Matt & Sheila Neal

Neal's Deli
100 East Main Street
Carrboro, NC 27510
919-967-2185

Since 2008, Matt and Sheila Neal have operated Neal’s Deli in downtown Carrboro, just a stone’s throw from the Carrboro Farmers’ Market. They serve breakfast and lunch six days a week and are known for their house-made pastrami, which is even available on a breakfast biscuit. In the three and a half years since it opened, Neal’s has become a favorite daytime dining option for students, professionals, families, and other members of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community, who flock there for the biscuits, sandwiches, hot dogs, and farmers’ market sides. Though Neal’s offers coleslaw and potato salad year-round, other side-dish options change frequently based on what’s available at the Carrboro Farmers’ Market. This could include anything from marinated okra and tomatoes in the summer to butternut squash in the chillier months. And their connection to the Market runs deep: Sheila was the Market’s first full-time manager from 2004 to 2007, and Matt’s father, the late chef Bill Neal, was a celebrated proponent of local and seasonal Southern flavors and often stocked the pantry at Crook’s corner with Market-sourced ingredients.

Date of interview:

September 15, 2011

Interviewer:

Sara Camp Arnold

Photographer:

Sara Camp Arnold


[The Carrboro Farmers' Market] has cultivated a whole community and culture of folks who care about what they eat, care about the people who grow it, care about their environment, and care about their bodies and what they’re eating, and then the byproduct of that is what we’ve done as a restaurant, and other restaurants in our area.

I think of Sheila as a gateway manager [of the Carrboro Farmers’ Market]. She was willing to take on the job and deal with the changes that needed to be made in order for the Market to be able to get ready to make a lot of big new steps.

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