Willie Aiken Jr, known as Uncle Willie, was born in 1939 in Santee, SC. He and several other local farmers worked hard to provide healthy foods for the residents in their county that were on a tight budget and had limited income.
Christa Williams, Aiken’s great niece, is now the proud owner of Uncle Willie’s Grocery Store in Columbia, S.C. and Uncle Willie’s Mobile Market.
On Dec. 11 at 11 a.m., the Mobile Market made its way to Summerton, SC. The Mobile Market proudly defines itself as “Your mom and pop’s grocery store, promoting and empowering our local farmers, wholesalers and vendors.”
The market was set up in the parking lot of the old Piggly Wiggly at 3 Main Street in Summerton. The Mobile Market will operate every Thursday throughout the month of December 2022 through December 2023. The current hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. but that could change depending on the needs of the community.
Williams said, ”I grew up in Santee, so I knew of Summerton and about the community losing its only grocery store a few years back. I opened my store front in Columbia and once I got to a good place with the business, I began to expand to other areas where the residents may have limited income, limited transportation and had lost stores.”
The Mobile Market is basically an expansion of Williams Columbia store front. Williams said, “It is partly a convenience factor for the residents with limited or no transportation and seniors citizens or any one who may just not want to drive miles to pick up a few items from the nearest grocery store.”
The mobile market provides a much needed healthy option to the residents of Summerton. Williams explained, “We sell fresh produce, sugar free and gluten free foods, vegan options and personal health care products.”
Another added bonus is that Williams purchases many of her products from local farmers and vendors in South Carolina.
A mass mail-out to residents of Summerton and the Davis Station area of coupons offering five dollars off their first twenty five dollar purchase with no expiration date began being delivered last week (Dec. 4 - Dec. 10) These deliveries will continue this week. WIlliams said, “We mailed out 3800 coupons for the residents.”
Uncle Willie’s can be contacted through their social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram, where people can also keep up with the Mobile Market’s events and locations.
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