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February 9, 1979 began the history of Fred's General Mercantile. Fred and Margie Pfohl purchased a rectangular piece of property that was considered "useless", except for billboard advertisement, and transformed it into a thriving business.
Fred jokes that he started the general store business over the price of a can of tuna. Prior to Fred and Margie's decision to build the store, Fred purchased a can of tuna from a convenience type store on Beech Mountain. It was far too expensive. The result of that purchase is Fred's General Mercantile. Fred has been seen checking the price of tuna on his own grocery shelves.
The store was built with family in mind. Fred and Margie lived "upstairs" above the store for a number of years. This enabled them to have their family nearby and be available to the customers.
During the early years, the inventory was much smaller. Everything was on the main level. They began with a few tee shirts, groceries, some hardware, and lots of faith. A customer, remembering when Fred's opened, said with a grin, "Everyone thought Fred had lost his mind. We knew Beech Mountain couldn't support a store of its own." Through the addition of a ski & snowboard shop and an expanded deli, the store has experienced such heights of success and recognition that Fred's General Mercantile has become synonymous with Beech Mountain.
By, Pamela Wilder
The main store consists of a grocery store, hardware store and clothing store. At Fred's we can outfit the entire family for a weekend vacation. The grocery is a fully stocked grocery store that carries everything from canned goods to locally sourced foods. In the hardware section we feature such quality items such as Stanley tools and more screws, nails, nuts and bolts than you can shake a stick at! The clothing section is filled with hundreds of T-shirts and sweatshirts and we also carry high quality clothing from Columbia Sportswear, Wolverine & Merrell just to name a few.
The grocery is complete with fruits and vegetables (locally grown in season), fresh meats and poultry, homemade breads and an interesting variety of North Carolina wines and craft beers as well as the usual domestics and imports. Plus we carry all the staples you'll need to round out your shopping. You can pick up a loaf of bread, milk and eggs all while perusing our selection of homemade jellies and jams. Whether its a snack to stave off your hunger or a car load to fill your pantry, you'll be able to find it at Fred's!
The hardware section is loaded with thousands of items to fix or improve your home; or just add to your bountiful toolbox. We carry a full line of hand tools and specialty items for your needs. There are hundreds of electrical supplies, thousands of plumbing fittings and adapters, and millions of nuts and bolts. We order from a huge selection of Wallace products which feature such name brands as Stanley, Black & Decker, and 3M.
In the apparel and footwear section you'll be able to get everything from pants to shirts to coats and boots We have a huge selection to choose from whether it be a t-shirt to remember your trip or those socks that you left back home. The fine selection of Columbia, Wolverine and many others will have you yearning for more time to browse through the racks. We also feature thousands of accessories to go along with that new shirt. Spring, summer, fall or winter we have everything you need to enjoy all of the wonderful outdoor activities Beech Mountain has to offer.
Be sure to visit our Wild Bird Supply (click on the link at the top of the page) in the summer, a favorite hobby of Fred's ...and be sure to check out our third floor where you will find gifts galore including wonderful photography galleries featuring local artists.
If you are looking for a certain item and we don't usually stock it, we will do everything possible to have it for you ASAP. Feel free to give us a call if you are interested in finding out more. We will do our best to make sure that you are taken care of!