their families but really the community at large, it’s really the progression of senior housing to keep your building fresh and new.”

Elmcroft Senior Living offers services and amenities for seniors who need assisted living as well as adults with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. For more information about Elmcroft Senior Living in Florence, call 843-292-0012 or visit http://www.elmcroft.com/community/elmcroft-of-florence-sc/.

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Edible Arrangements holds ribbon cutting, celebrates downtown move

FLORENCE, S.C. – Edible Arrangements celebrated their relocation to 130 N. Dargan Street in downtown Florence with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

The store was previously located inside the Florence Mall at 145 W. Palmetto Street before moving downtown on Sept. 19. Ambassadors with the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce joined Edible Arrangements staff members in the celebration on Tuesday morning.

Collin Perry, owner of the downtown Edible Arrangements, said the relocation will allow the store to provide smoothies and frozen yogurt to their customers, along with their fruit boxes and bouquets. The Edible Arrangements use fruit that is cut fresh daily and each arrangement is made with no added sugar.

The store is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call 843-679-2007.

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Ribbon cutting held for Stewart Behavioral Health in Florence

By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – Stewart Behavioral Health employees joined Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce ambassadors for a ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon to celebrate the facility’s new chamber membership.

Located at 525 S. Dargan Street in Florence, Stewart Behavioral Health is a counseling office that provides a variety of services including crisis intervention, family counseling, couples therapy, marital counseling, and stress management. The facility sees an average of 25 clients each week ranging in ages from early childhood to adult.

Martha Stewart, counselor and owner of Stewart Behavioral Health, she said was inspired to start her own private psychology practice after working with children from the Connie Maxwell Children’s Home in 2013. Since then, Stewart dedicated herself to working in counseling services and earned her master’s degree in psychology from Francis Marion University in 2007.

“I went back to college late in life and got my degree,” Stewart said. “I’ve been helping people forever and now I have the degrees to back it up. It’s going well and I hope this is my last job so I can retire here.”

 Along with her other full-time and part-time counselors, Stewart moved into her own facility in June of last year and recently joined the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce. Stewart said she didn’t expect the large welcome from the chamber ambassadors on Thursday afternoon but was pleasantly surprised by the ribbon cutting and said she looks forward to being a part of the chamber moving forward.

“It’s awesome,” Stewart said. “I have wanted to do this for a long time. I’m really excited to be a member of the chamber.”

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Chamber welcomes Mariner Finance to Florence

By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – Ambassadors with the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting Thursday morning for Mariner Finance and its employees to welcome them as members of the chamber.

Mariner Finance, formerly known as Pioneer Credit in Dillon, relocated to Florence at 2503 S. Cashua Drive in February. Mariner Finance offers customers a variety of personal, home and auto loans.

Tony Elvington, area vice president of Mariner Finance, said moving to Florence gives the company exposure to a larger, growing market and the business move just made sense.

“It’s been a good move so far,” he said. “It’s only been a few months but we’re getting better every month.”

Elvington said having the chamber ambassadors host a ribbon cutting at the Florence branch is “a big deal” for the new location and he hopes that by joining the chamber, Mariner Finance will be able to reach out into the community and bring in more clients.

“It’s going to give us good advertisement and give us some name recognition because Mariner Finance is new to South Carolina,” Elvington said. “I like this.”

The Florence store is one of 13 Mariner Finance branches in South Carolina and the lone branch in the Pee Dee region. Along with its affiliates, Mariner Finance features more than 450 branches in 22 states throughout the country.

For more information about Mariner Finance and their Florence branch, visit marinerfinance.com.

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Business After Hours at Florence Ears, Nose and Throat


Florence Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT) held a Business after Hours event on Thursday evening at its office on 1521 McClure Court. More than 50 people attended the networking event including Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce members, business leaders, and Florence ENT staff members.

Florence ENT is affiliated with both Carolinas Hospital and McLeod Regional Medical Center and treats patients of all ages. From sore throats and earaches to breathing problems or hearing loss, the physicians at Florence Ears Nose and Throat are experienced and equipped to handle all of their patients’ needs.

The Business after Hours gathering highlighted the Florence ENT office and featured live entertainment, beer and wine, and food catered from Top Hat Special-Teas. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Florence Ear, Nose and Throat call 843-665-2900 or visit florenceent.com.

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Methodist Manor holds ribbon cutting for expanded facilities in Florence


FLORENCE, S.C. — Methodist Manor, a senior living community on Twin Church Rd. in Florence, held a ribbon cutting on Thursday afternoon to unveil its $18 million renovations and expansion.

Methodist Manor’s renovations took more than two years to complete, increasing the building’s size by 69,000 square feet. Teressa Tabor, executive director for Methodist Manor, said the expansion and revamping of the facility was completed in two phases: first with renovating existing areas of the building and second all new construction including an assisted-living facility, a bistro, an auditorium, a gallery, solarium and a dementia unit.

“We have every component that you’ll need for a retirement community,” Tabor said. “It’s just spectacular and a complete change from what it looked like two and a half years ago.”

During the ribbon cutting and open house, Tabor said, she received nothing but positive feedback from both the visitors and the existing 200-plus residents.

“They are blown away. They cannot believe all the services and the amenities we have,” Tabor said. “This is a place you want to be now, not a place you have to come.”

Ribbon Cutting: Family Heritage

By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – The Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday for Family Heritage Life Insurance Company at the Chamber office in downtown Florence.

Family Heritage Life Insurance Company of America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Torchmark Corporation and provides supplemental health and life insurance to its clients.

Family Heritage Life is licensed in 49 states and serves thousands of American families across the nation. It has received numerous awards for outstanding customer service and community outreach.

Gina Gilliard, an insurance agent for Heritage Family Life, had the honor of cutting the ribbon during the ceremony. As a Pee Dee native, Gilliard said she is excited to bring Family Heritage Life into the Florence community.

“It means a lot to join the chamber,” Gilliard said. “It means a lot to work with businesses here in Florence. We’re opening up the doors.”

Elite Tactical Laser Tag holds ribbon cutting in Florence


By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – Elite Tactical Laser Tag held a ribbon cutting Thursday afternoon at its facility at 200 E. South Village in Florence.

The laser tag facility is for participants age 6 and older and features laser guns modeled after authentic military-grade weapons (complete with a recoil and reloadable magazines) and a large field space that will immerse players in a full Hollywood-style battlefield.

Each laser tag session is 90 minutes long. Up to 20 players can attempt a number of Elite Tactical’s 23 missions. Each mission requires different strategies and tactics and puts an emphasis on the importance of teamwork. The facility is open Monday through Wednesday for private sessions and Thursday through Sunday for public play.

Elite Tactical Laser Tag can host numerous events from birthday parties and church events to corporate team building activities. General admission for players age 13 and older is $30 and group rates of 10 or more players start at $25 when booked in advance.

Specific mission times for players ages 6-12 are set for Thursdays and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Each mission for younger players is 30 minutes long and costs $10. The laser tag facility also offers deals or rates on certain days such as $20 Thursdays and $10 for 30 minutes on Sundays. All sessions starting at 7:30 p.m. and later are for ages 16 and older.

The facility will also play host to the Apocalypse World Tour set for July 14 – 15 when participants have the chance to kill “live zombies” while trapped in a video-game-style set. Tickets for the event include 150 rounds of ammunition and admission into the zombie attraction. Tickets can be purchased through the Elite Tactical Laser Tag website at elitetaclt.com.

Owners Efrem and Matilda Andrews said Elite Tactical Laser Tag opened for business in February and said they are excited about providing a place for friends and families to have fun and be active together.

“It’s Call-of-Duty-style laser tag,” Matilda said. “This will get the kids out and moving because our generation is missing that. It’s excellent cardio.”

“It’s a step above regular laser tag. It’s more interactive,” Efrem said. “Ninety-nine percent of the people that come in here leave extremely happy. They just have an outstanding time.”

“By the time they’re done they are thanking us that we brought this thing to Florence.”

For more information or to make a reservation, visit the Elite Tactical Laser Tag website or Facebook page.

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Cafe at Florence airport holds ribbon cutting


By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – LilJazZi’s Café and Salads, located inside the Florence Regional Airport at 2100 Terminal Drive, held its grand opening and ribbon cutting on Wednesday.

LilJazZi’s is open to the general public as well as airport travelers, offering a variety of salads and sandwiches to hungry patrons. The café also provides real fruit smoothies such as peach, mango, strawberry or any combination of flavors.

The menu features breakfast items, including grits, pancakes, eggs and waffles. LilJazZi’s can also craft a number of gourmet drinks such as cappuccinos, lattes, frappes and macchiatos. Customers who dine at LilJazZi’s receive free parking at the airport for one hour and the café offers discounts for students, seniors, military and law enforcement.

 Owner Andrena Mullins said she collaborated with Robert Norton, the airport’s deputy director, on the idea of starting her own business after she tried to sell vending machines to the terminal. Mullins said she has always wanted to open her own restaurant and she is grateful for Norton and the Florence Regional Airport for giving her the space and the opportunity to pursue her dream.

“I worked for Target for 16 years and I let that go to start something new,” Mullins said. “He (Norton) said, ‘We need something like this.’ And it just happened. I love it.”

The café opened on April 14 and held a grand opening Wednesday afternoon. Ambassadors from the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce attended the ribbon cutting to welcome Mullins and her new business to Florence and congratulate her on her accomplishment.

 Mullins said she has plans to open another location in the near future by the Walmart Supercenter on Beltline Drive.

“That’s kind of where I want to go next, but we’ll see,” Mullins said. “It’s tough because I have three little ones.”

Mullins’ three daughters, Lilly, 7, Jasmine, 13, and Zion, 8, gave her the inspiration to name the restaurant LilJazZi’s.

“My logo is and everything is based all on the girls because this is their future, not mine,” Mullins said. “It’s all about the kids.”

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B. Nance Fine Gifts ribbon cutting


By: Jessica Imbimbo, Morning News

FLORENCE, S.C. – B. Nance Fine Gifts held a ribbon cutting Thursday morning after moving into its new, larger location at 1939 Hoffmeyer Road.

Ambassadors with the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce congratulated co-owners and mother-daughter duo Jill Blaker and Danielle Nance on their relocation. The retail store moved into the shopping plaza on May 1, just yards from the previous location. Nance said the move has been almost a year in the making, and she is thrilled to be settled into their new retail home.

 “It’s been a long time coming,” Nance said. “We were just waiting for this to be built while we were back there.”

B. Nance Fine Gifts offers a wide variety of products including tabletop items, cookware and glassware from high-quality brands. Gifts for any special occasion line the shelves at B. Nance, including birthdays, weddings, baby showers and more. The store also sells candles, jewelry, sunglasses and other items.

Nance said being able to open a retail business with her parents and husband combines her passion for retail and love for her family into one. Now after moving into their new space, Nance hopes she can offer Florence residents an enjoyable place to shop.

“We just saw an opportunity and saw a need in Florence,” Nance said. “We just have a fun space to host events and make it fun for our customers.”

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