Mast General Store
Updated: Jan 8, 2019
An anchor on Hendersonville's Main Street for decades
Shopping a town's Main Street can be fun, but sometimes two people - even if they've been married for a while, or especially if they have - can't agree on where to go. One person might want to look for new clothes, one might want to look for stuff for the house, or even just browse for a good book. Hendersonville's Main Street has different shops for all those things and more.
“It's great for browsing in general, and if one person is really intent on trying on a bunch of clothes there's basically an endless supply of other stuff for the, umm, 'helper' to amuse himself (or herself!) with.”
But there's also a place where all of those itches can be scratched under one roof. Mast General Store is one of the anchor retailers of modern Hendersonville's Main Street, having occupied the 1905 Syndicate Building near the north end since 1995, offering a potentially dizzying array of outdoor clothing and gear, household knick-knacks, books, candy and more.
We first got to know Mast General at the Asheville store when we lived there many years ago, at first not knowing that the "big city" store was actually younger than then one down in Hendersonville (Asheville opened in 1999). The store's roots go back to the 1880's in the town of Valle Crucis, near Boone. The modern era of Mast General started in 1980, when a couple named John and Faye Cooper bought the recently-shuttered store and began the process of rebuilding and expanding it to now nine different locations, eventually also reorganizing it under an employee-ownership model.
What I like about Mast General (in Hendersonville and the other locations) is the variety. It's
great for browsing in general, and if one person is really intent on trying on a bunch of clothes there's basically an endless supply of other stuff for the, umm, "helper" to amuse himself (or herself!) with for what would otherwise seem like hours on end. Even if you live in a sleek modern townhouse, there's something comforting about imagining how you might use some of the more traditional, even old-fashioned housewares that grandma might have had, or seeing toys on the shelf you might have played with yourself as a kid.
A piece of trivia specific to the Hendersonville store, and I admit this might only be of interest to those of us whose favorite TV show is 'WKRP in Cincinnati' - but do you remember perhaps the greatest single episode of a sit-com ever, the one where they organize the Thanksgiving Turkey Drop? Apparently an early tenant of the building hosted a real-life turkey drop in the early part of the 20th century. It is unknown if that shopkeeper also uttered the immortal words - "As god as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
How to Find It
Mast General Store is located at 527 North Main Street in downtown Hendersonville, just south of Highway 64.
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/GfjW9cS6e1A2
Web site: http://mastgeneralstore.com/