An Aiken couple recently won a state license to open a new funeral home in Aiken.
Erin and Mitchell Rivers, both licensed funeral directors, worked for years with George Funeral Home in Aiken. "My wife literally grew up there," Mr. Rivers said.
Since the Rivers left George Funeral Home in October, they have been making preparations to open Rivers Funeral Home. They restored an early 1900s house at 715 E. Pine Log Road because they wanted to offer what Mr. Rivers called, "a warm, homey atmosphere."
Making families feel comfortable is a key factor in the success of funeral homes, he said. Since the average family in the United States has to purchase funeral services every 10 years, he said stability and compassionate service were vital to winning repeat business.
"We're local people. You're dealing with hometown folks," he said. "The funeral industry is a service-oriented profession. It's not just a business."
Rivers funeral home has eight employees, with some working part time.