Food & Drink

The New Old-Timey Grocery Store

One new restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina, is making it easier than ever to cook like a professional.

photo: Jessica Crawford

You don’t see restaurants like Husk or Highlands Bar & Grill selling the ingredients they use for their famous pig’s ear lettuce wraps or baked grits with country ham out the back door. But one new restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina, is making it easier than ever to cook like a professional. Standard Foods is already a popular destination for rustic, hyper-local dishes, and its standalone grocery store has everything from fresh collard greens and lamb chops to take-home containers of ready-made cornbread pudding and white sweet potato soup.

Deborah Underwood Brown is a full-time farm liason for the restaurant and the grocery, which means it’s her job to track down the local meats, vegetables, and more on display at both. “The store ultimately acts as the pantry for the restaurant,” she says. “If the chef doesn’t have enough of something, he’ll come and take it from the shelves. And if the restaurant is using something that we aren’t selling, I’ll order it. That way, if you had a great meal and you want to take home some of those beans—well, we have a whole wall of them.”

From left: Deborah Underwood Brown; butcher Steven Goff.

photo: Jessica Crawford

From left: Deborah Underwood Brown; butcher Steven Goff.

Brown, a farmer herself, has relied on word of mouth to locate lavender, rosemary, and even tobacco for the grocery’s shelves, as well as whole animals for the in-house butcher. This time of year, you’ll find turkeys, hams, and grass-fed beef roasts at the meat counter, alongside local goat cheese, tart cherry preserves, and root vegetables tossed in hickory butter. It’s all you’ll need for a standout holiday feast, right down to the freshly baked buckwheat ginger snaps.


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