Mast General Store opened for business in 1883 in Valle Crucis, NC (pronounced valley crew' sis) with a reputation for selling everything from "cradles to caskets." The store still sells an amazing array of products -- grocery items, hardware, clothing, home furnishings... the list could go on and on. As they say...If Mast doesn't have it, you don't need it. With the local post office still operating from within the store, Mast serves as the town's gathering place. I've been there when they've had live bluegrass music in the store -- and the narrow aisles filled with people, kids were hoisted up on shoulders, and you were left with the feeling -- this is something special, and authentic. It's the kind of place you wish every town still had -- a place with a sense of history and community. There are other Mast stores in our region (like those in Boone and Asheville) and they're all great, but none can surpass the original. It's a little off the beaten path, but well worth the trip. While you're in the area, stop in also at the Mast Annex two tenths of a mile down the road. Click here for directions (it's only eight miles from Boone, NC).