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“They lived with humility and took the measure of others through an unwritten but sacrosanct code of honor. Failure to abide did not bring formal punishment, just permanent exile from the shared roads of loyalty, fair play, hospitality, and respect.”

— MISSION MERCANTILE

Handshake

Built to Last

Anyone who commits to building a new business is focused on the future by definition. There just happen to be some values rooted in the past that Mission Mercantile is deeply committed to upholding. These venerable principles guide us in every way, directly informing all we make, how we treat our customers, and what we stand for as a company.

Collectively, it’s an ethos we refer to as handshake integrity.

For the hardiest survivors in the heyday of the original mercantile stores, out on the frontier or in remote towns built slowly by individuals who could only surmount the day’s challenges through close cooperation with friends and strangers alike, honesty was absolute.

Mission Men, c.1907

Your word was your bond — and a handshake was more binding than a contract.

Mission Mercantile believes in that simple, reliable right-mindedness.

Craftsmanship then wasn’t a hobby or a matter of fashion. In that era, mastering vital skills was a way of life that sustained life. Personal reputations could not survive producing anything less than unfaltering excellence and durability. If what you sold or built as your trade wasn’t built to last, you didn’t last.

Your word was your bond. c. 1918

Every nail, every stitch, every cut came directly from the resilient hands of individuals with limited means but boundless determination. They lived with humility and took the measure of others through an unwritten but sacrosanct code of honor. Failure to abide did not bring formal punishment, just permanent exile from the shared roads of loyalty, fair play, hospitality, and respect.

In this present era of faster, easier, more, and repeat, the “selfie” has surpassed self-reliance and the largely surface-deep, disposable culture that prevails leaves handshake integrity a rare commodity. In many quarters, it is effectively extinct.

But for Mission Mercantile today, tomorrow, and forever, handshake integrity is our standard. It’s in our attention to detail. It’s in our uncompromising quality control. It’s in our signature 100% full-grain, vegetable-tanned leather. It’s in every antique brass rivet. It’s in our return policy. It’s in our customer service. It’s in our pledge to always make it right.

Call it a hands-forward, hands-on commitment to excellence. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed.

THE GOOD BOOK OF INK AND HONOR

Mercantile stores of old served close-knit communities that were almost exclusively agricultural. Whether you had your own farm or were a struggling day laborer picking up work where it could be found, few men possessed cash on hand except at the very end of the harvest season. Debt, therefore, was the mercantile store’s most active currency — backed chiefly, if not entirely, by the collateral that was your good name and personal reputation.

To track purchases and promises throughout the year and beyond, the mercantile store shopkeeper meticulously documented by hand each item and the unpaid cost in a large ledger. Every local man and his family had their own place in that mighty book, a veritable journal of survival and thrift. And in a culture so deeply tethered to personal honor and independence, few fates were more feared than being deemed a “damned scoundrel” and duly shunned by the community for failing to make good. Hence, that ledgers’ importance to all those it named rivaled the Bible as a sacred text over which you kept your word.