by Gilda Griffith Brown
Occupying the old Salter’s Sandwich Shop Building, Harkins Bakery blends into the historical Canton, Mississippi, town square with a familiarity that belies its more recent history. Nevertheless, it is as popular as its predecessor was in its day and has great food and atmosphere.
When one hears the name Harkins around Canton -- heck, around anywhere -- one tends to think: Greg Harkins, handmade rocking chairs and US Presidents. There is a connection. Harkins Bakery and Café is owned by Greg’s wife Sheila and his stepdaughter, Natalie Kirby. Natalie does an excellent job and can be given much credit for the day to day successful running of the eatery. Behind the scenes, Cheryl Clarendon prepares most of the food, and between you and me (big wink) if I ever get to be as rich as Oprah, she’s history around there.
Harkins serves breakfast and lunch six days a week. Their lunch menu includes a daily hot lunch or a choice of several types of delicious sandwiches served with homemade sweet pickles. The chicken salad is a favorite and the best I have ever eaten.
Like all bakery shops, Harkins offers a line of baked goods from pastries to muffins. To my way of thinking, the muffins are top of the line with the Morning Glory being the very best.
Harkins is a small eatery with loads of small town Southern atmosphere. Since Chancery Court is only a handful of businesses away, court days are extra busy. Besides the local crowd that includes many business owners and employees, patrons come from Memphis and all over. I even hear a welcome Yankee accent from time to time. Appreciation for good food is a trait most Americans have in common, and it is certainly a common connection found with the patrons of Harkins Bakery.
A regular contributor to USADEEPSOUTH.com, Gilda Griffith Brown lives in her hometown of Canton, Mississippi. You can email Gilda at this e-mail address.
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