Check out Big Guns Coffee. This business in downtown Tryon, NC was the brainchild of...well, a child. Her dad, Marine veteran TShane Johnson is a bonafide hero. But to TShane, it's his daughter that is the hero.
This Saturday morning and most Saturday mornings you can find The Peanut Man of Landrum cooking up and selling batches of hot boiled peanuts. If you haven't tried them, check them out. Most people become addicted. The Peanut Man usually sets up at the corner of the parking lot of the Shell Station convenience store in Landrum, SC right near the onramp to I-26. With one stop you can fuel your car and yourself before making your way home. The Peanut Man is usually there from at 8 AM until he sells out.
Bear is based out of Tryon. Bear and his truck can be found around the region and he’s available for festivals, catering, and other private events. Today he was parked and doing a brisk business in the parking lot of Cameroon Cigar Lounge (& Craft Beer Emporium) in Landrum.
Bear says, “At Bullhded, what we do is simple. Take parts salt, peanuts, mix it with grit…and the result is a Southern staple cooked to perfection.”
You can learn more at bullhded.com, but the best way to learn more is to give those peanuts a try.
Several months ago I featured Stan Yoder and his Openroad Coffee Roastery in Columbus. Well, this morning my day started there when I met a friend for coffee and I was finally able to get a photo of the first person in "the system" who makes all of the coffee magic happen. This is Andy Yoder, Master Coffee Roaster at Openroad. Andy roasts all those special beans that help get your day or week going. He’s the perfected the technique of knowing just when everything is right. And he just happens to be the dad of Stan, the owner.
Martha and Freida Graber have enjoyed the support they’ve received from the community and report that it has been a wonderful and successful year. Business has been good enough that they’ve had to bring in extra help from time to time. They cooked up over 100 pies just for Thanksgiving and this is on top of all the other wonderful food available Wednesday through Saturday on Highway 9 in the Green Creek community. Now that they’re more settled in they have at least a little time to think about the future. The ladies are taking advantage of the special seasons and holidays by cooking up some themed items such as Irish soda bread and special decorated cookies for St. Patrick’s Day.
They can’t wait for strawberry season to start so that they can cook up some of their famous strawberry pies made with local berries. Martha & Freida have some other ideas up their sleeves. They plan to do more with wedding cakes and even start a delivery service geared toward local assisted living and retirement communities.
Martha & Freida love the support from the community and you’ll more than love your stop inside this friendly neighborhood establishment.
So thanks to Martha & Freida for giving me the privilege of interviewing them for my very first story, and thanks for all the tasty treats I’ve enjoyed this past year.
And remember, get there early next Saturday to pick up a donut or two or an entire box.
So what does a photo of some beer taps have to do with Foothills Faces. Well, just a reminder that the tagline is “People & Places of the Carolina Foothills.”
I stopped in “The Rural Seed Restaurant” in Columbus yesterday to bring something tasty home to eat. In the meantime, I asked about their beers since I knew they were now serving them. I was very pleasantly surprised to be ushered into the old space occupied by the former microbrewery, Winding Creek.
And I was more than pleasantly surprised to find a nice selection of beers on tap. I cozied up to the bar, made my selection, and enjoyed sipping (or gulping) while my dinner-to-go was prepared. I should mention that the food met my expectations.
So I’ve found another place to settle down in and soak up some suds and atmosphere.
Foothills Faces isn’t a restaurant review site. It’s meant to introduce you to some of the faces and places in our area. So consider yourself introduced!
I asked Tyrone if he remembers any coffee-business stories since he’s gotten started. He says of course just meeting new customers and having them return is good enough for him, but he did remember a time when one customer ordered a drink and only had a $100 bill to pay for it. Tyrone didn’t have enough change so the customer said he’d go get change and come on back and pay up. He never did, but then one day Tyrone found a $100 bill in his tip jar. He didn’t know which customer gave it to him…but it was a sign of good things to come.
Tyrone Perry is driving the coffee business in more ways than one. Next time you see the red Java Up trailer parked along side the road…make a stop, order a drink, and know you’re doing your part to “shop small.” You’ll make a new friend at the same time.
More to know
Tyrone will be happy to bring his Java Up trailer to your location for just about any kind of special event, and he’s always thinking ahead to future locations. Give him a call at 864/ 814-8067 if you’re interested or if you just want to know where he’ll be tomorrow. His email is JavaUpCafe@gmail.com and you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
More to Know
Openroad is located on Highway 108 between Tryon and Columbus. Open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 AM until 7 PM. The bakers get in around 3 AM and I know from experience that some of their favorite items might be sold out before noon. They have a drive-through, but hey…it’s worth the extra time to get out of your car and enjoy your coffee and treats inside the cozy shop or outside on the porch. And if the lot looks full, don’t worry – there’s additional parking in back and more on the side. More on the web at: http://www.openroadcoffeeroastery.com. Phone: 828/ 894-2021.
Click on photos to enlarge and read caption.
Michaila started running a bakery in Lake Lure (also called Huckleberry’s) while in high school and at age 16 she could smell success. She enrolled in Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte concentrating in several disciplines including culinary arts, food service, hospitality & tourism, and bakery & pastry. Michaila finished a six-year program in four…and that doesn’t surprise me one bit. All of that added to her already solid experience with her own bakery and on New Year’s Eve 2014 she opened the current Huckleberry’s.
Michaila wears all the hats in the business but she’s not alone. A staff of nearly 15 takes care of running the restaurant open seven days a week. Her family is also involved; her mom handles marketing, sister helps everywhere, and dad even designed and built the woodstove that cooks all the wood-fired specialties. She says she has the best staff and keeping a good staff is one of the challenges for any business owner.
Owning a restaurant isn’t for everyone, but for Michaila it’s everything. She enjoys being her own boss but it has its downfalls including the long hours. Michaila wears all hats and some days floats between front of house duties and kitchen work. “Some days I don’t have a set job, other days I’m dedicated to the chef whites and am working on the line. Some days I get to dress like the girls and wait tables, and there are days I’m staying late washing dishes. It’s all good.”
She does offer a bit of advice to anyone thinking of starting a business like hers…try it first! It’s not an easy life. In fact it’s hard. Long hours, every day, all year. It takes a lot to open a restaurant and even more to keep it going. Huckleberry’s is successful for several reasons including Michaila’s drive and hard work and the dedication of her staff. Of course having great food helps!
More to Know: Huckleberry’s is open seven days a week and is located at 62 North Trade Street (the main drag) in downtown Tryon. 828/ 436-0025. The restaurant seats about 120 counting indoor and outdoor patio seating. Boots & breeches are always welcome and dogs can join their people parents on the patio. Beer and wine are available now and a new full bar will have a grand opening on May 5 with 19 North Carolina distilleries offering tastings. In fact, it’s going to be a big celebration with a small section of Trade Street closed for a block party featuring craft vendors, two live bands, and food. Check the website for more info at www.huckleberrystryon.com.
The spelling of Michaila is itself an interesting story. She says she was born during a hailstorm and that’s how the name came about. You’ll need to ask her yourself if this is true.
Click on the pictures below to enlarge.
More to Know:
Martha’s Amish Bakery & Sandwich Shoppe is located in the Green Greek Community at 6431 Highway 9 South just a stone’s throw from the blinking light at the corner of Landrum Road and Highway 9. They’re open Wednesday through Saturday for early morning snacks, tasty lunch sandwiches, coffee, and more. Check them out on Facebook. Phone: 828/ 863-4643.
...retired in 2017 from a life of work, mostly in education. I decided it was time to stop commuting and stay at home a while. Foothills Faces is meant to bring you short snippets of life through photography, videography, and audio recordings of some of the wonderful people and places of the Carolina Foothills..