Retro retail spots in the South

Stock up on nostalgia at these five long-standing general stores
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T.B. Sutton General Store
T.B. Sutton General Store

Photograph courtesy of Tennessee Tourism

T.B. Sutton General Store
Granville, Tennessee
T.B. Sutton General Store offers more than locally made cross-stitch and cookbooks. At this old-timey spot in Granville (a former riverboat town an hour east of Nashville on the banks of the Cumberland River), Saturday nights mean gingham tablecloths, family-style meals, and an Opry-like live radio broadcast. Stop in to see the free show featuring some of Tennessee’s best bluegrass music. And be sure to check out work by area artists and pick up candies, jams, jellies, and hand-carved walking sticks while you’re there. 931-653-4151

Old Sautee Store
Old Sautee Store

Photograph courtesy of Sautee Nacoochee COC

Old Sautee Store
Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia
When the Williams family built Old Sautee Store in 1872, theirs was one of only sixty families in Nacoochee Valley. Once a lifeline for local farmers, this feed-and-seed supplier evolved with the region, eventually adding “post office” to its list of titles. It’s now a large general store housing a museum of turn-of-the-century goods, plus gifts and candy galore. Samples of the shop’s Swedish farmer cheese are tempting, but save room for a made-to-order deli sandwich and a cream soda at the adjacent market.

sauteestore.com

Mast General Store
Mast General Store

Photograph courtesy of Mast General Store

Mast General Store
Valle Crucis, North Carolina
At this western North Carolina mainstay, coffee costs just five cents—and payment is on the honor system. Mast General Store opened in 1883 to supply the rural community of Valle Crucis with everything from “cradles to caskets,” and that remains its tagline today. In addition to cast-iron cookware and old-fashioned toys, the shop stocks more than 500 kinds of knives, both culinary and tactical, in its former potato-grading room. Pick up a postcard while you’re browsing and send it off—Mast houses the local post office. mastgeneralstore.com

Wood & Swink Store and Post Office
Wood & Swink Store and Post Office

Photograph by Michael Garofalo for StoryCorps

Wood & Swink Store and Post Office
Evinston, Florida
This 135-year-old general store and post office—the oldest continuously operating post office in Florida—has been owned by the Wood family since 1906. As such, the ledger of owners and postmasters at Wood & Swink reads like a family tree. Inside the weathered, heart pine building, old family photos and Elvis memorabilia line the shelves. Join locals as they stop in to pick up their mail, peruse old records, and stock up on fresh produce, jarred pickles, and the latest gossip. woodandswink.org

Simmons-Wright Company
Simmons-Wright Company

Photograph by Ginger Ann Brook

Simmons-Wright Company
Kewanee, Mississippi
With its blacksmith shop, gristmill, cotton gin, and sawmill, Simmons-Wright has been a one-stop shop for local farmers since 1884. The two-story brick building still carries farm supplies and groceries, but its abundance of antiques, consignment furniture, and locally made goods far outshines its former inventory. Nosh on catfish and pecan-smoked pork at the store’s restaurant, 1884 Cafe, and be sure to take home a wheel of hoop cheese, a Simmons-Wright staple for more than a century. thesimmons-wrightcompany.com

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