These two Fayetteville food products are now sold at grocery stores – The Fayetteville Observer

Danny B’s Pimento Cheese and Fowler’s Barbecue sauces are now sold in grocery stores in Fayetteville and beyond. 
Behind the cheese is Danny Barnes, 47, a South View High School graduate. Sometimes referred to as the pate of the south or Carolina caviar, he said pimento cheese can cause confusion for those born north of the Mason-Dixon. Put simply, “it’s cheese with peppers in it,” Barnes said.  
He prefers it with Ritz crackers, but customers eat it on sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, quesadillas, eggs, grits, chili, or “just with a spoon,” he said. 
In addition to the original pimento cheese, Barnes also offers a hot variety made with a small amount of Carolina Reaper peppers, which are known to be some of the hottest peppers in the world. He said the dip isn’t “novelty”-level hot, but it is for “people who like spicy foods.” 
In late October, Barnes made his first deliveries to 247 Food Lion stores across eastern North Carolina, where customers can find it in the deli aisle. It’s also available at independent grocers like The Downtown Market of Fayetteville, Pate’s Farm Market and Gillis Hill Road Produce. 
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Barnes spent 30 years in the grocery business, mainly as a butcher, before developing his own line of products. He said it all started a decade ago when he was a manager at a Dunn Food Lion. A customer asked Barnes where to find the pimentos and as they walked to the aisle, he asked the customer what he was planning to make. The man said pimento cheese, and gave Barnes a basic recipe.  
For five years, he said he tinkered with the recipe and often brought it to parties, where folks told him it was better than any grocery store pimento cheese, and that he should sell it. The opportunity to do so came after Labor Day weekend in 2017, Barnes said.  
Tony Adkins, owner of The Organic Butcher Shop in Dunn, was recruiting Barnes to work for him at the time. That didn’t work out, but when Barnes asked if the shop would carry his pimento cheese, Adkins said he could serve samples at the shop over the holiday weekend.  
Barnes said customers loved it, and his pimento cheese was soon on the shelves — and flying off of them. It sold so fast the first week in the store, he said he made six deliveries totaling 72 pounds of cheese. It was the first time Barnes saw the full potential for his business, he said. Now, Adkins and his wife Dorothy are like family to him. 
“I owe them a lifetime of gratitude for giving me a shot,” Barnes said.
In the five years since, his business has grown to sell hundreds of pounds per month, he said, but he has no plans to slow down. He’s working to get his products into all of Food Lion’s roughly 1,000 stores and developing a chicken salad. 
“I’m very grateful, but I expect a lot out of me,” he said. “While everybody’s patting me on the back, I’m telling myself, ‘you need to go harder.’” 
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Fowler’s Southern Gourmet is known for its locally sourced southern fare like burnt ends, pulled pork, slaws, sandwiches and scratch-made sauces, which customers have long wanted to buy by the bottle, owner Wade Fowler said.
Those customers’ wishes have been granted. Since early December, Fowler’s Sweet BBQ Sauce and Carolina BBQ Sauce have been available at the restaurant, Leclair’s General Store and Pate’s Farm Market. Fowler said this is just the beginning, though.
“We’ve gone ahead and decided we need a whole line,” he said.  
He said the Roman Street restaurant plans to soon offer their other sauces, like Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce, which tastes just like it sounds; Bee Sting, a sweet and spicy vinegar-based sauce; and Blueberry Hate, a spicy blueberry sauce. 
A post to the restaurant’s Facebook page last year explained the “Blueberry Hate” sauce name. 
“It is because my youngest son came up with the sauce, which is a spicy blueberry BBQ sauce. He hated having to pick blueberries as a child and thought it would be a clever name for the sauce with a kick to it,” the post read. 
Fowler said they also plan to offer a line of rubs and expect the sauces to soon be available at Food Lion grocery stores.  
“It’s been quite successful,” he said. “The response so far has been great.” 
Food, dining and business reporter Taylor Shook can be reached at tshook@gannett.com. Want food news in your inbox every Thursday? Sign up for the Fayetteville Foodies newsletter.


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