Texas Star Trading Company proclaims itself “The National Store of Texas.” Located at Cypress Street and North Second in downtown Abilene, Texas Star offers a variety of Texas books, gourmet, gift baskets, T-shirts, souvenirs, jewelry, ornaments and more – including the best selection of Abilene-related merchandise.
Owners Carol and Glenn Dromgoole founded the store in 2004 two blocks up Cypress Street and moved to the present location in 2007.
“At first we focused primarily on Texas books, with a few gift items available,” Carol Dromgoole said. “But as customers requested more Texas things, we expanded our line to meet their needs.”
The store is known around town, and throughout the area, as “that Texas store.” And it draws customers from literally around the world.
“We have a guest book and encourage visitors to sign in,” Carol said. “We’ve registered guests from every state in the U.S. and from more than 50 foreign countries. It’s pretty amazing. Texas has that kind of mystique around the world, and visitors want to take a little bit of Texas home with them.”
Texas Star does a brisk gift basket business throughout the year, especially during the Christmas holidays.
“A lot of people these days are really hard to shop for,” Carol said. “A gift basket full of Texas gourmet seems to appeal to just about everyone’s taste – and budget. It also makes a good gift for a company’s special clients and vendors. And we can handle the shipping as well.”
During the pandemic, Texas Star boosted its selections of Texas-themed jigsaw puzzles and face masks.
Texas books remain an integral part of the store’s appeal, especially books by Abilene authors or with Abilene themes.
“Our best-selling book of all time in our store,” Glenn Dromgoole said, “is Tom Perini’s first cookbook, Texas Cowboy Cooking, but every year we seem to have a number of Abilene-related or Texas books that do very well.” Texas Cowboy Cooking is out of print, replaced by Perini’s popular new cookbook, Perini Ranch Steakhouse.
Dromgoole’s own books – he’s written 30 of them – also are consistent sellers. “Well,” he joked, “when you’re an author, it’s nice to have your own bookstore.”
Abilene historian Jay Moore’s books and DVDs are other favorites, and Texas Star often hosts local and regional authors for book signings.
Texas Star offers a section of Texas bargain books – many of them still shrink-wrapped – at a fraction of their original price. “We buy overstock from Texas publishers and then pass the savings along to our customers,” Glenn said.
Texas Star Trading — (325) 672-9696 — is open Monday through Saturday, offers free gift wrapping, and sells on-line through its web site, TexasStarTrading.com.