Tag Archives: Saluda

M.A. Pace’s Store in Saluda, NC, Still Open and Still Worth the Trip

Two years ago I wrote about Mr. Robert Pace, and his family establishment, the M.A. Pace General Store in Saluda, NC.   Sadly, Mr. Pace passed away not long after I visited with him, and for a while the future of the store was in jeopardy.   But thankfully, the store was bought by Judy and Leon Morgan, who realized that the store was a treasure just the way it was, and vowed to modernize it without losing the special character of the place.

Talk like that makes me nervous, because I’ve seen what new owners can do to an old, established business like M.A. Pace.  Modernize often means make touristy, and the result is often a business that forgets that the people living in the community are their main customers.  Gone are the baskets of nails and the bins of fresh produce, and in their place are  shelves of rustic looking pottery from China and Life is Good tee shirts.

I’m happy to report that the Morgan’s achieved their goal.  The character of the old place is left intact, but the selection of foods and sundries is much improved.  They managed to select things that would appeal to visitors, while maintaining their position as a community hub.

Best of all, they have made a sort of museum of Saluda memorabilia that lines the walls above the shelves.  Local residents have donated enough interesting old stuff to keep you engaged for quite a while.  And all that old merchandise?  It’s still there, though moved up higher to allow for merchandise that is actually for sale!  Another plus is that they have made a true effort to source USA made products, including Pointer jeans and Lodge cookware.

Saluda is located just off I-26 between Asheville and Spartanburg, SC.  If you are traveling that highway, do yourself a big favor, take a few minutes to stop in and say “Hey” to the Morgans.

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Filed under North Carolina

M.A. Pace General Merchandise in Saluda, NC

You may remember that I wrote about this time wrap store in May 2010.  I was very sad to learn that Robert Pace, the owner and son of the founder of the store, passed away last fall.  For a while the store was closed, but it has now reopened under new owners.

They plan to “modernize without going too far.”  Let’s hope they accomplish that goal.  I’ll be paying the store a visit in the next few weeks and will have a full report.

RIP Mr. Robert

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Filed under North Carolina

Time Warp Store – M.A. Pace’s Store in Saluda, NC

If you have been reading The Vintage Traveler for a while, you already know that I love what I call time-warp stores.  These are like little pieces of the past that have somehow survived.  Unfortunately, they are getting harder and harder to find. Lots of times, the owners are getting up in years, and when they retire, that’s the end of the store.  Many times they become gentrified, like the wonderful old Mast Store in Valle Crucis, NC.  Others just sit empty, and are soon forgotten.

I figured I’d better pay a visit to one of my favorites, the M.A. Pace Store in Saluda, NC.  This store was founded in 1899 by the current owner’s father.  It’s been in the same building for 100 years.

I was right to go because the place is for sale.  Mr. Robert Pace is thinking about retirement.  I can just see this place being taken over by the Mast people (think Life is Good tee shirts and Woolrich.  Not bad things, but in their proper place, please!)

But in the meantime, if you happen to be anywhere near Saluda, go see Mr. Pace’s store before it is gone.  And if you are not near it, get out there and find your own time-warp store!  Then let me know about it so I can hopefully wrangle a visit.

The store is now a combination of new and old merchandise, with all the old stuff being original to the store and not for sale.  The original shelves line the walls, and they are full of old shoe boxes (yes, with the shoes inside), sewing notions, and clothing boxes.  There was a sign that read not to open the boxes, but Mr. Pace said he’s turn his head so I could peek into a few!  There is everything from 1910s boots to shoes from the 60s.  And no matter how sweetly you ask, he will no sell – unless you want to buy all of it!

Comments:

Posted by Joules:

Oh, I would like to pay a visit! Glad you did Lizzie, and it was awfully nice of Mr. Pace, to let you peek inside the shoe boxes. 

Wednesday, March 10th 2010 @ 11:44 AM

Posted by Mod Betty / Retro Roadmap:

What a cool place! I know exactly what you mean by time-warp stores. I’ll add this to the Retro Roadmap to help drum up some business…maybe he won’t retire after all! 

Wednesday, March 10th 2010 @ 3:05 PM

Posted by Catseye Vintage:

This is amazing! I would think I had died and gone to heaven to actually be able to go into this store and see the shoes in their original boxes. I wonder what’s inside the clothing boxes? :o 

Wednesday, March 10th 2010 @ 4:22 PM

Posted by Lizzie:

I’m glad you all love this place! Betty, if you look on my other blog, there is a link to a map that shows the location. Thanks for helping show the way! 

Wednesday, March 10th 2010 @ 4:23 PM

Posted by Catwalk Creative Vintage:

Wow! What an amazing place. And like everyone else, I was so keen to see the shoes stored inside the boxes. What an absolute treat. When he said he’d only sell if you bought everything, did he mean the whole shop or just all the shoes? How tempting!
Interesting post as always. :) 

Thursday, March 11th 2010 @ 11:56 AM

Posted by Lizzie:

The whole shop! 

Some of the shoes I looked at were like new, but others were in pretty sad shape.

The clothing boxes look to be mainly undies.

Thursday, March 11th 2010 @ 1:38 PM

Posted by Sarah:

Experiences like this are rare and precious – its like time travelling! Thanks for sharing this with us. 

And I hope you left your business card with Mr Pace, juuuust in case he ever changes his mind . . .

Friday, March 12th 2010 @ 2:20 AM

Posted by Tonia:

WOW! I love it!!!:) 

Saturday, March 20th 2010 @ 10:44 PM

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Filed under North Carolina, Road Trip, Shopping