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Culinary event brings big economic impact to SC’s Lowcountry

South Carolina Business Review
SC Public Radio

Next month, our next guest’s organization will celebrate the 17th edition of its annual food and wine festival, bringing more than 100 events to locations throughout the Lowcountry. And an annual economic impact exceeding $25 million. Mike Switzer interviews Alyssa Maute Smith, executive director of the Charleston Wine and Food Festival, coming March 1-5.

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After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.