Fancy Groceries sign

People of Winston: Max Dubinsky

by Alison Shermeta
Get to know Max Dubinsky, owner and curator of Fancy Groceries in Ardmore.
Max Dubinsky

The sign outside of Max Dubinsky’s new shop Fancy Groceries uses a vintage typeface and reads “Dealers in Staples and Provisions for all / Your patronage kindly solicited.” It was a similar historic hand-lettered sign painted on a storefront on Burke Street that caught Max’s eye when he first moved from Los Angeles to Winston three years ago, FANCY GROCERIES & Clothing just for him. Right away, an idea was born. After learning that a “staple & fancy grocery” was the common name for a general store selling higher-end household basics, and that these shops existed throughout the early 1900s, Max secured the name in order to one day bring it back for the modern man (and woman) in Winston.​

It’s easy to connect this era of innovation and American-dreaming a century ago with Max’s very pioneer spirit. “I always throw lots of things at the wall to see what sticks,” he said. He’s motivated and quick to see an idea through, not blinded by the possibility of failing. One of his recent ideas was to add more murals into our city’s landscape. During the pandemic, he did just that; he surveyed neighbors, raised the money within the community and paid the artist Garden of Journey honestly for the worth of her valuable art. This vibrant imagery can be seen on the side of the Winston Junction Market building on Trade St. 

He has continued his work as a video editor throughout the years, and with the help of his partner Lauren and a lot of good friends working late nights and weekends, Max has recently opened Fancy Groceries inside the Ardmore Barbershop on Hawthorne Road. He is proud to offer quality basics for the body and home, such as apparel, coffee, candles, belts, wallets, hats, skin care, and even house plants. Each product is thoughtfully and intentionally chosen and displayed with a note describing its maker. It probably feels quite like walking into a turn of the century mercantile, where the products were handmade and long lasting, supported by a community who believed in each other’s work. I look forward to watching Max’s ideas and creativity continue to make an impact on Winston-Salem!

July 8, 2021