Sassy Carragher (Henry) begins producing batches of her unique, homestyle pimento cheese to serve at Atlanta Braves playoff games. This was during the Braves epic run in the playoffs during the 1990’s. Sassy, and her boyfriend at the time, Brian Henry were big Braves fans and Sassy’s recipe was a big hit with their tailgate friends.
On the Move
Brian and Sassy leave Atlanta and move with their two children to Pawleys Island, South Carolina where they took over the historic Sea View Inn.
Sea View Inn
Vertrella Brown began producing batches of Sassy’s pimento cheese recipe at Sea View Inn. It was featured as an appetizer each week during the summer lowcountry shrimp boils each Wednesday evening. Needless to say, it was a guest favorite.
Brian: “What are you passionate about?”
Sassy: “I’m passionate about my pimento cheese!”
That was the conversation that led to the Henrys adventure into making Sassy’s pimento cheese recipe a viable and marketable product. At that time, there was a lack of “homemade”, high quality pimento cheese brands on grocery store shelves. Once the Henrys decided upon the name Palmetto Cheese, a trademark was immediately filed and a homegrown label was quickly designed and produced (essentially the same label exists today).
Palmetto Cheese is introduced at Independent Seafood in Georgetown, SC. The store agreed to stock Palmetto Cheese and the owner instructed us to “throw a dozen tubs in the ice” to see how it sells. It had modest beginnings being marketed right next to the mullet!
Palmetto Cheese makes its first appearance at a retail grocery store at Food Lion in Pawleys Island, SC located on the South Causeway. After several months of moderate success, 3 additional Food Lion locations were added for distribution (Garden City & Murrells Inlet).
Production of Palmetto Cheese moves from Sea View Inn to a location on Hwy 17 in Pawleys Island (current site of Get Carried Away Southern Takeout) to keep pace with local production demand.
Palmetto Cheese hits Piggly Wiggly in Litchfield, SC. This store helps Palmetto Cheese broaden its appeal by selling to many tourists during the summer of 2007. During these peak summer months, over 500 tubs of Palmetto Cheese were sold each WEEK!
Palmetto Cheese expands beyond the back yard of Pawleys Island, SC as 6 Publix locations in Greenville, SC decide to bring in our brand. This requires Brian to make overnight trips in the Soulburban to deliver Palmetto Cheese to the backdoor of each location for check-in and stocking. The initial list of 6 stores expanded to 11 locations in mid 2008. This also led to addition of Publix outlets in Atlanta and Charleston, SC that also had to be hand delivered.
Palmetto Cheese contracts with Duke Food Productions to begin producing tubs for retail sales. This was done to keep up with not only the volume, but the distribution of product to Atlanta, Greenville, Charleston, and markets in between. Local customers continued to be supplied by the local production facility.
Piggly Wiggly becomes the first grocery chain to add Palmetto Cheese to their entire store list (85 stores) and allocating marketing resources to grow the brand across their geography (Carolinas and Georgia)
Palmetto Cheese first appeared in Southern Living Magazine and went on to be in the Dec. 2010, Feb 2012, and Sept 2015 issue where it was named the “staff favorite”.
Palmetto Cheese gets a more colorful and updated look with colored lids. Orange for Original and Green for Jalapeno. The Bacon variety is added in July 2011 and takes on a reddish colored lid.
Palmetto Cheese is featured in the USA Today to highlight our success using Social Media.
Palmetto Cheese is offered in all Delta Sky Clubs in the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport. Travelers are able to enjoy a “southern” treat while on their way through the South’s largest city.
Palmetto Cheese becomes the #1 selling pimento cheese brand in the US and reaches over 8,700 stores in 40 states.