Longtime downtown Brevard retail stores, D.D. Bullwinkel’s General Store and Moosetracks Footwear, will move to a new shared location in mid-2016 at 60 East Main Street, the former Belk’s building.
“Brevard has been so good to us,” said Dee Dee Perkins, who co-owns the stores with her husband, Jimmy Perkins. “As we’ve grown, we’ve realized that we needed additional space and the former Belk’s building is a fantastic location.”
The Belk’s building totals 15,000 square feet of commercial space, 8,000 of which is currently retail floor space. At the new location D.D. Bullwinkel’s will be able to expand from a general store into a full service outdoor outfitter specializing in hiking, camping, and backpacking.
“Transylvania County is really making a name for itself as a premiere outdoor adventure destination, “ said Jimmy Perkins, “We think that visitors and residents alike are hungry for a local, full-service outfitter. Forty-two percent of Transylvania County is made up of public lands and Brevard is right at the heart of it.”
“At the new D.D. Bullwinkel’s, we’ll also expand our offering of outdoor and leisure clothing to include both lifestyle and technical apparel,” said Dee Dee Perkins. “We’ll continue to carry the classic brands our customers love, including Patagonia, The North Face, Columbia, Mountain Hardware and others.”
The Belk’s Department Store building was constructed in 1940 and was home to the department store until 1992. Underground Salvage, a retail store selling architectural finds, currently occupies the building. Store owners Tim and Nancy Hall purchased the building in 1994 and after 22 years will be moving the store to a new location in the Lumberyard District on Railroad Avenue.
“We wish the Perkins much success,” said Tim. “We hope they’re as happy there as we have been. It’s a fine building with a great Main Street location.”
Ultimately, the Perkins would like to renovate the building back to its original design, which would include recreating the original façade and restoring the second floor windows that were bricked up in the 70’s.
“As it sits, the building is ideal for our expansion plans,” said Jimmy Perkins. “And we’ll have plenty of space that we can repurpose at a later date as we grow.”
“There are a lifetime’s worth of projects in this great old building,” said Jimmy Perkins.
The move of D.D. Bullwinkel’s and Moosetracks will also have a significant impact on the Perkins’ third retail business, Rocky’s Grill and Soda Shop.
“When we move D.D. Bullwinkel’s from it’s current location, we’ll be able to give Rocky’s a little breathing room,” said Dee Dee Perkins. “We’ll be able to enlarge our dining space by moving the candy and t-shirt centers to the former Bullwinkel’s space.”
The Perkins plan to re-brand this area of Rocky’s as a “corner market,” offering seasonal, locally grown food items, and regional gifts and crafts in addition to t-shirts and candy.
“In a sense, Rocky’s will expand as a ‘general store’ to fill the former role of D.D. Bullwinkel’s,” explained Dee Dee Perkins.
Dee Dee Perkins opened D.D. Bullwinkel’s in 1994.
“Varner’s Drug Store was selling out to Revco,” said Dee Dee Perkins. “We envisioned D.D. Bullwinkel’s as a ‘Carolina Marketplace.’” A year later, we renovated the lunch counter side of the building and opened Rocky’s Grill and Soda Shop.”
Over the years, both stores have become downtown fixtures and favorites of residents and visitors alike.
“We are so grateful for the support of the community that we’ve enjoyed over the years,” said Jimmy Perkins. “Without our loyal customers, this next stage in our growth would have never been possible.”
Despite the many changes underfoot, the Perkins are confident they can pull off a smooth transition for all three businesses.
“We have a wonderful team of employees who work really well together and care deeply about these businesses,” said Dee Dee Perkins.
The Perkins can also count on the help of two other key individuals.
“Our son Adam and our daughter Allie have worked at our businesses since they were children,” said Dee Dee Perkins. “They’re young, they have lots of great ideas and, most of all, they have lots and lots of energy.”