I was hooked from the minute I entered Hazel Dean’s Gourmet Grocery located at 77 Lighthouse Drive in Sea Pines Center. My eyes kept darting around trying to capture the variety of international and domestic wines; regional craft beers; rare cheeses; specialty gifts; hand-cut, high-quality meats including hanging salamis; tantalizing appetizers; tempting snacks; and more.
As we relaxed on the oversized couch near the fireplace, Debbie Kilgore, the owner, and her husband Mike told their special story.
Mike explained, “My Aunt, Hazel Dean Owens, was a foodie before anyone knew what that word meant. Aunt Hazel would try my ‘experiments’ with food and relish in the flavors of unique tastings and samples.”
The entrance to the affordable gourmet store offers sloping access alongside a tranquil setting with beautiful flowers and a flowing waterfall.
Debbie and her husband dreamed for over 10 years of opening a price-friendly gourmet market, honoring Aunt Hazel. They like to entertain and seek out great local food to share with their friends and neighbors.
“We wanted to share our passion for entertaining and Southeastern food,” Debbie said. They moved from Atlanta and opened the shop on May 4, 2020. Not the best timing, due to Covid-19, but the store is becoming a local institution.
Mike loves to cook, entertain and travel and they share those experiences with customers. (He even shared with me his ‘secret’ turkey roast that offers a mouthwatering experience without tying up the oven all day.)
This year, a special fundraising event will be held in a tent on the market grounds on Wednesday, April 14 starting at 5:30 pm. You will be greeted with champagne followed by wine tastings, bite-sized appetizers, and small plate food samples. The proceeds benefit Second Helpings, and the agency’s volunteers will be on hand to spread the word.
“We plan to make this an annual event and Second Helpings is a good match for us because the theme is food,” said Debbie.
I couldn’t help myself. Before I left the market my shopping bag held Italian Sausage, both mild and hot from a Czech store near Atlanta, some blue corn chips, gouda ball appetizers for guests, and, of course, a salted caramel ice cream sandwich bar on a dark chocolate cookie. I drove off nibbling on my frozen treat.
This event offers an opportunity to support a local business and your neighborhood food rescue agency. Join us for fine wine, tasty foods, and music under a tent. What a delicious way to GIVE LOCALLY. I’ve already bought two tickets. Join us. Your taste buds will thank you.
Visit their website today!
Lili Coleman, Second Helpings
NOTE: Six volunteers are needed to help at this event. Volunteers will arrive in their Second Helpings uniform around 4 pm to set up tables and chairs. They will also help serve the food to offer social distancing during the event.