ROCK HILL — Patti Petersen opened Periwinkle Cafe & Bakery on Rock Hills Main Street in April of 2011 amid great expectation.
The city sold her on the location, in the hole off Main Street, near the back entrance to the City Club. The city provided her $10,000 from its jump start program designed to bring businesses to downtown. She used the money to upfit the space into a cafe and bakery.
The city was beyond wonderful, she said.
There was talk of great things happening downtown, things that would bring customers.
But on Friday, Periwinkles is closing.
Its real simple, Petersen said Thursday. I ran out of time.
The cafe employs seven part-time people. Petersen has held a full-time since January in addition to running the cafe.
Expenses have been outpacing revenues for several months, she said. Petersen said she had been working with a consultant. A new menu was in the works, and a new marketing plan was ready.
But the consultant also convinced her that she had to break even every day or the money has to come from somewhere.
Im out of money, out of time, she said. Ive been waiting on all this stuff coming to downtown and I cant wait anymore.
Petersen said the lack of other shops that would make downtown a destination contributed to her business problems. There is not enough reasons to come downtown, she said.
She said people would find her shop during downtown events, but wouldnt come back.
It wasnt the service. It wasnt the food and it wasnt the pricing. It was comparable to others, she said.
Petersen said she had hoped to wait things out, for big projects such as Downtown East a mixed-use commercial, retail and residential project and the demolition of the former Woolworth to make room for apartments.
But while its OK to think big, she said its going to be the smaller businesses places like mine that are needed to make downtown a destination. If you had 10 little retailers come to downtown it would make a huge difference.
Don Worthington 803-329-4066