|May 26, 2017
“New” Farm Market in Buxton has Deep Local Roots
By JOY CRIST
to the new Diamond Shoals Farm Market in Buxton may have a moment of
déjà vu when they first step into the squat, one-story building that’s
stationed along N.C. Highway 12.
store’s shelves are already being lined with local crafts, buoys, and
plenty of eye-catching seashells, and folks with a good eye and a great
memory will note that these items are all hallmarks of another local
Buxton gift shop that recently closed its doors after 25 years – the
Old Gray House Gifts and Shells, which was owned by Dewey and Mary
if the overall atmosphere as well as the merchandise of this “new”
store feels familiar, there’s a pretty good reason for that.
started working on the store in November after we talked to Dewey who
gave us the concept,” says Angela, who owns the store with her husband
Keith Gray. “We wanted to make the store fun, and we wanted to preserve
Dewey’s passion for shells, history, and stories of our family, and of
Yep, there’s another distinctive tie to the Old Gray Gifts and Shells – Keith and Dewey are family.
and Dewey are cousins,” says Angela, “and Dewey knowns so much about
[the area.] I am hoping I can learn from him, and pass it down. Part of
the local life is bringing our unique culture to visitors and sharing
our stories, and we want to bring that local flair to Buxton.”
local crafts and wonderfully distinctive shell collection may be
familiar for longtime Buxton fans, but as the name would aptly suggest,
the Diamond Shoals Farm Market has a lot more up its sleeve besides the
traditional island gifts and goods.
covered outdoor exterior, which is already packed with wooden bins and
rustic shelves, is about to be stocked with fresh produce from
Elizabethtown, central North Carolina, and other relatively
close-to-home areas where the local veggies are as good as it gets.
going to stock our farm market with all the great seasonal stuff you
can get from May to October,” says Angela. “My passion is health and
nutrition, and a lot of people are paying attention to their diet, and
want to eat as healthy as possible. If I can help, and bring those
fresh foods to the Buxton community, that’s my ultimate goal.”
Farm Market is a new endeavor for Keith and Angela, and one of the
biggest ambitions is to have a local co-op, where the Grays can send
out a list of what’s available, and locals can order all the veggies
they want in bulk. “It’s new and it’s challenging, and we’ll have to
see how much interest there is in a local co-op,” says Keith, “but we
would love to have that available for the community.”
addition to the produce, which is scheduled to arrive around this
weekend’s opening date to ensure it’s as fresh as possible for the wave
of Memorial Day visitors, Angela has stocked a few other local goodies
that will garner interest from food fans.
section of the store’s bright interior is dedicated to jams, jellies,
preserves, and even Muscadine cider – which has some pretty unique ties
to the Outer Banks region.
Muscadine [cider] is actually connected to a 400-year-old Muscadine
vine on Mother Vine Road in Manteo,” says Angela. “This [cider]
actually comes from its ‘babies,’ or the descendants of that main vine,
so there’s a nice local tie-in.”
addition, Angela and Keith have been working with local jewelers who
specialize in sea glass and copper, a soap company from Ocracoke, stone
art from Currituck, and other vendors who are close to home.
And longtime Buxton visitors who happen to pop in may be surprised to find another local addition within the store…
will also be here from time to time,” says Keith. “He wants to be
retired, but he still wants to be active and he likes people, and
talking with our visitors.”
put, the Diamond Shoals Farm Market is shaping up to be a pretty unique
destination for the heart of Buxton. Part nostalgia, part local gift
store, and part produce market, this store may be “new” in the literal
sense, but it’s part of a wave of shops all along the island that pays
homage to local roots.
village has its own niche; its own local flavor,” says Angela.
“Hatteras and Avon feel completely different from Buxton, and they have
their own shops that [highlight] their distinctive culture.”
what we’re trying to do, and we hope this will bring more attention to
Buxton,” she adds. “Visitors want more uniqueness, and a connection to
the island… And that’s what we are trying to provide.”
The Diamond Shoals Market is located on NC Highway 12 in northern Buxton, next to the Diamond Shoals Restaurant.