There is nothing that gives off the allure of southern charm like walking into a general store. If you were lucky enough to have one in your town growing up, you know that it's much more than a place to go for a quick shopping trip.
General stores are a place to meet your neighbors, socialize and pick up locally made food and goods. A general store is more about the experience than anything else. Here are 10 you should make a note to stop at during your travels across the South.
Bergheim General Store & Post Office - Bergheim, Texas
The Bergheim General Store was originally built to operate as a cotton gin in 1900 by Austrian immigrant Andreas Engel. The store is still in operation today, surviving a boll weevil infestation that devastated in the 1920's. Supporting local farmers, the store provides groceries, feed and fencing. The Engel family has continued the stores reign as Andreas' great grandson Stanley currently runs the show.
Castell General Store, Castell, Texas
Founded as a blacksmith shop in 1927, Castell General Store is still running today. Though the history has diminished over time, the charm still remains. Today the store also serves as a place to host events and festivals including the annual bicycle 100k and the intriguing Testicle Festival. Stop by on a weekend and you'll find owner and Castell resident Randy Leifeste serving up his famous burgers and barbecue.
Floyd Country Store - Floyd, Va.
Floyd Country Store brings out the inner child in everyone who enters. Barrels of old-fashioned candy line the interior and the shelves are stocked with old-time wooden toys and fresh apple butter. The store also has a café and ice cream counter and on Friday Nights it hosts a Jamboree with local heritage music and dancing.
The Hunt Store and Café - Hunt, Texas
Established in 1946, the Hunt store is still operating today. It hosts many fun events throughout the year and provides live music from local artists out on the patio. At the Hunt Rock Café you can try the store's famous burgers or French tacos and take home local Hunt goodness by shopping inside the store as they carry local brands.
Jefferson General Store - Jefferson Texas
The Jefferson General Store has been a staple in this small Texas town since the lay 1800's. Patrons can enjoy an old time feel while sipping on a root beer float, relaxing for a game of checkers or playing music from the jukebox. The store also offers other fun items such as Texas souvenirs, antiques, a candy counter and more.
Luckenbach General Store- Luckenbach, Texas
The Luckenbach general store resides in the oldest building in town. A bar and dance hall are now connected to it and both sit underneath the shade of a 500-year-old oak tree. The store now operates as a souvenir shop where visitors can buy a variety of merchandise, including t-shirts with the famous town saying, "Everybody's Somebody in Luckenbach."
Old Sautee Store- Nachoochee, Ga.
The Old Sautee Store has been expanded and upgraded since it started 144 years ago, but bits of history are still preserved inside. Patrons can explore the museum to learn more about how the store began. They can also enjoy local gifts and house-made fresh jams, preserves and fruit butters. The store is located in the heart of the Village of Sautee and is an important historic landmark for all who live there.
T.B. Sutton General Store -Granville, Tenn.
The T.B. Sutton General Store was restored in 2007. The two-story landmark now houses a family-style restaurant and a bluegrass radio show. On Saturday nights live music rings through the place for Sutton's Old Time Happy Hour, a show that station manager Sam Trout says is reminiscent of the early days at the Grand Ole Opry.
Old Riverton Store- Riverton, Kans.
The Old Riverton Store is well-known to those who travel along Route 66. The Nationally registered historic landmark is internationally known and welcomes you in with an old time deli, produce, Route 66 memorabilia and the friendliness of a front porch where many enjoy a cup of coffee with new friends.
Whittington's Jerky & General Store, Johnson City, Texas
Whittington's has become a traditional stop for those who travel the Hill Country often. Whittington's General Store started off as a meat processing plan by D.J. and Gertrude Whittington. The Whittington's son Sam and his wife Susan have turned the store into what it is today offering gourmet foods and snacks as well as a variety jerky.
They even shIp jerky free of charge to any soldier currently serving. If you find yourself in Texas Hill Country be sure to stop by for a bit of Whittington's famous jerky.