Amid a growing food scene in downtown Fort Mill, one new restaurant aims to bring something different.
Good Life Organic Kitchen will host a grand opening Saturday. The new eatery at 110 Clebourne St. will share grand opening festivities with neighbor Terrier Financial Group from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a bounce castle, face painting, Italian ice and a ribbon cutting at 11:30 a.m.
Both businesses are owned by Gary Blount Jr. who says he had zero restaurant industry experience before he decided to open Good Life.
“But I do have entrepreneur experience,” Blount said.
He also had a hunch when he met another health food concept owner at a financial adviser event. Blount saw the burgeoning food scene in downtown Fort Mill that includes barbecue, burgers and other Southern fare with spots like Hobos, Local Dish, Improper Pig and Emmet’s Social Table. He figured people into healthy eating might want something else.
Good Life is a relatively new concept. With the Fort Mill location, there are five more sites in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Six more planned sites will expand into Florida and Texas. The menu is a mix of smoothies and smoothie bowls, soups, salads, sandwiches, quinoa power bowls and a wide range of tea and coffee creations. There’s even a glossary of several dozen “super food” ingredients and the improvements they’re designed to help with from mood to immunity to stress relief and more.
“This was something to meet the need for a healthier, good food alternative,” Blount said.
Good Life has lots of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. The only meat there is bacon, for some sandwiches.
“We’re very dietary restriction friendly,” Blount said.
He doesn’t have any of those restrictions himself, but enjoys working out and eating healthy. He’s confident Good Life will be popular among all eaters, not just ones with dietary concerns.
“If you’re none of those things, you’ll still find something you love on the menu,” Blount said.
The new restaurant has 16 employees. Blount, from south Georgia but a South Carolina resident since he moved north to play college football, now lives about five minutes from the restaurant in Fort Mill. He’s been here 11 years and like many in Fort Mill, has a growing young family. He has five children and understands the draw his community has for families like his.
“It’s a great place to raise a family,” Blount said. “It was definitely strategic (to live here) in that sense.”
Early indications, from hiring to the first wave of guests, seem to indicate to Blount he found a sweet spot with the new business. Something he wants to grow right alongside his family.
“We plan on being here for a very, very long time,” Blount said.
Good Life is one of several recent restaurant openings in Fort Mill. Super Chix Chicken & Custard and Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop both opened within a week of each other, in the Brayden Village shopping center.