A Brief History
The Pitner Family opened The Coastal Cupboard, “the Lowcountry’s most complete kitchen store”, in August 2005. John and Lori Pitner had owned and operated clothing stores in northern Colorado since 1982. After selling their business interests in Colorado, they moved to Mount Pleasant, South Carolina with most of their eight children. They weren’t in town long when the retail bug bit them once again and they decided to pursue a different type of store concept. John called his friend, Carey Hewitt, who owned a kitchen store called The Cupboard in Ft. Collins, Colorado. John had always considered Carey one of the greatest retail merchants he had ever met and his store is still simply “the best”. Carey was quick to give John assistance… and “The Coastal Cupboard” was born! Now the Pitners and all of their eight children and their families live in the area. Over the years, each has contributed their time, effort and energy, in a variety of ways, to the start-up and running of the store.
Meet Our Amazing Staff
The Coastal Cupboard is a specialty kitchen store staffed with family and friends. Everyone here at the shop is encouraged to wear “several hats”. Most staff members are buyers, salespeople, merchandisers, freight handlers, stockers, and more. We believe this inclusive formula works to provide you with the best products and service we can deliver.
Brad is the current owner of the Coastal Cupboard. Brad left Colorado to pursue a career in music in Nashville, Tennessee, and soon met a girl named Joy. He married Joy on 05-05-05, before moving to South Carolina to help start the new family business! They now have two children, Mary and Jack. For Brad, owning a retail store and working with such a fantastic group of people has turned out to be the greatest and hardest, as well as the most rewarding career he could ever imagine. His dad, John, will tell you that one of his proudest moments with Brad, and maybe one his most difficult, was the day Brad informed him that he was ready to run the business. Brad still consults with John on a regular basis for guidance and accountability. Most days you will find Brad on the sales floor working with customers, as that is still his favorite aspect of working at the shop. John and Brad have started another business on the side inventing products for this industry. The first of the ideas to come to market is the Concave Cutting Board.
Joy’s job description has changed over the years. Currently, Joy works out of her home taking care of their two young children, managing the bookkeeping responsibilities for the store, and helping Brad with anything else she can contribute to. Joy was the operations manager of a small record label in Nashville before moving to South Carolina with Brad to help open The Coastal Cupboard with The Pitners. She is crazy fast with technology in general, which comes in handy as she orchestrates the receiving and payment procedures for more than 14,000 items and nearly 350 vendors with whom we currently do business. Joy maintains contact with the shop by dropping in occasionally and assisting with major inventory moves or holiday merchandising. Joy enjoys walking and playing with her kids, reading (when she can find the time) and dining out with Brad at one of the many great spots in Mt. Pleasant and Charleston.
John and his wife, Lori, owned and operated clothing stores in Colorado before moving to the Lowcountry. They have 8 children & 3 grandchildren (all living here in Mount Pleasant), as well as an endless stream of visitors. We often tell them their home is more like a bed and breakfast than anything, which doesn’t seem to bother them since they absolutely love to entertain. John is the backbone of The Coastal Cupboard, he came up with the vision and started the store from the ground up back in 2005. Although he works part-time now that his son, Brad, has taken over the reigns as owner, he is still a very active part of keeping the store true to how it started. It’s his attention to customers and service that have given The Coastal Cupboard the feel that we’ve become known for, and maintaining that as a focus for staff. When he’s not working at the store, you’ll often find him attacking his yard, carving perfect edges and pruning the lawn to weedless perfection. John and Brad have started another business on the side inventing products for this industry. The first of the ideas to come to market is the Concave Cutting Board.
Lynn is central to the Coastal Cupboard, and rightfully so. She has spent many hours at the store…initially, as a customer, then a staff member, then a manager and now, as a buyer for about half of the store! Lynn is that person who is gifted to mentor, encourage, and engage the staff, and to help customers with a winning smile. She can be found throughout the store because she enjoys baking, cooking, dinnerware and tabletop, all with a desire to pursue the most excellent and progressive items on the market for our consumers. Never hesitate to ask her opinion about a tabletop setting, favorite gadget or piece of bakeware, or random question…inevitably she will be “spot on”, or spend time discovering the answer. She goes out of her way to make herself available to staff and customers, alike.
Lynn McClelland, her husband, Bryan, and their son, Bradley moved from the North to the South, like so many of the employees at the Coastal Cupboard, years ago. They have always enjoyed being near the water, so Charleston seems to have been a natural fit. Lynn is a fabulous baker and an ardent proponent of all foods and seafoods fresh. In her free time, Lynn takes care of her friends and staff by frequently baking cakes for birthdays/holidays, enjoys time with her family and friends on the water, and reads.
Bob, his wife, Lisa, and son, Kaden moved to Charleston in 2007. Savannah’s loss has been Mt. Pleasant’s gain. Bob became a manager of the Coastal Cupboard in August, 2014. His effective leadership, grilling expertise, wonderful sense of humor and affection for helping our customers have enriched the Coastal Cupboard staff from the onset. Stop in and feel free to chat him up about all things grilling and cooking. Then let him get back to work for a little while, please. His passions and smile are contagious and engaging.
In his “too little spare time”, Bob is an avid indoor/outdoor cook and Big Green Egg aficionado. (How lucky is Lisa?) Bob also coaches baseball through the Mt. Pleasant Recreation Department, and is a musician. He clearly lives in the fast lane. Please follow Bob on Instagram @biggreenguy
Ellen made an immediate impact when she joined the staff at The Coastal Cupboard. Her enthusiasm for cooking and for trying new recipes has provided her with a solid foundation for buying cookbooks and cookware. One of her favorite cookware manufactures is Swiss Diamond, the manufacturer of a complete line of non-stick cookware. When not at The Coastal Cupboard, Ellen enjoys spending time with her husband Mickey (you may know him from Charleston Grill) and their dog, Hefner. She and Mickey enjoy a variety of dining experiences. She is the store’s resident “foodie”, and can tell you where to eat, what to eat, and how to eat it. Don’t be surprised if you run into her cruising local farmer’s markets for everything fresh and delicious.
Chris moved to Charleston several years ago with her husband, Gerry, from New York City. She became a world traveler as she trekked across Africa, Europe and South America with her husband while he worked in the Army and United Nations. They chose Charleston as home because of the terrific weather, wonderful people and spectacular beauty!
We first met Chris when she and Gerry purchased a John Boos table in the store for their home. They later attended one of the evening wine tastings at the store, and following in Helen’s footsteps, Chris became a volunteer. Brad quickly noticed that Chris was a people person and her skills as a former business owner. It wasn’t long after that Chris was asked to officially join The Coastal Cupboard family.
She has a high energy and never stands still, which has won her the nickname “Roomba”! Chris is normally running around the store helping customers, but when she does stop you can find her in the tablescapes area where she assists customers in arranging gorgeous settings atop their tables. Her first question is always, “What’s on your table?”
Chris has two sons: one who lives in New York, and one who lives in Los Angeles who is married with two children. With two sons, two daughters-in-law, and two amazing grandchildren, Chris is always traveling to visit her family when she is not at The Coastal Cupboard.
Helen Muglia and her husband, Donald, moved to the Lowcountry several years ago from New Jersey…her accent gives her away immediately! She began her career at The Coastal Cupboard as a cooking class volunteer. Helen joined the staff officially when Brad quickly recognized that her own cooking and baking skills, teaching background, and sweet spirit could only add depth to his burgeoning staff willing to help customers on the floor. Today she oversees the tea area and of course, the baking accessories. When not at the store, Helen loves to spend time with her son, daughter and four grandchildren, as well as crocheting, giving personal cooking lessons for fortunate staff members and hosting parties for fortunate neighborhood members. Did we mention she has a huge heart?
Like several of our staff members, Linda is a veteran volunteer from the Coastal Cupboard cooking classes and is a foodie. But, she particularly enjoys interacting with people. Her smiling face and infectious laugh are testimonies to her warm and engaging personality. Linda makes an extra effort to assist customers in any area of the store and knows the products from personal use. Linda and her husband, a retired engineer, moved back to Charleston in 2010 and quickly became reconnected with the community. She has two sons, one in Orlando and one in Stockholm, and several grandchildren who she loves to spoil despite the miles that separate them. When not working, she enjoys participating at her church, spending time on their boat, playing bridge, trying new restaurants, and traveling to see family and friends.
Robert is one of the backbones of the Coastal Cupboard. He is not always visible because he manages the backroom: processing inventory as it arrives, mailing packages, assembling Big Green Eggs and sharpening knives. On the floor, Robert helps customers with all things cutlery or grill-oriented. Do not be fooled by his slight body frame; he is strong, agile and knowledgeable about the Coastal Cupboard’s inventory. Robert moves quickly and quietly, unless asked about specific topics, like his heritage in the Philippines, family, his sweet wife, or love of cooking. On these subjects he can be quite vocal. When not working, Robert enjoys spending time with his wife while cooking, biking, relaxing at the beach and drawing.
Jessica runs our shipping and receiving, is hands-on with store merchandising and displays, and brings enough energy with her to work that we all just try to keep up! She wears a lot of hats, has a lot on her plate, but you’ll always find her smiling and blessing customers and staff with her sweetness and unsurpassed positive energy. Outside of work, Jessica loves animals, especially dogs…she loves to cook, garden and eat out at Charleston’s amazing restaurants with friends and family.
Liv and her husband, Eric, have 2 girls. She has been in the low country for 10+ years, originally from New York. She had a Craft Gallery in downtown Charleston on John Street where she featured her pottery along with other artisan products created by local craftsmen. In addition to her passion for pottery, Liv loves to bake. She has a very good eye for quality design and thoughtfully manufactured or hand-made products. Liv is responsible for buying the wood and woven entertaining pieces for the store.
Suzanne grew up in Alabama and most recently moved from Raleigh North Carolina to Charleston with her husband, Scott. Suzanne is quick to help customers especially with any baking needs. She loves to bake and currently does the purchasing for the bakeware department. She keeps herself busy outside of work as a yoga instructor and creating specialty designed cards for her stationary company, Batson Co. You can find her unique cards alongside our other greeting cards here in the store.
Sam has lived in the Charleston area his whole life. He assembles and delivers the Big Green Egg, receives merchandise, stocks and maintains the BBQ area in the store, and assists in knife sharping responsibilities. Sam is always happy to help anyone in the store with a yes sir or yes ma’am. Out of work, Sam enjoys water sports, scuba diving, hunting and fishing. He loves to cook and is looking forward to joining the “Low Country Eggheads” team as he become more proficient on the Big Green Egg.
Karin and her husband Hal moved down here from New Jersey but grew up in Chicago. The crazy part is that her parents were friends with the Pitner’s grand-parents… and long-story-short – The connection was made, and we’re glad to continue and build on that family friendship. Karin is always moving. She is always knee deep in a project, and takes charge of making sure our shelves are stocked and tight. Karin also loves to cook. She’s always trying new recipes, sharing her family recipes, and swapping recipes with our staff. When she’s not at work, Karin and Hal love to travel, cook, host out-of-town friends and family and share with them the beautiful Lowcountry.