Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Land of Milk and Honey

CHAPEL HILL ~ Southern Season is as close to the land of "milk and honey" as possible for the foodie in the family or party host. This place is both specialty food store and gift shop. The National Association for Specialty Food selected Southern Season as its Outstanding Retailer of the Year.
The 59,000 square feet of retail space is broken up into different sections—from flowers to candy, chocolate, cheese and meats. You can break up your visit and enjoy a cup of joe or have a sandwich made to order. There's a tasting bar in the back for wine and beer lovers and an ice cream parlor for kids of all ages.
Say "cheese!"
Kale is not only great in soup, but apparently, also in a floral arrangement.
Honestly, it's hard to wrap your head around just how big this place is. Hopefully, this gives you an idea. Southern Season offers more than 80,000 items in their store and on their website. 
It's getting hot in here. Did someone say, "Salsa!" Every day there are products you can taste before you buy.
This store is not only great for adults, but the little ones as well. Kids will go nuts here. 
I suggest they drop the "s" in the signage above, and just call this corner of the store, the Chocolate Bar.
As a graphic designer, I love the packaging almost as much as I love the products here.
If wine and beer are your thing, you have more than a few choices. I could only fit so much in each photo, but this should give you an idea of how much they offer.
I kept gravitating back to the floral department. I think this was my favorite place in the store. Was it the stunning colors, fresh scent or the unusual selection of exotic stems? There's a designer on staff assembling stunning arrangements for customers.
Southern Season has gifts for friends, family or yourself.
I love the displays that greet you around every corner. They DO know how to highlight their products in the best light. I visited during the holiday season, so you can only imagine the visual feast.
Le Creuset, in its rainbow of colors, is featured here—the largest selection I have ever seen in one place. Don't know how to cook? No problem. Southern Season offers classes. For a schedule, click here.
Candles and candy in every color.
Sweet tooth?
Every gadget you could ever want (or thought you needed) is here.
There's an area devoted to products made in North Carolina. Chef Vivian Howard from the PBS's Series, A Chef Life, has a wall devoted to her favorite holiday picks (not pictured).
We're out the door. If you want more information, or want to see the store in 360 degrees, check out the Southern Season's website. But I suggest taking a trip in person to find out why the late New York Times food critic Craig Claiborne described this place as, "wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling... a visual and gustatory delight!"

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