#19 of 26 Boone Things To Do

Mast General Store Boone

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Mast General Store Old Boone Mercantile -- Authentic General Store
Staff Score:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

The Mast General Store Old Boone Mercantile is the type of general store that has become a tradition in a town. This is the place to go to pick up camping gear and cool weather clothes before a big hiking trip, as well as to stock up the kids on candy for extended drives through the mountain -- and those items are just the start of what Mast General Store Old Boone Mercantile has to offer. 

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

The Mast General Store in Boone is also commonly referred to as the Old Boone Mercantile due to its unique history and part of the community. This is the place to go for souvenirs as well as general shopping within Boone’s downtown area.

The Mast General Store Old Boone Mercantile is located within a red-brick building that was originally constructed back in 1922. Both The Mast Store and a business called The Candy Barrel set up shop in 1988. The Candy Barrel occupied the lower floor of the business and the upper floor was occupied by the mercantile department of the Mast Store. In 1997, the owners of the Mast Store bought out the sweet shop, and now while called the Mast General Store, some keep by that older name of the Old Boone Mercantile shop. You might see some signs for Mast that say “Since 1883,” which refers back to the very original store outside of Boone the owners’ family invested in. The Boone location was a part of their growth.

You will find this Boone staple located right along the main throughway of King St. The business does have its own dedicated parking just around the corner — making for a nice place to go and start a window shopping tour of downtown Boone and its shops along King St. Just make sure you adhere to any metered parking rules (some hours are free) as a person does regularly go around to issue fines for non-compliance.

While the business itself does have some history, we should note that you should not go Mast General Store Old Boone Mercantile expecting antiques or a lot of more vintage goods. This company remains as much of a “general store” today as it did previously. This means you will find a great array of apparel and shoes, including very sturdy hiking boots, as well as outdoor gear, barrels full of candy, and a lot more. They specifically have a large collection of both older and modern toys and board games. On another side of the store are a collection of home goods and soaps under a banner entitled, “Apothecary.”

While the goods themselves are not expressly old-timey, the way they are packaged and presented gives off a more authentic feel that many find welcoming and nostalgic. That said, some may feel as though the Mast General Store Old Boone Mercantile shop is a tourist trap. For that criticism, we say that the bottom floor certainly can feel like that with its big barrels of candy and toys that may seem expensive, but go to the top. The top floor’s extensive collection of apparel and outdoor gear makes them a verifiable outfitter. You will find good competitive prices here along with a knowledgeable staff that will help ensure you get exactly what you need to enjoy your hiking travels in and around Boone, NC.

Find yourself back home and regretting passing on an item when you were in the store? No problem. The Mast General Store Old Boone Mercantile shop now offers online ordering and shipping. They even incentivize this with periodic deals like a free hat chip with every online purchase of over $20. As of this writing, most online orders over $60 qualify for free shipping to the lower 48 states, and all online orders are also available for in-store pick-up.

Insider Tip:
Those wanting to see more vintage memorabilia should visit the Original Mast Store in Valle Crucis, which is about ten miles from downtown Boone and boasts its own beautiful and unique interior. The owners are committed to keeping this store operating and looking like a vintage general store with a working post office in one corner, a pot-bellied stove, and a back porch that is perfect for sipping hot coffees or a cooled RC Cola.