“Jake Wade Gives Fowler’s Food Store Write-Up In The Charlotte Observer.” The Chapel Hill Weekly, November 8, 1957.

The article above is an excerpt from The Chapel Hill Weekly, it is basically a re-print of a review of a grocery store in Chapel Hill written by Jake Wade and originally published in the Charlotte Observer.  The Chapel Hill Weekly was a newspaper published semiweekly in Chapel Hill from 1923 to 1972, and covered events and people in the Chapel Hill and Orange County areas. [1] This article describes Fowler’s as one of the largest independent grocery stores in the South at the time.  Fowler’s Food Store became so popular because of its uniqueness.  It was the only gourmet grocery store in or around Chapel Hill, and also sold many other necessary household items.   Many people frequented Fowler’s because of the variety and quality of meats and seafood they sold.  Another perk of shopping at Fowler’s was that they offered delivery service, which was helpful if you could not visit the store or did not have time to for some reason. [2] Fowler’s Food Store eventually became so successful that the owners were able to open a second location in Durham, where it became the first modern supermarket in the area. [3] Because of its high quality and popularity, Fowler’s Food Store was a staple of the Chapel Hill community.

This article is relevant to the Postwar time period because it shows the culture of Chapel Hill in the decade after World War II.  Although Fowler’s was considered a gourmet grocery store, it was still affordable for college students.  This means that almost anyone who wanted to could shop at Fowler’s.  Many students, who lived in apartments or houses, bought groceries at Fowler’s so they could cook their own food when they tired of eating at Lenoir Hall or the restaurants on Franklin Street. [4] In addition to college students, older men and women who were purchasing food in order to feed their families for the week shopped at Fowler’s.  These people treated the store as a way to catch up with what was happening on campus and in the greater community. [5] Fowler’s Food Store may have only been a grocery store, but the citizens of Chapel Hill chose it over the national chain stores because of the community it created.


[1] About the Chapel Hill Weekly. (Chapel Hill, N.C.) 1923-1972. [Library of Congress] Accessed November 6, 2018. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn92073229/

[2] “Jake Wade Gives Fowler’s Food Store Write-Up In The Charlotte Observer.” The Chapel Hill Weekly, November 8, 1957.

[3] Fowler’s Food Store – Roxboro Road. [Open Durham] Accessed November 6, 2018. http://www.opendurham.org/buildings/fowlers-food-store-roxboro-road

[4] Fowler’s Food Store. [Franklin Street Stories] Accessed November 6, 2018. http://franklinstreetstories.com/stories/fowlers.html

[5] The Chapel Hill Weekly


Caroline Schreder