Biz Beat

Anderson Small Businesses Are Closing the Needs Gap

By: Leanne Cobb

Northern Suga
515 Main Street
Anderson SC, 29621

Instead of knocking on neighbors’ doors asking for candy on Halloween, Kim Sams was home making popcorn balls and caramel apples with her Godmother who didn’t believe girls should be “gallivanting around town on Halloween.” This Halloween tradition turned into a sweet business for downtown Anderson.

Kim and husband Anthony Sams moved from Indiana to Anderson for our sunny and warm weather. In Indiana, the Sams had plenty of sweet shops to visit when the craving hit, but they realized finding a place to satisfy a sweet tooth wasn’t so easy in Anderson.

“We were surprised what we had in Indiana was not available here,” says Sams.

Sams never really thought about opening a business, but in 2019 God laid it on her heart to open the business with the help of her husband.

“Lord, just let me feed your people,” was a saying that always meant a lot to Sams.

When the first tumbler and popper machines arrived, Sams squealed and jumped up and down. She knew she’d found the right adventure.

Originally, Northern Suga was in the Anderson Mall, but during COVID they were in a tailspin figuring out how to keep their doors open.

“We needed a storefront for driving up and picking up curbside. That’s when we found our current location at 515 Main St.,” says Sams. “We’re still getting used to transitioning from the mall to downtown.”

Northern Suga offers 40 flavors of hand coated popcorn and a variety of fresh-dipped candy apples that were family traditions. All candy and flavorings are made in house. The most popular sweet popcorn flavors are caramel and tuxedo and the most popular savory popcorn flavors are bacon cheddar and spicy cheddar. Northern Suga offers gift baskets, personalized candies and popcorn, and does corporate events.

Look for Northern Suga on Instagram at northernsuga and on Facebook at Northern Suga.

Trusted Tradesmen & Co.
5310 US-76
Pendleton, SC 29670

Successful businesses start with recognition of a need and developing a way to meet that need. Trusted Tradesmen was born of the recognition of two major deficits in the construction industry—a shortage of highly skilled tradesmen and a shortage of highly professional tradesmen who communicate and present well. Owners Daniel Jachens, Jason McDonald and Bob Cord started Trusted Tradesmen with focus on providing a great customer experience through quality work and communication.

The business model focuses on supplying custom home builders with reliable, professional, and highly skilled tradespeople who can complement their construction business.

“We find all of the craftsmen so that the builder knows they are getting a quality trade when they call us,” states Cory Lundeen, Business Director at Trusted Tradesmen.

Their custom cabinetry division, led by Dale VanDonkelaar, is booming. VanDonkelaar is a true woodworking craftsman, combining old school wood working skills with modern technology to create beautiful cabinetry.

“He is great at leading his team to build beautiful custom kitchens, vanities, wine cellars, pantries, and more,” says Lundeen.

Garth George, Master Plumber, is a third generation Master Plumber with over 20 years experience and a degree in business.

“Garth is a diamond in the rough. Truly a rare find!” notes Lundeen.

Chris Kerr, Master Electrician, is licensed for residential and commercial electrical services.

“Chris is a pro at troubleshooting and making his work aesthetically pleasing,” says Lundeen.

The owners of Trusted Tradesmen have lived in Anderson most of their lives and love supporting our community. They support local non-profits with their missions to give back to Anderson County.

Future plans for Trusted Tradesmen include developing the next generation of skilled tradesmen.

“We’d love to have internships for high school students to explore the trades,” says Lundeen.

Additional plans include growing the business by adding specific trades such as HVAC, drywall, tile, and painting.

“Our desire is to grow the number of skilled trades we have while providing job opportunities for Anderson County,” notes Lundeen.

For more on Trusted Tradesmen, including their core values and business philosophy, visit their website at Find them on Instagram at trusted.tradesmen and on Facebook at Trusted Tradesmen & Co.

211 South Main Street
Anderson, SC 29621

In the last 8 months, 13 new businesses have opened downtown, and the shoe lovers in Anderson are thrilled that Cate’s is one of them. Owned by Anderson native Caleigh Thomas, Cate’s offers a mix of classic and unique shoe designers that you may or may not know.

“Cate’s has an elegant, classic, southern style and I am truly so proud of how it all came together,” says Thomas.

Thomas has always loved fashion, shoes, and accessories and dreamed of opening a shoe boutique for many years. With support and encouragement from family, she decided to act on her dream. She spent a lot of time thinking about what she wanted Cate’s to become.

“I had a specific vision in mind. I want everyone to feel welcome and at home,” notes Thomas.

When it came to location, there was no doubt it had to be downtown Anderson.

“Anderson is home to me. I am deeply rooted here and I want to help our town be the best it can be. I knew for certain I wanted Cate’s to be downtown. I love our downtown and what it is becoming,” says Thomas.

The future of Cate’s is to remain primarily a women’s shoe and accessory boutique, although Thomas does plan to include a few of her favorite clothing designers that are a reflection of her personality and a reflection of Cate’s. Cate’s will always be a place that keeps the customer first.

“Whether you are shopping for the perfect pair of shoes, or just want to come chat and have a cup of coffee, our doors are open to you. I will always bring in the newest up and coming designers and trends while maintaining classic, elegant style,” says Thomas.

Follow Cate’s on Facebook and Instagram at @shopatcates.