YEAR IN REVIEW: Washington’s Piggly Wiggly becomes Carlie C’s

Published 11:17 am Wednesday, December 28, 2022

EDITOR’S NOTE: 

This story was originally published in May 2022. It was one of our most read stories from the year. 

It’s no pig in a poke.

Washington’s Piggly Wiggly grocery store on River Road will become a Carlie C’s IGA starting Wednesday.

Beaufort County shoppers have been coming to “the Pig” since 1989 and Saturday was their last chance.

Long-time store owner Wayne McKinney has sold the Washington and Tarboro locations to Carlie C’s, a family owned grocery chain with its headquarters in Dunn, N.C. and 30 locations in 13 counties throughout North Carolina.

Carlie C. McLamb and his wife started with one store in Johnston County in 1962 and has steadily expanded since.

“Our family has known the McKinney family for a long time and knew they ran quality operations,” company president Carlie C. “Mack” McLamb Jr. said during an interview at the store Monday. “We heard he and his wife were ready to retire, so we contacted him about six weeks ago and the deal will close this week.  I’ve been in the grocery business my entire life and my son and daughter are also involved. We’re proud to be a family company and think Washington and Tarboro are very attractive markets and look forward to serving our customers.”

McLamb said all of the former Piggly Wiggly employees who wanted to stay on, will and plans are to expand the deli/bakery and produce sections while keeping the meat department like it is.

“We know the meat department was popular with the Piggly Wiggly customers and that won’t change,” he said. “We are doing some remodeling and updating to give our customers a positive shopping experience. We also think prices will come down.”

McLamb said the company usually goes into previously occupied grocery spaces rather than build their own stores from the ground up.

“We have several stores around the state that used to be Winn Dixies, Harris Teeters and Food Lions,” he said. “We are always looking to expand if a spot in an attractive market comes open.”

Long time Piggly Wiggly customer Barbara Coston was surprised to find the store closed Monday afternoon, but said she’ll be back later in the week.

“I have been coming to this store for years and years,” she said. “I heard it was changing, but didn’t realize it was this week. I’ll come back to check them out later this week and it would be nice if prices were a little lower.”