Pay What You Can Restaurant in Charleston Closes After Property Management Raises Rent

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – Ragina Scott-Saunders, owner of Destiny Community Cafe, has been feeding the community for almost 7 years. She says her property manager has raised her rent by thousands of dollars, but won’t let that get in the way of her mission of hope.

“It would have been 7 years at Easter. We would have celebrated our 7th birthday here, ”says Scott-Saunders.

Destiny Community Cafe is built on the philosophy, serving thousands of meals to the Lowcountry community, but now it is shutting down due to high rent.

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

Scott-Saunders says his property management company is increasing its rent at the cafe to $ 10,000 in an attempt to invest in the area and set up bars and restaurants where his business is currently located.

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

Scott-Saunders says she received a letter from her property manager on Oct. 1, saying she must leave by Oct. 31 if she can’t afford the new rent charges. 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 was push the contracts in my face,” she says.

As Scott-Saunders accumulates years of hard work and service, she says the way she gets through this tough time is by starting a food truck.

“I’m going to keep my hopes up, raise my head and say goodbye, but say hello to a good future,” she said.

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

“People used to come here in suicidal states, but they left here wanting to live, because someone cared,” Scott-Saunders explains.

Scott-Saunders was one of our finalists for 2021 Remarkable Woman of the Lowcountry and she even got help keeping her business afloat from another finalist. We have contacted the property manager for comment, but so far have not had a response.