After ten weeks of non-stop action hammering nails, designing new logoed merchandise and folk art, painting vintage signs, capturing the magic of mass production on video, and creating out-of-this-world MoonPie-themed ice creams and desserts, the first-ever “MoonPie General Store” in Charleston, SC is ready to welcome America inside at 48 N. Market Street, adjacent to the popular open-air City Market and in the heart of Charleston’s shopping district.
After a soft opening in late May, a Grand Opening celebration is set for Saturday, June 6th from 10 AM – 10 PM. Customers will be treated to 50¢ hot dogs, 50¢ cans of RC Cola, and free MoonPies while supplies last, as well as a variety of opening day specials including $1 ice cream cones. In the photo area, families can create a special “MoonPie Memory” posing together on an 8’ tall “Mr. MoonPie” – all 5×7 photos will be specially-priced at $7.50 during the event.
At 1PM, the World’s Largest MoonPie will be unveiled for photo ops, followed by a ceremonial “pie-cutting” at 2PM. Weighing 55 lbs., measuring 40” in diameter and 6” in height and boasting 14 lbs. of marshmallow, 6 lbs. of chocolate and 45,000 calories, the World’s Largest MoonPie will then be served to all in attendance, as long as it lasts.
“We’re excited to finally open,” said Tom Coker, partner of General Store Ventures, LLC, the licensee and operator of the store. “Ever since we put the first sign in the window announcing a MoonPie store is coming, the interest has been amazing. In fact, we’ve had to politely ask several folks to wrap up their favorite MoonPie memory so the painters could get back to work! It’s a brand with a storied past and many happy memories attached to it. We hope it will be a fun addition to Market Street.”
Over the July 4th weekend, the MoonPie General Store welcomes Carrie Hassler to Market Street. Carrie and her band are a fast-rising, contemporary bluegrass band currently sitting atop Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine’s Bluegrass Survey Chart with its #1 single, “I Can Go Back Anytime.” They will perform on Friday night, July 3rd at 7 PM outside the store during the weekly City Market art exhibit. On Saturday, July 4th from 10 AM – 2 PM, award-winning author David Magee will be signing copies of his non-fiction book, MoonPie: Biography of an Out-Of-This-World Snack, a critically-acclaimed insider’s look at the humble beginnings of Chattanooga Bakery’s 102nd product that eventually grew into what’s now the company’s single brand.
In addition to factory-fresh MoonPies and icy-cold RC Colas, MoonPie General Store will offer a variety of unique gifts and authentic “general store” experiences – newly-created logoed merchandise including t-shirts, hats and accessories, Carolina gourmet foods, classic and new toys, MoonPie-themed folk art, an old-fashioned soda fountain serving hot dogs, ice cream, sundaes, floats and vintage soda pops, in addition to widescreen TV’s with news stories and up-close footage from the MoonPie factory, and a fun-filled digital photo booth where customers can create their own collectible MoonPie carton with their picture featured on the front panel.
Chattanooga Bakery was founded in 1902 as a subsidiary of the Mountain City Flour Mill. A fourth generation, family-owned business, the company made nearly 100 snack cake and cookie items under the Lookout™ trademark, named after the popular residential and tourist community near Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain. In 1917, after a brainstorming conversation between a bakery salesman and some Appalachian coal miners, the MoonPie was born, and by the late 1930’s was the bakery’s #1 seller, a spot it still occupies today.
MoonPies are available in three sizes (Original, Double-Decker® and Mini) and six flavors (Chocolate, Vanilla, Banana, Lemon, Orange & Strawberry). Distribution is national, with particular strength in the Southeast and Southwest. The brand can be found in Grocery, Mass, Club, Drug, Convenience, Vending, Foodservice and a number of specialty retail outlets.