In honor of Black History Month this year, we’re celebrating Black Excellence by highlighting some Black-owned shops, restaurants, and attractions we are proud to have in South Carolina’s Old 96 District, featuring the counties of Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, and McCormick.
Chef Erica McCier- Indigenous Underground, Abbeville, SC
Abbeville, SC native Chef Erica McCier’s dream wasn’t handed to her on a plate. A former schoolteacher and single mother of three, McCier has worked on her culinary journey through major health issues and a global pandemic. Her catering business expanded through sheer word of mouth, eventually growing into the restaurant we love today. A small-town restaurant with a big city feel, Indigenous Underground boasts a Southern and globally-inspired fusion menu. Local favorites include grits with gator or shrimp, collard greens and beans in an egg roll, and fried green tomato stacks with creamy, Cajun-style corn maque choux. McCier describes her work as “self-expression on a plate,” and guests can taste the difference. Chef Erica was recently named one of three 2023 Chef Ambassadors in South Carolina—read the full story here.
Chef Abdel Demiati- Kickers Restaurant, Greenwood, SC
Chef Abdel Demiati originally came from Zimbabwe to Lander University to play soccer. In the footsteps of his parents– both restaurant owners– the “King of Soups” created Kickers Restaurant & Takeout, a pillar of Greenwood cuisine. The restaurant prides itself on its soup sampler offered to each guest but also features classic American and international staples. (Popular items include “Soul in a Bowl,” Sweet Thai Chile Grilled Chicken, Flirty Bird Salad, and Thai Chicken Noodle.) Demiati prides himself on bringing his own twist on the classics and rich flavors to the Greenwood area, and his long-standing success is a testament to his talent.
Chef Olivia Taylor- Inn on the Square, Greenwood, SC
Pastry Chef Olivia Taylor is a local rising star in the industry. Fresh out of high school, she began work right away at Inn on the Square, Greenwood, SC’s first and only boutique hotel. Taylor made a name for herself very quickly with her cakes, pastries, and pies. She’s been spotlighted in travel food blogs sharing family-fun recipes. During a bread shortage in April 2020, Taylor took it upon herself to give back to the community by baking fresh bread and handing it out to those in need.
Rev. Christopher B. Thomas- Dr. Benjamin E. Mays Historic Preservation Site, Greenwood, SC
Dr. Benjamin E. Mays was an intellectual leader of the Civil Rights movement and mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A Greenwood county native, Mays’s humble childhood home still stands today as a stop on the United States Civil Rights Trail, a monument to his legacy. Thomas serves as the site director, working tirelessly to educate both visitors and local scholars. His gift for storytelling brings Mays’s journey to life, inspiring many guests who often knew little about this historic figure beforehand. In 2021, the site celebrated its 10th Anniversary and Thomas was honored with the Fresh Voices in the Humanities Award.
Travel With Annita
Avid explorer and radio host Annita from Travel with Annita shares little-known facts, places to go, local cuisine and things to do for Black History Month. In this episode, she takes us on a journey to the Dr. Benjamin E. Mays Historic Preservation Site.