Mayberry Country Store

Mayberry Country Store

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     The name ‘Mayberry’ evokes a certain nostalgic feeling for the good old days. The fictional town of The Andy Griffith Show, that so many of us grew up watching,  and, if you’re like me, now long for those seemingly simple days back in Mayberry.  Not coincidentally, Mayberry’s,  in Mercer TN is an old fashioned country store that aims to brings those days back, by celebrating the simple life of the small town America past, the old ways of doing things, and passing those traditions on to the next generation.

     The building that houses Mayberry’s is full of history itself. Formerly a fire station, animal feed store, and restaurant, it was originally built in 1894, and mother and daughter Sally and Amy purchased the building in March of 2017. Inside you’ll find a goldmine of art, antiques, and souvenirs all handmade in the USA. Local artists from west Tennessee are spotlighted in the gallery, including barnwood picture frames made from genuine west Tennessee barnwood. After describing a cross-country trip they went on where they were hard-pressed to find any unique souvenirs from the states they stopped in, Sally and Amy explained the importance of having a place like Mayberry’s for people traveling to find things from this area, rather than simply the same old gifts from chain stores across the country, “Here if you buy a painting it’s definitely unique, one of a kind, not mass-produced, you won’t find it anywhere else, people really respond to that.” They are always searching for new local artists and craftsman to showcase, so if you’re a local artist they’d love to hear from you!

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    Mayberry’s is not a simple souvenir shop, however, and that is evident as soon as you walk through the door. A charming combination of beautiful handmade keepsakes and an old-fashioned soda fountain and country store is what makes Mayberry’s so special. It truly harkens back to an earlier time, when barefooted children tired themselves playing outside and ran to the local country store to refuel on candy, ice cream and soda. This happens often at Mayberry’s, along with local residents who stop by for good conversation and some rag bologna and hoop cheese. Sally told me about a young boy who walked in one day (barefoot, of course) with a huge grin beaming across his face. One of their regular customers, Bedford, noticed the particular bounce in the child’s step and asked him about it. “I’m happy!” the youngster explained. “Why’s that?” Bedford asked. “‘Cause I can come to Mayberry’s!”

    Sally and Amy want Mayberry’s to not simply be a place, but an experience. They have purchased the land next door and across the street, and have big plans for its future growth. “We want to celebrate the old ways of doing things,” Sally explained. “We want it to be an experience for people, to bring their children...have fun and learn some new things in a clean atmosphere.” They plan to prepare the land across the street to have festivals a few times a year, celebrating the old ways and teaching a new generation to keep that history alive. They will have craftsman, blacksmiths, and demonstrations of other crafts including spinning cotton and wool, sewing, as well as musicians and food vendors to make it a fun, family friendly event. They even plan to raise sheep on the land next door. “It’s really for the whole community to participate, and so that kids can see how to do these things and that they have something to do.” 

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    More than just a country store, Mayberry’s is a mission. Their goal is to bring people together, and to teach the younger generations about their history so that it is not lost. They aim to get kids of all ages out of the house and away from their screens for a bit to learn something new, meet someone new, to have a cup of tea and exchange ghost stories. Sally left me with what I think sums up Mayberry’s quite well, “We are 100% committed to not just this community but West Tennessee and all of Tennessee, preserving the culture and the way things used to be.” If you’re in need of healthy dose of the good old days, just head down to Mayberry’s, and enjoy the warm welcome, pleasant conversation, and sweet tea.

 

How to get there:

Go East on I-40 towards Jackson, take the Mercer Exit and head for downtown Mercer.  Check their Facebook page for additional info.

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