Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea opens in downtown Columbia

Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea, located at 1002 Park Street. Karamie Sullivan and Matthew Ployhart photos. Gregg Dodd photo provided.

There’s a new place to get your coffee fix in Columbia.

Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea, located at 1002 Park St., has been open for about two weeks. Owner Greg Dodd said they’ve already begun to acquire regulars.

The store offers a variety of hot and cold coffee-based drinks. Additionally, Dodd said what sets them apart is their tea options. “We have over 20 whole leaf and herbal teas that we offer. Coffee is a huge part of our business, but the differentiator is the tea,” he said. His favorite Sweetwater tea is the cold lemon ginger tea, made with all “real” ingredients, no syrups.

One of the original drink options the business offers is called the “ice dragon.” It’s a frozen, blended drink, but Dodd said they are not called smoothies at Sweetwaters. “For a little indulgence, there’s the strawberry bliss, which is one of our ice dragons. It’s nothing but real strawberries, yogurt, milk and ice. It’s very tasty. You can drink it knowing you’re not indulging in something really unhealthy,” he said.

Dodd, who has lived in Columbia for 40 years, said he’s been looking forward to getting to meet all the people who will enter his store. “Our whole mantra is that we want to make our guest’s day. I think that’s what life’s all about – it’s about people, and trying to instill that culture here has been part of our training,” he said. Dodd emphasized to his employees the importance of genuine conversation. “It’s not memorizing the drinks and prices, it’s teaching our staff how to be engaged with people, and make them feel welcome,” he added.

Sweetwaters will be holding their ribbon cutting Tuesday at 4 p.m., as part of a week-long opening celebration. Dodd said special deals will be offered including buy-one-get-one-free, and free cold brews throughout the week. Pawmetto Lifeline will also be on-site Tuesday afternoon with dogs up for adoption.

In addition to coffees and ice dragons, Sweetwaters also offers breakfast sandwiches, salads, desserts, and other light fare. They are open Mondays through Wednesdays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. More information can be found on their Facebook page and website.

Categories: Business, Columbia, Richland County

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