The Factory Coffee Shop

By Maggy McGloin – 2016

As any trip with anticipated adventure should begin, the exploration down Highway 64 began with clear eyes, caffeinated bodies, and an overall excitement to see what was ahead. The first stop on the highway was the town of Mocksville, just about an hour outside the Elon bubble.

The car rolled into a town seemingly barren of existence, pulling into the parking lot of the grand Town Hall, currently being cleaned with high-power hoses. It was 11 AM, late enough in the morning that shops should be open on a Saturday morning, yet every single one was closed. The streets, too, were relatively deserted–a sporadic passerby occasionally punctuating the quiet . After passing a darkened doll storefront, the town’s GOP office, a pub amongst few restaurants, the sidewalk lead to the one open business: The Factory Coffee Shop, an obviously-new addition tdsc_0430o the town. It turns out the shop had only been open for six months and was part of the new effort to revitalize downtown Mocksville.

Inside the store provided cappuccinos and a muffins, set with an ambience made by modern touches, such as acoustic music, seating areas for people who wanted to work, and an industrial-looking bar. There were also accents that kept the shop true to Mocksville’s heritage, however. By the cash register, there was a large bulletin board displaying flyers, business cards, and artwork provided by Mocksville locals–a physical manifestation of the town’s activity hub. There was also an out-of-place old-fashioned bike hung on the wall, one of the first visible decorations upon entering the store. It seemed the bike, though visually different, would provide insight as to what The Factory was all about.

As she whipped up another cappuccino,dsc_0428 the barista, Ayenna, explained a bit more about Factory, as well as what it means to be a Mocksville local. She confirmed that The Factory was the newest addition to downtown Mocksville, but the building itself was historically valuable, once a pharmacy from the early 1900’s. To pay homage to what the building once was, the owners hung up that bike–which once belonged to the pharmacist–on the wall. “He used to ride the bike up and down main street to make prescription deliveries to people’s homes,” Ayenna said. “The pharmacist knew where everyone lived and what each family’s’ prescriptions were.”

Ayenna was vibrant, compliant, and happy to answer questions about how long she’d lived in Mocksville and whether or not she enjoyed the familiarity of the town. She said that she grew up in Mocksville, surrounded by people who always said “that if you don’t get out of Mocksville by a certain point, you end up staying there your whole life.” Ayenna stated that when she was younger, she wanted nothing more than to move away from Mocksville. As she gets older, however, she admits to becoming more content with staying there. Knowing that the town could seem uneventful to outsiders, she continued to describe the different things there are to do in Mocksville: “There’s a movie theater fifteen minutes away,” she said. “And high school sports are a really big part of the community.”

The local high dsc_0431school homecoming game is one of the most exciting events in Mocksville during the fall. Ayenna pointed to the windows of the town’s favorite pub across the street, scrawled in orange paint: Beat the Mustangs!  Evidently the homecoming game was the night before and has been held in the same location for 65 years. “The whole community came out and they had all of the homecoming kings and queens from years’ past come out on the field,” said Ayenna.

When asked what her favorite Mocksville event was, Ayenna stated matter-of-factly, “the mattress car races.” For visitors who have no observed such an event, a mattress car race consists of Mocksville locals gathering on the main downtown strip to race their mattresses down the hill. “I can watch the races from the window of The Factory,” she said. Looking out the window, the image of those same mattresses plummeting down main street painted a stark contrast to the empty road, a quiet extension of Highway 64.


A Scoop from the Ice Cream Man

By Katie Stewart – 2014

In downtown Mocksville, Gina and I found a brightly painted ice cream shop called Scoops. Inside, one man stood at the counter, a football game played on the TV, and a couple of teenagers played air hockey in the arcade in the back. Monte, or the “Ice Cream Man” as one younger customer called him, immediately greeted us and offered samples of his many ice cream flavors. Gina went with two flavors, coconut and double vanilla, and I decided on strawberry. While we ate, Monte showed us his toy moose that dances and sings “Moves Like Jagger.” Monte is a toy collector, and he has some of his collection on display on a shelf above the picnic-style tables in his shop. He seemed to know everyone that came into the shop, except us of course, which I guess is why he referred to me as “Miss Strawberry” as we were leaving. The Ice Cream Man promised that if we return he will remember us, and we hope to take him up on that bet.

Scoops Ice Cream Shop

Scoops Ice Cream Shop



Mocksville’s Town Cat

By Chelsea Vollrath


As Paige and I sat in Restaurant 101, we both gazed out of the restaurant’s big front windows, taking in the sites of Mocksville while enjoying our lunch. Our eyes traced the main street as far as the windows would allow based on where we were sitting. We watched as a steady stream of men and women walked by, some stopping in the various shops lining the street, others continuing on to destinations unknown to us. One man in particular caught our attention. The metal knee brace on his left knee inhibited his walking ability and caused him to linger in front of the window longer than most passersby. Hadn’t he passed before? Wasn’t he just on this side of the street?


Considering the speed at which he was walking by the window and the number of times I saw him pass, he held my attention throughout most of the meal. I wondered why he kept walking by, seemingly without a specific destination in mind. I wanted to talk to him and find out more about him; dressed in a tattered denim shirt with a six inch rip down the back, acid-washed jeans, the knee-brace, heavily-worn work boots, and a backwards hat, he just looked interesting. I was too timid to approach him, though, so when we finished our meal we didn’t pursue finding him to start a conversation and just began our exploration of the town’s small shops and businesses. After leaving the first store and heading to the second, we passed him sitting on a bench on the sidewalk. We smiled politely and intended to keep walking, despite my interest in him, until he stopped us.


“Hey! Hey girls,” he called out to us. “Come here, I need to tell you something.”

Paige and I exchanged a skeptical glance, questioning if we should go talk to him. We chuckled, and turned around.

“Hello, sir. What’s up?”

He motioned with his index finger, encouraging us to come closer; we obliged.

“I want you to make me a promise.”

Again, Paige and I looked at each other, laughed, and nodded our heads in agreement. “Okay, what is it?”

“Stay beautiful. Just, stay beautiful. You’re both beautiful girls…and, and I just want you remember to stay beautiful.”

His words were muffled and difficult to understand, but his message was clear. We thanked him for his kindness, quietly laughed to each other and proceeded to walk on as he continued calling out after us.


We walked into the bookstore and talked to the storeowner, but when we left, the friendly townie was still sitting on the bench where we’d left him. We walked by him again, and this time as we were approaching, he initiated conversation. He asked us if we remembered our promise to him. We stated we did, but he proceeded to repeat himself. When he finished babbling about our promise to stay beautiful, we seized the opportunity to learn more about him; well, as best as we could. We asked how long he’s lived in Mocksville and he quickly responded he’s lived in the town for his entire life, calling himself “The Town Cat.” Yet again, Paige and I exchanged confused glances. The town cat? What does that mean? When we asked him, he seemed surprised we didn’t understand. He explained everyone calls him cat because he can’t remember people’s names so he calls everyone cat. “Cat” continued to tell us that, due to an accident that occurred when he was 16, he is paralyzed on the right side of his body and doesn’t have a good short-term memory. I was tempted to ask him to tell more about the accident but, afraid of offending him, I didn’t press the issue. I was still processing his explanation of being “The Town Cat,” anyway.


We tried to get him to comment on Highway 64 and its influence on the town, hoping he’d have more incite than most considering he’s lived there his whole life. That was wishful thinking.

“This is what I can tell you about Highway 64,” he began. He turned his hat around to be facing forward, before continuing. Pointing to his left, and then to his right, he explained, “It goes that way, and that way.” Again, we laughed. He hadn’t given us much information, but he certainly was amusing. We needed to move on, but before we did, Paige asked to take his picture. He agreed, but first insisted that he turn his hat backwards to show the hat’s message: “FBI: Forever Believer in Jesus.” He formed the shaka on his left hand.  “I want you to get a picture of how I always am,” he explained, and then Paige took the picture.


I shook his hand, told “Cat” it was nice to meet him, and wished him well before we continued on. He continued gesturing with the shaka, rotating it back and forth for emphasis, and reminded us, yet again, to stay beautiful.