Still here in Knoxville, TN(when I was writing most of this post…) visiting with my parents and my parents took us to downtown Knoxville to an amazing store called Mast General Store. This store is a chain that only has about 8 stores and it started in the Carolinas. When you walk into these stores you will see barrels of candy from yesteryear. Candy I grew up with like Zotz, Chic-o-Sticks, Candy Buttons and more are all at the Mast General Store. It’s like a Cracker Barrel on Steroids.
There’s also a basement to this store and when you go down there, it’s almost like a miniature Dick’s Sporting Goods. They have coats for men and women from The North Face, Columbia Sportswear and more. They have high tech sleeping bags that will let you sleep in a tent during the coldest of winters. They of course have tents, Nalgene Bottles, Backpacking food (dehydrated) and steel water bottles. They also have backpacks and bags of all shapes and sizes. They even have a outdoorsy like laptop bag with just enough room for your laptop and a sweatshirt or maybe your gym clothes.
They also have a shoe department and while they do not have Kuru shoes, they have many other shoe brands that are all specifically hiking style shoes. Shoes from Keen, Chaco, Merrel, The North Face and Hi-Tec Hikers with Vibram soles. if your near one of these stores and want a good, high quality hiking shoe then this is the place to go.
I know that the prices are a bit high at this store, however the quality of the clothing and other items they sell is high. I’ve never seen this mix of product sitting next to barrels of old school candy and toys either. That’s what makes them unique. Stores like this used to exist all over the place years before most of us were born. Now you can experience a little of what it was like to live in a frontier town back before modern technology existed. In fact, Mast General Store is very much a modern day General Store. They even carry Grape Nehi so even Radar O’Riley would love to shop here!