STOKES COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Chicken stew is now being served at John Brown’s Country Store.
About 100 years ago, the seasonal stew became popular among Piedmont farmers and their neighbors as the main dish during fall celebrations marking the end of the harvest season.
Other agricultural regions are known to serve Brunswick Stew or Oyster Stews in coastal communities. Today, its popularity is being shared by the Brown family using their late mother’s recipe.
“We make it every day from October to March,” said store owner Brian Brown. “The last couple of years, from October to March, we’ll average 8,000 to 9,000 gallons of stew.”
People from outside the county and Hanging Rock State Park visitors from Raleigh and Charlotte are frequent customers of the country store.
“We’ve got your honey, candies, tomatoes, pumpkins and everything,” Brian said. “We’ve got everything you’d expect to find in a country store.”
Brian’s dad John Brown started out running a produce stand and eventually ran other businesses in the area.
“We opened this location [on Highway 66] in 1997,” he said. “Dad passed away in ‘98, and I’ve been running it ever since.”
Brian says with the help of sister Kim and his brother Scott, the store has become well known for the things made right in the store.
“We’re probably known for our pimento cheese. We’ve been making it for over 20 years,” he said. “We do homemade banana pudding and a different cobbler every day.”
But these days, people are lining up and placing large orders for the beloved chicken stew that’s ingredients include milk, butter, cream, salt and pepper and chicken.
Some fans freeze the stew to ship to relatives or to eat throughout the year.
“We’ve had to put in another register to accommodate the orders,” Brian said.
You can find John Brown’s Country Store on Highway 66 just north of King.