F.B. Tallent leans back in his rocking chair and invites passersby to have a seat for a â€œhistory lesson.â€
The retired farmer and World War II veteran has spent many afternoons swapping stories in front of his produce stand in western Lincoln County that has been closed almost 20 years.
Farming, furniture and hard work are family traditions for the Tallents.
F.B.â€™s son, Jeff, is returning to his roots by opening Northbrook Market on N.C. 27 West.
â€œWhen I was growing up I always hated working on the farm,â€ he says. â€œNow Iâ€™m getting back into the family tradition.â€
The store stands on the property thatâ€™s been in the family since the 1930s.
The land was originally owned by Jeffâ€™s grandfather. Fields of orchards behind the store yielded peaches and apples from thousands of trees.
Jeff remembers growing up on the farm. Images of his father and his friends sitting on the front porch visiting still come to mind.
â€œIt was just a place for the old men to come, sit and talk,â€ he says.
Jeff hopes to recreate the past.
He and his brother, Jerry, have planted a few peach and apple trees. He hopes to sell his own produce by next year.
Jerry and a family friend, Jack Blanton, have been working on a new building where produce will be sold. The foundation of the stand serves as a reminder of the past. The original store once stood on the cement slab.
The old structure served the west Lincoln community in several ways, F.B. says.
â€œI think weâ€™ve had a little bit of everything.â€
The store was a produce stand, a truck garage, a furniture store, a leather shop and a dance hall.
Northbrook Market now is divided into several sections. Out front, fruits, vegetables, beans and plants can be scooped up for purchase.
Inside, half the store offers convenience store items while the other serves as a gift shop. Jeffâ€™s wife, Toni, is in charge of stocking the gift shop with furniture, baby items and shower gifts.
Jeff and Toni have worked in the furniture industry for years. The business took Jeff to far away destinations like China and Vietnam.
He said the furniture industryâ€™s move overseas has prompted his return to a hometown business.
One feature heâ€™s excited about at the store is drive-through service. A split door on the side of the store allows him to serve customers in their cars.
â€œAnything from a pack of cigarettes to a piece of furniture, Iâ€™ll deliver it through the drive-through,â€ he said.
Northbrook Market is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday store hours will vary depending on what produce is available.by Diane Turbyfill