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Sunday, Sep. 21, 2014

Ivy Villa offers unique setting for unique gifts

Sunday, June 6, 2004

(Photo)
All Rolwing, owner of Ivy Villa, arranges the display of gourmet food items.
CHARLESTON - A turn-of-the-century house has found a new life as a home for a shop offering unique gifts and collectibles.

Ivy Villa, owned by Ann Rolwing, opened this spring at 217 E. Marshall St. to provide a wide selection of gifts for all ages. "You can find something for everyone and for every occasion," said Rolwing.

The selections range from gourmet foods to jewelry to glassware. Rolwing encourages customers to take their time as they wander through each room on the first floor where they find such items as the Bicknese Red Hat line of lotions and soaps or Westland giftware. Many of her customers are drawn to the cabinet containing the series of ceramics known as the Trail of the Painted Ponies while others prefer the women's hats and purses.

For the antique collector, there is even an area set aside for them.

There are cookbooks for the aspiring gourmet and for those who want their gourmet foods without all the cooking, Ivy Villa carries Leepy's gourmet food. Along with the salsas, pickles and jams, Rolwing points out the pie mixes which have proved popular - Mississippi Delta Fudge Pie, Plantation Pie and the southern favorite, Grand Old Chess Pie.

Even the candles they sell can whet the appetite with names like Tangello, Lemonade and Fried Green Tomatoes.

Many of the items are unique to Ivy Villa. The store offers wreaths and swags and Rolwing's custom-designed, embroidered blanket featuring the Charleston Bluejay has proved a popular gift for graduates along with her custom-embroidered towels.

The first few months of business have pleased the owner. "The community has been very supportive," said Rolwing.

Rolwing works to extend her hospitality to shoppers. Each Saturday she brews and serves gourmet Hawaiian coffee. The store's opening coincided with the community's Dogwood-Azalea Festival, enabling locals as well as visitors to get the first peek at the business.

"Everything started off well and business continues to be good," the owner added. "The store fills a niche in Charleston, which needed a place to get a wide variety of gifts."

Ivy Villa is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The shop is closed Sunday and Monday.