August 17, 2006 - Mast General Store
opened today in historic downtown Knoxville - its first store west
of the Appalachian Mountains - after a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted
by Mast Store president John Cooper and Mayor Bill Haslam.
The 20,000-square-foot store offers an eclectic mix of merchandise
including old-time goods for hearth and home, traditional and outdoor
clothing and gear, rugged and casual footwear and more than 500
old-fashioned candy favorites. The Mast Store will also serve as
the site for book signings, craft demonstrations and informational
Hours are: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Thursday-Saturday, and noon - 6 p.m. on Sunday
Located at 402 S. Gay St., the store is housed in a turn of the
century building that's been painstakingly restored and features
hardwood floors, a pressed tin ceiling and a grand staircase leading
to the shoe and outdoor departments.
"John Cooper and his team really respect and enjoy the history
of downtowns, and it's evident in their transformation of this long-vacant
historic building to a uniquely nostalgic shopping experience,"
Mayor Haslam stated. "There's simply nothing else like Mast General
Store and I expect it will draw visitors from across the Southeast."
stated, "We have seen a vast and growing trend to recapture the
spirit of downtowns across the nation. There is a great deal of
pride in Knoxville's downtown, and for good reason. With the $25
million restoration of the Historic Tennessee Theatre, the revitalization
of Market Square, the construction of a multi-screen theater, and
many additional projects, Knoxville is on the move. We're proud
to be a part of that strong move to an even more vibrant and viable
downtown for shopping, dining, entertainment and livability."
Grand opening festivities are scheduled for August 25-27 and will
include "register to win" opportunities for baskets filled with
a wide variety of Mast Store products, gifts with purchase incentives
from Woolrich, Smartwool, and Carhartt, and food samplings featuring
an array of down-home gourmet goodies. On Saturday, August 26, Roush
Racing's Woolrich truck from NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series will
be on hand from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. along with its driver, Erik
Darnell, who will be signing autographs and posing for pictures
from noon until 2 p.m.
Mast General Store is based in Valle Crucis, N.C. where it traces
its roots to 1883 as the Taylor Store. John and Faye Cooper purchased
the store in 1979, and it became an employee-owned company in 1996.
In recent years, the store has expanded to include locations in
Boone, Waynesville, Hendersonville and Asheville, N.C. and Greenville,
S.C. All stores are in buildings constructed between 1883 and 1945.
In Knoxville, Mast General Store occupies a building constructed
in 1898 for McNulty Grocery and Dry Goods Co. Most recently a White
Store occupied the space until closing in the 1980s.
Architect for the renovation was Design Innovations Architects;
and David Johnson served as the general contractor.