P W SHORT General Store

Posted in John's Current Blog on April 13, 2015

A fascinating new shop has opened on the NE corner of Whitaker and Taylor Streets, in the heart of the Savannah Design District. Local artist and majordomo Scot Hinson, a 1991 SCAD graduate, is expanding the idea of a general store with his carefully selected offerings for the cook, the entertainer, the bicyclist, the gardener, the locavore, and tourist.

Hinson is no stranger to Savannah or to creative projects. He has restored three houses in town, including a Federal townhouse on Orleans Square, a Victorian shell in Thomas Square, and a 1950s beach house at Tybee. He has designed and built furniture, painted murals, entertained hundreds of guests, and amassed an interesting, eclectic, and practical collection of merchandise for his modern take on the general store, which he named after his late grandfather, a Delaware merchant.

Hinson, who is a board member of the Forsyth Farmers Market, is also a passionate cook interested in both preserving culinary traditions and expanding them, with an eye to the truly regional. He’s selling salts, ginger products, and marmalades made here in the lowcountry. He extends his eye toward the exceptional with fine cast iron pots from Japan and copper cookware from France. He has imported a spice grinder from Hong Kong and is selling my oyster knife.

Many of you may recognize Hinson as my sidekick and “son.” He worked in the original Hoppin’ John’s shop in Charleston back in 1987. He and I have been talking about going into business together for years and we are in the process of taking over the shipping of my stone-ground grits and cornmeal. My millers ship the products to us and they go into freezers in the shop. As soon as we’re set up, there will be major savings passed on to customers, because currently the mill ships via UPS, whose prices on small packages are astronomical.

The shop is charming. Scandinavian teak and stainless share the space with a green lawnmower. There are garden tools, canning supplies, gingersnaps, and poison ivy anti-itch lotion. Cleverly designed bicycle baskets, anti-fatigue mats for the kitchen or workroom, and carefully selected books on food and gardening, both new and out-of-print. “A general store to me is a place where you can find things that you really need, that are truly useful,” he muses as he unpacks a shipment of sustainable bamboo bowls and some vintage tableware.

Many items reflect his discerning eye as an interior designer, which leans toward the well-made, midcentury pieces that the shop also features.“I’ve been collecting midcentury Scandinavian pieces for years to offer in my shop, whose focus is not just cooking and entertaining, but the entire concept of the urban home: going on a picnic in the park, riding a bike, grilling outdoors, putting food by, growing your own….”

Do drop by the next time you’re in Savannah, or give Scot a call at (912) 349-6378. His website is currently under construction; mine is being updated as well. You can email him at info@pwshort.com.

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