Business Name: Southern Straws
Owner: Margaret & Neal Amos
Location: Columbus, GA
Instagram Handle: @southernstraws
Offerings: Cheese straws
What They Have to Say: "Southern Straws is a mother-and-son bakery dedicated to making good, ole’-fashioned cheese straws that put a unique spin on a classic Southern tradition. Although our company officially opened shop in 2014, the recipe for our Original cheese straws goes back generations.
In her early 20s, Margaret Amos wanted to bake something special to gift to her friends at Christmas. While browsing through an antique family cookbook, she discovered a recipe for delectable cheddar cheese straws, donned an apron, and started pressing them out. In 2011, after leaving her corporate job of 30 years, Margaret decided to turn her hobby of baking cheese straws into a full-time business and began driving across Georgia looking for shops that would be interested in carrying her cheese straws.
While Margaret was selling cheese straws from the back of her car, her son Neal was busy earning a Finance degree from the University of Georgia. Intrigued by the idea of growing a small business from the ground up, Neal joined the team after graduating in the spring of 2014. That July, Margaret and Neal attended their first wholesale gift show in Atlanta, and Southern Straws was officially off the ground and running.
Today, our cheese straws are sold in over 300 boutique shops and grocery stores across the southeast and beyond. Both our Original and Spicy cheese straws have been recognized as finalists in the “Flavor of Georgia” food contest. As our company continues to grow, we remain true to our roots. We hand-craft our cheese straws with fresh, premium ingredients and cut them into bite-sized wafers that are packed with flavor and cooked to crisp perfection. Southern Straws cheese straws are perfect for gifts, celebrations, get-togethers, and everyday snacks. Whatever the occasion, we guarantee that our cheese straws will satisfy your craving for a home-baked Southern treat 'just like Grandma used to make!'"
Business Name: Reid's Fine Foods
Location: Charlotte, NC
Instagram Handle: @reidsfinefoods
Offerings: Hometown specialty foods
What They Have to Say: "Founded in 1928, Reid's is North Carolina's premier specialty food store. Over nearly nine decades in business, Reid's Fine Foods has expanded its commitment to superior service and the best in gourmet food. Arthur Reid opened the original Reid's on Morehead Street in 1928, followed by the second, more iconic, location on Providence Road in 1931.That market was known for its expert butcher, gourmet foods, and grocery delivery, often by bicycle. Chuck Richards, who began working for Reid's as a grocery bagger and delivery driver in the 1960s, bought Reid's in 1984. The current owners bought the business in 2010 and took Reid's back to its roots in Charlotte's Myers Park neighborhood. They operated the store on Selwyn Avenue for five years before expanding to a second Reid's location at SouthPark Mall in Charlotte. Now, they run the four Reid's locations, all committed to the attentive service and fine foods that Reid's customers have enjoyed since 1928.
Reid's is Charlotte's original hometown specialty food store and favorite culinary destination. Reid's specializes in superior meats, wines, regional provisions, locally grown produce and seasonally fresh meals & gift baskets for our loyal customer base. Dine-in with the deli and wine bar, or pick up quick take-out items from the prepared foods case and butcher shop. Reid's embodies friendly service wrapped in Southern style, in three convenient Charlotte locations. Reid's is a living, eating, drinking, beloved, celebrated, long-standing member of the Charlotte community and a regional mecca for sophisticated palates."
My Personal Favorites: Check out their holiday gift baskets!
Business Name: Proper Pepper
Owner: Deana Tanner Bibb
Location: Sandersville, GA
Instagram Handle: @properpepper
Offerings: Pimento cheese
What They Have to Say: "In December, 2013, a happenstance conversation inspired me to market my pimento cheese. Within 15 months, I had a name, a beautiful vintage-inspired label and a 2015 Flavor of Georgia award winner. So here I am, a former stay-at-home mom turned professional batch maker. My romance with southern culture and specialty food is now my job! I invite you to join us - the Ken Bibb family - as purveyors of fine pimento cheese and follow the birth of Proper Pepper Pimento Cheese. Proper Pepper is well bred with a pedigree of ingredients that have been carefully curated and are as impressive as its taste, including naturally aged white sharp Cabot cheddar cheese, Duke’s mayonnaise, and a unique micro-manufacturing blend of roasted red peppers with flavor permeating each bite. "
Business Name: Poppy
Owner: Ginger Frank
Location: Asheville, NC
Instagram Handle: @poppyhandcraftedpopcorn
Offerings: Specialty popcorn
What They Have to Say: "We believe Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn is the best popcorn you will ever eat. We believe in high quality ingredients. We believe in only non-GMO Corn. We believe in spending way too much time thinking up flavor combinations and making way too many batches of popcorn to get those recipes exactly right. We believe in savory. And sweet. And we especially believe in savory and sweet. We believe it’s never too small a detail to wonder if it’s too much chocolate or not enough chocolate and, when in doubt, we should probably add more chocolate. We believe in customer service. A bright smile, how can we help you, we’re here to make your day better customer service. And if something goes wrong we believe in how-can-we-make-it-right customer service. We believe in good design and pretty packaging and that sometimes the right shade of pink can make you smile. We believe in kindness and love and lots of laughter. We believe in our employees. And our community. And we believe in hustling every day to make the best popcorn you will ever eat."
Business Name: Little Duck Farms
Owner: Dorsey Farms
Location: Ray City, GA
Instagram Handle: @littleduckfarms
Offerings: Pecans, vegetables, and beef
What They Have to Say: "Our family feels enormous pride in offering you the most carefully harvested, freshest and finest pecans, pecan products, vegetables and pasture-raised beef South Georgia offers. We encourage you to buy the products you love from a third generation American farm family, including salted pecans and much more. Please help support American Agriculture by making the Dorsey family farm the source for all of your pecan needs. We invite you to come enjoy the beauty of our home, Dorsey Farms, home of Little Duck Farms."
I'd love to know if you've made a purchase from any of these small businesses this year in our Shop Small Holiday 2019 Campaign - tag me on Instagram @maryfrancesflowers and share your goodies with #MFMshopsmallchallenge