Scout Southern Market shares love of south, and of Beaufort
By Allegra Craig | Nestled on the eastern end of Bay Street in downtown Beaufort sits a locally owned shop that is big on all-things-southern; offering items from hand made joggling boards to delectable sweet tea floats, and everything imaginable in between.
And it turns out that the owners of Scout Southern Market are quite big on Beaufort, too.
The Higgins family — parents Corey and Ann and children Emma and Rowan — made the cross-country move from San Francisco, California to Beaufort in June of 2013. Immediately, Corey and Ann set forth to become an integral part of Beaufort, leasing a prime space on Bay Street and making their plan of a southern market come to life.
About a year later, Scout Southern Market and Tea Bar was born.
Sitting with Ann at local coffee house, Common Ground, it becomes evident that she is both humble and hard-working; professional and approachable. She laughs at the thought of being ‘interesting’ enough to be interviewed, but gladly answers each question as thoughtfully and completely as possible.
Both Corey and Ann fell in love with Beaufort on their first visit about 15 years ago.
Charmed by the history, the water, and the romantic feel of the town, they repeatedly vacationed here until they made their decision to make the move to town. While neither had previously lived in the south — Ann is a native Californian, and Corey is originally from St. Lous and lived in California for 22 years — the tradition, hospitality, and pride-of-culture of Southerners shaped their vision for Scout Southern Market.
We know that customers, both local and visiting, want to bring home a piece of the South,” Ann explains. “We focus on carrying Southern goods first.”
Shoppers entering the store will notice a very distinct feature unique, on Bay Street at least, to Scout Southern Market. Blue and white. From the blue floor, to the white marble counter at the Tea Bar, to the variety of merchandise throughout the store featuring blue-and-white patterns (not to mention palm-and-moon decor).
Asking about this distinct feature, Ann provides a simple answer: “It’s a traditional look — a traditional American look. And customers can easily add to an already existing collection.”
What is a tea float, you ask?
It is sweet tea (you can also get the ‘other’ tea) topped with two scoops of either peach or lemon sorbet. Their cookies are little gems of sweetness (and shaped like alligators) and their savory bites are delicious and fill shoppers with genuine Southern flavors.
While Ann and Corey will be updating the website and offering select merchandise online, their focus is on the brick-and-mortar shop and Tea Bar. “We want to see our customers; visit with them while they sip their tea floats; get to know them,” Ann concludes.
With the warmer weather finally here, and two-hour-free parking, make sure Scout Southern Market — and one of their tea floats — is on your list of must-sees next time you venture downtown. You’ll find them waiting for you at 709 Bay Street.
At a Glance:
Gift Items: $5-280
Furniture & Lighting: $98-4160
Locally made Vegetable Kingdom specialty foods and DJ Henry Furniture. Other favorites are The Old Try artwork and Ro Sham Beaux Lighting.