Aaron's Alley Timeline
“If it comes from the heart, it reaches the heart” -Melvin Seals .. And that is exactly what Aaron set forth to do.
Aaron started his business with an idea, and a vending cart built by himself and his father in law David. Over the next 23 years until his unexpected passing in 2013. Aaron created more than a store, he created a safe space and a community surrounding his love of music, in particular The Grateful Dead. His ability to connect and share happiness with literally anyone he met is what made him, and this place he created so special. When Aaron passed away, his wife Jennifer, devoted friends, community and family rallied together to make sure Aaron’s Alley’s doors stayed open, and continued to share Aaron’s message to anyone who walked through them.
1987 — Aarons dream started with an idea, vision & vibe
1988 — Dyed in Heaven (vending cart) @ Charlotte
1989 — Dyed in Heaven on Park Ave / Blessed Sacrament
1990 - 2003 — Aaron's Alley opened at 669 Monroe Ave
2003 - 2004 — 639 Monroe Avenue
2005 - present — 662 Monroe Avenue
A Long Strange Trip
1987 - 1990
Aaron started vending with his Dyed In Heaven Cart in the Summer of 88’. Truckin’ his way down to Charlotte Beach only to find out that people don’t bring money to the beach!
The following Spring of 89’ Aaron found himself posted on Park Avenue, again, only to find out that the zoning laws didn’t quite accomodate like businesses within 50 yards of each other which is how he found himself out front of Blessed Sacrament for the Summer of 90’.
Shortly after, in the Fall of 90’ Aarons and Polish Amber man shared a storefront at 671 Monroe Avenue. After the Holidays, Aaron scooted himself next door to 669 Monroe Avenue which is where he stayed for 13 years.
1991 - 1993
For the year of 1991, Aaron occupied the little space at 669 Monroe Avenue until Mike who did screenprinting, Catherine who made and sold jewelry, Cindy who sold lingerie and Ken with Wildside Tattoo joined him in the Summer of 91’.
In 1992, The wall was knocked down to the upstairs area to expand our space to accommodate all the businesses coming in and out of the Alley. Shortly after, in 1993 the side wall came down to expand the Alley even more occupying two storefronts as well as the back.
1993 - 1997
Throughout this time, Aaron began recording Grateful Dead Shows he attended and trading tapes out of the store. This became so popular, that Aaron started putting a limit on tape requests. Aaron thrived on staying ahead of the curve. Recreating the fashions of the year like the famous Lariat Necklace from Beverly Hills 90210, that was sure to keep a line going down the street. You were sure to find the hottest Fashions at Aaron’s Alley. Just ask Tommy Chong, The Black Crowes and Phil Lesh, all who have stopped to visit the Alley one time or another.
Things took a turn in 1995 when we lost Jerry. A generation mourned over the loss of the love and light they’d depended on for years. A community joined together and gathered at Cobbs Hill in his memory. Aaron’s Alley became even more of a safe haven for people who needed a place to go.
1997 - today
Between 97’-98’ Aaron realized that the space he had was to much to maintain, and with changes happening all along the Avenue, he decided it was best to leave the 669 location. So in 2002, he packed up his store and moved to 639 Monroe Avenue. *Side note, the night Aaron and friends moved stores, they ended up trapped due to a surprise April Ice Storm
639 Monroe Avenue was short lived, lasting only two years there. Aaron realized very quickly that he needed more room. So across the street he went, to 662 Monroe Avenue, where we currently sit today, completing the triangle on the Ave.
"Free to be you. Free to be me." Aaron Plunkett
Words of Love
Aaron touched the lives of so many people – his legacy will live on forever, not in the store itself, but in the hearts of every person he interacted with. We know how much he meant to the people who loved him and how his light was able to penetrate even the darkest days.
If you have a memory about Aaron, or a thought you'd like to convey, or story you'd like to share, please fill out the form below. These memories will be organized into a slideshow on the website, and we will regularly update tributes as new memories come in. Fill out the form below to add yours to the rotating grouping of words for our dear friend and founder of Aaron's Alley, Aaron Plunkett.