Clayton, North Carolina — The Clayton General Store on US Highway 70 opened in 2017, but for owner Scott Eason, it’s always been there.
Scott and his father, Steve, opened their first country store in the community of Flowers in 2012, but closed it years later when NC Highway 42 was widened. That’s when they reopened with a new name and a larger location off US 70 near downtown Clayton.
Scott was born and raised in Clayton. He graduated from Clayton High School, which is a few minutes down the road, and said his former teachers and classmates visit the store.
For the Eason family, the Clayton General Store is home, and Scott hopes the community feels the same.
“We wanted to create a quaint country store where the community can congregate – that was the most important thing for us. It’s the country vibe, where you walk in and you just feel like you’re come home,” he said. noted. “That’s what we like.”
The Clayton General Store carries products from 43 local vendors, and Scott is always finding new items to sell that people can’t find at other retail stores.
Once a month, the parking lot becomes a local market so that more small businesses can display and sell their crafts and food products.
“As a small business ourselves, we want to go back and support all the small businesses around us,” Scott said.
The most popular item in the store is the glass bottled soda. The Clayton General Store offers 152 different flavors of soda, which you can buy off the shelves or cold and ready to drink.
“We’re trying to find all the alumni,” Scott said.
Another customer favorite is the store’s selection of jams and jellies, which are hand poured by two sisters in Asheville and then bottled for the Clayton General Store.
There are local products everywhere you turn, from t-shirts and hats to jewelry, baked goods, cookie mixes, sauces, candies, snacks, coffee, signs, toys and Moreover. The biggest draw, however, is the store’s “crazy” milkshake bar, which features 35 different combinations.
The most popular milkshakes are the Oreo Overload, the Peanut Butter Cup Explosion, and the Magical Unicorn topped with cotton candy, all served in glass jars with frosting-covered rims and fun toppings like sprinkles, candies, and sprinkles. cookie crumbs.
Since the jar is yours, kids and adults can take their milkshakes home, but customers love hanging out on the porch.
On March 20, the backyard of the Clayton General Store opens, becoming a space for free movie nights, family game nights and cornhole competitions, food truck rodeos, live music and more again, especially on weekends and summer nights.
Scott, who has five children, wants the store to be a place where kids can buy ice cream after school or after dinner. The backyard is open to everyone, a place where family and friends can relax and play.
“It’s one of the things I love to see — families hanging out with their chairs, kids running around and having fun — it’s the general store, that’s how I feel,” said Scott.
The store is so beloved in the community that it is constantly expanding. A smaller version of the Clayton General Store opened in the Smithfield Outlet Mall two years ago (yes, you can buy milkshakes there), in addition to two sister stores, The General’s Shake Shake and an antique store .
Scott would like to thank the community and its dedicated staff for their support over the years.
“Thanks to the community, thanks to Clayton,” he said. “Thank you for supporting me and my family and for continuing to do so. It’s the reason we’ve been able to stay in business.”