ROANOKE, Va. – Inside Mast General Store, you will find the modern-day version of an old general store.
There are games and barrels full of candy for kids, outdoor gear and even items for your pets.
Company officials were smiling nonstop Tuesday as they talked about how excited they are to finally open their Roanoke store.
“We have waited a long time for this moment," Mast General Store President Lisa Cooper said.
Mast General Store has been working for about two years to breathe new life into the historic former Heironimous Building.
The store was supposed to open in April; however, it was delayed because of the coronavirus.
“We feel like this building kills us. Every time we came to downtown Roanoke, this was the building that was in because the space was large enough, the location was wonderful, and it just needed to come back to life," said Cooper.
The 15,000-square-foot store is spread out over two floors. Above the store are 77 apartments.
“What we try to do is unwrap a gift and this is the gift to Roanoke," said Mast General Store Branding and Development Vice President Jeff Meadows. “As the paper came off different elements of the building and people could start seeing inside, it was amazing the hand prints that were on the glass. Today when we took the paper off the front doors, I had to finally put a sign out there because I was afraid people might break the door down."
He said people can’t wait to get inside.
"It’s been very well received. Roanoke an amazing community. We are very, very happy about being part of that community and continuing traditions of being downtown and being a destination,” said Meadows.
The building has a lot of history, at one time being the city’s largest department store.
Meadows said the history is what drew the company to the building.
“The transoms in the windows were part of the original fabric of the building and we brought all that back. What’s really interesting is all the little pieces of glass we’re all hand secured in that metal transom in the front of the store," said Meadows. "The two front doors, that’s where the front doors were, so everything was brought back to its period of significance which was 1920s and 1930s.”
The store will open at 10 a.m. Wednesday after a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:30 a.m.