This Is Carolina: Boardwalk Coffee House serves up much more than a cup of Joe

Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 11:33 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Anyone who stops by Boardwalk Coffee House in Myrtle Beach can expect to get conversation and camaraderie in addition to coffee.

The shop has sat on the Boardwalk at 9th Avenue North since the boardwalk opened more than 11 years ago, and has become a favorite for locals and tourists alike.

“People come here every year, and they say – they tell us that one of the first places they want to come into is the coffee house,” said Rick Sarver, co-owner of Boardwalk Coffee House.

Rick and his wife Deann own the place.

They say their goal is to treat every customer like the most special customer they’ve ever had.

“When people come in the door, they’re not just customers, but they’re valuable to God,” Rick said. “We see them as very valuable and precious to God.”

The Sarvers’ faith plays a huge role in running their business. In fact, they believe it took a little divine intervention to even get here in the first place.

Rick and Deann came to visit Myrtle Beach around the time the boardwalk first started.

While they were there, they ran into someone who asked them if they saw the dolphins in the ocean.

The Sarvers saw this as a sign, because of something that happened a couple weeks prior to their visit.

“A friend of mine happened to called me and said, ‘Rick, I don’t know what this means, but God told me to tell you. People are like two kinds of fish. They’re either sharks or dolphins. And you’re definitely a dolphin.’ And I thought, ‘Okay…’” Rick said.

The man who asked the Sarvers if they saw the dolphins started speaking with the Sarvers, and they told him they were interested in starting a coffee shop in Myrtle Beach.

The man then told them he just so happened to own the building where Boardwalk Coffee House now sits.

He then showed the Sarvers around the building and offered to lease it to them.

They opened up Boardwalk Coffee House just six weeks later.

The Sarvers don’t just use the coffee house as a place to sell coffee. Its second floor has also served as a springboard for their Christian ministry.

“We’ve had a lot of things go on upstairs,” Deann Sarver said. “We’ve had worship time together, prayer times together. And then it just got larger than what would hold upstairs.”

The Sarvers then realized they needed to expand. They did so in a big way, by starting their own church.

The Grace Place sits on George Bishop Parkway in Horry County.

What started as a random visit to Myrtle Beach with no purpose other than to get away turned into much more.

As for the future of Boardwalk Coffee House and The Grace Place, the Sarvers say they’re just following God’s lead.

“I always say this. Blessed are the flexible, for they shall be stretched,” Rick said. “You’ve got to have kind of a Gumby philosophy.”

Rick and Deann say they also believe God has watched over the coffee house through hardships, because it’s never been damaged by hurricanes, and they rebounded strongly after COVID.

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