Roadside Attraction

BY Hunter Houtzer

Creaking wood floors and old-timey cash registers make walking through Eagle Island Fruit and Seafood Market feel like a step back in time.

Just over the Isabel Homes bridge in Brunswick County on Highway 421 North Eagle Island Market finds itself busy from five oclock in the morning to eight oclock at night. Crowded among the locals are fresh-faced couples selecting green tomatoes excited children hunkered over the vast candy selection and hungry truckers choosing hearty sandwiches. It is exactly the kind of locally-owned general store that caters to young and old who find just the thing they are looking for. Whether the customers are sightseers coming from Moores Creek in search of ice cream and handmade soap or locals on their way home from work or looking for something to serve for dinner.

Blueberry-jalapeno jam pickled cauliflower spiced pears corn-cob jelly maple-pecan syrup candied jalapeno barbecue sauce and pineapple salsa are just some of the jarred selections that fill the aisles. The homemade bread and butter pickles are highly recommended by the Wilmington natives who consider themselves Eagle Island regulars.

Outside the stores entrance is the selection of seasonal vegetables velvety with the dirt that comes from being freshly picked. In time for Thanksgiving pumpkins currently reign supreme.

Owned and operated by the Flowers family Eagle Island Market is the continuation of a fruit stand Mr. Norris Flowers says his father began more than 50 years ago. Since opening the market has expanded to include the seafood market selling shrimp oysters and fish. Not to be missed are homemade seven-layer cakes and fresh-shelled field peas and butter beans.  

Eagle Island Market a cross between the Mast General Store in Valley Crucis in the western North Carolina mountains and Whole Foods in Wilmington is a traditional throw-back to a simpler time where a community could rely on a marketplace to bring them together and provide fresh locally-made food.