Southern Season is springing out of its Chapel Hill roots and falling into other major cities.
The gourmet food store is planning to open several locations across the South.
Since Michael Barefoot founded the first Southern Season in Chapel Hill in 1975, it has been known for the breadth and quality of its gourmet foods and kitchen products.
“It’s sort of been Chapel Hill’s little secret for a very long time,” CFO Brian Fauver said. “As we open in new cities, the things that have garnered such loyalty locally are really getting a lot of traction and following in these new markets.”
In 2013, a second store opened in Charleston, South Carolina. A third store will open this summer in Richmond, Va., said Fauver.
In addition to the new location coming this summer, the company also plans to open stores in Charlotte; Nashville, Tenn.; the northern Virginia and Washington D.C. area; Birmingham, Ala.; Atlanta and major cities in Florida.
Southern Season offers more than 80,000 items sold in-store and online, as well as a full-service bar and restaurant.
It also prides itself on its customer service employing more than 500 people, according to the store’s website.
Fauver said he is excited to expand throughout the region.
“The plan is to stay true to what has made Southern Season so great for such a long time,” he said.
Customer Duffy Holland said she is happy the store has decided to expand. She said she thinks the bigger cities will support the business.
“I’d hate to see it change any more,” she said. “If they kept it in the style it’s in now I think it’d be great.”
Southern Season offers cooking classes in a variety of styles and for different levels of expertise from regional notables and internationally-renowned celebrity chefs.
It also frequently offers formal and informal wine tastings.
“There aren’t places like Southern Seasons in these other markets,” Fauver said.
“...If there’s something in your kitchen you need, we have it. And a lot of places can’t really make that claim.”