“Pay-what-you-can” restaurant in North Charleston closing down due to property management raising rent

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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Ragina Scott-Saunders, who owns Destiny Community Cafe has fed the community for almost 7 years. She says her property manager raised her rent thousands of dollars, but won’t let this stand in the way of her mission of hope.

“It would have been 7 years this Easter. We would have been celebrating 7 years right here,” says Scott-Saunders.

Destiny Community Cafe is built off of philosophy, serving the Lowcountry community thousands of meals, but now she is closing her doors due to high paying rent.

“We won’t be here anymore where are these people going to eat?” says Scott-Saunders.

Scott-Saunders says her property management company is upping her rent at the cafe to $10,000 in attempts to invest into the area and put bars and restaurants where her business currently is.

“There were 9 small businesses here and half of them had to leave because of this rent increase that they are doing,” she says.

Scott-Saunders says she got a letter from her property manager on October 1st, saying she has to leave by October 31st if she can’t pay the new rent fee. She says she can’t afford these high prices.

“We tried to negotiate and talk with the manager and the only thing they tried to do is push contracts in my face,” she says.

As Scott-Saunders packs up years of hard work and service, she says the way she is getting through this difficult time is by starting a food truck.

“I am going to keep hope, lift my head up and say goodbye, but say hello to a good future,” she says.

She says she will now remember the impact the cafe has left on thousands of lives.

“People would come here in suicidal states, but they left here wanting to live, because somebody cared,” Scott-Saunders says.

Scott-Saunders was one of our finalists for 2021’s Remarkable Woman of the Lowcountry and she even got help keeping her business afloat from a fellow finalist. We’ve reached out to the property manager for comment, but so far have not heard back.

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