The Gourmet Shop is changing owners after 40 years in business.
On Friday, the long-standing establishment The Gourmet Shop changed hands. Established in 1977, The Gourmet Shop has stood as a cornerstone eatery and European-inspired shop within the Five Points community
Amy Beth Franks, who has served as Five Points Association executive director, purchased The Gourmet Shop from Dennis and Linda Hiltner.
The question that now stands for many in the community is: What’s next for The Gourmet Shop?
“It was really surprising because no one really knew about it until like the day of, but we’re all just gonna be positive,” said Kayla Gooley, who has worked in the restaurant side of the business since 2014.
While it is uncertain if Franks will make changes to the atmosphere of the popular eatery, the employees are eager to see what will happen.
Nate Herring, a manager for The Gourmet Shop Café, the café portion of the business, hopes to continue to see the close-knit relationships that develop among employees and customers under Franks’ leadership.
“We’re all like a family here. I’ve been here since ’06 and I’ve seen a lot of customers come through here and grow older,” Herring said. “I remember this one customer who I’ve known since he was six years old and he was allergic to mayonnaise, and now he’s off in college in Massachusetts.”
Franks resigned her position with the Five Points Association on Saturday, a day after the transition.
“She’s a really nice person and she’s done a great job with Five Points,” Herring said. “I’m just hoping for the best and that things continue to go smoothly.”
Hiltner is nostalgic for her time spent with the business, but is confident she and her husband Dennis made the right decision to sell as they prepare for retirement.
“It just seemed right with Amy Beth. It was time,” Hiltner said. “All times have their season. I’ve loved this place for 40 years and I’d love to love it for 40 more.”
Anna Simonelli, left, Kayla Gooley, middle, and Jane Hearn, right, are optimistic to see what changes Amy Beth Franks, the new owner brings to The Gourmet Shop.
Nate Herring, manager of The Gourmet Shop Cafe, is hoping for the best as The Gourmet Shop changes owners.
Linda Hiltner, along with her husband Dennis, opened The Gourmet Shop to serve as a restaurant and shop that features wines, cheeses, kitchenware and other things.
The Gourmet Shop in Columbia’s Five Points has been in business since 1977. Recently the store has ben sold to a new owner.