Mast General Store
Mast General Store
|Nearest city||Valle Crucis, North Carolina|
|Area||less than one acre|
|Architectural style||No Style Listed|
|NRHP Reference #||73001383|
|Added to NRHP||April 3, 1973|
The Mast General Store, located in Historic Valle Crucis, is recognized by the National Register of Historic Places as one of the best remaining examples of an old country general store. It is still the center of the community housing the post office (Valle Crucis, NC 28691) and offering coffee for 5¢ on the honor system. There is even a large wood stove you can sit around on cold days swapping stories or playing a game of checkers. It remains true to the old-time general store from the 19th century by offering items that its neighbors might need, as well as products of interest to travelers and other visitors. Today there are nine locations, including the Original Store and Annex, both located in Valle Crucis, North Carolina. The store sells commodities, such as old-time hearth and home goods, outdoor clothing and gear, footwear, work clothes, old-fashioned wind-up toys, regional books and music, honey, and more than 500 varieties of old-fashioned candy.
The building that would become Mast General Store was constructed in 1882 by Henry Taylor and opened in 1883. W.W. Mast purchased half interest in the store in 1897, and the store was renamed the "Taylor and Mast General Store". In 1913, Mast purchased the remaining half of Taylor's interest, and the business became known as the Mast General Store. The business stayed in the family through three generations until, in 1973, it was sold to a doctor from Atlanta and a professor from Appalachian State University. The business closed its doors in 1977. It would remain closed until John and Faye Cooper purchased and reopened it in June 1980. In 1996, Mast General Store became an employee-owned company.
The first store outside of the Valle Crucis area was opened in 1988 in Boone. It was followed by three more stores, for a total of six Mast General Stores in North Carolina. A Waynesville location opened in 1991, Hendersonville in August 1995, Asheville in 1999. A smaller concept store, Mast Store Candy and More opened in Blowing Rock in March 2005 and has since closed. March 2003 would see the first opening of a store outside of North Carolina, with a store opened in Greenville, South Carolina. A store on Gay Street in Downtown Knoxville, Tennessee opened in August 2006. The ninth, and newest, Mast General Store was opened on May 25, 2011, in Columbia, South Carolina. In 2013 it was announced that a new store would be opening in Winston-Salem NC in May 2015.
The Valle Crucis Mast General Store was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 3, 1973. North Carolina has recognized the valley in which it is located as the first Rural Historic District. It also won the L. Vincent Lowe, Jr. Business Award from Preservation North Carolina in 1998. This award is given to businesses that make special efforts to assist and/or promote historic preservation in North Carolina
The Mast General Store committed to purchasing 3.6 million kilowatt-hours per year of "Green Energy" in 2006. Traditional fossil fuel would create 750,000 pounds of carbon dioxide to generate the same amount of electricity. This commitment was part of a campaign by NCGreenPower to expand the use of renewable energy in North Carolina.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
- City of Knoxville Press Release on the site of City of Knoxville. Accessed 21 February 2007.
- Roadfood.com Review on the site of Roadfood. Accessed 21 February 2007.
- Press Room at official website. Accessed 7 August 2008.
- Mast General Store on the site of Sherpa Guides. Accessed 21 February 2007.
- Preservation NC Honor Awards Winners on the site of Preservation North Carolina. Accessed 21 February 2007.
- Mast Store launches Green Power Plan on the site of Watauga Democrat. Accessed 21 February 2007.