MEJO 121 Final Project

Opening a General Store

My parents were newly-weds when they moved to Chimney Rock, North Carolina in 1990.

My Dad had recently gotten his MBA and was hired as the general manager of Chimney Rock Park. He and my mom were excited for their future together, but when they first pulled into Chimney Rock, population 100, my mom says her first thought was: “What have I gotten myself into?”

They soon came to love Chimney Rock, and often talked about opening a small gift shop like some of the other locals had done.

In 1992 my dad was fired from his job at the park. He came home that day and said “Honey, remember that store we were talking about opening?” The rest is history.

Bubba’s has grown from one small store with T-shirts and jellies to two larger stores with outdoor apparel like Patagonia, North Face and Columbia. My parents currently have around 10 employees, with plans to continue expanding.

The Next Chapter

Most kids get asked what they want to be when they grow up. My sisters and I got “Now which one of you is going to take over the store?”

Though they’re not planning on retiring any time soon, my parents want to keep the store in the family. They’ve started thinking about what will happen to the store after they’ve retired. My sisters and I haven’t been too interested, but thankfully my parents have a pretty good candidate lined up…

Bubba Two in front of his store

He may not be the best at minding the bottom line, but he sure knows how to make a good logo.

Come Visit!

Asheville is a hotspot for UNC students over fall break, and Bubba’s is just 40 minutes away. You can make a day of it and visit Chimney Rock Park, or any of the town’s other stores or restaurants.

Like or follow Bubba’s on Facebook or Instagram @bubbaolearysgeneralstore or Bubba O’Leary’s General Store