The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

December 13, 2012

258 Starter’s annual get-together feeds 365

Editor and Publisher
John H. Walker

TARBORO — PRINCEVILLE — Wayne Trevathan noted that while Wednesday’s weather was not as nice as it could haven been, it wasn’t as bad, either.

It was, so to speak, a Brunswick stew kind of a day, as luck would have it. Wednesday was the 42nd customer appreciation dinner held by the Trevathans.

The family business got started in 1966 and it wasn’t long before Billy wanted to find a way to shown his appreciation to their customers.

“It started downtown,” Wayne said, noting that his father, Billy, began with an 80-quart pot. “We’ve never invited anybody, it’s just word-of-mouth that people know about it.”

Nowadays, the stew is cooked at home and transported at their 258 Starter shop here, where it is poured into a 225-quart serving pot.

Folks started lining up to get a bowl of the stew before the 11 a.m. start and there were folks still getting stew when 2 o’clock — quitting time — rolled around.

“It was the busiest about 12, “ Wayne said. “It’s slacked off a lot now.”

Wayne said persons who come to the show can eat all the stew they want and that quarts are available for purchase, as well.

“By the time it’s all said and done,” he explained, “we’ve just about had a wash (on expenses). We don’t do it to try and make money … we do it to say ‘thank you’ to our customers. They are the reason we’re still here.”

Wayne said a total of 385 quarts were cooked this year and that about 365 persons were served.

“We generally break around the 400 mark,” he said. “I think the weather, with the rain when we were starting, may have kept some folks away.”

But for those who came, it was a chance to renew old friendships as well as start new ones.

“It’s just one, big, good time,” Wayne said. “It good folks and good food.”