MOUNT PLEASANT — A large East Cooper home decor store plans to turn out the lights about 16 months after opening in a former farm-to-table food emporium.
Heavens Marketplace is set to close by Dec. 15, darkening a 10,000-square-foot shop at 2521 Highway U.S. 17 where the former Boone Hall Farms Market once operated, according to co-owner Sonya Pacera.
“It’s pretty devastating,” she said. “I guess we will regroup.”
Pacera noted sales were good last fall after the store opened in September, but they dropped off during the winter and never picked back with the arrival of warm weather this year.
She attributed the decision to close to consumers having less money because of inflation, a location that doesn’t allow left turns onto Highway 17 to exit the site and the size of the building.
“It’s just too large,” she said, pointing out she and her husband, Frank, tried to sublease part of the building to other parties in recent months but were unsuccessful.
The shop offers home decor, ladies’ fashions, accessories, faith-based products and some furniture that doubles as display tables. Items are marked down 25 percent to 80 percent throughout the store.
Heavens Marketplace opened last year after the Paceras decided to expand the business down the coast from their Myrtle Beach locations, then at Tanger Outlets but now at Barefoot Landing.
They had originally planned to open in a 4,500-square-foot space in Tanger Outlets in North Charleston, but were told in February 2022 the space would be temporarily unavailable.
The couple began looking elsewhere and walked through the former Boone Hall retail store in March 2022.
At the time, Pacera thought the cavernous building with exposed wooden pillars was too large and expensive, but he said it had “a farm-homey-type feel to it” and his wife liked it.
The Paceras also ran into a snag when they decided to move to the Charleston area. Their business in Myrtle Beach was originally called Haven’s.
Another Haven’s home furnishings store already exists in Mount Pleasant, so they formally changed the name to Heavens, brought in some religious items and functions and played Christian music throughout the store.
The former building occupant, Boone Hall Farms Market, closed in January 2020 after 14 years of operating a short distance up Highway 17 from its expansive farming operation in the heart of Mount Pleasant. The farm recently opened Willie’s Roadside Market, an open-air, barn-like structure named for the late Boone Hall owner Willie McRae.