There is nothing else in the world like Southern hospitality and few people know that better than Janet Chinners, co-owner of Dillsboro’s Country Traditions Gourmet Food, Wine and Gifts.
“Hospitality is a country tradition,” says Chinners as she sits down to discuss how her store came to be. “It’s home. You walk into my home when you come into my shop.”
Janet and co-owner and husband John Chinners value the gift of hospitality and aim to give the feeling of home to anyone who walks through their door. They designed the store with couches, tables, chairs and even free WiFi to make the experience of shopping at Country Traditions as comfortable and hospitable as possible.
Not only does Country Traditions offer an “at home feel” but it also sells lavish wines and eclectic foods from local vendors and farmers’ markets. The store is chocked full of different flavorful spreads, cheeses, baked goods, oils and spices of different varieties.
John and Janet personally sample and hand select all the wines they sell in their store. They make sure each bottle and flavor is nothing shy of the best and nothing more than $20 a bottle. Appetizing and affordable! The wines are primarily from North Carolina vineyards but some come from around the world.
But Janet takes the experience shopping at Country Traditions a step further. Not only do the Chinners offer wonderful wines and a place that feels like home,
Janet also provides free cooking demos every Saturday at 7 p.m. During the demos, she cooks with in-house products to make quick and easy meals for customers to sample.
“All the food is fresh from the farmer’s market and is enhanced with our in-house products,” says Janet. Her demos usually last approximately 30 minutes and each recipe can be cooked with only induction and microwave ovens. In addition to seeing how Janet prepares the food, patrons also get to taste the flavorful food for free.
“It all started when I was in my twenties and my husband and I would take turns with other couples to host a gourmet cooking dinner event. That’s when I got into pairing extravagantly tasting foods with flavorful wines and my hobby turned into a passion,” says Janet.
Chinners often compares cooking with being in a lab. She originally lived in New Jersey and worked as a scientist for MedTech for ten years. Her love of science really sparked her idea to start cooking demos in her wine and gourmet foods shop.
Janet came to Dillsboro eight years ago with her stepbrother, and she fell in love with the old-fashioned and charming town. After a miraculous opportunity to purchase a shop, the Chinners went for the sale and have been in Dillsboro ever since.
Country Traditions has a Facebook page that offers some of Janet’s recipes and a schedule of her cooking demos. facebook.com/countrytraditionsnc
For more information about Country Traditions, visit www.dillsborowineandgourmet.net or call (828) 586-1600.