Visitors to the Twelve Oaks Shopping Center will be greeted by another local storefront during their next shopping trip. The Cinnamon Bear Country Store, a staple on River Street and City Market, has opened a third Savannah location at the midtown shopping center.
The store at 5550 Abercorn St. is the fifth location for owners Michael and Lynne Snaid, who celebrated with a ribbon-cutting at the new location Tuesday. Other locations outside of Savannah include Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Fernandina Beach, Florida.
In the mid-1990s, after immigrating to the United States from South Africa, Michael Snaid helped open a Cinnamon Bear store in Hilton Head and while his career eventually took him away from the company, he didn’t stay away very long.
“My first love was always the Cinnamon Bear and I always kept in touch,” he said.
“Then the opportunity arose in 2010 to purchase the stores I originally helped open and we did. Then, in 2014, we opened on Amelia Island.”
Snaid was approached by David Garfunkel of A. J. & C. Garfunkel, the owner of the shopping center, earlier this year about expanding to the Twelve Oaks Location that was previously occupied by Kitchenware outfitters, which closed last October.
“I had no desire or interest really, but he planted a seed. … Less than a month after that, we had renovated the store, put down a new floor, painted everything, new ceiling and items starting rolling in,” Snaid said.
The store carries a wide variety of products from toys and games, to unique housewares, gourmet foods, Brighton jewelry, and Vera Bradley, Spartina and Vendula handbags and accessories.
“We have gifts literally for every person, every event, every day, every member of the family. We’ve had a really remarkable response,” he said.
“(River Street and City Market) are tourists gift stores. This is a local-based, destination gift store. It’s a different concept. … We want to be the destination gift store for this area.”
The company also announced a new partnership with the Marne Community and Spouses’ Club of Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield on Tuesday. A portion of sales during June will be donated to the nonprofit, which assists other nonprofits and local active duty military, along with their spouses and families, with grants and scholarships.
“We feel really privileged to be living in this great country. We’re very proud citizens and part of that greatness and that uniqueness of America has come through the sacrifice, commitment and loyalty of the military over decades, and that’s why we decided to partner with the Marne Community and Spouses’ Club,” Snaid said.
Nina Elison, president of the Marne Community and Spouses’ Club, said the organization is very blessed and excited to have partnered with the Snaid’s and the Cinnamon Bear store.
“Michael and Lynne are generous, thoughtful and so caring. It was just a natural gravitation to create a partnership that we hope will continue to last, so that we can continue to create great programs in the community,” Elison said.
“We’re excited to see this partnership go forward and continue enriching the lives of our military personnel.”