Robert’s Grocery: A Coastal Classic

Author: Isabella Peadon

March 14, 2023

Spending time on beach comes with a plethora of preparations, especially when you’re hitting the sand with a group of family or friends. Beach towels and beach chairs are essential. Sunglasses and a cooler are important additions, and if you’re planning to make a day of it, you’ll want to bring refreshments. For those traveling by boat, stocking up for a trip out on the water is equally as important. If you’re new to Wrightsville Beach and looking for a place to stock up that’s conveniently located right here on the island, look no further! Robert’s Grocery Store and Market, positioned across from Lagerheads beach bar on 32 N Lumina Avenue, can provide you with all the necessary beach eatables and more. 

Robert’s was established in 1919 and is the longest standing store on Wrightsville Beach. Inside Robert’s you can find fresh fruits and vegetables, canned goods, chips, snacks, drinks, and even ice cream. Robert’s also offers a wide variety of freshly made favorites, famously known for its chicken salad and pimento cheese so good that they’re available in Harris Teeter grocery stores across the country. Robert’s even has an in house Deli and a shelf of house made goodies like brownies, cookies, and muffins. Forgot your sunscreen at the house? Not a problem. Roberts carries all the beach essentials; sunscreen, aloe vera, sunglasses, etc.  

Included in the wide range of products, Robert’s also features a wall of photographs from Ned Leary Photography. Ned Leary is a Wrightsville Beach resident who does prints and postcards exclusively of Wrightsville Beach. The prints and postcards are available for purchase. Next to the wall of prints near the register, hang handmade ornaments made of local shells and Seaglass, constructed by Julie (wife of Brad, the Deli Manager). In addition to the prints and the ornaments, Robert’s also carries decorated bottles filled with seaglass and hand embellished with paint made by Robert’s employee and local legend, locally known as Miss T. 

Miss T. has worked at Robert’s for 13 years and has incredible things to say about the so-called Wrightsville Beach institution. I interviewed Miss T to get a little sense of what Robert’s and the town of Wrightsville Beach means to her and what she knows about it’s history.  

“Robert’s is an Americanized name. I believe the family that started it originally pronounced the name as “Roberto’s.”

When asked about her favorite places to eat on the Island, she couldn’t choose just one. 

“Favorite Restraunt? God that’s a toughie because I like them all! I can’t pick a favorite because, I’m serious, every one of them is amazing. South beach… their little twist on country cooking is so good. Tower 7… their fajitas! Oh my god! Half off on Monday’s! King Neptune’s just opened up, but they’ve still got some great food they’re doing wonderful. A lot of people don’t realize how good Jerry Allen’s food is. Everybody thinks ‘sports bar’ but they’re not a franchise so they don’t do all that frozen stuff. They do fresh, real food over there and it’s reasonable. I just had a hamburger from Jerry’s for lunch!” 

I also decided to ask Miss T about her take on the bars here on Wrightsville Beach. This is what she had to say. 

“Well, I don’t drink. I’ve always been the ‘DD’. But Lagerheads is really cool. I know most of the people from working across the street. Everybody knows Jimmy’s is amazing. Their bouncers are awesome. Jerry Allen’s is amazing. There’s a bar for everybody. They all have a different vibe but they’re all welcoming and they’ve all got something different to offer. At Jerry’s you can go in and shoot pool. At Jimmy’s and Palm room they’ve always got live music. 22 North is great. That was a great place back in the day. We had our ladies get together at Christmas there. The food was amazing.”

When asked about her favorite Robert’s delicacy, she immediately jumped to the chicken salad.  

“Are you kidding me? It’s easily the chicken salad. That’s not a hard question.” 

Miss T., like so many of us who live on the Island, have a true appreciation for the people who live here and the place it has come to be. 

“Honestly… Wrightsville Beach is just a really damn cool place. It has been for as long as I can remember.” 

Connected to Robert’s is one of Wrightsville Beach’s newest additions, Adapt Kitchen and Juice Bar. Adapt is a delicious smoothie bowl joint that is committed to providing Wrightsville Beach residents and visitors with healthy food while also maintaining a truly sustainable business that aims to reduce plastic consumption and keep the coastline clean.  

So next time you are out and about with family or friends on the Island, be sure to stop by Robert’s, and remember, a trip to Wrightsville Beach is best highlighted with a chicken salad sandwich. 

Image retrieved from:


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