For Michael Woodard, all good things start with barbecue.
It was at pig picking that he met his future wife, Geena. And it was a love of grilling that led to his creation of a meat rub that, with a few adjustments from Geena, eventually became a business.
Now, the couple has put brick and mortar behind its unique and popular Carolina Table Salt seasoning, with lots more southern-flared offerings to go with it.
The Woodards opened up a shop, named for their special blend of spices, this week at 812 S. College Road, in the shopping center adjacent to Dick’s Sporting Goods. Saturday, Carolina Table Salt will host its grand opening celebration.
“We started as a seasoning company and that has kind of led into catering, as well as specialty foods,” Michael told 106.3/93.7FM The Dude morning hosts Jim Whitmeyer and Linda Wylde during a “Hometown Interview” segment last week.
The new shop will, of course, feature bottles upon bottles of the couple’s brand of seasoning–a brown sugar-based smoky mix of garlic, paprika and a few secret ingredients.
“It’s the easiest seasoning. You can put it on any meat and it sticks right to it. Or you can put it in your pasta or potato salad. It even rims a Bloody Mary beautifully,” Geena said.
Carolina Table Salt was created after the Woodards handed out their spices as favors at their wedding, which they catered themselves.
A few weeks later, they got a call from one of the guests, a firefighter.
“He said, ‘We need 50 bottles. Every guy in the fire department wants one,'” Michael recalled.
But the store will also include some of the couple’s other treats–jars of homemade bacon jam and a freezer section chocked full of take-and-bake goodies like bread, casseroles, quiches and tomato pies.
“Whatever’s fresh, whatever’s local, that’s what we’ll be cooking,” Michael said.
The grand opening event Saturday will include several special offers–such as a free barbecue sandwich with the purchase of a bottle of seasoning. Customers who spend $25 in the store will also be entered into a contest to win a custom-built patio grill valued at over $1,000.