Charleston's Sweetgrass Baskets - A Family Tradition

When visiting Charleston, past history surrounds you on every street corner, however, there is a place where history plays through day after day. That place is the City Market.

The entrance to the City Market is on the lower level. It stretches for blocks.

The entrance to the City Market is on the lower level. It stretches for blocks.

In 1788, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney granted the land where the City Market sits to the City of Charleston to be used as a public market, and stipulated that the property must always be the home of the market. The low buildings, often called sheds, stretch from Market Hall to the waterfront. Vendors sold meat, vegetables, and fish, and goods to locals. The outbuildings survived many disasters such are hurricanes, fires, and even bombardment. Yet, today, they still exist, and one vendor that has stood the test of time is Gullah Sweetgrass Baskets.

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Handwoven Sweetgrass Baskets

If you bring one souvenir home from Charleston, choose a sweetgrass basket for its quality, heritage, and functionality. As a bonus, you are likely to meet Corey Alston, a 5th generation basket weaver.

Basket weavers in The Holy City have been around for a long time, and each artist can have a particular form of weaving. Which means no two baskets are alike. I am always looking to bring home something from my travels that speaks to the history and spirit of the place I'm visiting. A sweetgrass basket was top on my list. I was lucky to meet and talk with Corey Alston, a fifth-generation basket weaver who carries on his family's tradition with pride. I purchased one that had the signature S-handle, and I am using it for chips and crackers. I love being able to tell the story of where I bought unique pieces on my journeys.

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Chips and Dip

never looked better in a sweetgrass basket from Charleston.





mary van hieldesign, travel, Food