Southern Season, a specialty culinary store founded in Chapel Hill in 1975, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on June 24. The company listed $18.3 million in liabilities and $9.8 million in assets.
Calvert Retail, a Delaware-based company, purchased Southern Season for $3.5 million in an auction Aug. 19. A federal judge approved the bid, and Calvert Retail added Southern Season to Kitchen & Company and Reading China & Glass, the other stores the company owns.
“As a company, we have always admired Southern Season as a leading brand,” Eric Brinsfield, owner of Calvert Retail, said in a press release. “We were monitoring the situation closely and hoping to get involved with such a great legacy.”
“A large percentage of what Southern Season sells is directly in line with what our stores sell so the synergy is really going to be incredible,” he said in the release. “I’m honored to be associated with an institution that I have admired from a business aspect for many, many years. We are excited about having a presence in Chapel Hill.”
Calvert Retail acquired the Southern Season flagship store, along with its intellectual property, trade names and website. The smaller Taste of Southern Season stores in Raleigh, Asheville and Charleston, S.C. were closed.
There are no plans for change in the Chapel Hill location.
“We hope to preserve the Southern Season name as its own brand under Calvert Retail,” said Stephanie Graves, marketing manager for Calvert Retail. “The Chapel Hill community has loyally supported this institution for many years and we hope to continue that tradition.”
Executives at Southern Season are focused on tying up loose ends and serving their customers.