On Hilton Head Island, the local Piggly Wiggly is a gem on all accounts. Operating for more than half a century, it’s one of the few remaining family-owned grocery stores in South Carolina. Being a second-generation business is special on its own, but the store has developed since its early days as Hilton Head has grown into a first-rate resort town. The small, old-fashioned feel still appeals to locals and tourists alike who dance to Jimmy Buffet in the aisles and proudly sport their “Big on the Pig” t-shirts.
Originally opened by Gene Martin in 1969, amid Woodstock and shortly after the Summer of Love, the store stills holds true to the values of serving the community – always putting their service to their neighbors before their bottom line. In years past, the store has remained opened during hurricanes to feed firemen weathering out the storm. Gene, the store’s patriarch, still works in the beach goods section about three days a week which preserves the authentic family-feel.
While these are all reasons we love the Hilton Head Piggly Wiggly, they only hint at why the South Carolina Aquarium choose this store to be our very first Good Catch grocery partner.
When asked why sustainable seafood is important to them, Gene’s son, David, said, “I have known my shrimper since elementary school.” This is what sustainable seafood looks like – seafood harvested by and for the people of the community, using the ecological bounty of the ocean to feed neighbors and keeping product ultra-local.” David went on to say, “Providing fresh seafood is important to us for many reasons, one being we love to support our local friends in the fishing industry. As a small operation, we are able to handpick exactly what we want to sell since we are not mandated by any corporate structure. That enables us to get fresh fish and shrimp daily.”
It is not easy being a family-owned grocery store in today’s world of consumerism. Now there are three supermarkets in a mile radius of Piggly Wiggly, all appealing to locals and tourists alike. This is why when you’re in Hilton Head, we encourage you to swing by the Piggly Wiggly in Coligny Plaza and not just sample their selection of sustainable seafood, but stock up. Fill your freezer with local shrimp and fish while also supporting a business that weathers storms with their community, stays true to their values and puts sustainability before their bottom line.
Welcome to the Good Catch family, Hilton Head Piggly Wiggly!