The South is home to a bounty of incredible artisans creating everything from tongue-tingling hot sauces to gorgeous ceramics to indulgent chocolate treats. There’s never been a better time to support small businesses so we rounded up a few of our favorite Southern-made goods that quickly became staples in our kitchens. We think you’ll love them just as much as we do.
If you’re looking for a hot sauce that enhances a recipe without masking it with blind heat, this concoction from Chef Geoff Rhyne fits the bill. Made with peppers like Fresno chiles, habaneros, and even the tongue-torching ‘Carolina Reaper’, Red Clay’s sauces are aflame with fresh, bold heat. The Original and Carolina Hot Sauce varieties are even aged in bourbon barrels to mellow and balance out the flavors.
From spicy to smoky, the three different flavor profiles from these peppers promise a variety of delicious uses. Add a dash to your favorite chilis, rubs, and marinades, or spice up those chocolate desserts you’ve been craving. They’re guaranteed to be a hit either way.
Deep in the fertile soil of the Mississippi Delta, the Wagner family has been farming for generations. Today, father Mike, son Lawrence, and daughter Abbey work in harmony to grow, produce, and sell their ecologically grown rice products that have garnered attention for their strong flavor. Without fungicides or insecticides, they grow nine varieties of rice, including Mississippi-grown basmati (also known as Missimati), jasmine, black, and red, while also producing rice flours and rice grits.
Cozy up and watch as the seasons change outside with a freshly baked pan of cornbread thanks to this Arkansas company’s simple and delicious mix. A recipe handed down for generations, each batch will excite your senses and warm your heart with classic comfort. So sit back, relax, and feed your soul with this savory Southern favorite.
The story of this iconic blend began in the Walker family deli, when creator Anthony “TW” Walker set out to find a seasoning that packed Cajun flavor without also packing in the salt. The result of his quest—Slap Ya Mama seasoning—has been helping home cooks and chefs alike shake up their meals with a kick of Louisiana flavor ever since.
Serious bakers know that to create quality product, you need to start with quality ingredients. That’s what drives Carolina Ground, an Asheville-based mill that focuses solely on sourcing grains grown in the South, and milling them the old-fashioned way. Led by Jennifer Lapidus, who spent 14 years as a professional baker milling her own flour before turning to grains full-time, Carolina Ground aims to preserve the flavor of all parts of the grain through stone-grinding each batch of bread, pastry, and rye flour. And that extra effort comes through in every loaf of banana bread, bit of pie dough, or cookie baked with Carolina Ground—it’s a difference you can taste.
Bold, unique flavor combinations and all-natural ingredients are the hallmark of this Florida-based company’s product line. From Peppered Strawberry Jam and Pear Habanero Jam to Sweet German Mustard and pickled Sriracha Okra, their sweet and savory preserved offerings are full of locally sourced fruits and vegetables, giving Southerners far and wide the chance to savor authentic farm-to-table flavors year-round.
Move over, peanut butter—pecan butter has arrived. Smooth and oh-so nutty, Georgia Grinders’ slow-roasted pecan spreads use nuts from nearby Fort Valley, Georgia, and a sprinkling of sea salt to show off the slightly sweet, buttery flavor of pure pecans. A pantry must-have, this thick nut butter is perfect for mixing into cookie dough, dolloping over oatmeal, or simply spreading on toast with a drizzle of honey.
With a stunningly smooth finish and artfully crafted handles, you may begin to think that Heart & Spade Forge’s carbon-steel cookware is all for looks. But that is far from the truth for these hand-forged Virginia beauties. Founder and blacksmith Jed Curtis mindfully creates each unique piece with purpose, whether that’s taller walls and double handles for their No. 8 Baker or shorter, thicker walls for searing in their No. 8 Skillet.
You can sense the care and craftsmanship put into each sleek honey dipper from this Kentucky-based business. Each one is individually handcrafted from locally sourced woods and finished with a protective coating to guarantee ease of use for years to come. Boothill Blades is best known for its hand-crafted knives, but we love their wooden kitchen tools like this honey dipper too.
Set your table in style with these colorful place mats from Ashley Schoenith, the Atlanta-based designer behind Heirloomed. The bonus detail of vibrant red stitching adds a fun contrast of color to the navy blue stripes, but the real star of the show is the mats’ signature twill tape tab that easily secures your silverware. Make sure to bring a set along no matter where this summer takes you.
From fried chicken and cornbread to iced sweet tea and peach cobbler, 26 of the most iconic regional classics make an appearance on this Kentucky company’s “ABCs of Southern Food” poster. And if you weren’t hungry before, one look through them all would make any stomach rumble. Make it a gift for a youngster or even your favorite foodie.
Molly Sanyour has a passion for clay and has for most of her life. Born, raised, and currently living in bustling Richmond, Virginia, she is a master potter, teaching ceramics at a local high school while also managing her own online pottery business, from which you can purchase her stunning pieces. With a fresh mix of clean white lines, organic lips, and distinct glazes, each piece is something different.
Using recipes passed down from the owner’s grandmother, this small Georgia-based company crafts fresh-from-the-oven cheese straws daily. Each package contains award-winning flavors like Pecan Cheddar, Hot Habanero Cheddar, and Tomato Basil Cheddar, but nothing beats the Original Cheddar in our humble opinion. Whether you’re looking for classic cheesy treats or entirely new flavors, they have it all.
This salty-sweet snack is what happens when you take a seemingly ordinary nut mix and dial the flavor up to 11. Seasoned with a balanced and unique blend of hot sauce, spices, and seasonings, these Chattanooga beer nuts are sure to spice up any party.
James Falson was a corporate attorney. Then, he inherited his family’s Virginia farm and returned to his agricultural roots once and for all. Named for his grandfather, a second-generation farmer, Milton’s Local is a provider of all-natural meats with a heavy focus on sustainable, humane farming. One taste of their uncured, all-natural bacon sausage infused with spices and herbs or hickory-smoked bacon, and you’ll agree that their attention to detail pays off.
When life gives you too many tomatoes, make Bloody Marys. That’s the philosophy behind Elizabeth Heiskell’s Debutante Farmer Bloody Mary Mix. Her husband, Luke, nicknamed Elizabeth “The Debutante Farmer” when the couple moved to Oxford, Mississippi, to start Woodson Ridge Farms. And a surplus of tomatoes one summer prompted Elizabeth to create her farm-crafted Bloody Mary mix.
Years of research went into refining what owner and bacon enthusiast Morgan Murphy has dubbed his salt-cured masterpiece. Every slice is dry-cured and sliced in northern Alabama, and sprinkled with a dash of red pepper that adds a mild, enjoyable heat all our fellow bacon lovers will appreciate.
Made with shredded Thomasville Tomme, Duke’s mayonnaise, Spanish piquillo peppers, and other spices, this crave-worthy pimento cheese has just the right amount of smoky flavor and perfect spreadable texture.
This Birmingham brittle fanatic knew from an early age that she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps and bring their family recipe to people across the South. Now she has four flavors to enjoy by the bag with more on its way. From the original to butterscotch and chocolate-topped to Cajun-spiced, there’s no way we could pick a favorite. Grab a bag of your own and get munching.
These Tampa Bay bee fanatics know that honey in its purest form is something to admire and savor. The natural pollens and enzymes in every batch make this raw honey a healthier and more delicious alternative to many store-bought varieties.
Kathy D’Agostino’s very first job as a child was working at a chocolatier around the corner from her family’s home. Though she didn’t pursue a career in chocolate-making, the idea of opening a chocolate shop always hung in the back of her mind. In 2017, she made her dream come true by opening Chocolatá in the heart of downtown Birmingham. From divine artisanal chocolate bars to picturesque bon bons (that taste even better than they look) to drinking chocolate, this Magic City shop is a chocolate-lover’s delight.
This small-batch cane syrup company in Youngsville, Louisiana, uses locally grown sugarcane to create unique Southern flavors the old-fashioned way: slowly. Their secret family recipe keeps devoted customers coming back to buy up each restock, so be sure to get your hands on a bottle while you can. A drizzle of this rich, sweet syrup would be a beautiful addition to those fresh-from-the-oven biscuits or rolls this fall.
Popped and packaged in Nashville, Tennessee, Prohibition Popcorn is the fabulously addictive brainchild of a brother-and-sister catering team who realized their clients wanted a unique party favor their guests would actually enjoy. Each crunchy, salty, sweet batch gets an extra kick of flavor thanks to a splash of local whiskey.
Love is the first ingredient in this Tennessee chocolate shop’s treats (seriously, check the label), and it shows in each indulgent bite. From boxes of bonbons and chocolate- and caramel-covered pretzel “walking sticks” to their perfectly balanced chocolate bars, each decadent offering reflects the passion of this husband-and-wife team and the two decades they spent perfecting each product. Whether you stop in their downtown Knoxville shop or order online, there’s no shortage of ways to feed your cravings.
Every bottle of sorghum from this Louisville company owes its flavor to the time spent aging in barrels from some of the Bluegrass State’s most famous distilleries. The hand-harvested sorghum comes from a farm in Eastern Kentucky, and that meticulous sourcing is rewarded with a deeply rich and sweet flavor that holds a hint of spice all Southern cooks need in their kitchens this season.