By Jessica Isaacs
Photos by Ken Ketchie
One of Blowing Rock’s most unique shopping destinations, The Mustard Seed Market, is wrapping up its inaugural extended holiday season. Monday will be its last day of operation until spring returns, so stop by this weekend to take advantage of special offers.
Business owners Robb and Danielle Stewart opened The Mustard Seed 24 years ago and have turned their vision for a destination garden center into a truly fun and interesting place to shop. The market is nestled in between the Boone and Blowing Rock communities right along U.S. Highway 321, making it easily accessible to returning local customers and passersby traveling to and from the area.
During warmer months, you can find a variety of beautiful home and garden products, including specialty décor pieces and plants ranging from small annuals and herbs up to native trees, shrubs and more.
“We have just a really neat collection of wonderful plants that bloom, things that are great for gardens, things for landscaping and container gardens, but we have a great selection of unique home accessories, vintage finds and quirky stuff for inside, as well,” Danielle said over the summer.
Earlier this year, the Stewarts replaced an 18-year-old plastic hoop house with a brand new, spacious, heated greenhouse, which enabled them to keep The Mustard Seed open for extended hours during the holiday season.
This Christmas market allowed the Stewarts to keep their business running through the months of November and December this year, offering the same quality and selection that the community has come to expect from The Mustard Seed and a wide variety of holiday-related ornaments, decorations, home goods, plants and other products, including Christmas trees and wreaths.
“This is the first year in 22 years that I was not involved in wholesale Christmas tree growing and selling. I’ve always been a grower,” said Robb. “So, this year, instead of worrying about selling thousands of trees, I focused on selling a couple hundred. We’ve done more tropical plants, indoor plants, poinsettias, Christmas cactuses and other things we typically wouldn’t have.”
This change in the Stewart’s business has allowed them to keep their employees working later in the year and has ushered in new shoppers, along with offering something new to their loyal local customers.
“I think it has been fun and we have seen a whole different clientele. A lot of our great regular customers have enjoyed it, plus we’ve attracted a new customer base,” Robb said. “We have had lots of people come in that have never even been to Mustard Seed, so that was really good.
“It’s nice to keep our good people working longer, especially with the ski slopes not open yet. We have some people that would otherwise be there, so they’ve been able to continue working for us.”
Christmas is almost here, but don’t worry — holiday shopping at The Mustard Seed isn’t over yet. Monday, Dec. 21 will be its last day of business this year, so you have until then to stop by and find some really cool pieces to finish off that Christmas list.
The market will operate from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Monday, and shoppers can enjoy 40 percent off all items storewide on Sunday and Monday, Dec. 20-21.
“I don’t think you’re going to see what we sell just anywhere,” Robb said. “Danielle and Meredith Brent, our store manager, work extremely hard just trying to find a unique and different product. They are both interior design graduates.”
Overall, the extended holiday season at The Mustard Seed has been a success, and the Stewarts say they’re looking forward to keeping this new tradition next year.
“It was well received. Next year, we will tweak things a little bit and have more things that sold quickly this year,” Robb said. “I’d like our customers to know that we are very grateful and thankful that they supported us through the season. We’re looking forward to doing it again.”
The Mustard Seed Market is located at 5589 U.S. Highway 321 in Blowing Rock. For more information, call 828-295-4585 or visit themustardseedmarketnc.com.
Photos from The Mustard Seed’s holiday market: