The Coastal Market in Darien celebrates one year of business

Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 4:32 PM EDT
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DARIEN, Ga. (WTOC) - Locals say one grocery store has made all the difference for the Darien community, and now, the store’s staff is celebrating a major milestone.

This week marks one year since the opening of The Coastal Market in Darien, and shoppers say it’s filling an important need in the community.

It’s safe to say Buddy Phillips is a frequent shopper at the Coastal Market. He’s here at the store -

“Every day. 365 days a year.”

“You come here every day?”


Phillips, like many shoppers in Darien say they’re glad to have easier access to fresh foods. Before The Coastal Market, people in the area lived about 30 minutes from the closest grocery store.

“I used to drive all the way to Brunswick or Eulonia, so this is very convenient,” said Phillips.

Last year, Darien went three months without a full grocery store, when the previous and only store in town permanently closed, Then, the Coastal Market opened in the same location last July.

“We just felt the need in the community to provide a service here, to not let this be a food desert. We had a unique opportunity to do it,” said owner James McKinzie.

Something McKinzie says is critical for this small, coastal city.

“We have a large population that can’t travel that far. A lot of folks decide to convenience shop, no one wants to drive 25 to 30 minutes to pick up some groceries.”

With many feeling the impacts of inflation and high gas prices, shoppers say every bit helps.

“You can get everything here, and it doesn’t take $5 in gas,” said Richard Sullivan.

And over the past year, McKinzie says business has been good.

“We’re able to be here and provide that service for them, and they’re happy about it, and they’ve proven that they are because they’re supporting us, and we couldn’t do this without them. "

McKinzie says he plans on this store staying open for years to come.

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