Explorin’ With Loren: Mullins known for its long tobacco history and close-knit community

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 6:30 PM EDT
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MULLINS, S.C. (WMBF) - Golden wheat fields greet you on your way into Mullins before arriving in quaint Main Street, where you’ll find the Ole Fashioned Sandwich Shoppe.

Mary Lynn Jones, co-owner of the restaurant, described Mullins as a small, very close-knit community and believed her restaurant was the perfect fit.

“I wanted this to be old-fashioned like an old general store,” Jones said. “We serve chicken salad, we serve croissants, we serve all kinds of sandwiches.”

A picnic-style place that also bakes fresh desserts like pecan turtle cookies and fruit filled croissants. Jones, a stay-at-home mother and her CPA husband Charles, relied on faith and her famous homemade chicken salad, to open their restaurant in 2019.

Jones whipped up her chicken salad for us and their popular Virginia-baked ham croissant sandwich.

“I really take pride in my food. We try to use all the freshest ingredients. A lot of the food is homemade so I put a lot of love in it, so I think it’s unique and it’s a good place to eat,” she said.

Eat at Ole Fashioned Sandwich Shoppe

Learn everything about the industry that put Mullins on the map at the South Carolina Tobacco Museum. Anne Poole, the museum’s docent, walked us through the city’s tobacco history.

“We have a little bit of everything that has to do with farm life to tobacco,” said Poole.

From the tobacco barn full of leaves to Rosco the mule who guards them, Poole teaches folks how the tobacco industry started and where it stands today.

“We show you how it grows in the field, what you have to do to get it growing with the golden purpose of producing the best quality golden leaf possible, to bring the best price when you take it to market,” Poole explained.

Poole said Mullins had 41 tobacco warehouses at one time and produced millions of pounds of tobacco each day. There are four to five farmers who currently still grow the plant.

“The smell was just unbelievable. I call it the smell of money,” said Poole.

You can visit the free museum Monday through Friday.

Visit the South Carolina Tobacco Museum

Right before you head out of town, stop by the Golden Leaf Antique Market.

“We have a variety of old and new with things that you would not see anywhere else,” manager Lisa Edwards said.

The old Neal and Dixon’s Tobacco Warehouse now houses unique signs and statues, decades-old memorabilia and antique furniture, including their popular rocking chairs.

“They’re made out of solid white oak and they’re just wonderful. They’re great chairs!” Edwards said.

More than 30 vendors fill the warehouse and their products change all the time.

“If you’re looking for something that you can’t find, usually you can find it here. And we would love to have you,” Edwards said.

Shop at the Golden Leaf Antique Market

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