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  • Raven Boone

Recent ribbon cuttings for JACI Event Supply & Rentals and Maya's Crab Shack

JACI Event Supply and Rentals marries high fashion and southern hospitality

JACI Event Supply and Rentals officially opened its doors during a Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Tourism ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday surrounded by a large turnout of community support.

Front row (from left) Columbus Chamber of Commerce President Jennifer Holcomb, Carole Higgins, daughter Janay Higgins, Joy Green, husband James Green holding daughter Jolana Green. Second row, Zachary Higgins, Cierra Vaughn, Alan Polite, Gladys Polite and Whiteville Mayor Terry Mann

Located downtown at 710 S. Madison St., JACI bills itself as “Eastern North Carolina’s most exuberant service provider in event planning.” They cover a range of events including weddings, church anniversaries, and black-tie affairs. Customers can rent table settings, centerpieces, and other party needs at an affordable price.

Owner Joy Green says she got the idea from God two years ago to open an event planning business after helping a friend with their wedding and is thankful her vision has become a reality. She had to travel out of town for most of her friend’s needs and thought that Columbus County could benefit from having a local rental option.

“So many people tell me they have to go to Wilmington, Fayetteville — sometimes as far as South Carolina — for rental supplies,” Green said. “JACI is not just for Whiteville, but for the county as well.”

The name “JACI” holds special meaning. Taken from the initials of Green, her daughter, and her business partner Carole Higgins, “JACI” represents the idea of creativity and originality.

The business also marries high fashion with southern hospitality. Green and Higgins traveled to Paris for Fashion Week, and while the trip was for another business venture, the two were able to incorporate it into JACI; their logo depicts a miniature Eiffel tower. They work closely with customers to ensure their satisfaction.

“They are sweet people. They’ve been wonderful to work with,” said Pam Ward, who used the rental company for a wedding.

JACI is open weekdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Maya’s Crab Shack grows out of family’s love of seafood

Maya’s Crab Shack celebrated its official opening during a Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Tourism ribbon cutting Thursday.

What started as simply cooking for family quickly turned into something more, said owner De’Maya Berry.

“I come from a family that loves seafood so I was just cooking for them,” she said. “My friends tried to get me to start selling plates from home but I wasn’t convinced.”

De’Maya Berry, owner of Maya’s Crab Shack, cuts the ribbon at her Riegelwood restaurant Thursday during a Columbus Chamber of Commerce ceremony.

Eventually, Berry agreed, but it wasn’t until she began selling out every weekend that she recognized a greater potential.

She expanded her business and has been at her current location, 4289 Old Stage Rd. in Riegelwood, since March.

Maya’s Crab Shack boasts a wide array of seafood staples, from Southern classics like shrimp and grits to snow crabs and lobster tails.

Customers seem to agree with the restaurant’s self-proclaimed title of “best seafood around town.” Scrolling through the restaurant’s Facebook page, one would be hard pressed to find a negative review. “The best seafood ever…highly recommended,” one user commented.

Berry acknowledges that “business is great” and patrons seem to “love what we have to offer.”

Berry has a strong desire to give back to the community that has given so much to her. She hosts free events and giveaways and also has a “Back-to-school Bash” planned for Aug. 10.

Breakfast and lunch are served Monday-Friday daily from 8-3:30 p.m. and dinner is served Friday and Saturday from 3-8 p.m.

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