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Business: Walmart deal spreads Palmetto Cheese in new territory

By Jackie R. Broach
Coastal Observer

Palmetto Cheese, known as “the pimento cheese with soul,” will be added to shelves at 699 Walmart stores this month – a huge leap in the product’s growth.

With the addition, the product is available in 2,700 locations in 24 states, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Started in the Pawleys Island area and offered through Brian and Sassy Henry’s company, Pawleys Island Specialty Foods, the deal with Walmart has been in the works for about six months and will introduce Palmetto Cheese into four states: Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri and Mississippi.

The expansion is “fantastic” news for Pawleys Island Specialty Foods and Duke Sandwich Co., the Upstate company that handles its product manufacturing and distribution.

“I can’t tell you exactly how many cases they ordered just to get those 700 stores started, but the first two orders were just incredible,” Brian Henry said. “It was just eye-popping.”

The increase in production means Duke will need to add 10 employees. The expansion will also subsidize 699 temporary positions as samplings and demonstrations are scheduled in Walmart stores to help roll out the product, Henry said.

The stores will carry the regular Palmetto Cheese, as well as the jalapeno and bacon flavors.

“We’ve been at it since 2006 and this is kind of the culmination,” Henry said. “It’s not the end, but it’s a major step. It’s a milestone and we’re celebrating.”

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