Judith Roberts

Portfolio Art Gallery

I have customers who’ve been with me since the first day I opened, and a lot of people have been shopping here for 35 years. One day I was talking to a young woman, who was very professional and business-like, and I asked where she was from. She said she lived in Chicago – and this gives me chills – she said, “I never feel like I’m home until I come to Portfolio.” And I’ve had a lot of people tell me that, that they feel like they’re at home here. It’s very touching.

Five Points has roots – it’s old timey and up to date at the same time.

I’ve lived in Columbia since 1971; a long time. We moved to the Wales Garden neighborhood in 1979, and I started Portfolio Art Gallery – a nationally recognized, specialty visual art, gift and jewelry shop – in 1980. We moved here because we liked the shopping village area, and I can walk to work – I do all the time!

I opened in the little Devine Street-facing space for 17 years before we made the shop bigger, expanding into the Saluda Avenue side, which used to be a liquor store. We cut a hole in the wall, and the liquor was still there. You can still see where people lined up to buy their liquor by the wear on the floor.

  • Genuine Thing

    I think the people who founded and built Five Points had a lot of foresight, because it’s an original and unique kind of place; it’s the village shopping area. And that’s what everything is kind of turning to these days, or returning to. They’re trying to create places like this and make them look old, but we’re the genuine thing. Five Points has roots – it’s old timey and up to date at the same time, and I always try to keep my gallery up to date along with it.

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  • Favorite Bites

    There are several Five Points restaurants I love, and Cellar on Greene is one of them. And Mr. Friendly’s is a great place, too; I love the food there. Baan Sawan is wonderful, and the menu changes. I probably have eaten 500 Jimmy John’s sandwiches, because it’s quick and clean and fresh and convenient.

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  • Miggsey's Place

    I like Papa Jazz – whenever I need music I’ll run over there – and I like Pecknel Music. My dog, Miggsey, loves to go in there. Miggsey is a busy dog, and our official store greeter. People love her, and customers have trained her to roll over so they can scratch her belly. I also like to go to Blossom Shop, 2G’s, and, of course, The Gourmet Shop is wonderful. I like Natural Vibrations – I think that’s a really nice business that’s unusual – and my Miggsey’s favorite place is Loose Lucy’s. I just love those clothes.

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