By Andy Ann
Long-standing traditions, hometown values, and a legacy of helping others are what Della Robertson has emulated for 29 years of service through H & D Super Market in Walterboro.
From the community’s standpoint, what people remember most about Robertson are the random acts of kindness that she has paid forward to others over the years without expecting anything in return and how thankful many are for her love and kindness. She has come to know so many in the community over several generations of patrons returning year after year.
When asked how Robertson was able the carry through all the ups and downs of running the market, she explained it was from treating people right. She said, “All of us were taught it didn't matter who you were or what you had. Everybody was the same. Bottom line. It didn't matter if you had a billion dollars or if you had nothing. We always treated people the same. It didn't matter who they were."
Robertson recalled a time long ago as a small child when her daddy used to walk with her down to the small store to get some groceries and she has so many fond memories from those days. In the early days, the market was owned by two friends named Lucas Hiott and Gene Drawdy, second cousin to Robertson. Lucas Hiott’s daughter, Wendy Hiott Clark, now currently owns the store.
Robertson gives credit for paying things forward to the original owners, Lucus Hiott and Gene Drawdy. She explained that they have helped so many over the years and she just wanted to continue that tradition. She felt in her heart that it was the right thing to do. She said when you help others it comes back tenfold, and she told her mother long ago that she wanted to help people like Hiott and Drawdy had done in the past.
Robertson will soon be embarking on the next phase of her lifelong journey as she prepares to retire in the coming weeks and days. She has been feeling and experiencing what often comes with age and she acknowledges that it is time to step back and slow down to enjoy quieter days ahead. Drawdy’s grandson, Gene, will be taking the reins soon as ownership is getting ready to pass over to the next generation.
Robertson said, “To all my loyal customers and friends for the last 29 years, Maryanne and I would like you to know how much y'all have meant to us. We now think it's time to retire. Before it's too late to enjoy life a little bit more. We would like to thank Pam Smith for the opportunity she gave us 29 years ago. Last but not least, we would like to thank all our special employees for sticking with us through thick and thin. I hope you all will patron our store. We have some wonderful people here. We love you all.”
H & D Super Market is located at 1609 Hampton St., Walterboro.