#LocalBusiness: Southern Mercantile, LLC.
Offering Artisan Products and a Unique Experience
Throughout the past few years, the variety of options for folks in Williamson to choose from when it comes to seeking food has began to grow. Aside from the obvious, big box corporate stores, the Williamson Farmers Market has been at the forefront of providing locally-grown produce to folks in the area, alongside other locally produced goods. More recently, CC Coffee and Tea Interest has given folks the chance to be their own at-home barista. However, for those looking for other types of gourmet food offerings, options were limited-until now.
Now Southern Mercantile, LLC. will be rounding things out with their offerings of local and regionally produced sauces, condiments, spice blends, mixes,snacks and more. Many of the delicious offerings from other regions are items you might not find elsewhere in our area. It’s described by co-owner Jarrod Dean as a “unique shopping experience.”
Jarrod previously spent four years working for the West Virginia Department of Agriculture commissioner, and many of the associated projects involved the marketing and development of products produced in-state by West Virginia businesses. Working alongside the development of some food artisan businesses provided Jarrod the opportunity to learn where producers are located, what products they offered, and their processes.
Supporting Williamson’s Growth
Enter Southern Mercantile, LLC., which first opened in Pikeville, Kentucky. “But it was always on our sights to be in Williamson,” Jarrod says. “Williamson is a very unique small town that has so much potential.” Being a supporter of the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce, he really felt connected to the Chamber’s goals regarding revitalizing the downtown area of Williamson.
When the chamber developed the idea for The Collective, Jarrod knew that Southern Mercantile would find their home there. He has enjoyed the openness of working with The Collective since then. “We feel we can be as creative with our company as we want, and we can offer a variety of food events to showcase at The Collective.”
Jarrod’s favorite thing about the business is the sense of discovery that it offers: “Our favorite thing about our business is the constant discovery of the talent West Virginia producers have in making West Virginia products,” He says. “We are constantly expanding our products.” While a handful of their products come from outside the state, he thinks that adds to their charm. “We are able to connect to other producers that are farmers or small businesses themselves.”
He is proud to offer these producers a “platform to let many people enjoy their products” and says in a way, Southern Mercantile’s mission is to be an “aggregation hub for all these producers to showcase these local products.”
Another great part of owning Southern Mercantile? Sampling products. “Giving people a taste of what is in a package or bottles is really the testament of our business. We want our customers to experience a taste of ‘local’ by sampling our products.”
Above all else, he’s just excited to support small businesses and the community. “When you shop with us, you are supporting our business and many small business producers as well,” He says. “We love our community, and are happy to be a part of the growth and development of Williamson.”
Want to check out Southern Mercantile? They have a fantastic Facebook page, where they post plenty of updates about what they offer, events they’re participating in with the Collective, recipe ideas, and more!