Phyllis’ Sweetshop

Phyllis Feaster is known for her talents in the kitchen, especially when it comes to creating delicious cakes, pies, cookies, breads and candies. By her own admission, Phyllis avoided learning to cook as a child. She grew up in the Double Shoals community during a time when families churned their own butter, canned their own vegetables and raised their own hogs. Her mother Vuna Albertson stayed busy in the family kitchen. Phyllis fondly remembers flour being strewn about and the smell of freshly-baked peanut butter cookies welcoming her home from school. “Mother tried her best to teach me to cook”, Phyllis says, “but I didn’t pay attention”. Mrs. Albertson continued to do much of the cooking for the family until her death in 1981. That Christmas, Phyllis faced the dilemma of how to provide family with its traditional holiday feast, and decided to take on the challenge. Out came the recipe books, and Phyllis was on her way. She has experienced occasional flops in the kitchen over the years, but few she’ll talk about.

Phyllis really doesn’t like cooking most foods, she admits, but has developed a passion for making desserts. Baking, Phyllis says, is so relaxing… often taking her into her own little world. She especially enjoys modifying standard recipes to suite her taste, making them her very own. “Some of my recipes I’ll share”, says Phyllis, “and others I won’t”. But she is writing down all of them in a recipe book for her two granddaughters, both of whom have shown promise in the kitchen. Perhaps the ability to bake is genetic… the girls’ father Reggie had mastered Phyllis’ chocolate chip cookie recipe by age 12, and sold baked items to earn extra money during his college years.

Phyllis was a vendor for a while in the old farmers’ market building on Warren Street in Uptown Shelby, but found the demands of a daily market to be too time-consuming. She quit to spend more time with her family, but continued to take Christmas orders from customers. Phyllis started her home-based business, “Phyllis’ Sweetshop” about six years ago after she retired from 32 years in the Shelby school system.

These comfort foods are now available at Foothills Farmers’ Market, which operates in the white tents on historic court square in Upton Shelby. Phyllis arrives early every Saturday morning, and usually sets up on the corner of Washington and Marion streets. Customers are welcomed by her homemade sign which reads “Fried Pies!”. In addition to these wonderful old-fashioned treats (available in sugar-free), Phyllis usually offers chocolate & peanut butter fudge, fresh banana & strawberry breads, spiced pecans, cheese wafers, and fresh fruit pies. She has won first place at the Cleveland County Fair for her mouth-watering fudge, but her fried pies are always a best-seller. “They’re not easy to make“, she says, “but they remind folks of a simpler time, and they’re so good.” Her Fridays are spent cooking, wrapping and labeling the fruit-filled pastries so that they arrive fresh to the market on Saturday. Phyllis enjoys spending her Saturday mornings at Foothills Farmers’ Market. “You get to know a lot of people“, she says, “and if you sell them something good they will come back.”

In addition to buying from Phyllis at the Market, you can schedule her to do your Christmas baking (she takes orders through the end of November). You might also consider taking her annual candy-making class, which she teaches each October in one of the two certified kitchens at her home in Shelby. She usually enrolls 20-25 students each year, teaching them how to make delicious fudge, peanut brittle, and an assortment of chocolate-covered treats. You may contact Phyllis by phone at 704-482-2447 or by e-mail at [email protected]

  • Phyliss' Sweetshop
  • Reginald Feaster
  • 585 W. Grover Street
  • Shelby, NC 28152
  • 704-484-1900 704-284-4170
  • [email protected]

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