Though it may not look like much on the surface, Hochstetler’s Country Store in Seneca, SC is a neighborhood gem and a long-time favorite among my family. The Hochstetlers set up shop in 2006, and in their country store you’ll find all the old-fashioned charm and friendly service you’d expect.
Being only about a five minute drive from my childhood home, I’m well acquainted with Hochstetler’s. They’re your one-stop shop for bulk and local foods, in addition to their bakery and deli. The variety of goods nestled in that tiny store is impressive; you can find anything from baking ingredients and supplies, spices, candies, tea and coffee, snacks, and much more.
The prices at Hochstetler’s alone are reason enough to drop by. My father, a self-proclaimed foodie, buys all his spices there: not only are they cheaper, but he swears by their freshness, too. Before I got married, I stocked up on all sorts of spices and seasonings from Hochstetler’s; their all-natural lemon-pepper seasoning is my husband’s favorite.
For you Christmastime bakers, please do yourself a favor and get your ingredients from Hochstetler’s. You’ll find an excellent variety of nuts and dried fruits (which add up to $$$ at most grocery stores) at a fraction of their normal price. Furthermore, you can find specialty flours (gluten free, anyone?), gourmet sugars and salts, different cooking oils, and more to fit virtually any recipe. Take a peek at their refrigerators, too; Hochstetler’s stocks local meats and cheeses, as well as raw milk.
After you’ve collected your basket of amazing snacks and ingredients, be sure to get a sandwich and bowl of soup from Hochstetler’s deli. Everything is freshly prepared, with meats cut right before your eyes. Did I mention you can also purchase deli meats and cheeses there? They’re absolutely delicious, and (you guessed it) way cheaper than at the grocery store.
This no-fuss, no-frills store is a true delight to visit, and I’d be there weekly if I still lived in Seneca. As it is, I drop by and stock up on spices, dried fruit, popcorn (Benjamin loves their “mushroom” popcorn–you know, the kind of huge popcorn kernels that they use for caramel corn!), and more whenever I visit my parents. Take my advice and drop by Hochstetler’s, pick up a fresh-baked pie or loaf of bread for dinner, and make it your regular destination for all foods fresh and local.