Southern Season’s Commitment to Local Community Rings True with the Addition of North Carolina Vendors

Landmark Gourmet Food and Gifts Store Brings Five New Local Vendors to Specialty Food Department Shelves

Chapel Hill, NC, December 12, 2013 --( Southern Season, the South’s premier destination for local and international fine food, wine, specialty gifts, cookware and cooking classes, has announced it will be adding a variety of items from five new vendors, providing products from gourmet chocolates to drink mixes, from across the state of North Carolina to the specialty foods department. The addition of these vendors further exhibits the company’s commitment to the local community by providing a comprehensive Southern culinary and cultural experience to all customers. Southern Season’s specialty food department carries a wide selection of products from across the globe and most notably, an array of culinary delights from all parts of the Old North State. The following vendors can now be found on the shelves of Southern Season’s Chapel Hill specialty store, located at 201 S. Estes Drive:

Chocolat Moderne is a specialty chocolate company based in New York City with Chapel Hill roots. The company was started by Joan Coukos, graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and former Wall Street banking executive. While on a December 2000 trip to Brussels, Belgium, Coukos fell in love with old world, handmade chocolates and began creating recipes back in her Manhattan kitchen. She then began taking formal steps to becoming a chocolatier, studying chocolate and confectionery arts with a coterie of world-class French, Belgian, American and Swiss chocolatiers in New York and at The World Pastry Forum in Las Vegas. In 2003, Coukos launched Chocolat Moderne, which has since grown to offer more than 175 products. All of Coukos’ products are hand-made in small batches with the highest quality French chocolates featuring high cocoa content and more than 100 natural ingredients sourced from all over the world.

Betty's Better Breads is a Chapel Hill, N.C., based company dedicated to creating delightfully delicious gluten- and dairy-free bread products. The company was founded in 2011 by Betty Cogdell, who was then diagnosed as gluten and dairy intolerant, and whose goal was to make gluten- and dairy-free products taste as good, if not better, than those with traditional ingredients. The line of bread products, including old-fashioned vanilla pound cake, yeast rolls, cinnamon rolls, biscuits, hushpuppies, brownies, cupcakes, chocolate cake, and more, are baked at the Piedmont Food and Agricultural Processing Center in Hillsborough, N.C.

Big Spoon Roasters of Durham, N.C., founded by Mark Overbay, makes handcrafted nut butters using the best possible ingredients, including fresh runner variety peanuts from the Carolinas, wildflower honeys from North Carolina’s Piedmont region, pecans, California almonds, and pristine sea salt. Their nut butters do not add oils or other ingredients that do not contribute to flavor, freshness, or sustainability. Current flavors include peanut, peanut almond, peanut cocoa, peanut cashew, peanut pecan and chai spice nut butter. In addition to nut butters, the company also makes fresh, no-bake energy bars and peanut pecan oatmeal cookies.

Sunshine Beverages, LLC, headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C., is a crisp, lightly carbonated beverage with electrolytes, vitamin B12, natural ginger and flavors of blackberry. The beverage was inspired by the Appalachian legend of 19th century moonshiner Buck O’Hairen, who created the secret recipe he called “Sunshine” as a cure for hangovers and a series of misfortunes.

Brando’s Bloody Mary Mix was created by North Carolina native Brandon Herndon. He served as a bartender in Charleston, S.C., where he started to learn the bar owner’s family recipe for their special Bloody Mary mix. That bar owner was a member of the Argonne family which has a long history in South Carolina with a family business in cotton, rice and tomatoes. According to family legend, those tomatoes were used to come up with what is now called the Bloody Brando. Herndon’s mix is thicker than most due to the incorporation of blended celery and green olives.

“We are excited to announce that we are adding a number of new items to our specialty food department in order to better showcase the talent of our neighbors,” said Southern Season General Manager Gena Sarrocco. “As a premier provider of locally-sourced gourmet food and gifts, these vendors are a great fit and we know that our customers will love them.”

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About Southern Season:
Southern Season is a gourmet food and entertaining destination that offers the ultimate culinary experience through a retail store, restaurant and cooking school. Hands-on opportunities and staff experts work together to create an upscale shopping environment where locals and visitors alike can meet up with friends and family. The flagship store in Chapel Hill has been in operation since 1975. A second opened in the Charleston, South Carolina area in September 2103 and a store is planned for Richmond, VA in June 2014. All stores operate with a philosophy to “educate, excite and entertain.”

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Southern Season
Robert Buhler