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Coal Creek General Store gets attention on YouTube channel

  • Jason Deel, left, co-owner and creator of the new Coal Creek General Store in Rocky Top, gets interviewed for a YouTube video by John Ward, who provides content for The Appa- lachian Channel on the popular online media site. Looking on are Rocky Top Mayor Kerry Templin and his wife, Carolyn. - G. Chambers Williams III

  • Billy Boyd and Miracle Honeycutt make fried bologna sandwiches for guests at the Coal Creek General Store on Thursday, March 21, as The Appalachian Channel creator on YouTube was on hand to record a video about the store in downtown Rocky Top. - G. Chambers Williams III

The new Coal Creek General Store, which opened last fall in a 124-year-old building in downtown Rocky Top, continues to build it stock, clientele and reputation.

Helping to boost the store’s reputation, the operator of a YouTube site known as The Appalachian Channel created a video on the premises last Thursday, and had it posted on the media site by Friday.

John Ward of Jacksboro, creator of The Appalachian Channel, didn’t have far to go to make the video. He said he’d been hearing about the store since owners Jason and Natalie Deel opened it, and had been wanting to feature it on his channel.

The store was a perfect subject, as its purpose, according to the Deels, was to re-create an Appalachia-style old country store, where people of a community could gather to buy goods and chat with their neighbors.

Ward’s video, which can be viewed at, leads off with a closeup of the hot bologna sandwiches that have become the top-selling item at the store after its taffy.

The Deels demonstrate the frying of the bologna outside the back of the store and the construction of the bologna sandwiches on a counter in the deli area inside the rear of the building.

But Ward’s smartphone video camera also takes in many of the other locally produced items sold at Coal Creek General Store, ranging from local honey, beef and jams to the Deels’ son’s own freeze-dried candy.

The Deels opened the doors to their new business at 331 S. Main St. on Sept. 30.

For the video, the Deels had posted on the store’s Facebook page a request that people come out to fill the store with customers during the shooting of the video on Thursday, and they were not disappointed.

Ward was able to interview many of the day’s guests, including Rocky Top Mayor Kerry Templin, along with members of the city’s police and fire departments who showed up for lunch.

Store manager Haley Jo Braden was staffing the register, and other store employees were serving customers and making sandwiches.

The store is filled with old-style country store merchandise, including candies and vintage bottled soft drinks rarely seen these days.