Downtown Winston-Salem store is open

Downtown Winston-Salem store is open
May 07
00:00 2015
(Above: One of the main attractions of the store is its old-fashioned candy in barrels. The company says it carries 500 old-fashioned favorite candies.)

If a visitor entered Mast General Store, 516 North Trade St., while singing “A Few of My Favorite Things,” it would be appropriate. In fact, some of the sales people might join in singing the song.

The store, which opened Wednesday, May 6, offers various Southern staples, such as Moonpies packaged with RC Cola, grits, jams, jellies and preserves. It offers popcorn popped fresh in an old-fashioned popper. It also offers cast iron skillets and paraphernalia from Wake Forest University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and N.C. State University. Food products come from Winston-Salem and other areas that have Mast General Stores.

Fred Martin, president of the company, which is owned by workers via an employee stock-ownership plan, said Mast General Store uses more than 3,500 vendors.

Some of the main attractions of the store are its old-fashioned candy in barrels and its toys. The company says it carries 500 old-fashioned favorite candies. All the toys it carries do not have batteries, except one. The store also carries vintage children’s books and stuffed animals as well as old-fashioned signs, such as one that says “Cheerwine.”

The Winston-Salem Mast General Store also carries traditional fashions, rugged outdoor gear and outerwear, travel clothing, hiking and casual footwear, home décor and country gourmet foods.

Prices vary according to the items. For instance, jams, preserves and jellies start at about $5 while the clothing starts higher. The candy is sold by the pound: $7.99 for one.

Mast General Store said in a news release that Zach Lail, the general manager of the Winston-Salem store, is making sure that staff members will be ambassadors of the downtown area, in addition to being knowledgeable about the goods in the store. His staff of 35 includes four employees who moved to the city from other Mast Stores to be a part of the store.

The store is in the old Brown-Rogers-Dixson building, which dates back to 1928. Brown-Rogers-Dixson sold farm equipment, including tractors, seed and household hardware.

John Cooper, chairman of the board, said last week that his company is a slow-growth company that takes its time to research where it will open a store. He said the company wants to be invited to areas and was invited to look at Winston-Salem. It started the process in 2006.

“We want to be wanted in a community,” Cooper said.

Grand opening festivities are scheduled for Friday through Sunday, May 15-17. Winston-Salem store hours are Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-6 p.m. The phone number is 336-727-2015. To find out more, visit

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Donna Rogers

Donna Rogers

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