Southern Season is a gourmet emporium and mail-order store based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The store offers a large selection of gift baskets, specialty foods, wines, cheeses, coffees, teas, gourmet delicatessen foods, condiments, confections, cookware, utensils, and dinnerware. The store contains a cooking school, a restaurant, and a card and flower shop. Southern Season also offers free daily gourmet food “tastings” to its walk-in customers.
A Southern Season was created in 1975 by Michael Cooper Barefoot as a coffee roastery. In 1978, it was operating primarily as a retail store offering gourmet specialty food items in Chapel Hill. By 2003, it had moved up to a 59,000-square-foot (5,500 m2) space in Chapel Hill's University Mall, making it one of the largest specialty-only gourmet markets in the United States.
Revenues from all its business lines in 2005 were around $25 million.
On August 2, 2011, it was announced that ownership of A Southern Season would transfer to TC Capital Fund, a joint venture between Carrboro Capital Corporation and Tryon Capital Ventures, LLC,[dead link] both companies local to the NC Triangle area. At the time of purchase, the company dropped the 'A' from its title.
On December 13, 2012, Southern Season announced plans to open a Charleston-area store in the neighboring suburb of Mt. Pleasant, SC. This second store opened for business on September 5, 2013. The 44,000 square foot store is located at the Brookgreen Town Center on Coleman Boulevard and will include one of the world's largest gourmet food markets. Like the flagship location in Chapel Hill, the Mt. Pleasant store features a vast selection of local and international products, a full-service restaurant, extensive wine and beer selection, a cooking school and an on-site bakery.
- Southern Season retail store
- Weathervane, a restaurant located in the store
- Culinary Lessons at Southern Season (C.L.A.S.S.) - offered on the mezzanine level overlooking the wine department
- Web and catalog-based mail order based in Hillsborough, North Carolina (2.5 million catalogs distributed a year )
- "Taste! Southern Season" store located in Raleigh-Durham International Airport, operated by The Paradies Shops
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