A woman steps up to the cluttered counter at Farm & Garden in Cedar Grove wearing pajamas. She’s quick to clarify she wouldn’t go to the grocery dressed that way. “Just the Farm & Garden.”

But the gray store with wood siding on N.C. Highway 86 is something of a grocery, and a pretty good one. Though it operates two fuel pumps and sells what has become many gas stations’ standard fare—bagged chips, cheap beer and neon-colored Slush Puppies—it also stocks its coolers with lamb and bison from nearby farms. There’s local milk, mini pies made by neighbor Mary Justesen, and an extensive selection of regional beers.

The Farm & Garden is one of many filling stations to offer food that’s a step above tired, twirling hot dogs or packaged Pop-Tarts. It is also one of the easiest spots to find: A row of squat white signs spells the store’s bounty along both sides of the two-lane road leading there. More often, billboards reveal fuel brands and prices over specialty fare; it’s BP, not biscuits.

*Read on in the Indy Week.

AuthorEmily Wallace