Who doesn’t love a weathered wood floor that creaks with history, shelves packed to the brim with eye-catching candies, and locally-grown, packaged foods that take us to a simpler time, reminiscent of a ‘Grocery’ we’d see in an old movie.
General stores embody the good ol’ days of shopping. No fluff or unnecessary fancy, just simple, antiquated shops that you’ll want to spend hours exploring. Luckily, North Carolina has some great ones to choose from, starting with these twelve.
1. Mast General Store, Valle Crucis
While Mast General Store has expanded to several locations through North Carolina, you can find the original in Valle Crucis. Open since 1883, this is a beloved general store of both North Carolinians and visitors.
2. Rockford General Store, Dobson
Open since 1890, you get everything you'd expect with Rockford General Store. Creaky wooden floors, cozy interior, and vintage antiquities galore. This country general store is a must stop!
3. Priddy's General Store, Danbury
Priddy's was built in 1888, and in 1929 it opened as N.D Priddy Grocery. Today, Jane Priddy Charleville is the 3rd generation Priddy to operate the store. With a country feel, Priddy's is a beloved gem of the Danbury community. You can find anything here from old-fashioned candies to cast-iron cookware.
4. Washburn General Store, Bostic
In the foothills you'll find Washburn General Store. Established in 1831, the store is recognized as the longest, continually-run family business in North Carolina. You can enjoy a cold glass-bottled coke, or simply browse through the store and experience its history.
5. Trust General Store and Cafe, Hot Springs
Just 25 miles from Asheville you'll find mountainside simplicity at Trust General Store and Cafe. Enjoy a delicious hot lunch after browsing the store, or a cold glass of sweet tea with a creekside view.
6. Saxapahaw General Store
Saxapahaw calls itself "your local five-star gas station" and this is pretty true. You can find the healthiest local food straight from the garden. Or, dine-in on an array of locally sourced cuisine. This general store is a must-stop for any foodie.
7. Switzerland Cafe, Little Switzerland
Next time you're taking a drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, stop at milepost 334 where you'll find Switzerland Cafe. Not just a general store, but a regionally acclaimed restaurant. Switzerland Cafe is on the NC BBQ trail, so needless to say....try the BBQ.
8. Shiloh General Store, Hamptonville
Shiloh is an Amish food store that's a popular destination for both North Carolinians and travelers. Here, you'll find a wide array of cheeses, spices, baked goods, herbs, meats, children's toys, and Amish wooden furniture.
9. Fred's General Mercantile, Beech Mountain
From groceries to ski rentals, you can find a lot at Fred's. Open since 1979, Fred's has been a must stop for winter-sports enthusiast as well as those who love a good country store regardless of season. No trip to Beech is complete without a stop by Fred's.
10. Town Hardware & General Store, Black Mountain
At Town Hardware you'll find wood working tools, toys, gardening supplies, gifts, and housewares. Town says "because, they just don't make them like they used to." Which, is a great point. A gem of Black Mountain, stop by for a unique gift or household item.
11. Davis General Store, Charlotte
It's hard to believe this back-in-time store exists just a few miles from the largest city in North Carolina. Built in 1908 by two brothers, the legacy of its history remains today. You can choose from a wide variety of farm supplies, Carhartt gear, cookware, and locally made food.
12. M.A Pace General Store, Saluda
Nestled high in the mountains, next to the railroad tracks, you'll find this quaint country store with about all you could ask for. Established in 1899, browse unique cider flavors, pick up some candies, or buy hardware products for your next home project.