A familiar face, with a new location
by RACHEL DAVIS
May 30, 2012 | 1236 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Charlie Phillips, or "Jolly Cholly" as he's known locally, looks over the produce in the store's new location on Bryan Road in Sumiton. - Photo by: Rachel Davis
Charlie Phillips, or "Jolly Cholly" as he's known locally, looks over the produce in the store's new location on Bryan Road in Sumiton. - Photo by: Rachel Davis
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SUMITON — When the Hen House closed last month at the corner of Bryan Road and Highway 78, a familiar face in the area took over the building.

The charming, handmade signs that have long been a trademark of Little Giant Farm Market were the first clue to the identity of the new occupant.

“I started making signs when I was 12 years old,” Charlie Phillips, or “Jolly Cholly,” said. “My stepdaddy had a grocery store in Sumiton and I did the signs and kept up with the competition.”

The local produce vendor opened its second location about two weeks ago and, although they are open, they are still in the process of getting everything set up and stocked. Eventually they plan to offer all the items that they have at the Hull Road location, which will also remain open.

“We will have everything that we’ve got over at the other store,” Phillips said, clad in his usual overalls and stocking green plums at the counter. “We actually have more room here than we have at the other place, we just have to arrange it to work for us.”

The day-to-day business of both stores is now handled by his youngest son, Chris, but “Jolly Cholly” is still active in the businesses and says he thinks this second location may actually be busier than the first. Chris Phillips decided to open the second location because he felt they were losing a large portion of the customers from that side of Sumiton, who might have been going to other stores because they were closer.

“Chris said that a lot of people who came from Bryan Road never made it to the other side of town,” Phllips said. “After two weeks, I think he may have been right.”

Like the other location, the business will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. They are closed Sunday and Monday.

The business may still be stocking and getting settled in, but one sign has already gone up. Over the register it reads, “Everything’s fresh but Jolly Cholly.”