Scofield to retire from downtown business
Like those familiar squeaks and creaks of the gift shop’s timeworn hardwood floor and the merry jangle of bells as customers enter and exit, folks around Greenville have come to expect Katrina Scofield’s smiling face and warm welcome when they visit The Pineapple downtown.
She started with the business just a few months after it opened at its original location in Gateway Plaza in the fall of 1988. In the beginning, she worked just one day a week.
“And then one day became two, and then three—and pretty soon I was working full time,” says Scofield. She became store manager in 2000. Her duties included going to Atlanta to Market for gifts and apparel; checking in, pricing and displaying merchandise, and wrapping gifts, a courtesy for which customers were never charged.
Twenty-eight years after she started at The Pineapple, Scofield is ready to put away her gift wrapping shears and receipt books and join the ranks of the retired. A reception was given for her on January 31, her last day at work (“A lovely event, nice turnout, wonderful food”).
Scofield leaves with many fond memories of the locally-owned gift shop, which has become a fixture in downtown Greenville.
“The customers are definitely what I am going to miss the most,” Scofield says. “I truly believe I have made friends that will last a lifetime.”
She also speaks warmly of the folks who worked alongside her over those years: May Ellis, Patsy Davis, Marion Norman, the late Frances Shanks, Magoo Hamilton, Sheryl Perdue, the late Nell Bowden, Millie Lisenby, Melissa Padallino, Morgan Jinright, Jean Hardin, Brenda Scott-Bush, Jane Pierce, Jan Autrey, Joy Windham, Brittany Carpenter and “a host of teenage girls.”
“Working with all these ladies was truly a pleasure,” Scofield says.
When asked what she believes to be the secret of The Pineapple’s continuing success in a tough time for many small town businesses, she doesn’t hesitate in her response.
“Customer service, absolutely,” Scofield says. “You know, if an older lady came in to buy a wedding gift and wanted to sit on the sofa and have one of us bring her possible choices to look over, then that’s what we’ve done. Everyone doesn’t want to shop online. People still like to hold the merchandise in their own hands and we’ve always given them that. And—when we wrap a gift, the customer really likes that gold sticker marking it as being from The Pineapple showing!”
And the customers have always loved those “Wonderful Wednesdays,” too, Scofield says.
“You know, I think it was Nancy Idland and Greenville Main Street that got us started with that concept and we’ve stuck with it—having a store-wide discount store wide a particular theme all day each Wednesday,” Scofield says. “I think the favorite Wonderful Wednesdays have been the color-themed ones— 25 percent off everything that’s green for Saint Patrick’s Day, for example. That includes lots of possibilities for our shoppers!”
While it’s an adjustment being away from the store after nearly 30 years, Scofield won’t be sitting at home twiddling her thumbs. She has plenty of plans.
“I am going to learn how to do French hand sewing . . . you know, hoping to have grandchildren one day. And I am finally going to learn how to home can vegetables, jellies and sauces by the guiding hands of my parents, Margaret and Wesley Braden,” Scofield says with a smile.
“I want to help a dear friend, Sheryl Perdue, design flowers for weddings. And I am hoping to now spend more just the occasional weekend with my mother-in-law, Maria Scofield, who is Italian. She is going to teach me how to cook some traditional Italian dishes and, who knows—I just might learn some Italian.”
Also on tap: reading more books, combing through the many cookbooks she has collected over the years to try out new recipes, and taking some fun day trips with her friends to explore other towns and do some antiquing.
“I am going to be more spontaneous, now that I don’t have that fixed schedule anymore,” Scofield says.
As they say in Italy: Ciao, Katrina—buona fortuna!