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Country stores offer down home gifts for the holidays

West Lincoln holds hidden treasures for holiday shoppers hoping to give unique gifts with a homegrown feel.
Stores offer pillows stitched with the American flag, birdhouses with painted on sunflowers and a plethora of John Deere merchandise.
At Knob Creek Orchard Fresh Farm Market, John Deere products are their biggest seller next to apples and homemade ice cream.
“People have a fascination with it I guess,” said Loree Crotts, whose son owns the shop.
A whole section of the store is dedicated to the green and yellow John Deere goods, which include umbrellas, signs, mini-tractors, books and apparel. Local farmers are John Deere’s biggest fans, said Nina Bumgardner, an employee at the store.
The store is located on N.C. 18. Red Bone Willy’s sits just down the road, and it also specializes in homemade ice cream and all American products.
Both stores have an excellent location for out of town shoppers looking for a country feel.
“It’s traveled,” said Crotts. “People from the mountains go to Florida or people from Florida go to the mountains.”
Even with this traffic, Christmas time at the store is nothing compared to summer and fall when ice cream and apples are in high demand.
Holiday shoppers looking for homemade honey or quaint pictures frames need look no further than the country stores, but west Lincoln also holds deals on stranger items such as furniture from Vietnam.
Jeff Tallent, owner of North Brook Market on N.C. 27 West, has several good buys sitting in the gift shop of his convenience store.
Tallent, who worked in the furniture industry prior to opening the store, has found that the furniture is not a big seller, despite its quality and the fact it’s currently 25 percent off.
The store also has a number of bronze Asian statues for the home and stone statues for gardens.
“We started back in the first of the summer, and we’re just getting our feet on the ground,” said Tallent.
Other holiday gifts available in the gift shop include decorative plates, vases and candles. In the convenience store, a holiday shopper can find a number of small gifts and stocking stuffers including gum drops, bubble gum, mountain honey and basketballs.by Sarah Grano

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