In 1955, Jay Shore a WWII veteran built a gas station named Jay’s Gulf and Grocery now known as J & M General Store and Grill. Jay and his family, wife Lucille, daughter Patsy, and son Mike all worked together for years creating this family business. As the years passed Jay retired in 1985 and sold the gas station, but he always loved to work, and he started selling strawberries out of back of his little Toyota truck it became so popular with the help of his son it became J & M Produce.
Mike Shore continued working with his father and was also a postal worker in Watauga County. He and his father were very close, always trading antiques and selling produce. Mike noticed there was a demand for furniture in this area. Through all his trading and going to auctions he became interested in the furniture that was being made by the Amish in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Mike developed relationships with the Amish and started selling their furniture here in the high country. The Amish furniture was in such high demand he retired from the postal service and built a warehouse to continue the furniture business. Mike has now worked directly with the Amish for over 20 years.
As the years went by both businesses continued to grow. Jay had passed, Mike wanted to keep the memory of his father alive. He continued with the produce that was no longer in a back of a truck but now in a tent by the road. Mike was introduced to Cecelia who became his wife and together they built a building for the produce stand. The business was now a full-time job as well as the furniture. With the growth of both businesses Mike’s son, Jonathan, with his wife Sara, decided to move back to Blowing Rock to help with the family businesses. With the extra hands and having family back, Mike purchased the gas station that his father had once built. Together, the four family members now own and manage J & M General Store and Grill, J & M Produce and J & M Amish Furniture. The J & M was created originally for Jay and Mike. Now with Mike’s son Jonathan the J & M has taken on a new meaning as well as remember our roots.