October 11, 2017
24 Hours in Valle Crucis, NC

VCBlogLocal historian John Preston Arthur wrote, “There’s a dreamy spell that hangs over this little valley.” That spell is further magnified during the month of October. With eye-popping visuals – think brightly-colored leaves, cattle quietly grazing in pastures, orange pumpkins peering out from amongst their leafy vines – the curvy road that brings you from Boone or Banner Elk is like a portal that slows time to a more relaxing, almost lazy, pace. To take in all of the activities we’re recommending for this 24 hours, you won’t be able to tarry long.

Tags: Valle Crucis, Travel, Inspiration, Local Flavor, Mast Family Favorites, Adventure
October 11, 2017
Fall Foliage Primer - October 11, 2017

HeaderWeek3Week three of the primer is seeing a lot more color appearing in the higher and middle elevations. In some reporting locations, the color change really sped up over the weekend. This week is filled with festivals and special events to truly get out and take part in the color change.

Tags: Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, Fall Foliage Primer
October 4, 2017
Made in NC

OurStateMadeinNC5.jpgWhen Our State magazine started looking for a partner for its 2017 Made in NC contest, Mast General Store seemed like a natural fit. “They believe in many of the same things we do,” said Lisa Cooper, president of Mast General Store.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Behind the Scenes, Mast Family Favorites, Local Flavor
October 4, 2017
Fall Foliage Primer - October 4, 2017

HeaderCollageWeek two of the Fall Foliage Primer is here, but a lot more color is not. Higher elevations around Graveyard Fields or Grandfather Mountain have more color, but in general we are seeing some reds and yellows hanging around with the getting-ready-to-get-started greens. While the leaves an event in themselves, there are many more happenings in our communities that our reporters hope to help you discover.

Tags: Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, Fall Foliage Primer
September 27, 2017
Fall Foliage Primer - September 27, 2017

FFPHeader-Week1-20170927.jpgIt's the first report of the fall foliage season. As is to be expected, the most prevalent color is green, but in all reporting areas there is some fall color beginning to show itself. It might be in the blooming of goldenrod and asters or it might be in the sourwoods and dogwoods beginning to show their true colors. Read the full report to get ideas on activites to enjoy during your visit.

Tags: Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, Fall Foliage Primer
September 20, 2017
Let's Ask Francine

Cornbread.jpgIf you subscribe to Mast Store’s Almost Monthly E-mail, you are well acquainted with Francine. She’s corresponded with folks for more than 16 years – almost since the invention of e-mail. Her fans have shared many accomplishments, concerns, and questions over the years. In this week’s blog, Francine answers some questions from her website “Ask Francine” opportunity. Let’s see what she has to say.

Tags: Local Flavor, Recipes, Mast Family Favorites, Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, Dear Francine, all
Please Take Your Seats – The Show is About to Begin
September 13, 2017
Please Take Your Seats – The Show is About to Begin

PriceLakeLeaves3.jpg

Perhaps a better directive would be “please begin planning your itineraries and booking your reservations; the show is about to begin.” As the calendar continues its march to the fall equinox, the anticipation of the changing of the leaves builds.

Will this be a good fall color season? How will the recent hurricane affect the leaves? Just what happens to make the leaves change anyway? The answers to these questions will vary depending upon who you ask, where you live, and the types of trees in the general area. To get a better handle on an answer that is applicable for the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, we contacted Dr. Howard Neufeld at Appalachian State University.

Tags: Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Adventure, Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all
September 5, 2017
Friends' Day in Columbia Salutes the Palmetto Trail

PCF-3.jpgThe Palmetto Trail, a project of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation (PCF), begins in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Wahalla and stretches across the state of South Carolina to the Low Country near Charleston. On September 9, the Mast Store in Columbia is hosting volunteers from the PCF and will donate 10% of the day’s sales to help this group’s continuing efforts to conserve South Carolina’s natural and cultural resources and to promote active outdoor recreation on the Palmetto Trail.

September 5, 2017
Friends' Day in Knoxville Benefits the Friends of the Smokies

FOTS-Cable-Mill-SamHobbs.jpgThe Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited unit in the National Park Service. On September 9, the Mast Store in Knoxville is hosting volunteers from the Friends of the Smokies (FOTS) and will donate 10% of the day’s sales to help this group’s continuing efforts to preserve and protect this important, beautiful, and biologically diverse park.

Tags: Local Flavor, Inspiration, Adventure, Mast Family Favorites, Knoxville
September 4, 2017
Friends' Day Is September 9 and Supports the MST

cover.jpgSaturday, September 9, 2017 is Friends’ Day at Mast General Store. On that day Mast General Store will donate 10% of proceeds from the day’s sales to support local partners. For all of the North Carolina stores the recipient of that support is the Mountains To Sea Trail.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Adventure
September 3, 2017
Friends of the Reedy River Receives Support on Friends' Day in Greenville

FORR-1.jpg The Reedy River flows through Downtown Greenville and is inextricably linked to the city’s success.  On September 9, the Mast Store in Greenville is hosting volunteers from the Friends of the Reedy River and will donate 10% of the day’s sales to help this group’s continuing efforts to improve the river’s condition.

Tags: Adventure, Local Flavor, Inspiration, Mast Family Favorites, Greenville
August 24, 2017
Trending for Fall

True GritThe calendar may say summer, but fall is the word of the day. New arrivals for the upcoming season are arriving daily. As trends do, everything old is new again. Many of this fall’s fashion trends are remakes of styles from a not-too-distant past. Mast Store’s fashion sense tends to embrace the classics because you can never go wrong there. But you will see some of the trends represented in our fashion and footwear departments. Let’s have a look.

Tags: Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all
August 15, 2017
Check Off Your Summer Bucket List

TheMoon.jpgIt’s hard to believe it’s already August, and everyone is talking about back-to-school plans. Even so, there’s still time to check off a few more items on your summer bucket list. Just in case you’ve already completed yours, we have a few suggestions for you to consider adding.

Tags: Adventure, Inspiration, Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all
August 8, 2017
There's Going to Be an Eclipse - August 21, 2017

Eclipse2The most anticipated event of the century is happening on Monday, August 21. For the first time in almost a century, a total eclipse of the sun will sweep across the United States from the coast of Oregon to the coast of South Carolina. Astronomers and serial eclipsers are heading to the Path of Totality, a 70-mile wide band where the moon’s shadow will totally block the sun.

Tags: Inspiration, Adventure, Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all
August 2, 2017
It's Back-to-School Time and You Can Help

Classroom.jpgYou remember the good ol’ days. As the countdown to the first day of school started, you’d go to the mailbox to see who your homeroom teacher was going to be. Then, the phone lines would light up with  calls from your friends to see if you were in their classes.

Tags: At Home, Inspiration, Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all
July 26, 2017
Enjoying Garden Goodness

VeggiesThe time we’ve been anticipating since winter, really, is finally here. Our gardens that were eagerly planned when snow was on the ground are giving us gifts on a daily basis. Squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, beans, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, … the list could go on and on. You’ve planned meals using the bounty until you’ve run out of ideas. Well, we have a few more.

Tags: At Home, Gardening, Inspiration, Recipes, Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Boone, Waynesville, Valle Crucis, all
July 19, 2017
Summer's #1 Treat

ice_cream_0864_web.jpgIf you had to guess what the top indulgence is for the summer months, we bet that you’d get it without extra guesses. That’s right, ice cream! In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated the third Sunday in July as National Ice Cream Day, which should be observed with all appropriate ceremonies and activities.

Tags: Mast Family Favorites, At Home, Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all
July 12, 2017
An Interview with a Tree

BigOakTreeinFog.jpgCapturing the oral history of our parents and grandparents can be an interesting adventure. Posing questions at the supper table during family holiday gatherings reveals life's highs and lows, which are often related with humor once the elation and the sting have had a chance to fade. It’s how we learn more about who we are and where we came from as people. But have you ever thought about interviewing a tree?

Tags: Mast Family Favorites, Behind the Scenes, Local Flavor, Inspiration, Valle Crucis
June 28, 2017
Celebrating Made in America

america-main.jpgThe rumor on the street is that nothing is made in the USA any longer. In actuality, there is still a lot of manufacturing happening within the states. It accounts for about 36% of the nation’s gross national product, according to an article in MarketWatch from 2016. Manufacturing in some quarters is on the upswing, particularly if the product is highly regulated or requires specialized training to produce.

Tags: Local Flavor, At Home, Mast Family Favorites, Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all
June 21, 2017
Burt's Bees - Life Lessons from the Bee Man

burts-bees-i.jpgIn the summer of 1984, Maine artist Roxanne Quimby, was trying to thumb a ride home. Eventually, a bright yellow Datsun pickup truck pulled over, and Roxanne instantly recognized Burt Shavitz, a local fellow whose beard was almost as well-known as his roadside honey stand. Burt and Roxanne hit it off. Before long, Roxanne was making candles in his 8-x-8 turkey coop with unused wax from Burt's beehives. They made $200 at their first craft fair; within a year, they'd make $20,000. It was a pretty fantastic beginning, but it was just the beginning all the same.

Tags: Local Flavor, Adventure, Inspiration, Mast Family Favorites, Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all