South Carolina Roadside Markets field

South Carolina’s Certified Roadside Markets are meeting a demand for quality home-grown produce and products.

South Carolina is ecologically diverse, and this provides a wonderful variety of produce,” says Elizabeth Shuler, director of the state’s Certified Roadside Market program, in existence since 1972. “Because our farms are diverse, they can supply markets with a wide variety of products, ranging from fresh fruits and vegetables to local meats and seafood, and SC specialty foods.”

Certified Roadside Market owners go through an application process, following requirements for product freshness, traffic safety and signage to make them easily identifiable.

South Carolina Roadside Markets Aromatic Rice

Shuler says that an expanding agritourism industry is feeding right into the growing roadside market program, with many of the state’s 205 certified markets offering U-pick operations, corn mazes and other seasonal activities, as well as local farm-owned kitchens and restaurants that serve fruits and vegetables straight from their own acres.

One such operation is King’s Market, featuring produce from its sixth-generation family farm located just minutes from Edisto Beach on Highway 174.

The King farm has diversified over the years and today this land of about 70 farmed acres grows everything from asparagus to zucchini and feeds locals and tourists from its market stand and kitchen. Open from February through December, the market offers a bounty of homemade jams and jellies, sweet and savory pies, casseroles, soups and sandwiches.

South Carolina Kings Market Roadside Markets

Kings Market is owned and operated by Bonnie and Rhett King and their son Jamie.

The roadside market came about through happenstance, according to owner Bonnie King, who runs the business with husband Rhett and son Jamie.

See Also:  South Carolina Agriculture

“About 12 years ago we asked our son to start running a tent with vegetables out of our fields. It was such a hit he couldn’t handle it by himself,” Bonnie says.

Bonnie quit her job, and they started the market full-time, making their own labeled products and specialty items, including dried wreaths made from flowers grown on the farm. Bonnie credits their success to keeping it in the family and staying on top of the business every day.

“Our market allows us to use our vegetables in our casseroles so that nothing goes to waste,” she says.

South Carolina Roadside Markets Granna's Gourmet jar

The Kings also sell other Certified SC Products such as rice from the Pee Dee area, Wadmalaw Island’s American Classic Tea and local honey.

In York, Bush-N-Vine Farms has been in the Hall family for more than 150 years. The market expanded to include three locations.

Strawberries are king of this farm, owned and operated by Bob and Susan Hall and son Samuel.

“We grow and pick strawberries from October through June,” Susan Hall says. Bush-N-Vine is able to grow strawberries during the cold winter months by growing them both in the field and under high tunnels. “We have to pay close attention to the weather because strawberries are very sensitive,” Hall says, noting that at times they cover the plants to protect the fruit from colder temperatures.

South Carolina Kings Market Roadside Markets

The farm’s 100 acres also grow other types of berries and a full complement of seasonal vegetables. Especially popular events are April’s Strawberry Festival and September’s Pumpkin Festival. Both feature family activities and U-Pick opportunities.

See Also:  Clemson University '55 Exchange Reaps Sweet Rewards

“People are more interested in seeing where their food is coming from,” Susan says. “Buying local is the best way to do it because you know you’re getting it fresh, you know where it’s grown. This is a family-owned business, and we support buying local.”

Not all roadside markets are connected to one particular farm. Five Rivers Market in Orangeburg, SC offers a variety of fresh produce, meats, dairy, eggs, bread and specialty food products sourced statewide. The market also has a cafe that serves local dishes and a wine and craft beer shop, featuring SC’s best brews.


  1. I’m trying to locate butter beans – the small/medium, greenish white variety. Fordhook is one that comes to mind. Would like 1-2 bushels if price is right.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here