Little finds new outlet for chicken salad

Sharon Johnson Little began experimenting with recipes at her Anson County home in 2016 as she sought a healthier lifestyle for herself and her family.

“I took some of the things I liked, and changed out some parts,” she said. “I would remove some of the typical ingredients, or substitute something different.”

One of the recipes she rearranged was a typical chicken salad recipe. After making a few adjustments to the typical ingredients, she asked her husband to taste a sample.

“Girl, you’ve got a winner here!” was his response.

Next came a potentially tougher group to please — the kids.

The feedback was again positive.

“This stuff belongs in the store, Mom!”

And after getting similar stamps of approval from friends and neighbors, Little decided to start selling her new creation.

“Word got out, and that’s how we got started,” she said.

Looking to expand the distribution of her chicken salad sales, Little, who grew up in Norwood, contacted an old friend and former employer from Albemarle, Doug Hughes, who operates the Corner Supermarket on West Main Street.

“From the late 80s to the early 90s, our family operated a store in Norwood,” said Hughes, who recalled that Sharon, in addition to her siblings, had worked with him there.

Hughes puts in extra effort to distribute foods grown and produced locally.

“People like to buy local products, so we make a point to carry them,” he said, adding that the Corner Supermarket also offers locally-sourced beef, vegetables and wines.

Agreeing to carry Shell’s Chicken Salad has been a “winner” for Hughes, too.

“It’s ridiculous how fast it sells,” he said. “We can’t keep it in stock.”

“Once, I brought him a load of it to stock at 10 a.m. He called me back at 1 that afternoon and said he was sold out,” recalled Little. “It gets gone quick.”

“I don’t think she (Sharon) realized what she had got herself into,” Hughes said.

For Little, however, it’s a good problem to have.

Want A Taste?

Want to try Shell’s Chicken Salad? Here’s where to get it:

● The Corner Supermarket, 1105 W. Main St., Albemarle, 704-982-4228

● Shell’s Catering LLC, 704-453-3322

Toby Thorpe is a freelance writer for The Stanly News & Press.