Mary Jo's Cloth Store, Inc. was founded in 1951 by Margaret Colien Cloninger in the back of her father's grocery store in Dallas, North Carolina. She began by selling unbleached domestic (muslin) and later added other makes of fabrics.
Throughout the years, the business prospered, outgrowing the Gaston Avenue grocery store. As business progressed, Mary Jo's relocated to a site at the corner of Trade Street and Gaston Avenue, whereby the adjacent buildings were eventually purchased and incorporated into Mary Jo's Cloth Store, Inc. However, on December 18, 1981 this location was destroyed by fire, resulting in another move to the vacant Ben Franklin Store at Windsor Center on Highway 321 located outside of Dallas.
Working with an inventory of salvageable goods, Mary Jo's reopened at its Windsor Center location on February 17, 1982. The store at Windsor Center was 22,000 square feet. By the spring of 1986 Mary Jo's had outgrown this facility and in August of 1986 the company moved to 40,000 square feet in the Gaston Mall. Gaston Mall has 300,000 square feet. When Mary Jo's moved into the mall it was virtually empty. After 3 years, Gaston Mall was virtually filled to capacity and still is to date.
Through the years, the Cloth Store's reputation has come to be widespread. Because of the varied selection of goods, at the best possible prices, and the assistance of a very knowledgeable staff, the Store's reputation has grown, servicing customers from within a 250 mile radius on a daily basis.