If you enjoy filling your shopping cart with the likes of North Carolina cheeses, artisan-made chocolates, gourmet coffees and fine wines, Southern Season is your Eden. This award-winning grocery store – which was founded in Chapel Hill, N.C., back in 1975 – opened a satellite in Mount Pleasant, just over the bridge from Charleston, in fall 2013.
Shelves here overflow with gourmet goodies to please even the most discriminating gourmand. Serious foodies can easily spend a couple of hours just browsing the different sections of the store.
A sampling from Southern Season — Photo courtesy of Southern Season
Up front, you’ll find coffees and teas, before you reach the refrigerated case filled with delectable prepared foods, cured meats and, finally, cheeses. Many of the cheeses are domestic, representing Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and North Carolina, among other states.
Rifle through rows of wines from around the world, and you’ll surely find a new favorite. Next to the wine section are the candies – with chocolate the foremost among them. Valrhona from France, Lindt from Switzerland, Caffarel gianduia from Italy, French Broad Chocolates from Asheville, N.C.: the lineup will make any self-respecting chocoholic quiver with delight.
In the middle of the store, rows display bottled sauces, jams and jellies, specialty sodas, beans, legumes, pasta and just about anything else you can imagine. Keep going toward the back to find upscale cookware, ingenious kitchen gadgets and colorful tableware and linens.
As you wander through the store, keep an eye out for cooking demonstrations and samples of the products and dishes du jour.
Your cooking skills not up to par? Sign up for one of the series of cooking classes, held in Southern Season’s sparkling Viking kitchen. Classes run the gamut from basic knife skills to a seminar on Southern cooking led by chef and award-winning cookbook author Nathalie Dupree, a founding member of the Southern Foodways Alliance.
If you prefer making reservations to making dinner, Southern Season’s airy restaurant, Southerly, serves up contemporary Southern fare in its elegant dining room.
In summer, stop by to enjoy an after-work cocktail and listen to live music on the walled patio every evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. At brunch on weekends, locals drop in for the decadent house-made sticky buns and Lowcountry Benedict (served over fried green tomatoes and seafood cakes).
At lunch, the menu runs to the likes of lobster rolls and sweet tea-glazed salmon. Dinnertime brings comforting entrées such as a pork porterhouse and chicken and dumplings. Whether it grazes in the pastures, swims in the ocean or finds its roots in the field, menu ingredients here are sourced as locally as possible.
For food lovers and gourmands of all stripes, Southern Season pleases an array of discriminating palates, all under one roof.