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Complimentary March 2017

Living the Good Life








from the publisher

Welcome to the March issue. I know I say this every year, but spring really is my favorite time of year! The older I get, the more I look forward to the season and the warm sun on my face, the chirping of the birds, the smell of freshly mowed grass, flowers beginning to bloom, and on and on! The longer days and warmer temperatures are such a welcome sight after the long, dreary winter months. Spring is certainly a time of renewal, and it officially arrives this year on March 20. This is a good time to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls inside your house, or spruce up the back deck, front porch, or garage outside. This will give your home greater curb appeal and may add value to it as well. Plus, you’ll get the added benefit of feeling a great deal of pride in seeing tangible results for all your hard work.


LIVING Living the Good Life

Mailing Address - P.O. Box 57 Harmony, NC 28634 (704) 546-5511 E-mail - CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kristie Darling • Meredith Collins Faith Parker • Kathy Wheeler • Lauren Davidson COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Shane Greene Photography

Remember to set your clocks ahead one hour on Sunday March 12 as Daylight Savings Time officially begins. Until next month, thank you for reading the March issue of Hickory Living Magazine!

Myron T. Gough Publisher, Hickory Living

March 2017

COVER STORY New Carolina Self Storage Editorial Stock photography, unless otherwise noted, is from iStock.

Hickory Living reserves the right to deny any advertisement or listing. Submissions are welcome, but unsolicited materials are not guaranteed to be returned. Hickory Living assumes no responsibility or liability for the information, services, products, claims, statements, accuracy, or intended or unintended results of any advertiser, editorial contributors, company, professional corporation, business or service provider herein this publication. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.

W W W. H I C KO RY L I V I N G M AG A Z I N E . C O M Myron T. Gough Publisher/Founder


Kathy Wheeler Marketing & Design

Don Forrest Business Development (704) 546-5511 (828) 238-3224 (828) 244-6538

Linda B. Wilson Advertising Sales

Bob Church Advertising Sales

Lori Cashion Advertising Sales (704) 657-0237 (336) 686-7271 (704) 402-4887

Ryan Pegarsch Advertising Sales

Ashley Stevenson Digital Editor (704) 307-3912 (704) 902-5418


Find Hickory Living Magazine on Facebook.





March 2017

8 12

• New Carolina Self Storage


• Pet Pilgrimage


• What's Cooking?!


• Tips To Help Sell Your Home


• Unplug This Spring!



• March Ushers In Spring!

Family Owned, Community Friendly

Crematory And Memorials: Honoring Your Pet As Family

Nutritious Meals From Your Pantry


home | food | local business






March Ushers In


Look for these Proven Winners in your garden center this spring. Graceful Grasses ® Fiber Optic Grass Isolepsis (Scirpus) cernus ColorBlaze ® Alligator Tears ® Coleus Solenostemon scutellarioides Supertunia® Bermuda Beach™ Petunia hybrid Superbells ® Yellow Chiffon ™ Calibrachoa hybrid Superbena® Royale Peachy Keen Verbena hybrid

Article by Kathy Wheeler Photos Courtesy of Proven Winners

Color Blaze ® Lime Time ™ (1) Coleus Solenostemon scutellarioides Supertunia ® Vista Fuchsia Petunia hybrid (2) Superbells ® Hollywwod Star ™ Calibrachoa hybrid (2) Recipes for potted masterpieces can be found on Proven Winner’s website

Snow Princess® Sweet Alyssum Lobularia hybrid (1) Superbells® Cherry Star™ Calibrachoa hybrid (2) Superbena® Royale Peachy Keen Verbena hybrid (2)



March 20th is officially the first day of spring, and with it comes the promise of warmer weather and outdoor fun. Although early spring may not produce consistent warmer temperatures for planting, it is not too early to start planning your outdoor sanctuaries. Any outdoor space can be transformed into a restful getaway or a vibrant entertaining space with some comfortable patio furniture and a variety of potted shrubs and flowers. From providing shade and privacy barriers to fragrance and color, plants can be used to create natural rooms that you will enjoy for several seasons. For inspiration, visit Proven Winners’ website. Each year they create The Garden’s Idea Book. At, you can view the 2017 book online, request the printed version, and sign up for emails.

When weather permits, start cleaning out those flower beds, prepare your pots for planting, and pressure wash your deck or patio. If you want a creative project, do a quick search on Pinterest for wooden planters and try building a few, or perhaps paint some of your old pots. Repurpose items in your garden. I have an old galvanized beverage tub with a stand that makes a beautiful plant stand just by adding a few pots of flowers to it. If you have wire planters, using coco liners can be expensive and sometimes it’s hard to find the right size. Try lining the wire baskets with burlap; add a layer of landscaping fabric before filling with potting soil. With all the planning and prep work out of the way, planting will be a breeze after the last frost!









cover story

On the cover, left to right–Tyler Wichmann, Madeline and Gene Stoker of New Carolina Self Storage Pictured–Co-owners Tyler Wichmann and Gene Stoker 12 12


NEW CAROLINA SELF STORAGE Family Owned, Community Friendly By Kristie Darling | Photos by Shane Greene Photography

“I wouldn’t leave all my things in just anyone’s care,” Larry Monk told me. “But, I have to tell you, everyone at New Carolina Self Storage is honest, trustworthy, friendly, helpful, and really accommodating. When we rented our storage unit they treated us like family, explained everything up front, and even helped us move some big things. I totally recommend this place—they are good people.” To me, that’s a rave review, and I’ll tell you this, too: after a delightful morning visit with Gene, Tyler, Madeline, and Brad at New Carolina Self Storage, I heartily agree! A FAMILY STORY Everything about Gene and Madeline Stoker speaks to quality customer service, integrity, and helpfulness. “When someone walks in the door, I feel like they’re walking into our home,” Gene Stoker told me. “I get up to greet them, shake hands, and introduce myself. For us, it’s personal.” Gene, and Madeline’s son, Tyler Wichmann, are co-owners of New Carolina Self Storage, and together with Madeline and Brad Isenhower, they manage the business incorporating their Christian values into the day-to-day operations. “We’re not a franchise,” Madeline explained, “so we can personalize your storage experience, like our grand opening! I’d love to see everyone stop in on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., for a visit, to take a tour, share some refreshments, and register for a door prize. Friendly service is a goal, just like being a really good neighbor.”

Photos, pictured above, clockwise:

• Motion activated interior lighting guides the way to your unit. • Personalized security entry and exit keypad codes are utilized. • Security images taken throughout the facility are stored for future review.

conveniently located behind Walmart and Lowe’s, on Hwy 70, so there’s always additional light and a sense of safety,” Gene said. SAFE & SECURE Safety and security are two major considerations people “We’re grateful to the Hickory police, who drive by routinely. want when selecting a self storage facility. New CaroBoth the police and fire departlina’s security system was installed by Select Tech in ments have access codes to get Viewmont. “We strive to ensure that all our customers in if needed. The fire departfeel safe when they’re here whether day or night. Our ment is just an eighth of a mile facility is completely fenced in and gated with personalized keypad entry and exit. The lighting is a combina- away, and fire extinguishers are located throughout the facility.” tion of dusk-dawn and motion activation. Also, we’re

Gene showed me their stateof-the-art digital surveillance cameras where video and audio are recorded, and with power backup, security is assured. They can remotely monitor security footage. ACCESSIBLE & HELPFUL New Carolina Self Storage includes today’s requirements in self storage services at very comHICKORY LIVING • MARCH 2017


petitive, affordable rates. Think 24/7 accessibility, new rental units ranging from 5’x5’ to 10’x30’, some with front and rear entry doors, as well as 15 handicap friendly units. “All our units are totally waterproof with gutter and roofing systems designed to keep out the elements, thick rubber seals on our doors, and commercial drainage collection systems,” Gene said. “Our units have insulated ceilings and ventilation for temperature variations.” Madeline explained that they work hard to have everyone’s stored items protected, just as if they were their own. The facility has equipment available for your personal use; carts, appliance dollies, loading ramps, at no charge, to ease the burden of moving without projecting additional expenses on tenants. Additionally, there’s a large supply of affordable moving, storage, and specialty boxes, tape, markers, straps, bubble wrap, mattress bags, and even work gloves for purchase, should customers need them. “We’ve added services not offered at other storage facilities,” Madeline told me. “We can custom pack and ship your items, fax, print, laminate, shred, and even get your passport photos taken.” Gene’s business career and the research he did before they opened, helped him realize there are many services they can offer that people really need. On a hot day, they provide cold bottled water free to their tenants! New Carolina Self Storage is an authorized U-Haul dealer. They can help you select and rent the right truck or trailer for your needs. Also, they have contacts for moving companies or a hired hand to help you out. The facility has spacious roadways so navigating the site is easy. There’s a specific exit for large vehicles, where 18-wheelers can conveniently back in. Look for their beautiful blue North Carolina state sign proudly displayed on their office exterior, compliments of Assurance Sign & Display of Granite Falls. NOT JUST FOR STORAGE “Most people think of a storage unit just as a depository for stuff after they’ve retired, down-sized, for winter-only storage, or for folks without a garage for the motorcycle or an

Photos, above, top to bottom:

• U-Haul trailers available in several sizes and styles • Don Broome of Broome Vending makes daily stops to restock his delivery truck. • Assistant manager Brad Isenhower is readily available to assist customers. Brad also owns Nicks Preferred, a thriving on-site business entity offering polishes. • Welcome to the New Carolina Self Storage office! 14


attic for family heirlooms,” Brad Isenhower said. “Business people have figured out how cost-effective a storage unit can be, so we have tenants who work and successfully run their businesses out of here every day.” By comparing with renting retail or office space, and using New Carolina’s included services, high security level, and easy access, a number of businesses flourish there. Contractors, builders, landscapers, retail establishments, and real estate agents easily store and retrieve their equipment and materials, as needed. Retail shops put seasonal decorations in safe keeping along with excess inventory, which would otherwise waste valuable floor space. Sports teams store their gear and military families keep their household items safe while deployed. Salespeople store products, samples, and sales materials. And, everything is easy to get to—right off exit 126 on I-40, via McDonald Parkway to 15th Ave SE, by Bob Evans Restaurant. CUSTOMER SERVICE “We didn’t think we were ready to hire anyone,” Madeline said, “but, by the grace of God, Brad walked through our door and instantly became part of our family. He is the perfect person for this job.” Brad has an extensive family history in the area—his family owned New-Con Transportation and DAJ Racing in the 1980s and 90s—making him invaluable as a local resource with significant experience. “His creative, entrepreneurial spirit is greatly appreciated,” Madeline continued. “As an example, he operates NICKS Brands out of our location where his office resides alongside bottling and packaging lines. NICKS Brands product line has recently expanded from local retailers to nationally known distributors Harley-Davidson and NAPA, as well as being used on the TV show, American Restoration. Brad is available to set up new customers with a storage unit, a U-Haul truck, or assist folks whenever needed.”

FAMILY OWNED, FAMILY OPERATED When you arrive, you may have the opportunity to meet the Stoker’s famous Boxers—Maverick, Charlie, and Bentley. “Our dogs are in every ad and are a key part of our family,” Madeline said with a smile. The Stokers have been involved with Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue, Carolina Boxer Rescue, the Juvenile Diabetes and Brain Aneurysm Foundations, various veteran’s organizations, and their church over the years—it’s part of who they are. Just this past month, Tyler went on a mission trip as part of a group that ministered to and assisted locals from several villages and refugee camps in Uganda.

Provided by Tyler

Photos, top to bottom:

• Madeline with rescues (clockwise) Charlie, Bentley and Maverick • Tyler on a mission trip in Uganda • Shipping and moving supplies are available in the office.

Children, friends, and pets all play a loving part in Gene’s, Tyler’s, and Madeline’s home and business lives. They truly are people you will enjoy doing business with. Check out New Carolina Self Storage, perhaps stop in on St. Patrick’s Day for the grand opening. You will be very well served and always treated just like family. New Carolina Self Storage (828) 855-3225 1506 26th Street Blvd. SE Hickory, NC 28602 HICKORY LIVING • MARCH 2017







Left, pictured from left to right–Pet Pilgrimage Support–Standing–H. Mike Cook, owner; Michael Cook, vice president of operations; Andrew Fuller, Arthur Helms, Randall Cruse. Seated– Kylie Anderson, Leslie Reid, director; Sherri Cook. Dogs: Angus, Harley, Jack, Luna. (Not pictured–Susan Humphrey and other Cavin-Cook Funeral Home & Crematory staff) Opposite page, left to right • Transportation of your pet is available from your home or veterinary clinic to our crematory 24-hours a day. • There are many options for personalization of urns and memorial keepsakes. • Families receive personal and

compassionate support.

Pet Pilgrimage

Crematory and Memorials:

Honoring Your Pet As Family By Meredith Collins Photos by Shane Greene Photography

Pet Pilgrimage, a division of Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, offers compassionate personal service and support at the most difficult time in a pet parent’s relationship with their companion—saying goodbye. Mike Cook is owner of Cavin-Cook Funeral Home. He created Pet Pilgrimage when his own family and friends found their needs were not being met by veterinary clinics and national pet crematories. Mike sensed the special attention and sensitivity that was missing from other providers, and now strives to offer families a valuable service at their time of need. 18


Located in Mooresville, Pet Pilgrimage serves many families in the Hickory area. It is a full-service pet funeral home, offering cremation services that includes assistance with pet transportation from your home or veterinary clinic to their facility, when needed. A dedicated Pet Pilgrimage staff member arrives in a fully equipped vehicle with a gurney, as well as a special angel blanket to wrap around your beloved pet. Since the time of passing is unpredictable, the Pet Pilgrimage staff is on call 24-hours a day. “We are closer than you think for quality care,” Leslie Reid, director of Pet Pilgrimage, said. Leslie’s compassion for

animals and families shows in her work and in the gentle way she interacts with clients. “Everyone grieves the loss of their pets differently,” Leslie continued. “We provide a setting that allows the grieving process to begin comfortably, privately, and in a peaceful setting any time of day or night. Whether the death of your pet takes place at home or in the veterinarian’s office, we are here to support and guide families as they experience the grief and sadness that follows.” Leslie uses her background in interior design to make Pet Pilgrimage feel like a comfortable, beautiful home. “I believe we are the only service like this in

Catawba and Iredell Counties,” she said. “Our personalized end-of-life services and referrals to quality pet services are second to none. In preparation for an inevitable passing, families are welcome to come in to meet with our staff and tour our facility at any time.”

life may lead them. As part of the Pet feelings and be with people who are going Pilgrimage cremation service, each family through the same thing,” Leslie said. receives a personalized ceramic paw print and a hand carved wooden urn. Pet Pilgrimage holds a pet loss support group the second Tuesday of each month All types of pets have been brought to Pet to help families work through the pain of Pilgrimage, including snakes, chinchillas, losing their pet. Every September, they goats, lizards, birds, ferrets, hedgehogs, host a pet life celebration event to honor Pet Pilgrimage’s services have become es- and rabbits. The common factor is love and remember the pets families have lost. pecially valuable in recent years as fami- of the family pet. lies find themselves unable to bury their At Pet Pilgrimage, your pet will be honpets on their property due to the posWhatever the type of animal, Pet Pilgrim- ored as family. sibility of relocating. Cremation enables age understands the grief that families ex492 East Plaza Drive, Mooresville families to keep their faithful companions perience when a beloved pet passes. “It’s 704-664.5484 always nearby regardless of where their important for people to recognize their









What's Cooking?! Nutritious Meals From Your Pantry

If a quick look in the refrigerator has you reaching for the takeout menu, check your pantry first! A well stocked pantry of canned goods can have you whipping up a nutritious meal in no time.

Mediterranean Chicken Pitas

Prep time: 10 minutes • Servings: 2

1 (10-oz.) can chicken breast, drained and flaked ½ cup finely chopped cucumber ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper 1 (4.5-oz.) can chopped green chilies, drained ¼ cup Greek yogurt 2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill 2 whole wheat pitas 4 lettuce leaves


In a large bowl, combine chicken, cucumber, red bell pepper, green chilies, yogurt and dill; toss to mix well. Cut each pita in half horizontally; carefully open each pita half. Fill each with 2 lettuce leaves and half of chicken mixture.

Almond Cherry Tres Leches Cake

Recipe created by Kelsey Nixon • Serves 12

CAKE: 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup unsalted butter, softened

1 5 ½ 1

cup granulated sugar large eggs teaspoon almond extract (14.5-oz.) can pitted cherries, thoroughly drained

TRES LECHES MIXTURE: ¼ cup heavy cream 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk 1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk ICING: 1 ½ cups heavy cream, chilled 4 tablespoons powdered sugar ¼ teaspoon almond extract ¼ cup chopped almonds, toasted


For cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour 9” X 13” cake pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.

Cream butter, sugar and eggs with electric mixer on high until yolks turn pale yellow. Mix in almond extract. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients into wet ingredients until fully combined—avoid over-mixing. Pour into prepared pan, evenly spreading batter out. Bake until cake has cooked through, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly, then pierce surface of cake with fork several times. Combine heavy cream, evaporated milk and condensed milk in small bowl or pitcher. Drizzle milk mixture over top and allow cake to sit and absorb milk mixture. For icing, whip together heavy cream, sugar and almond extract. Spread evenly over top of soaked cake. Top with toasted almonds. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until ready to serve. Photos and recipes compliments of CMI. For more recipes, visit HICKORY LIVING • MARCH 2017








Tips To Help Sell Your Home By Faith Parker

© | Irina88w

This is the time of year many people consider selling their home and are trying to make the decision whether to be a “For Sale by Owner” or list with a “Real Estate Professional.” Regardless of which way you go, it is important to take the necessary steps to prepare your home before it goes on the market. By implementing as many of the following tips as possible, you can put your home on the list of fast selling homes in your area. First, get your home move-in ready by making all necessary repairs and replacements so the buyer has nothing that will require immediate attention. If you need to make your home look memorable, two of the cheapest things you can do for a house—with the biggest bang for your buck—is to paint and replace any worn floor covering. Also, clearing out all the clutter is key. To a prospective buyer, clutter can make the house feel cramped and totally ruin the possibility that it feels cozy. Include in the sale of your home any extras you can, as in a washer and dryer set, wall-mounted TVs, refrigerator, or other items that would be difficult to move and better left with the home. Keep in mind that promotion is the ultimate key to getting your home shown to prospective buyers. You need clear, well-lit, professional-quality photos that present your house at its best. For most buyers who search online (and today, everyone does!), modern-day curb appeal means having great photographs on numerous real estate websites.

The final and most important thing to do is to price your home appropriately and be realistic about its value. There is no correlation between what you paid for your home, the tax value, and the actual market value of your home. Beware of real estate agents who promise big profits—they may tell you what you want to hear just to get the listing. Be sure your realtor is using recently sold homes as comps when establishing the value of your home. Your largest number of showings will occur in the first few weeks, and you need to be in a position to take advantage of the sweet spot by pricing competitively right away. While in the process of getting your home ready for the market, it is wise to interview a real estate professional and make sure you are familiar with all that is involved in selling your home. This will help you determine if you have the time it takes to effectively get the home marketed and sold, along with all the property paperwork and disclosures to protect yourself as the seller. Your home is one of your most valuable assets, and maximizing its potential needs to be the main goal to consider if you decide to sell your home.

Faith Parker is the owner of Faith Parker Properties and has been a licensed broker for over 30 years with experience in Real Estate sales, management, and construction. To contact Faith, call 828.612.9826 or visit HICKORY LIVING • MARCH 2017


Unplug This Spring! By Lauren Davidson


ith the constant strides made in technology, our world is more connected than ever. It seems like everyone’s eyes are forever glued to the little screen in front of them, and social media has given everyone a platform–including your neighbor Sally, who thinks it’s imperative that her followers know that the gluten free breakfast she made this morning was just fabulous. As great as the constant updates are, all this connectivity can actually make the real world feel a little disconnected. As spring approaches, why not make a conscious effort to ground yourself more firmly in reality? I recently turned off my phone for an entire weekend on a family vacation, and it was so freeing. 28


There were definitely moments that I wanted to show everyone on Instagram, but after awhile, I felt so much better without the attention hog that is my iPhone. I’ve even deleted all social media apps from my phone, and I find that without them right in front of me at all times, I never check them. It’s easy to see how unimportant social media is once you aren’t exposing yourself to it at every idle moment. When you’re looking at your phone, you’re not looking around you. It’s refreshing to ditch the tablet, the phone, the laptop, and regain the childlike sense of curiosity that lives inside each and every one of us. When was the last time you played hide and seek? Or went fishing in total solitude? Try it this spring.

© | oneinchpunch

When you unplug, you’re freeing yourself to be present and become more connected to others in a real way. Being present allows you to focus on one thing at a time and that leads to proven effectiveness. Why not try leaving work at work and consolidating that to-do list? How many things are absolutely necessary, when you really think about it? Can that email wait until you’re back in the office? Respecting your personal time by unplugging might just allow you to appreciate the extra time with your parents or children, and lead to a happier you who isn’t burned out at the office, but instead more effective and upbeat. This spring, give it a try. Make the effort to be completely present. It might be tough at first, but give it a week or two. You might never go back!










Welcome to the online version of Hickory Living Magazine. We invite you to read the March issue featuring New Carolina Self Storage. Our adv...

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