The City Magazine Since 1975

Toast of the Town

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cindy Ellsworth creates marble coasters ($12 each) that showcase local restaurants, landmarks, and shops. She sells them at the Charleston Farmers Market as well as a host of other locales. Enter to win a pair below! Photographs (2) by Jessica Doherty

August 14, 2013

Toast of the Town
Local flavor-lovers are eating up Carolina Coaster Company’s unique wares

written by Lauren Johnson

Chef Bob Carter of Rutledge Cab Co. and Carter’s Kitchen has ventured into the Charleston Farmers Market to find these goods. Steve Kish, owner of 82 Queen and Lowcountry Bistro, enjoyed a sample at the City Market, and Randall Goldman of Patrick Properties Hospitality Group indulges food editors with them. What are these desirable treats? The nostalgic collectibles that Carolina Coaster Company has been dishing out since 2010.

Three years ago, spurred on by impending retirement, Cindy Ellsworth set out to craft high-end photo coasters celebrating Charleston’s most beloved landmarks, restaurants, and shops. She devised a method of adhering printed photographs to tumbled marble, hand-blending the paper for an aged look. The coasters are finished with three coats of sealant and a cork backing.

Now, from her Bohicket Marina studio, Ellsworth cooks up coasters using some 250 scenes shot on her COOLPIX camera. A staff of retirees and side jobbers helps her handle the demand of stores like Indigo, Carolina Clay Gallery, and The Coastal Cupboard. And when the much-anticipated Southern Season opens in Mount Pleasant next month, her products will be on the shelves.

“I had no idea they would become so popular,” says Ellsworth. Between a new website that allows clients to upload photos for custom orders and visions of expanding into other locales, this Seabrook Island start-up promises to deliver plenty more to the table.

To enter to win this week’s giveaway, a set of two coasters (two winners will be selected at random), click here.

To check out Carolina Coaster Company’s wares, click here.