Business Profile: Dunes Mercantile Gifts & Guitars

by Oct 27, 2023Partners, Southport Oak Island

Dunes Mercantile Gifts & Guitars in Oak Island, NC offers a warm and friendly shopping experience inside the truly unique and eclectic shop.

If you are looking for a truly eclectic place to shop in the beautiful seaside town of Oak Island, look no further than Dunes Mercantile Gifts & Guitars. Owners Dennis “Denny” and Jackie Del Prete have created a warm and friendly shopping experience in a store bursting with color, texture, scents and sounds that appeal to a wide variety of patrons.

The husband-and-wife duo shares a love for (and background in) the arts, so it is no surprise that most of the merchandise they carry is supplied by more than two dozen local artists. From pottery to paintings, candles to coffee mugs and diverse designs crafted from wood, metals or seashells, the rotating inventory contains items not often found in traditional gift shops. They also feature stained-glass windows and artwork designed and made by Denny.

Dunes Mercantile Gifts and Guitar

Wander to the far end of the shop to discover what makes this store utterly unique — the Dunes Guitar Bar. Denny, the drummer in the popular local band Dave’s Not Home, has a special love of guitars that began as a teenager when he worked in a music store. Today, the guitar bar is an authorized dealer of Yamaha, Takamine, Tagima, Vintage Icon, Washburn, AMI and Oscar Schmidt guitars. They also carry amplifiers, a full line of music accessories and some used guitars and instruments.

“Half the fun is sitting down and putting a guitar in your hand to make sure it is the right fit for you,” Denny says, noting there are no other guitar stores on Oak Island.

Dunes Mercantile opened in May 2018. Denny and Jackie purchased the business in April 2019, with the goal of offering one-of-a-kind gifts and décor at reasonable prices.

“It’s a very eclectic mix of merchandise,” notes Jackie, who is also the vice president of business development for the Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce. “We’re proud of the fact that we feature a good deal of merchandise produced locally or in-state, and we don’t charge ‘tourist prices’ because we value the locals who support us all year long as well as our out-of-town visitors.”

Oak Island NC Dunes Mercantile

Personalized customer service is a hallmark of Dunes Mercantile. Jackie and Denny genuinely enjoy meeting new people and hearing their stories. Additionally, Jackie spends countless hours hunting for new products customers will love, while Denny uses his musical expertise to help anyone from beginner to professional find the perfect guitar.

Dunes Mercantile Gifts & Guitars supports many local charities, including Seabiscuit Wildlife Shelter and SOAR (Southport/Oak Island Animal Rescue).

This fall, Dunes will be a sponsor for a Pledge the Pink breast cancer event expected to draw 1,500 people to Oak Island and raise more than $700,000 for research. A stained-glass flamingo that Denny created will be raffled off as part of the event.

Dunes Mercantile Gifts and Guitars

“Dunes has far exceeded whatever vision we had when we decided to take on this newest adventure in our life,” Denny says. “It’s such a happy place, and we are very appreciative of the support and love that the community has given to our little store in this special place we all call home.”

Want to go?
Dunes Mercantile Gifts & Guitars
8600 E. Oak Island Drive, Suite 5, Oak Island
(954) 243-6908

Photography by Jim Robertson