In the world of destination marketing, trends like being a "Foodie", or becoming a culinary destination really are determined by the story or food experience your town/city can offer.  If you have to make it up (or your ad agency does) -- you are not authentic by any means.  Here in Johnston County we are keeping it traditional and with locally grown produce and food products -- we keep it Southern (not new Southern) and that's how we love it. 

We are all very busy during the Holidays and to keep it simple, why not let some of the best local food businesses help you out for the Christmas meal.  That's okay if you let Linwood Parker of White Swan cook your ham or turkey, you fix the sides, and let family bring dessert, and you won't be too exhausted to open presents.

First step, let us share some time saving tips and resources to help with your Christmas feast.
  • Turkeys, Spiral Hams and Fresh Hams are available throughout the county, and many locations cook them for you.  Order about two weeks out -- locals know this is a popular treat and time saver.

Redneck BBQ Lab
Let Jerry Stephenson cook you a pork shoulder for the night before Thanksgiving (that's what our family does!) so family coming into town can pull pork and make sandwiches -- so easy!  So delicious!
12101-B NC Hwy 210, Benson

Steven's Sausage Company
They offer more than sausage here for the holidays, try country ham, spiral ham and of course, their sausage is wonderful for Christmas morning casseroles.
3411 Stevens Sausage Rd, Smithfield

White Swan BBQ
Let the men roast the turkey and prepare the ham this year, and they also offer the full meal for ten people with meat, dressing, vegetables and tea.
3198 US Hwy 301 S., Smithfield

Smithfield Chicken N' BBQ
There are three locations in Johnston County and more than 30 in the state...order a pork shoulder cooked low and slow and use your favorite BBQ sauce. Great addition for large groups!
924 N. Bright Leaf Blvd., Smithfield, 919-934-8721
10414 US Hwy 70 W, Clayton, 919-553-4553
5180 NC Hwy 42 W., Garner, 919-773-0774

McLamb's Abattoir
Maybe your family likes to have beef for the Christmas meal, order a whole Rib Eye Roast from McLamb's or standing pork loin, and their sausage is wonderful too.
623 Benson-Hardee Rd., Benson

  • Cooking the best cornbreads, biscuits, and tasty sides starts with quality flour and cornmeal.  Johnston County has two local companies known for quality products and they are the real deal.

    Atkinson's Mill
    Products include:  hush puppy mix, biscuit mix, seafood breader, chicken pastry, chicken stock and more.  Products are in some local stores, or you can purchase at the mill office or online.
    95 Atkinson Mill Rd., Selma

    House Autry Mills
    This nationally known product provides cooks with a variety of options, biscuit mix, corn meal, breaders and their website has tons of tasty recipes to try.  Products are available in area stores and online.
  • Want to order desserts too, you will find everything from 10 layer chocolate cakes, pies and cupcakes to satisfy your families sweet tooth.

    Nancy Jo's
    Looking for something extra special? You've found it. Twelve, yes 12 layers of moist yellow cake drenched in carefully boiled and stirred chocolate icing. Each layer is baked individually and iced while it is still hot. A true labor of love, our 12 Layer Chocolate Cake is an example of Southern baking at its finest.
    200 East Main St. Suite 102, Clayton

    Clayton Bakery
    Breads, cookies, cupcakes, pastries and cakes -- order from a grand selection.  And it's all very good!
    8928 US Hwy 70 E., Clayton

    Meadow Restaurant
    Order some of the area's best homemade cakes and pies from Meadow -- order soon!  Sorry no website for a list of available goodies, call for a selection.
    7400 NC Hwy 50 S., Benson

Now, that makes cooking for the family somewhat stress free!  Don't forget to shop local too for gifts!

Carolina Premium Outlets, JR Outlet, DeWayne's, Carolina Apparel and our downtown merchants around the county are offering great deals all holiday season long.  Click here for finding just the right gift for your love ones.

We so enjoy bringing our readers this BLOG, and sharing what makes our community so uniquely JoCo! (short for Johnston County!)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!