Mountain Town Mercantile is a souvenir shop in downtown Fort Payne. The business opened in August and is owned by Anita Stiefel. The store focuses on items that are commonly sought by tourists, but locals will also enjoy the hometown memorabilia.

Anyone with out-of-town guests will want to be sure to bring their family and friends to visit this shop for some keepsake memorabilia such as shot glasses, T-shirts, tumblers, and photography. Many items in the store have keepsake logos and the local photography keepsakes allows visitors to take home a “picture-perfect” visual memory.

Stiefel’s brother is a photographer and sells his art on various mediums such as canvas, matte prints, keychains, post cards and more. He captures local scenes which include places such as DeSoto Falls and Little River Canyon.

Other local talent includes author Neal Wooten featuring books like Corn Born & Corn Bread and Granny Dollar. Tourists and locals alike can learn some local history in Wooten’s book about Dollar. Granny Dollar is a true story about a remarkable Indian woman who overcame great odds in the 1920s.

Other souvenir purchases include a game of Fort Payne-opoly, rope necklaces with various nature emblems, dream-catchers made by Native American Indians, flavors of fudge, CDs by local musicians, magnets of local scenes, signage, stainless steel water bottles and tumblers, goats milk soaps and body scrubs, caps, soy candles, and post cards. Most of the items have local emblems on them making them unique to the area. Purchasing music by the group Alabama right in their own hometown instead of off the internet makes for a special memento.

Stiefel said her store is not about “Made-In-China” merchandise. “I try to sell not only merchandise that represents the area, but also supports local artists,” said Stiefel. “I try to keep it representative of our area, I have moon pies and cold RC colas and people like that southern feel the store offers.” Stiefel said she is always getting new merchandise and is working to continue to improve the store as she sees what both locals and tourists like.

Locals should especially be aware that purchases made on items bearing the logo LRW help support the Little River. Little River Waterkeeper is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit that works to keep Little River pristine through education, awareness, and monitoring. LRW is working to add Little River to the National Wild and Scenic River system, which will protect it under the 1968 Wild and Scenic Act as a river with remarkable scenic, recreational, geologic, fish & wildlife, historic, cultural or similar values for the benefit of present and future generations.

Mountain Town Mercantile is located at 116 Gault Ave. S. Hours are: Monday – Wednesday 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Thursday and Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Phone 256-979-1982

— Marla Ballard’s Spotlight on Business appears in the Times-Journal weekend edition.

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