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FOOD & WINE

Carolina Cider Company: Halfway between Charleston and Savannah

January 22, 2015
Carolina Cider Company

Carolina Cider Company

This quirky roadside stand in is the perfect spot to stretch your legs when traveling between these two great Southern belles.

The drive between Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia is just over two hours, mostly on a divided highway, U.S. Route 17. It’s an easy drive with little to see except miles and miles of trees and grasses.

Heading south, the Carolina Cider Company in Beaufort is one of the few interesting options for stopping midway between the two cities. Friends had told us about the “pie place” along the way but it turned out to be more than that.

The huge billboard on the side of the road that warned we were approaching the Carolina Cider Company for a “taste of the low country” didn’t overpromise. (Admittedly, we were confused at first because the sign on the door read Carolina Cherry Company but whatever…they were one and the same.)

The "front porch"

The “front porch”

The building exterior looks like an old-fashioned general store with some high-backed wooden rocking chairs outside and a retro feel reminiscent of road trips from the past. Even the prices on the old Texaco gas pumps are frozen in time at 42 cents a gallon.

Inside, you can grab a cup of coffee with one of the shop’s famous pies, either a tartlet (for one) or a regular size pie to take home. When we stopped, the fresh homemade pies available for purchase that day included pecan, blueberry, peach, sweet potato, cherry and apple.

Homemade Apple Pie

Homemade Apple Pie

Another specialty is the peach and cherry ciders, all made with natural flavors and no sugar or preservatives. Having been in the area for several weeks, southern delicacies now seemed more familiar. Some of the regional food specialties for sale at Carolina Cider include Benne wafers, hushpuppy batter mix, grits, fruit jams and jellies, barbecue sauces, pickled vegetables, Hoppin’ John, and Cajun deep-fried peanuts you can eat with the shells.

Low country specialties

Low country specialties

Everything is served up with a big dose of Southern hospitality. Both the sales clerk—and open jars with spoons beside them—encourage customers to sample the products.

Although all the foods were regional specialties of low-country, these type of products are akin to the small-batch food delicacies we have found in shops in New York, like Dean & DeLuca or Eataly. Branding is everything so some of the syrups at Carolina Cider were tagged as one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things” and packages of nuts said they were favorites of NBC weatherman Al Roker.

Some of our favorite things

Some of our favorite things

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One of the virtues of a road trip is that there are no 3-3-1 rules. Because we could take bottles and liquids home with us, we were able to purchase pretty jars of peach and fig fruit preserves as gifts.

The shop surely felt one-of-a-kind.

Then we realized, upon returning to Charleston that a clone of the Carolina Cider Company was on the other side of the road just in case someone missed it on the way going.


IF YOU GO:

Carolina Cider Company, 81 Charleston Highway (Route 17), Yemassee, South Carolina

  • Reply
    Laura
    January 28, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    I love unique places, especially those that seem frozen in time! This definitely qualifies. Too funny there’s one on each side of the road! They don’t miss a sale that way.

  • Reply
    Laura
    January 30, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Totally, I didn’t see that coming! I would have wanted to go to the other side and see if it was exactly the same.

  • Reply
    Donna Janke
    February 9, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    This unique place looks worth stopping at. I love the retro look of the exterior. I am not a cider fan, but that pie looks scrumptious. I also have never tried peach cider – I might like that.

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      February 13, 2015 at 11:20 pm

      I’m sure you would be suckered into buying something:-) We brought home a bottle of whole figs preserved in a liquid.

  • Reply
    Elaine J. Masters
    February 9, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    I grew up taking road trips around the U.S. with my parents and just loved being able to pull over on a whim. You’re so right about not having to worry about liquids and security on a car ride too!

  • Reply
    noel
    February 9, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    It’s been awhile, I love little roadside places like this and I really love Beaufort too!

  • Reply
    santafetraveler
    February 9, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    What a great looking place. It made me think of the old Stuckey’s signs on I-95 going through the south. Carolina Cider Company looks like a great find.

    • Reply
      Laura
      February 9, 2015 at 6:28 pm

      I thought of Stuckey’s when I first saw this post! I was trying to remember if they were on both sides of an interchange?

  • Reply
    Betsy Wuebker | PassingThru
    February 9, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Oh man, chow chow, hush puppies, cheese grits and pie, too? I’d need plenty of cider to wash it all down. Fortunately, this company seems to have this covered. 🙂

  • Reply
    The GypsyNesters
    February 9, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    What a fun place! Better yet, it is perfectly positioned between two of our favorite cities.

  • Reply
    Kristin Henning
    February 10, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    Another great reason for a road trip. I think we’re due for another USA circle route this coming year!

  • Reply
    Patti Morrow
    February 10, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Please never post a photo like that apple pie again. I just licked my computer screen and may have damaged it.

    Seriously, looks like a great road trip. I live in South Carolina and planning to get to Savannah later this year, so I’ll definitely stop in.

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      February 11, 2015 at 10:11 am

      Hope you’ll write about the place on the other side of the road:-)

  • Reply
    Carole Terwilliger Meyers
    February 11, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I love stopping at a good roadside stand. I’ll keep the Carolina Cider Company in mind when I’m out that way. Here’s one I recently discovered in my own Northern California territory, http://weekendadventuresupdate.blogspot.com/2015/02/highway-49-gold-rush-country-auburn_6.html

  • Reply
    Suzanne Fluhr
    February 11, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Irene, this sounds like a great “pit” stop (pun somewhat intended) on the road between Charleston and Savannah. We’re overdue for a road trip, so I need to file this place away somewhere I can retrieve it—-i.e. other than in the deep dark recesses of my aging brain. Is the cider “hard” cider?

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      February 11, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      Didn’t notice anything alcoholic here…but I have another place to send you!

  • Reply
    Travel with Kevin and Ruth
    February 11, 2015 at 11:31 pm

    Oooh I love cider and the cherry one sounds delicious, I think I would be carting some back home too! It is fun seeing stores like this that actually sell real homemade products.

    Ruth

  • Reply
    Karen Warren
    February 12, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    I love the look of that food and the cider. That part of the US is on my bucket list – perhaps I’ll get there one day.

  • Reply
    Sue Reddel
    February 13, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    That pie crust looks amazing! We would definitely stop there if we were in that neck of the woods.

  • Reply
    Anita @ No Particular Place To Go
    February 15, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Mmmm – You had me at pecan, blueberry, peach …! What a fun place to visit for a little nostalgia and good eats. And how convenient to have the opportunity to visit this place available on both sides of the road!

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      February 15, 2015 at 11:05 am

      Had I known, I would have left time for another stop on the way back!

  • Reply
    Michelle da Silva Richmond
    February 16, 2015 at 11:04 am

    I love these charming roadside stores. I really enjoyed your post. Can we expect a story about the shop on the other side of the road?

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