Goin’ Down to the Piggly Wiggly

Piggly Wiggly Grocery StoresThis week started our first real Workamping gig at Safe Harbor Animal Rescue in Maysville, North Carolina. We’ll get to talking about that soon. But today, we went out exploring on our day off, to secure provisions and check out the nearest big city, New Bern.

Our route included a stop at the Piggly Wiggly.

Potted meat and local southern foodsMost West Coasters like me probably haven’t been to one, but might have heard the name in movies, like Driving Miss Daisy. The Piggly Wiggly stores are a slice of American history. They were the first true “Self Service” grocery stores, founded in 1916.

Today, their stores look low budget compared to the megalomarts nearby, like Harris Teeter, and you get the sense that they’re hanging on by a thread. But we were told by a local here that if we wanted a true sense of local flavor, and didn’t expect to see things like organic flax seed multigrain bread, to be brave and venture inside.

What a hoot! Potted meat. Pork brains. Pig’s feet. Canned collards. And a wide variety of Franzia wines right alongside paper towels and household cleaners.

Piggly Wiggly Grocery Stores WinePiggly Wiggly Grocery Store food selection

The Piggly Wiggly is a throwback to a time when few people gave a rat’s ass about their health. Much of the food is artery clogging, but the cashiers are warm hearted and welcoming. Real Down Home.

And goin’ to the Piggly Wiggly is much more fun than shopping in the cold and impersonal Harris Teeter down the street, stocked with great gourmet foods, but seriously lacking in personality or friendliness.

5 thoughts on “Goin’ Down to the Piggly Wiggly”

  1. The thing is, Harris Teeter carries all those items the same as Piggly Wiggly does. They would be ran out of the south if they didnt. They are mostly consumed by members of the african american community. I’m from the south and I have seen those items in all the grocery stores but I have never known anyone that eats that stuff personally.

  2. It might have been more fun, but they didn’t have fresh figs, brie, $9.00 marinades or sushi! Though the frozen chicken they had on sale was pretty soft to the touch, if that counts.


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