Story’s Grocery is living proof that being shiny and new with loads of neon doesn’t mean much anymore.
Story’s began as a gas station and convenience store on a lonely stretch of Hwy 16 between Denham Springs and Pine Grove. Nobody even thought of Watson as a landmark back then.
Fast forward to today. Watson has exploded with families, Hwy 16 is a choked major thoroughfare, and these folks have to eat something. The fast food chains have set up shop here. You can have burgers, pizza, chicken—the usual players are available. But if you want a po-boy or a home-made pie, you’ve got to know where to go.
Story’s started the way everybody else does. You start cooking a little, you gradually cook a lot, you expand to handle the extra cooking, you swap some deli space for what were grocery aisles, and soon you have a runaway train.
The train is still driven by the Story’s, and you can still pick up a box of Ritz crackers, a tin of sardines, and top off your gas tank. But you can also get po-boys, BLTs, Grilled Cheese sandwiches, Shrimp baskets. Their fresh ingredients and smiling service has made Story’s “where the locals go” in Watson.
Sure, there’s a shiny new gas station across the road that gleams in the night. You can get fried chicken or doughnuts, a fountain drink, the Jackson Mississippi paper, birthday cards-you know how this goes.
But what you can’t get is a roast-beef po-boy on bread baked in the store that day. You dern sure can’t get a pecan pie made that morning—in the store. And I defy you to get the “Crazy Days” po-boy at that shiny behemoth just across Cane Market Road.
The Story’s folks know they can’t compete with glitz, gleam and the red and white ceramic tile. But they rule the day with a cadre of rock-ribbed, die-hard Story’s customers who like it when the staff knows your name and knows what you had last time. Need a special pie baked—just tell ‘em! In a bow to modernism, Story’s will bake you a sugar-free Apple, Cherry, or Peach pie.
Breakfast?!? Got ‘cha!! But you better hurry. Those in the know say you need to be in before 9 if you want one of their famous fresh-made biscuits. When they run out, there’s no popping a couple of frozen ones into the oven—they’re all gone for another day. And with bacon on toast for $1.99, you know the line is long for breakfast.
Did I mention the Crazy Days po-boy? This is what happens when an off-the-menu special is forced onto the menu. For years, word of mouth had it that you could get a “French fry” po-boy at Story’s. It was always mentioned in a dreamy voice, like me as a six-year-old, talking about the “win-a-hamburger-for-life” contest at McDonalds. But this is no dream, cher. Story’s will put a tasty batch of French Fries on its home-baked po-boy bread, dress it with cheese, gravy or just about anything you want, and hand it to you for less than $4! Child... What else do you want from this life?
When Story’s renovated to accommodate the DEQ’s new gasoline regulations, they wisely added some inside seating for customers, so even you folks from far away can set a spell and put some groceries down your neck. They got new gas pumps, poured some fresh concrete and freshened up the place. It’s not the neon monolith shining in the night, but it settles easy on the eye.
And you can take a fresh-baked pie with you when you leave.