I recently had the chance to spend an afternoon at a true southern gem, Fletcher's Finds and Finest, an antique store and deli in Yemassee, SC. Located just about a mile off of I-95, it has unique antiques, stunning persian rugs, amazing food, and the most perfect southern hospitality. The next time you're passing Exit 38 in South Carolina (30 miles away from the exit for Hilton Head Island), do yourself a favor and stop by. And if you're far, far away - you can just pretend you're there through my photos below. It's a real treat!
The immediate appeal of Fletcher's Finds and Finest is that it's located so close to an interstate full of nothing but fast food. So if you're on a trip, this place is like a southern comfort food oasis. But what keeps the regulars coming back is that the food is out-of-this-world good. The preparation and uniqueness of the food items is on par with what you would find in a fancy delicatessen, but the prices are just as affordable as fast food. Also, the portions are aplenty and the majority of the ingredients are locally grown - many in the multiple gardens right behind the shop! They even make their own bread! (I love local gems like this.)
I was so happy I hadn't already eaten when I arrived because I would have hated to miss out on the special of the day - Homemade chicken salad on a bakery bun with squash puppies (or a side salad) and a side of fresh locally grown seedless watermelon - all for $6.50!
You can also get the chicken salad served on top of a salad.
But let's go back to the most important thing I just mentioned - Squash. Puppies.
Have you ever had them? My guess is you haven't because the owner and manager, Paula Flowers, created them herself with her own secret recipe. But I'll just say that you need to because they might just be the best thing I've ever tasted in my life. And there's squash in there, so they're totally healthy, right? ;)
The deli and store, which is on the other side, have a funky and eclectic, yet warm and inviting atmosphere. There's also a seating area outside, but in this summer heat, I stuck to indoors. Local artists have their work showcased on the walls, available for purchase at awesome prices. Vintage finds like glassware, hats, purses, and jewelry are displayed throughout the deli. It's perfectly imperfect, which is the essence of a true southern shop, right?
The menu includes anything from big, colorful salads with all local veggies, to their famous foot long sloppy dogs and sirloin steak tip sandwiches... to a grilled housemade pimento cheese sandwich with bacon and strawberry preserves. Lots of choices in between, too - and all for $6.50, including a side.
On the other side of the deli, you will find antiques galore. Perfect for browsing while waiting for your lunch to be prepared.
There's so much to see, and can you imagine the stories that could be told through these treasures?
Ah! That beautiful, beautiful antique bed. Oh, and there sits the persian rug jackpot.
Paula goes straight to the source to get her persian rugs. No middle man, so the prices will surprise you - in a good way. Mine came from her shop!
...and more rugs - and these are only the small ones!
Next door, Paula's son has just built a moonshine distillery, Lucky Duck Distillery. It's not open yet, but will be soon.
There's a tasting room, gift shop, local treats, and a viewing area so you can see the stills he uses to make the moonshine.
I had a great time browsing (and eating, there's always eating!) at Fletcher's Finds and Finest. She just added a line of local, handmade pottery and it's gorgeous. Can't wait to go back to see it in person. If you're traveling, or heck, even if you're not, you should totally stop by (click here for directions off of their website and you can check out Yelp and Trip Advisor for other reviews). You'll be swept off your feet by this little gem. It's southern through and through.