By Donnabeth Leffler

Changes in Store

By Donnabeth Leffler Posted April 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm

I’ve been known to do some seriously savvy spending in A Southern Season and until recently it’s been a bit of a treasure hunt.  A pleasant, well-rewarded treasure hunt surely, but the packed and looming racks demanded a rather intrepid shopper. 

Well it’s a new day (and a clear one for you Broadway enthusiasts) because once inside A Southern Season you can now just about see forever.  The line of sight used to run down the center of the store and customers had to peer around barriers to merge into the well-trafficked lanes; now the retail space is open not just by shorter racks but also by the diagonal placement of them.  In other words, traffic flow is no longer only in a jammed straight line.  

Many of the cookware products are arrayed now in an open display that shows them off to both you and to your wallet!  But some of the biggest changes are still to come and these will give us all even more reason to run in:

  • A coffee bar will go up along the corner just before the baked goods across from the coffee/tea retail space.  If you want to grab and go, you don’t need to join the hordes at Weathervane.  This is tentatively scheduled for the end of the month.
  • A soda fountain will offer cool treats sometime during the upcoming hot summer days.  It’s planned for the area just under the steps up to the cooking school.  Just back from a trip to NYC, I eagerly suggested an egg cream for the menu!
  • Weathervane will close for a few days this month (15th-19th) for some decorating changes.
  • A new emphasis on meals to go will allow you to call ahead or swing by and pick up that day’s prepared dinner.  This dovetails with a new attention to catering (whether it’s several side dishes or a whole meal) and an updated sandwich menu.  Clearly the food world is noticing that we’re all busy; not too long ago I wrote about the planned increase in prepared food in the soon-to-be renovated Harris Teeter also in University Mall.  

A Southern Season Retail General Manager Christine Lang walked me through (literally!)  all the changes above and she’s clearly excited by them.  Take a look for yourself and watch as the rest unfolds in the coming months.  What hasn’t changed, Lang emphasizes is the commitment to unique and innovative products.  That means I haven’t totally lost the fun of the treasure hunt!  However if,  like me, you still need help knowing how to use coriander chutney, click here to find out about the store’s food tours.

All these changes come about less than a year after A Southern Season was sold.  Among the plans by the new owners is the already underway search for new locations.  I’m told one is close to being announced and a third spot is being eyed. 

The expansion is one reason A Southern Season is looking to hire Sales Associates.  Lang told me she’s hoping to hire people who will train across departments and move up within the growing organization. 

Have you been in the redesigned store?  Are you looking forward to the soda fountain?  What about those of you who remember A Southern Season in its former location in Eastgate, will you share your memories of how it has changed?  Leave your thoughts below or write to me at Donnabeth@Chapelboro.com

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