You may think you know what a country store is. You may even think that you have been inside one. But unless the store you were in was called Dunrovin Country Store, you can consider yourself mistaken.
If a country store should be anything, it should be random — and Dunrovin fits the bill. Gargoyle? Check. Metal chicken? Check. Organic food? Check. Sign displaying a colloquial Southern greeting? Check.
A garden filled with whimsical outdoor accessories, like planters shaped like impossibly giant feet? Check.
A frickin’ dragon?! Ok, that’s not on the checklist, but we’ll take that, too.
Let’s Take a Look Inside:
Start your journey with samples of fudge. As the sign says, it’s free. We haven’t tested this limit, so if you’re feeling brave (and greedy) let us know. Dunrovin is also known for its ice cream, so be sure to grab a scoop or two.
Don’t pass up the display for Wilma’s Snake Oil, a mysterious local concoction that supposedly helped its maker live more than a century. We’re not sure we want it, tbh.
You’ll pass rows and rows of picked things, sauce that promises to be hot enough to kick your ass in various ways, a whole section of various cast-iron kitchenware, a bath section with a table where you can cut your own soap, and a shelf full of incense and sage bundles. Hunt through the personalized items for your name, or just give up and buy a rubber key cover that says your keys belong to Jesus.
And, you’ll see some weird stuff.
Here’s a whole wall of trolls that looked like they were built by a lonely basement witch.
Some adorable (?) keychain voodoo dolls.
A refreshing (?) bottle of Stalinade or Nuclear Orange Bomb Soda …
And a random collection of poorly assembled taxidermy, including disembodied hooves, arranged among those porcelain dolls you donated to Goodwill but have come back to haunt your life.
We’re Not Done, But Let’s Head Outside.
It’s like a little oasis, filled with tropical birds and featuring a fence color scheme worth a fight with the president of our HOA.
You’ll be welcomed by a Blue and Gold Macaw, obviously the park guardian, who greets you with a shriek — but we took a liking to this little guy, who wolf-whistled when we walked by.
This curious couple of Macaws, named Milli and Captain, did a little dance as we got closer to their home.
At about this point, we heard someone call out “hello,” only to whip around and find a parrot named Salsa. Unsettling.
And we can only imagine that these koi fish spend their days trying to rescue their friend from the clutches of that fake bear.
Pat Milcendeau, who along with his wife, Jo, has owned Dunrovin’ for the past 7 years, says they created the park to keep Dunrovin’s littlest customers from wandering toward U.S. 1. He decided birds would be a nice addition around 2 years ago, and put out a call for rescues of all kinds. Today, he has more than 100.
We know who our favorite is. And we’ll even forgive the fact that they named him “Sam.”
Find Dunrovin just of U.S. 1, between Southern Pines and Vass. If you just want more bird photos, you can follow the Birds of Dunrovin on Facebook.