I know it’s not just me. Many of you may not want to admit it, but you love this magical store, Roses Express, as much as I do. You love the fact that it is like an outpost “general store” of the real world, right before you cross over the high rise onto “vacation land,” or North Topsail Beach. There’s not a well known name brand piece of clothing in it and everything is gloriously “cheap.”
Yet, we make our pilgrimages to Roses Express at least once a year before we “cross over” because it’s part of the tradition of our vacation. It’s the place we go to buy the things we only use a few times; huge beach tee shirts, inexpensive bathing suits, coverups, sun screen, suntan lotion, snacks, boogie boards, swimming wings, blow up floats, snorkeling hoses and flippers, beach towels, sand pails, shovels and toiletries. Let’s see…did I miss anything? Umbrellas, beach chairs, straw hats, aspirin, canned goods and sea shell wind chimes. Did I say wind chimes? I believe I did!
We all love to go to Roses Express! It’s right next to the Food Lion and Advance Auto Parts, so it’s easy to slip in and browse for just a few minutes. I stopped by a few days ago to look for some inexpensive tank tops. It was a hot, humid day and when I entered the building, a blast of cold air greeted me and pulled me in. Immediately, I was struck with that “vacation” feeling. It just so happened that a Beach Boys tune, “Fun, Fun, Fun” was playing on the music system and all of a sudden, I felt like I was eighteen and on the brink of an adventure. I started singing and browsing, the needle rising on my “happy meter,” as I surveyed the vacation necessities.
In front of me, right at the entrance by the door was a display of a grill, American flags, and charcoal. Behind it, were beach umbrellas and a lawn chair. It seemed to be reminding us that it was summer and we were entering the “vacation zone.” Time to slow down!
I began walking through the narrow aisles of clothing, looking for the t-shirt racks. I was singing with the store music, “She’ll have fun, fun, fun ’til her daddy takes her T-Bird away,” when I noticed something odd. Every lady shopping in the store was singing too! They were looking at bathing suit coverups, flip flops and sun visors and just singing away. It was such a happy atmosphere, I wanted to sit in the display chair and just watch the happy customers slip into the “vacation zone.”
Everyone in the store seemed to be singing and smiling. I had never seen folks so happy to be spending money. I think part of it was they knew they couldn’t spend too much money. They were in Roses! And that was the fun of it!
Roses Express always has its pulse on the season. In the fall and winter, you can find propane turkey fryers, displays of hunting and fishing gear, colorful mums, toys galore, Christmas decorations and wrapping paper, cans of cranberry sauce, warm gloves, hats and scarves, blow-up Santa Clauses…wait a minute…did I say “blow-up Santa Clauses?”
In the Spring and summer, the face of the store changes. Outside, on the sidewalk, there are displays of bedding plants, herbs, fruit trees, garden tools, beach toys, wicker, lawn furniture, beach chairs and swings, plastic dinnerware. And yep…I said ‘fruit trees.”
I love to walk up and down the sidewalk and chose a few items for my grand kids to play with when they come and visit me. Hey, they’re only a dollar! I love to pick up a few hanging baskets to brighten up my front porch. I’ve even bought packets of garden seeds to plant in my backyard. It’s almost like a mini version of K-Mart or Walmart, without all of the crowds and hassle that makes for “big store” anxiety.
According to Wikipedia, “Roses Stores (originally known as Rose’s 5¢ 10¢ 25¢ Stores) is a regional discount store in the United States with its headquarters in Henderson, North Carolina. The chain has stores in fifteen states, primarily in the South.” I’ve been in several Roses Stores in my lifetime, but none of them have held the allure that our Sneads Ferry Roses Express carries. Maybe it’s the beachy-ness of the merchandise or the store’s proximity to the high-rise and that first glimpse of the dreamy ocean, that makes it feel so special. All I know, is that when I’m in there, I get an urge to go on vacation…and to sing a bit of beach music!
Roses Express is located at:
965 Old Folkstone Rd
Sneads Ferry, NC 28460
- Phone number(910) 327-2333
- Open Monday – Saturday 9:00a.m. – 9:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.