Business profile: Herschel's goods offer a taste of the Carolinas

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
Run by owners James and Andrea Walston, Herschel's opened in May of 2021 in downtown Black Mountain.

Herschel's on Broadway Avenue in Black Mountain offers a variety of goods in the style of a farmers market mixed with a southern, country general store.

Herschel's opened May 1, 2021, in downtown Black Mountain. Owners and operators James Walston and Andrea Garmon said business has been good, with a large influx of tourists in the summer and fall and over the winter holidays. 

"I've heard a lot of people say 'Hey, this is exactly what we needed here,'" Walston said. 

Opening in May of 2021, Herschel's offers southern goods and fresh foods in downtown Black Mountain.

Both owners come from the Carolinas. Garmon's two sons, recently graduated from Owen High School, help run the store part-time when back from college. 

Garmon said Herschel's tries to stick to the family business model, working with other, similar businesses, generation farmers and exclusively catering to goods from the South. From fresh produce to dry goods, jams and jellies, and spices and rubs, James said most of the products are things one might find in a farmer's market. 

The only parameters for who Herschel's works with? They must come from the Carolinas.

"We also have local art from Black Mountain artists, we have a woman that makes wall quilts," Garmon said. "We have illustrations, stickers, postcards."

Herschel's, in downtown Black Mountain, offers uniquely southern goods, including some of its own make.

Coming from a background in animal welfare, Andrea said opening the store and having a sense of community was something the family had always talked about. Walston agreed, saying that although similar establishments exist in Buncombe County, they didn't quite see anything like it in Black Mountain. 

Over the course of six months, including some very late nights, Garmon said they were able to get the building into proper shape, doing all the work by hand. Walston said the whole process has been a learning experience, but it's been enjoyable to connect with the local community. 

"It's been really nice," Walston said. "When you start knowing people by name and you start knowing what they want before they even walk through the door."

After becoming established, Herschel's have been able to become better connected with the community as well as the producers and their families they work with. Ultimately, the whole process keeps the products, business and connections within the community. 

"It's just a family business," Garmon said. 

This story has been updated to correct the name of owner Andrea Garmon.