Alabama Goods Brings The Culture of Our State To Historic Pepper Place

Wine bottles made into wind chimes, metal shaped into home décor, and pens made from rifle shells… these are just a few of the unique items brought to you by The beauty of these products is that they are all made by the local artists of our sweet home, Alabama, and they can now be purchased at the General Store in historic Pepper Place!
 is the place that provides the “planet’s largest selection of Alabama made products,” said co-owner Sherry Hartley. She and Beth Williams teamed up in October 2007 after they noticed a remarkable gap in the market for locally made products. The demand for such products continued increasing, “so we took the opportunity and ran with it,” said Hartley. They create gift baskets that are representative of Alabama, they are a great source for corporate and executive gifts, and recently, more and more people have been turning to for bridal gifts.

Initially Hartley and Williams primarily sold their products through their website, but beginning May 2010 they joined forces with the General Store in Pepper Place. Cookbooks, t-shirts, and a few food items are what once filled the store, but much has changed since May. You can now find jewelry, pottery, garden ornaments, baby gifts, a variety of Alabama-made food products, and many more items that are “representative of our states culture and essence” now fill the walls of the store. “Before this collaboration, the General Store was screaming out for Alabama’s personality, and was the perfect match,” said Hartley.

Pottery is what makes up a bulk of the products in the store. You can find anything from decorative art, to baking dishes, to salt and pepper shakers made by potters across the state. According to Hartley their number one seller is a garlic zester made by Lynne Killion who is located here in Birmingham. An additional noteworthy artist in this category is Tena Payne, from Leeds, Ala., whose dinnerware is used at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, and at Birmingham’s very own Hot and Hot Fish Club on a daily basis. Payne teamed up with her husband and son to establish a company called Earthborn Studios, making the production of her products a family affair. You too can own some of this artist’s pottery by visiting the Alabama Goods website or the retail store in Pepper Place.

In addition to the pottery you can find several unique pieces in a variety of categories, many of which come from a husband and wife team: Steve and Sally Smith from New London, Ala. The products made by Steve include wind chimes and jewelry made from recycled wine bottles, loofahs grown by Smith himself, andbirdhouses and benches made from reclaimed wood. Sally is a photographer who uses her nature shots for greeting cards. Not only can you purchase one of her photos for a birthday card, thank you note, etc., it can also be used as frameable art.

One thing you can count on when shopping at is the products being of top quality. Hartley and Williams are very selective as to what products they choose to feature in their shop, and all must meet certain criteria before being selected. They pay close attention to the production process of each potential product. For non-food items they prefer to use vendors who utilize earth friendly production methods, especially in the area of packing materials. They do not like to contract any vendors who use plastic or resin. For food items, they must be made in a commercially-approved kitchen. They are extremely particular when evaluating the ingredients used and the quality of each product. Bottom line – you are guaranteed to get the best quality possible when making purchases from

Hartley is in the process of transitioning her home to being decorated mainly with natural art, which has caused the rooms in her house to “take on a whole new feel,” she said. If you are someone who truly appreciates natural art and would like to support the local artists, you will adore the products found at There truly is a difference in the quality of the Alabama-made products found in their store versus the quality of items that are imported and mass produced, according to Hartley. But, don’t take her word for it… come by theGeneral Store in Pepper Place today and see for yourself!

The General Store, 212 29th Street South,  Birmingham, AL 35233