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Newest Five Points business to celebrate opening

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Five Points’ newest business will soon celebrate its grand opening.

Botánica de Santee, a Latinx and Afro-Caribbean-inspired, unisex clothing and accessory boutique, is now open at 724 Santee Ave. Owner Wayne Pankey, a Navy veteran and Columbia resident since 2013, spent three years developing the concept for the shop, which combines fashion, art and music into an experience similar to the funky New York City shops he visited while growing up in Connecticut.

“The Five Points village was my introduction to Columbia,” Pankey said in a news release from the Five Points Association. “I’m a big foodie, and one of the first things I do when arriving to a new area is to research the food scene. The Gourmet Shop caught my eye, and it is one of the coolest eateries I’ve ever visited, in addition to having delicious food.

“Since then, I’ve visited most, if not all, of the businesses and eateries in the village. I thought how cool it would be to start something of my own in the area, and that opportunity arose in 2019 when I noticed a simple ‘For Rent’ sign in a window on Santee Avenue.”

Botánica de Santee will be open Monday through Friday from noon until 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until.  

“Congratulations to Botánica de Santee on their new venture here in Five Points,” Columbia Mayor Daniel Rickenmann said. “As this region booms, it’s incredible to help welcome diversity in culture and ideas. We look forward to seeing their success.”

A ribbon cutting scheduled for today was postponed because of rain.

Said Katy Renfroe, association manager of the Five Points Association: “Wayne has created one of the most unique boutiques in Five Points. We couldn’t be happier to have a new shopping option for Soda Citizens with such diversity and culture represented.”

Reach Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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