By Shirley Shuman
For some time, the town of Gassaway lacked a full-service flower shop, but that problem no longer exists. Piccadilly, a branch of a larger floral shop located in Flatwoods, is in full operation on Elk Street in Gassaway. An interesting “backdoor neighbor” offers a different type of service: what owner and chef Harris Wolverton calls “gourmet take-out.” Harris Gourmet Pick-up, tucked into a small space, offers far more than seems possible.
Chef Wolverton provides a variety of lunch items including hot dogs, meatball subs, BLT subs, and side salads. These have become popular with local workers who can call in an order, then pick it up or come into the kitchen, order it, and sit on a stool to watch it being made. The owner/chef enjoys people visiting while he prepares their food, he noted.
Dinner entrees vary from day to day and will change as the seasons change. Currently, Wolverton mentioned the popularity of a summer salad consisting of strawberries, pecans, pineapple, dried cranberries and spring mix with feta cheese and a raspberry vinaigrette dressing. The owner also noted that he will prepare fewer “comfort foods” such as lasagna during warmer weather. To learn what’s offered, individuals can go to the business Facebook page.
Wolverton prides himself on the quality of the ingredients he uses and his methods of preparation. For example, he buys local beef from Wayne Cattle Company. He also bakes his own bread/buns (except hot dog buns) and makes his own pasta, even to the point of rolling it out with a rolling pin. “I try to provide things that one doesn’t normally find in Braxton County,” he explained. Here he mentioned trying steak gyros, which have proved popular.
The story of his training is somewhat convoluted, he noted. He began his career in food preparation with a job at Minney’s Family Restaurant at Frametown. “I needed a job, and they gave me one,” he said. “They taught me a lot.” While he was there, his interest grew, and he “decided to do something about it” so he began culinary school. He enrolled into an online culinary school, “one of the Top 10 in the United States,” he said. Currently he is taking additional classes to obtain an associate degree in culinary arts and operations.
Asked about his favorite part of the business, Wolverton responded, “I enjoy it all. Everything has its own reward.”
And fronting all of this is Piccadilly’s flower shop. Angie Wolverton, who manages the shop, explained that this branch was opened because “Gassaway needed its own downtown florist, and part of my vision was to give back to my hometown.”
In addition to floral arrangements for special occasions, the florist works with local funeral homes in providing flowers and helping in other ways, Angie Wolverton emphasized. “We take calls 24-7 for funeral flowers,” she said. Piccadilly’s is open Monday through Saturday.
By Shirley Shuman