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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region.

ORAL HISTORY

Matt and Sheila Neal, Neal's Deli


Neal's Deli

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:
2011-09-15 00:00

Interviewer:
Sara Camp Arnold

Photographer:
Sara Camp Arnold

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