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October 10, 2018
FOOD FOR KIDS 2018 MARKS TEN-YEAR PARTNERSHIP WITH MERRELL FOOTWEAR

"Have you eaten?" That's the secret code for love and care in many families, but it's a question of real consequence for more people than many realize. That's why Mast Store is partnering with Merrell Footwear and local food agencies to turn the answer to that question

into a resounding "yes" in our communities, especially for one of the most vulnerable populations, our children.

 

September 26, 2018
On the Cutting Edge

Do you carry a knife? What kind is it – traditional, like a “grandpa” pocket knife, or more modern with open assist and a clip? If you spend much time in the Mast Store knife shop, you’ll find that a simple question can open the door to a million and one possibilities. Purchasing a knife is a personal experience, much like choosing a purse for a woman or a wallet for a man. When you visit the Knife Shop at the Original Mast Store in Valle Crucis or the knife collections in any Mast Store location, you’ll want to consider the answers to three basic questions: What is your budget? How will you be using your knife? Do you prefer a folding or a fixed blade?

September 19, 2018
Tastes of the Season: Fall Farmers' Markets

Shopping at your local farmers' marketFall is here! The bridge between summer and fall is full of delicious possibilities: the last heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn linger, pears and sweet potatoes start to arrive, and more apples than you can name can all be found at your local farmers’ market.

September 5, 2018
Friends' Day 2018

Friends' Day is September 8A friend is someone you can call on when you need help, support, or to celebrate a milestone. Each September, the Mast Store celebrates friends in each of its communities that are working to create special places and to positively affect the local economy. On September 8, all Mast Stores will host volunteers from the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Friends of the Smokies, the Friends of the Reedy River, Palmetto Conservation Foundation, and Old Salem Museum and Gardens. At the end of the day, each location will donate 10% of the day’s sales to our community partner.

August 29, 2018
Chihuly at Biltmore Estate

Float Boat in the Italian GardensAfter nearly two years of planning and installation, the collaborative efforts of the Biltmore Estate and renowned American artist Dale Chihuly have resulted in one ambitious glass exhibit, Chihuly at Biltmore. It is the first art exhibition at Biltmore’s gardens and the first garden exhibit of Chihuly in North Carolina. See how these works complement and contrast with the remarkable layout of the grounds designed well over a century ago by revered landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, whose portrait by John Singer Sargent prominently hangs in “America’s Largest Home.” 

August 22, 2018
24 Hours in Boone, NC

Downtown BooneThe mayor of Banner Elk proclaimed on the day the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad completed its route to Boone, “I can remember when the only way a person could get to Boone was to be born there.” Some 100 years later, it seems that this mountain town is a popular destination for people seeking an escape from the heat, an outdoor adventure that rivals any in the country, or a cultural experience in local Americana music. If you can only spend 24 hours in Boone, here are some recommendations that are right outside the front door of the Mast Store.

July 11, 2018
Celebrating Made in USA

Grand Old Flag SocksJuly seems like the perfect time to take a look at items made in the USA. Of course, there are many factors that are considered when adding new products to our shelves, but Mast Store’s buying directive is to look in the local and regional area first, then broaden to national and international sources. Right now, our product mix is 20% Made in the USA, including foods, candy, socks and footwear, home goods, and clothing.

June 13, 2018
Some of Our Favorite Urban Hikes

Haywood Quilt TrailIn casual conversation, when someone mentions they are going for a hike, our mind quickly envisions a narrow path winding through tall trees and rhododendron thickets. But, there can be different kinds of hikes – ones that take you through the city, around town, and even through time. Greenville, Asheville, and Waynesville are home to urban adventures that families and historians will enjoy.

June 6, 2018
Winkler Knives - Made in Boone, NC

Winkler KnivesMaster Bladesmith Daniel Winkler and his longtime partner/wife Sheath Maker Karen Shook own and operate Winkler Knives. Daniel Winkler has been making knives and axes since he was in high school and has evolved into one the nation’s top knife makers. His handiwork is in use by police, firefighters and special operations units across the world. They have been featured in movies, such as LAST OF THE MOHICANS, on television, and written about in numerous publications. Your first impression may be, now that’s an expensive knife, but let’s take a look at why.

May 23, 2018
Land Trust Day is Set for June 2

This farm is in a land conservancy land trust.Mark Twain once said, “Buy land, they’re not making it any more.” It stands to reason, that if they’re not making it any more, then we should consider it rare and care for it as a collector’s item, making certain that it will be passed on to a new generation. In a nutshell, that’s what a land trust does, and why we should celebrate their efforts because we all benefit from them.

May 16, 2018
Add to Your Summer Reading List

Time to enjoy a good book. There’s nothing like enjoying a good book under a shade tree with a nice breeze blowing or on a warm sandy beach with the sound of waves crashing on the shoreline. Summer reading runs the gamut from bodice rippers and murder mysteries to non-fiction accounts of our times and classics from long ago. We asked our employees to share some of their recommendations to add to your summer reading list.

May 9, 2018
May is Sharing Our Shoes Month

Answer the S-O-S CallSpring cleaning is taking place in all Mast Store communities. Windows are being scrubbed; the carpet is getting cleaned; and the closets, well, if you haven’t worn it in a while, it’s probably time to say goodbye to it. Take a good look at your shoes. If they have some miles left in them, we can make it easy for you to put some smiles on some local faces.

March 14, 2018
24 Hours in Winston-Salem

Heritage Bridge at Old SalemThe city of Winston-Salem is reinventing itself daily. From being a tobacco and textile mecca, the city is now a haven of arts and innovation. Many of the old tobacco factories are being reclaimed and transformed into medical research laboratories, technology hubs, and apartments for people wanting to live amongst the re-emerging downtown vibe. But what if you’re not ready to take the deep dive and move to Winston-Salem? We have recommendations on must stops for spending 24 hours in Camel City that are just a short walk or drive from the front door of the Mast Store.

February 28, 2018
Not Goodbye, but So Long to Waynesville's General Manager

Waynesville StaffIn a time when careers are measured in single-digit years, it’s truly something to celebrate when a manager of a retail store started on Day One and is leaving 27 years later. Days spent folding hundreds of sweaters are transcending to days gazing at high peaks in Montana and other places across the globe. No matter where Melanee ends up, it’s going to be just another day in paradise.

February 21, 2018
Let's Ask Francine: What Was Happening in Valle Crucis in the 1800s?

Mast Store, circa 1890sOur Almost Monthly E-mail correspondent gets many questions over the course of the year. Many are answered with a quick e-mail back to the inquirer, but sometimes there are questions that might be of interest to more than one individual. That was the case this week when Francine was asked about what was going on in Valle Crucis in the 1800s. Let’s see …

November 16, 2017
Holiday Festivities are Starting Now

ANightBeforeChristmasIt’s hard to believe that it’s time to begin thinking about serving up the turkey and trimming the tree, but it is. Holiday celebrations begin this weekend. We’ve pulled together a quick list of parades in each of our communities along with other events you and your family may want to put on your holiday itinerary. Let’s get started.

November 8, 2017
Share the Warmth with Mast Store and Columbia

STW KidThere’s a decided chill to the temperatures, so Winter is just around the corner. Mast Store is helping Share the Warmth in all its communities by holding a coat collection now through November 30. Columbia Sportswear, Mast Store’s vendor partner, is making a donation of new coats, jackets, and fleeces to keep the chill away, too.

October 25, 2017
Merrell Food for Kids is October 25 - November 7

KidIf you could do one thing that would help a child do better in school, have a better outlook on life, and be better able to fight disease, would you do it? Having enough to eat helps with all three of those situations and more. That’s why Mast Store, Merrell Footwear, and food security agencies in Mast Store's home communities are partnering again from October 25-November 7 to provide Food for Kids.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

May 30, 2017
Celebrate Land Trust Day 2017

lt1.jpgLand Trust Day at Mast Store is celebrating its fifteenth year on Saturday, June 3rd. We are honored to host this friend-raising day for the land trust organizations in each of our communities to visit with our guests, educate people on what land trusts do, and to garner support both in our local communities and in the home communities of our visitors.

May 17, 2017
Travel Smart With These Eco Friendly Tips

ecotransport-1.jpgAs we continue celebrating travel season throughout the month of May, we’re thinking about creative and earth-friendly approaches to transportation: cycling, walking, and carpooling. You’ll also find some helpful tips on how to become a more eco-friendly driver.

April 26, 2017
Farmers' Market Season Is Here

farmers-market-alaina-drawdy-cox-2.jpgWe’re giddy with excitement that the 2017 farmers’ market season is open! There’s no better place to meet the hardworking folks who grow and harvest our region’s delicious bounty. Enjoy tastings, live music, and connect with new and old friends along the way. This week's blog features a few of our favorite farmers’ markets across our Mast Store communities and a few tips for when you decide to visit.

April 19, 2017
Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

earth-main-2.jpgAs the famous philosopher, Voltaire, said, “no snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible,” yet where would the avalanche be without each snowflake?  From picking up litter in your neighborhood to making the switch to reusable shopping bags, these seemingly small habits can combine to have a powerful effect. With Earth Day coming up on Saturday, April 22nd, we’re thinking about changes we can make to reduce our impact on the environment. Earth Day is the perfect time to form a new habit. 

April 13, 2017
Spring Happenings in our Mast Store Communities

easter-main.jpgThe beauty of spring is cascading from South Carolina’s midlands to the mountains of Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. We’re excited to go outside, soak in the sunshine, and enjoy the glorious new blooms! 

March 15, 2017
Creating a Container Garden for Vegetables, Herbs, and Flowers

Container gardening has rapidly gained in popularity over the past decade. Not only is it more convenient for smaller dwellings, but containers make it easier for you to control water, soil, sun exposure, and fertilizer. but containers make it easier for you to control water, soil, sun exposure, and fertilizer.

January 4, 2017
24 hours in Knoxville, TN

We at Mast General Store feel so lucky that many of our stores are located right in the middle of vibrant urban settings.  There’s so much to do and see right outside our doors. We’re excited to share a selection of our favorites with you! We’re continuing our “24 Hours In…” series in 2017.

December 1, 2016
Choose & Cut Your Own Christmas Tree This Year

tree-1.jpgThinking about the many Christmas trees I’ve enjoyed throughout the years brings up a host of sweet memories: The earliest trees of my childhood included brass clip-on candle holders. We lit the candles on the tree each evening (my parents were very brave). This tradition was passed down through the generations from our Swedish ancestors. There was the year our newly acquired stray cat took the entire tree down only a half hour after it was fully decorated…

November 21, 2016
Get a Head Start on Holiday Happenings

cmas-16-header.jpgThere’s so much to enjoy in each of our Mast Store communities this holiday season. Many of our favorite events have already begun or kick off right after Thanksgiving. Below are just a few offerings that your family may want to add to your holiday schedule. Consider trying something new this year and it just might become a holiday tradition!

September 28, 2016
Upcoming Fall Events in Area State & National Parks

AVL-FFP-1-Sep-27-a.jpgThe Indian Summer we’ve been experiencing in the southeast is slowly coming to an end. As we continue to celebrate this Centennial Year of the National Parks, we offer a few suggestions for fall events for the whole family in these beautiful places. Our State and National Parks offer much to enjoy and explore the first weekend in October.

September 14, 2016
24 Hours In Asheville, NC

We at Mast General Store feel so lucky that many of our stores are located right in the middle of vibrant urban settings.  There’s so much to do and see right outside our doors. We’re excited to share a selection of our favorites with you!

 

September 8, 2016
Join Us For Friends' Day with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation

Friends-Day-BRPF-1.JPGThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

September 7, 2016
Join Us For Friends' Day with Friends of the Smokies

friends-day-smokies-2.jpgThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

September 6, 2016
Join Us For Friends' Day with the Palmetto Conservation Foundation

friends-day-palmetto-3.jpgThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

September 5, 2016
Join Us For Friends' Day with Old Salem

friends-day-salem-1.jpgThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

September 5, 2016
Join Us For Friends' Day with Friends of the Reedy River

Friends-Day-Reedy-3.jpgThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

September 4, 2016
Friends' Day is September 10

friends-day-smokies-2.jpgThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

June 21, 2016
Volunteering in the National Parks

nps-volunteer-5.jpgThroughout 2016, we’re celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park System by exploring the history of the parks, offering ideas about how to Find Your Park in the southeast, as well as tips to help you make the most of your park adventure.

May 25, 2016
24 Hours in Hendersonville, NC

24-hvl-6.jpgWe at Mast General Store feel so lucky that many of our stores are located right in the middle of vibrant urban settings.  There’s so much to do and see outside the doors of our stores. We’re excited to share a small selection of our favorites with you! This year, we’re offering a series that features a day’s worth of places to enjoy within walking distance of each of our urban Mast Store locations. Over the past few months, we’ve taken a stroll through Greenville, SC HERE and Waynesville, NC HERE. This week, we’re exploring Hendersonville, North Carolina. Won’t you join us?

May 10, 2016
Find Your Park in Tennessee

tn-nps-2.jpgThroughout 2016, we’re celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park System by exploring the history of the parks, offering ideas about how to Find Your Park in the southeast, as well as tips to help you make the most of your park adventure.

April 13, 2016
Southland in the Springtime

It’s been said that “there’s something about the southland in the springtime.” New baby goats are arriving weekly at the Carl Sandburg National Historic Site in Flat Rock, NC. A pair of house finches who crafted a tidy nest on my porch weeks ago are now awaiting the arrival of their 5 chicks. The cherry blossom tree in the front yard is heavy with pink blooms. Everywhere you look, new life is bursting forth as winter transitions into spring.  Our Mast Store communities are also celebrating the season with activities the whole family will enjoy. Below is an offering of a few of the many events we’re looking forward to enjoying this April.

April 6, 2016
Find Your Park in South Carolina

conagree-1.jpgThroughout 2016, we’re celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park System by exploring the history of the parks, offering ideas about how to Find Your Park in the southeast, as well as tips to help you make the most of your park adventure.

March 22, 2016
Mast Store Waynesville's Fascinating Location History Revealed - Part Two

toggery-wvl.jpgLast week, we dug into the early years of Waynesville’s Mast Store location and the incredible life of the doctor whose home once stood there. To read about Dr. Rogers, his life and home, click HERE. This week, we’re exploring 63 North Main Street as it becomes a place of commerce.

March 17, 2016
Mast Store Waynesville's Fascinating Location History Revealed - Part One

dr-rogers-house-wvl-oxen-2.jpgMast General Store owners, John and Faye Cooper, have been committed to selecting older, often historical buildings, for our store locations from the very beginning. The Original Store in Valle Crucis first opened its doors for business in 1883. The store served as the hub of commerce in the heart of the Valle for decades, but was temporarily closed for several years in the late 1970s. Thankfully, the Cooper’s unique vision led them to reopen the store in 1980, nearly 100 years after Mast General Store was originally built. Since that time, our company’s leadership continues to select older buildings for new store locations. Just like the Original Store, each Mast Store building has its own incredible history. Today, we uncover a Mast Store mystery that’s eluded us for 25 years… the exciting history of the Mast Store in Waynesville, North Carolina.

March 9, 2016
Spring Birding Made Easy

birding-two-4.jpgSome folks consider birding the best scavenger hunt available to mankind.  Last year, we explored Backyard Birding Made Easy. This year, we’re going to apply those principles to birding in the great outdoors. In celebration of the National Parks System’s 100th year, we’ve included a few tips on where to seek out and how to successfully identify birds in the woods and along the trail in a National Park nearest you.

March 2, 2016
24 Hours in Waynesville, NC

24-wvl-4.jpgWaynesville, North Carolina is a beautiful town nestled at the foot of the Smoky Mountains along the Blue Ridge Parkway about 40 minutes south of Asheville. From the vibrant downtown area to the lush surrounding mountains, it's easy to understand why Waynesville has been a tourist destination for centuries.  Just as we did with Greenville, South Carolina in January, we're offering a small selection of our favorite spots to visit within walking distance of Mast Store at 63 North Main Street. Please come along.

February 17, 2016
Charlotte Observer Features Original Store

original storeThe Charlotte Observer praised the Original Mast Store as a notable Southeast Excursion in the Living section. Here’s what they had to say:

January 20, 2016
24 Hours in Greenville, SC

We at Mast General Store feel so lucky that many of our stores are located right in the middle of vibrant urban settings.  There’s so much to do and see outside the doors of our stores. We’re excited to share a small selection of our favorites with you! This year, we’re offering a series that features a day’s worth of places to enjoy within walking distance of each of our urban Mast Store locations. First up is Greenville, South Carolina. Won’t you join us?

October 6, 2015
Fall Hike on the Rattlesnake Lodge Trail

rattlesnake-ruins-5.jpgWhile our thoughts are with our neighbors to the south who received the brunt of this past week’s storms, folks in the Blue Ridge Mountains are drying out and hitting the trails in search of brilliant fall colors.  Some leaves fell with the wind and rain, but the good news is that premature color change and bare trees appear to be a minor issue in Western North Carolina. If you find yourself in the Asheville area in the coming weeks, check out a local’s favorite along the Mountains-to-Sea trail just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

September 30, 2015
The Autumnal Rumpus is Upon Us

alaina-drawdy-cox-autumnal-1.jpgBeginning with a few random leaves on your lawn in early to mid-September, October cascades into a brilliant wash of color, flaming our hills and valleys with hues we can only dream of creating with a paintbrush. Enter Mother Nature, the master artist. Her palette of reds, golds, greens, and russets creates quite a spectacle, and the changing fall foliage never fails to delight us.

September 17, 2015
Planning Your Trip for a Spectacular Fall Leafing Season

alaina-drawdy-cox-fall-2015-a.jpg“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple,” J. K. Rowling once mused. Local fall foliage predictors are echoing the same sentiment.  Due to drier than usual spring and summer seasons, we're anticipating this year’s color to be more spectacular than we've experienced in many years. Your friends at Mast General Store and the Fall Foliage Primer hope to help you get the most out of your leafing tour this year.

September 1, 2015
Creating a Tasty Tailgate Party

tailgating-2.jpgThink fall. Think football season. Think TAILGATE PARTY! Tailgating is among the most time-honored American sporting traditions and a delicious one at that. Folks from Mast General Store have gathered their favorite recipes to share with you. Our selection covers the perfect dishes for early to late games, appetizers, entrees, and desserts, too. Are you hungry yet? We sure are!

August 27, 2015
Stop By and See Us Along America's Favorite Drive

alaina-drawdy-cox-craggy-pinnacle.jpgLate Summer is a magnificent time of year to enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway. In fact, you could string together a trip through the mountains, soak in their beauty and rich history, and also find time to meander into your favorite Mast General Store at many stops along the Parkway.

August 20, 2015
Farmers' Market to Table

alaina-drawdy-cox-north-avl-farmers-market.jpg“By ten o'clock, the sidewalk along Vine Street looks like the Fourth of July parade. Mama minds the cash box while Daddy and Mitch go to haul more tomatoes and peppers from the truck. The basket of beans is almost empty, so I fill it up again,” reflects Paul Brett Johnson his children’s book “Farmers' Market.”

June 29, 2015
MusicFest 'n Sugar Grove is July 10-11

MusicFest.pngA celebration of Appalachian music and cultural heritage, the Doc & Rosa Lee Watson MusicFest 'N Sugar Grove will take place July 10 and 11, 2015 on the grounds of the Historic Cove Creek High School in Sugar Grove, N.C.

June 10, 2015
Bear Wallow Books – Old-Fashioned Recipes for Modern Times

ice-cream-photo.jpegUniversity historian, J.S. Collister, found that her research repeatedly turned up recipes, which had been transported over land and sea, by caravan, clipper ship and covered wagon, over thousands of miles and nearly as many years. She discovered that sharing recipes was a long-treasured tradition, enjoyed by many cultures and many generations.

May 14, 2015
Grand-Opening Celebration at Mast General Store in Winston Salem May 15 - 17

5.jpgJoin us for a humdinger of a Grand-Opening celebration at our newest "old" location in Winston-Salem! If you were there for our ribbon-cutting on Friday, May 8th, you'll know that we're very excited to be your new neighbors at 516 North Trade Street. We have a big weekend planned at Mast Store Winston-Salem and hope you'll make time to stop by and say hello!

May 6, 2015
Boone, NC – Outdoor Magazine's Next "Best Town Ever"

Boone-Outdoor-Magazine-Best-Towns-Tournament-1.jpgAs the birthplace of our first Mast General Store outside of Valle Crucis, we've had a love affair with Boone, North Carolina for centuries. As the home of Appalachian State University (ASU), folks are drawn to this busy college town for more reasons than an exceptional education and exciting athletic events. The surrounding area is one of the country's best destinations for outdoor adventures. Walk across the Mile High Swinging Bridge or scale Linville Peak, the highest peak in the Blue Ridge at Grandfather Mountain. Grab your bike and head to Pisgah National Forest, featuring over 200 miles of exciting trails.

April 24, 2015
It's Garden Season

GardenforWeb.jpgGardening is one of the first outdoor adventures of the season. It actually can start way back in January or February when the seed catalogs begin arriving in the mail. Flipping through the pages and dreaming of the summer and fall harvest while the wind and snow whip outside is a favorite winter activity.

April 23, 2015
Crafting for the 21st Century

crafting.jpgIt used to be roots and herbs and crops and chickens that folks brought to the Mast General Store in historic Valle Crucis for trade. Today, the items "traded" are more along the lines of baskets, birdhouses, bread, homemade butter, and hand-turned bowls. Although the products may have changed, the intent is still the same - the Mast Store provides a marketplace for local and regional residents and artists to present the fruits of their efforts.

March 18, 2015
Join Us Along the Haywood County Quilt Trail

alaina-drawdy-cox-spring-daffodils.JPGCrocuses and daffodils popping up all over the southeast serve as a cheerful reminder that spring is just around the corner. The longer days of sunshine and warmer temperatures always inspire us to get outside and explore something new. This year, we're looking forward to enjoying an urban outdoor adventure along the Haywood County Quilt Trail.

March 4, 2015
Remembering the Valle with Blanche Hodges Kohnle - Part Two

0315-alaina-drawdy-cox-valle-crucis.jpgReflecting on her own childhood, Blanche describes her dad, Clingman Hodges, as “the greatest musician”. He mastered the banjo, mandolin, and auto harp . Each morning, he’d awaken the children for school and their mother’s fresh made biscuit breakfast by picking a cheerful tune on the banjo.

February 24, 2015
Remembering the Valle with Blanche Hodges Kohnle - Part One

blanche-kohnle.jpgLast year, a beautiful, petite, and cheerful 96-year-old woman and her son stopped by the Mast Store in Asheville and visited with us for a while. Many Mast guests with rich histories and even richer stories pass through our doors every day, but this guest was particularly special because she holds the keys to the history of our beloved Valle. Valle Crucis – the birthplace of Mast General Store.

January 28, 2015
Exploring the Mountains in Winter

Winter is gradually making its grand appearance with sinking temperatures and driving snow. After the wintry mix is plowed and the wind abates, it’s time to head outside for some wintertime exploration. The detail, clarity, and focus across multiple mountain ranges are most spectacular in the deep of winter. Closer views are just as thrilling because the bare trees reveal details on the landscape that are easy to miss when blocked by rich foliage.

January 20, 2015
Sock Monkeyin' Around

sock-monkey.jpgLaVerna arrived for work in the Home and Hearth Department at the Asheville Store one morning and watched carefully as a woman casually walked through the store with two companions.

January 12, 2015
The Holidays Revisited

0115-mast-holiday-4.jpgFor my family, the holiday season isn’t complete without a reading of Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas In Wales”. Everyone’s favorite ornament on the tree is a wide-mouthed Santa who, when you squeeze his cheeks, offers a chocolate kiss. And each stocking gets a beautiful, large navel orange in the bottom of the toe, just like my Swedish cousins have done for generations.

December 23, 2014
Accidental Christmas Traditions

Tree at WorkThe holidays are here with all of their pomp and circumstance, parties and decorations, traditions and food. Many of the celebrations around the holidays have their roots in ancient Christian beliefs and pagan festivals. But there are some that are, well, accidental

October 23, 2014
Safely Scrub-A-Dub-Dub with American Made SallyeAnder Soaps

sallyeander-1.jpgThe SallyeAnder Soaps story started 30 years ago when the creators’ infant son couldn’t tolerate the bath products on the market. Everything the couple tried irritated his skin, and so the Minetto, NY natives decided to make their own gentle and natural soap for their son. The results were spectacular for them, as well as many other families, and the soap rapidly gained in popularity. A few years later, the couple quit their day jobs, and started SallyeAnder Soaps, selling their American-made, all-natural soaps across the globe.

October 6, 2014
Smart Travelers Get a Head Start on Fall Weekends in the Mountains

DSC03420.jpgGardens are bearing the last of their summer gifts. Children awaken early for hours filled with learning. The length of sunlight shortens with each passing day. Some mornings there’s a familiar crisp scent in the air reminding us that fall is fast approaching. Knowing this beloved season is quickly come and gone, it’s never too early to plan your autumn excursion to the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains.

September 15, 2014
Making the Most of Apple Season

apple-1.jpgApple picking season is one of the sweetest times of year and we’re fortunate to live in an area that offers quite a few “pick your own” fruit farms and orchards. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of Apple Season – from fun-filled orchard exploration to preparing fall flavored treats at home.

August 7, 2014
MoonPies and the South

moon-pie-3.jpgThere’s a group of local gentlemen, some retired farmers, who have gathered at the potbellied stove of the Original Store every day for the thirty-plus years since the Cooper family reopened the Store. Known as “The Lunch Bunch”, these men talk about the weather, the state of this season’s crops, and to share the same lunch they’ve been enjoying together for over three decades. The essential items of their daily feast: a hunk of bologna cut off the round and a MoonPie for dessert… all washed down with an ice-cold RC Cola from the old fire-engine red Coca-Cola cooler.

July 18, 2014
A Sweet Smelling Success

essential-journeys-1.jpgKimberly Masters is not only a world traveler, but a woman who creatively harnesses the tantalizing scents of her journeys in one unusual package – soap!

July 3, 2014
A Bounty of Summer Flavor

summer-bounty-1.jpgWhen the mercury rises, nothing’s better than fresh summer produce. A couple of great dishes and a cool breeze make a hot, lazy day just about perfect. Grilling makes mealtime a summer event. Expand your repertoire by grilling veggies like corn on the cob, zucchini, or create a shish kebab. Rubs and marinades are just as tasty on veggies as on your burger!

May 22, 2014
What Mast Means to You

gentsThis past June, one of our new Facebook friends asked us an excellent question. We posed her question to our 25,000 “friends on the internet” and were mightily touched by their answers. This blog captures what happened. 

May 15, 2014
Old-Fashioned Summer Games to Share with Your Children

sock-monkey-sunning.jpgDo you remember those lazy, endless summer days of childhood? A whole afternoon was spent skipping rocks in the creek. You’d lie in the grass, pull a blade, and fashion a horn by pressing your thumbs tightly together. Chalk drawn hopscotch boards colored neighborhood sidewalks in green, pink, and blue.

April 8, 2014
Columbia's Riverbanks Zoo and Garden Celebrates 40 "Wild" Years

riverbanks-zoo-forty-wild-years.jpegOur friends at Riverbanks have a special announcement to share! Riverbanks Zoo and Garden will release its first pictorial "coffee table" book, a partnership with the University of South Carolina Press, to mark its milestone 40th anniversary on April 25, 2014.

March 27, 2014
"Southeast Discovery" and the Southern Way of Life

original-store-old-fashioned-goods.jpgIn March of 2012, Southeast Discovery, "The Retirement and Second Home Blog", wrote an article exploring the richness of Mast General Store - our history, values, people, and the things we care about. Here's a snippet of their post. Click through at the bottom to read more.

March 14, 2014
Backyard Birding Made Easy

backyard birding 1Bird watching is full of surprises. Did you realize that chickadees are as fond of peanut butter as your four-year-old… and as prone to squabbling over it as toddlers are? Have you ever watched a cardinal feed a choice seed to his mate?  Listened to the joyous song of a sparrow after a rainstorm?

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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.