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Interior of Southern Season in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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.

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,[1] 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.[2] This second store opened for business on September 5, 2013.[3] 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.

A third store opened on July 31, 2014, in Richmond, VA. The 50,000 square foot store was the first business to open in the new mixed-use Libbie Mills development on Staples Mill Road. [4] It closed on April 24, 2016. [5]

In June 2016, Southern Season declared bankruptcy. The former company operates under the name SSI Liquidations. On August 22, 2016, Calvert Retail - a Delaware-based retail company - acquired the Chapel Hill Southern Season store for $3.5 million. The acquisition did not include the Taste stores in Raleigh, Asheville, and Charleston[6]


Southern Season, decorated for Christmas, in Chapel Hill
  • Southern Season retail store in Chapel Hill, NC
  • Weathervane, a restaurant located in the Chapel Hill store.
  • The Cooking School at Southern Season - located inside the store.
  • Web order fulfillment based in Mebane, NC


  1. ^ Childress, Gregory. A Southern Season sold. URL: [1] accessed 3 August 2011.[dead link]
  2. ^ Press Release, Southern Season Announces New Store in Charleston. URL: [2] accessed 21 December 2012.
  3. ^ Southern Season opens its doors in Mount Pleasant. URL: [3] accessed 7 September 2013.
  4. ^ Hallman, Randy. "Gourmet food retailer opening on Thursday". Richmond Times Dispatch.
  5. ^ Southern Season gourmet grocery closing Henrico store on April 24, Richmond Times Dispatch. URL: [4]
  6. ^ Murawski, John (August 23, 2016). "Southern Season's new owner 'observing and learning'". News & Observer. Retrieved 8 October 2016.

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