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Back-to-football shopping kicks off in Charlottesville

Football season is back, and Cavaliers fans are stocking up on orange and blue apparel. Mincer’s is ready.

For generations a one-stop shop for Virginia paraphernalia on the Corner in Charlottesville, Mincer’s takes stock — literally — this time every year to prepare for the increase in demand.

“We’re excited for football season to start, and just like every fall it will affect our day-to-day for sure and we’re ready for it,” Cal Mincer, who helms operations, told The Daily Progress ahead of Virginia and Tennessee’s game in Nashville on Saturday. “We are prepping every day.”

T-shirts and sweatshirts move the fastest every year, he said.

One thing that is different this year: the man in charge.

Cal Mincer’s father, Mark, died in January from cancer. He took over running things before then, shortly after his father became sick.

“I definitely miss my dad, wish he was here, but Mincer’s as a company is going strong and we’re happy to be here,” the younger Mincer said.

Mincer’s started out in 1948 as Mincer’s Humidor, a smoke shop with a location down the Corner, according to the store’s website. In 1954, it moved to its current location and began selling magazines. For a period, it was the area’s largest seller of records. In 1976, it sold its first UVa T-shirt: orange with “1976 ACC Champs” printed on the front to commemorate the men’s basketball team’s win in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. It was such a success, Mincer’s shifted to selling sportswear.

“I took it over from my dad who took it over from his dad who took over from his dad,” Cal Mincer said. “We just celebrated our 75th anniversary, and we’re hoping we make it another 75.”

“It’s historic,” University of Virginia graduate Emma Forrestal said while shopping.

It’s also convenient, others say. Some even prefer it over the university bookstore.

“I just feel like they have more options,” Gauri Arora, UVa second-year student, said. “I like the options more and it’s on the corner and I’m here more often than I’m all the way at the bookstore.”

No one tells you about Mincer’s, Arora said, you just figure out.

“It’s part of the UVa community,” Arora said. “It was established a while ago, and they’ve been there for a while. You just have to shop at Mincer’s. It’s just part of the thing.”


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