Hickory Living April 2024

Page 1

Complimentary April 2024 page 10 On the Cover American Made, North Carolina-Born pages 23-29 Wedding pages
APRIL 2024 FEATURES 10 • COVER STORY Craftsman Cabinets & Furniture American Made, North Carolina-Born 16 • BUSINESS SPOTLIGHTS Doc’s Marine Your Place For Boating Enjoyment WEDDING PAGES 23 • Creating A Budget 24 • Warehouse 18 Venues 27 • The Venue at Carbon City 28 • Wedding Trends IN THIS ISSUE 6 • Welcome to the April Issue 21 • Planning Your Garden 30 • What’s Cooking? Simple Smoky Brunswick Stew 16 23 HickoryLivingreserves the right to deny any advertisement or listing. Submissions are welcome, but unsolicited materials are not guaranteed to be returned. HickoryLivingassumes 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. 10225 Hickorywood Hill Ave., Unit A Huntersville, NC 28078 (484) 769-7445 HickoryLiving@gmail.com www.HickoryLivingMagazine.com LIVING Hickory contributors CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Amy Casil • Kathy Wheeler COVER PHOTOGRAPHY By Shane Greene Photography Sharon Simpson Advertising Director sharon@lncurrents.com (704) 677-9159 MacAdam Smith Publisher mac@oasisluxuryhomes.com (484) 769-7445 Kathy Wheeler Design & Advertising Sales kathylivingmagazine@gmail.com (828) 238-3224 contents 4 HICKORY LIVING • APRIL 2024 Page 18

Welcome to the

April Issue!

Spring is here and it’s time to prepare your flower beds and pots for planting those annuals! It’s my favorite time of the year! Everything is turning green—the perfect backdrop for those splashes of color. As usual, I recommend you wait until May to plant annuals so you don’t risk losing them to a late freeze.

There are lots of fun things to do in our area. Hickory Community Theatre presents Eating Blackberries on Thursdays–Sundays from April 5th–20th. The Green Room Community Theatre in Newton features Butterfly In Overalls Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from April 5th–21st. See their respective websites for times and ticket prices.

L. P. Frans Stadium will see a lot of action this month. The Hickory Crawdads will play Jersey Shore from the 9th–14th and Asheville from the 23rd–28th. The Crawdads and CVCC will have an exhibition game on the 2nd.

For those of you who are soccer fans, we now have a Hickory team playing with the National Premier Soccer League! Hickory FC starts their season May 4th. Visit their website for season details at www.hickoryfc.com.

If you are looking to enjoy some music or comedy, check out The Premier and Newton Performing Arts Center. Both venues have some great entertainment. The Western Piedmont Symphony will perform at J.E. Broyhill Civic Center on the 20th and the Youth Symphony will perform at the Drendel Auditorium on the 14th.

Catawba Science Center & Millholland Planetarium will feature Solar Eclipse on the 8th and The State of Innovation of Beer on the 11th. Lenoir-Rhyne University is hosting their LR Visiting Writers Series on the 18th–20th with Michaela Goade at the P.E. Monroe Auditorium.

This month in Hickory Living we are

featuring summer camps starting on page 18. Parents it’s time to plan some fun things for your children’s summer break!

April is our wedding issue. If you are planning to tie the knot, you will find some great information to help you plan your wedding starting on page 21.

The feature cover story this month is Craftsman Cabinets & Furniture. If you are looking for custom furnishings with exceptional craftsmanship, they should be your first stop! Their story begins on page 10.

Are you looking for some fun on the lake? Doc’s Marine, our business spotlight, sell and repair boats. They can help you with all of your lake adventures! Their feature begins on page 16.

Thank you for reading the April issue of Hickory Living! We hope you enjoy spring in our beautiful community.


on the cover

American Made, North Carolina-Born

When I spoke with Brian Barlow and Charles Sparks at Craftsman Cabinets & Furniture, the first thing both said was, “Everything we do is American-made.”

They emphasized the quality and benefits of American-made home furniture and cabinets. This is the best quality available right now, Brian said. And, he and Charles also emphasized that American-made furniture is bringing a longstanding, much-loved tradition and industry back to North Carolina.

“We use Amish builders almost exclusively,” Brian Barlow added. The reason is not just the design and quality of Amish furniture, but also the craftsmanship that is handed down through families for generations.

American-made furniture typically lasts longer than imported furniture, and the furniture that is carried by Craftsman Cabinets and Furniture is also custom-made, incorporating elegant and timeless designs. Another consideration with buying furniture is the true cost. While people may pay a


lower price to begin with on imported products, the furniture often may not last. Furniture from overseas may be made with poorer quality materials, and also isn’t typically made by expert craftspeople.

Cabinets Uniquely Designed For Each Room

Brian and Charles talked to me about their custom cabinet services, which the store began offering last year. Their cabinets share the same quality and workmanship that’s found in their custom furniture.

I asked them about the advantages of custom cabinets, and they quickly explained that no parts of their cabinets are pre-made. Every cabinet is designed exclusively for the room and home.

“People who may be familiar with kitchen cabinets from years ago don’t know all of the benefits that new custom cabinets can offer,” Brian said.

There is no wasted space with custom cabinets, and features can easily be included that can reduce clutter and beautify a kitchen, bath, or other area. If people are considering remodeling their kitchen, the kitchen is the heart of the home, Charles said. Brian added that an up-to-date, custom kitchen with cabinets designed specifically for the space can be one of the best ways to add value as well as enjoyment to a home.

Using quality wood and workmanship for custom cabinets can also pay off over time. Inexpensive laminate cabinets can’t be refurbished. Instead, owners need to replace them. Custom cabinets made from quality wood can be refinished and refreshed with stain, paint, and new hardware. Charles and Brian also mentioned that Craftsman Cabinets & Furniture is a “one-stop shop.” They will design and install not only cabinets, but bedrooms, dining rooms, and the entire home.

Custom Quality and Local Artists/Craftspeople

Charles discussed the other design elements that they are able to provide, including custom textiles, upholstery, and window treatments. Their upholstery is provided by some of North Carolina’s finest upholsterers. Charles mentioned that their bed linens include fabrics and textiles from Wooded River, one of the finest providers of hand-crafted luxury bedding and textiles in the United States.

They also offer unique lighting options, clocks, and candles, along with locally-made pottery. Local artists provide artwork that blends seamlessly with their custom furniture


On the cover–Brian Barlow and Charles Sparks, owners of Craftsman Cabinets & Furniture

Opposite page–Living room furniture built here in North Carolina

Pictured above:

• Rustic Hickory kitchen display

• Cabinet Designer and Installation Manager Rodney Harrelson

• Whisky barrel vanity with concrete countertop and “Patches” leather chair and ottoman


and cabinetry. Brian and Charles mentioned a local potter who had experienced health challenges, and the business assisted with a fundraiser to help with her medical needs and travel to the Mayo Clinic.

Meeting Customer Needs and Going the Extra Mile

Charles and Brian said that they are seeing many different, diverse customers these days, including younger customers who are starting to see the value in traditional furniture and fine craftsmanship. “They may only buy one or two pieces at a time,” Brian said, “but they are investing in their home and their future.”

Charles said, “Some of our best customers started out buying a dining room table, and over time, the relationship has grown to the point where we have designed and furnished their entire home.”

“We love to build relationships with customers,” Brian said. “We want to learn about our customers, their families, and their homes.” This enables them to create a unique environment for each home, always focused on the quality and value that Craftsman Cabinets & Furniture provides.

The business is launching a new website which will serve as a reference for customers, but we talked about how the best way to look at and learn about their offerings is to come in and see the quality and selection directly. They are open 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and any time by appointment.

Supporting the Community and Giving Back

Being a part of the community and giving back has always been very important to Brian and Charles. In addition to the medical fundraiser they mentioned, they also helped with the campaign for a local veteran who had been homeless, donating furniture for his new home that was provided by a local organization. As Charles is also a veteran, this cause was especially near and dear to their hearts.

Brian and Charles spoke about the difference between cost and value. Value is something that lasts for a lifetime, just like having a close-knit community and caring for neighbors adds value to our lives. “You can buy something inexpensive and it will last for a year,” Brian said. “But if you buy something that’s truly well-made by a craftsman, it will last for a lifetime.”

Hickory Blvd, Hudson • (828) 572-4424 craftsmancabinetsandfurniture.com
Photos: Pictured above: • Rustic hickory bedroom set • Rustic hickory kitchen display • Rustic cherry bedroom set and Craftsman Cabinets and Furniture Design Center

business spotlight

Your Place for Boating Enjoyment

Talking with Robert George at Doc’s Marine, it quickly became clear how dedicated the dealership and marina are to bringing people together to enjoy boating on Lake Hickory and many other lakes and waterways in North Carolina. Since Lake Hickory is fully-recreational, Doc’s Marine sells boats for people who love to fish, swim, waterski, and many other pastimes.

Doc’s Marine has everything needed for people who are looking to expand their life and increase the amount of time spent with family and friends out on the water.

Visit River’s Edge and Other Locations

River’s Edge Marina on Icard Ridge Road is the main hub for Doc’s Marine’s sales and boat storage. You’ll find everything

you need at this location for an enjoyable day on the lake. At Doc’s sister marina, Lakeside Marina on Marina Drive, you can also choose from a selection of rentals during boating season.

River’s Edge also offers both wet and dry storage, and they’ll outfit you with waterskis, ski vests, and other water sports gear, including wakeboards. Whether you’re going fishing, want to spend a relaxing day on the water, or look forward to exciting waterskiing, River’s Edge Marina is your one-stop shop.

Looking for a Boat? Doc’s Marine will Help!

“I like to sit down with customers and talk with them about how they’ll use their boat,” Robert George said. When customers come into the dealership, they


Left–Doc’s Marine Team, from left to right:

On the boat–Rex Brown, Nygel Dalton, Caleb Talbert, Tanner Stierwalt, and Mary Paige

In front–Robert George, Jeremy Buice, Bishop Willis, Taylor Hensley, Ashleigh Cox, Kyle Vegoe, and Virgil Hamrick

Above and opposite page

• Sales Team–Robert George and Taylor Hensley

• Service Department–Virgil Hamrick, Ashleigh Cox, Kyle Vegoe, Jeremy Buice and Bishop Willis

• Forklift Drivers–Marty Paige, Rex Brown, and Caleb Talbert

can expect a warm welcome. The main goal of Doc’s Marine staff is to learn what customers need and meet their needs as quickly and pleasantly as possible.

The dealership offers a full range of 16 to 25 foot pontoon boats, and is an authorized dealer for Crest, Qwest, Polar Kraft, and the newest addition to their lineup, Manitou. Manitou offers well-built top-of-theline boats, and Doc’s Marine is the only current dealer in North Carolina. Along with their new boats, Doc’s Marine also carries pre-owned boats.

“If people are new to boating, where should they start?” I asked Robert.


He said, “I will sit down and talk about how they’re going to use the boat and how often.” For pontoon boats, he recommends purchasing a boat that can seat your typical group 75 to 80% of the time. In other words, a family that has a smaller group isn’t going to need a 25-foot pontoon boat.

Robert will also help others to locate the right fishing boat, deck boat, or combination boat. Doc’s Marine offers all of these options.

Service and Support With a Smile Doc’s Marine also provides an excellent service department at River’s Edge which is fully-staffed with a service manager and qualified technicians. They’ll deliver boats within a few hours of Lake Hickory, and they’ll also come and pick boats up for service during service hours.

If you’re interested in a new or preowned boat or you already own a boat and need cleaning and service, Doc’s

Marine will help. They are your onestop locations on Lake Hickory for boating, fishing, and watersports.

(828) 598-0637

5803 Icard Ridge Road Hickory, NC



The Hickory area offers SUMMER CAMPS for kids of all ages and interests.



Planning Your Garden

When it comes to choosing shrubs, trees, and perennials to go in your landscape, there are many things to consider. One is your growing zone. Over the years, the planting zones have changed for cities across the nation. From 1990 to 2011 Hickory was in zone 7a. Since 2012, we were in zone 7b. Last year, the USDA changed our growing zone to 8a. Why is it important to know this information? The system basically divides our country into zones based on the lowest extreme average winter temperature. Ours is between 10° to 15° F. Plants usually have a tag that show you what zones they should be planted in. So perennials and plants that thrive in zone 8a should be able to survive our winters and come back the following year.

Other things to consider is how much sun the area gets and the soil drainage. Don’t put plants requiring a lot of sun in the shade. Some plants do better in partial shade and should be planted where they get morning sun, but are protected

from the extreme heat of the day. If you choose the right plant for the right location, you will have a better chance of your garden flourishing.

To give your garden color during different times of the year, try your hand at bulb plants. Bulb plants are perennials and require very little maintenance. Tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils are examples and bloom in the spring. They should be planted in the fall and early winter. The bulbs can be split in the fall and replanted to produce more plants the following spring. Peonies are another bulb plant that produces beautiful blooms. Some of these don’t bloom for very long, but that’s okay, you can add color with annuals and plants that bloom all summer.

Consider what your plants will look like when they are not in bloom. Flowering evergreens are a great addition to your landscape. For example azaleas give you loads of color when in bloom, but the deciduous variety can look

woody and unattractive in the colder months. However, there is an evergreen variety and a better option for your winter garden. Camellias are another evergreen that produces large flowers usually in February or March depending on the variety. I have some camellias that are 10 feet tall. They can be used as a privacy screen and do better with some shade and protection. They will still grow in full sun, just not as fast and they won’t be as healthy.

Annuals provide lots of color if properly taken care of. I love planting these in pots and putting them on the patio, deck, porch, and in my flower beds. The hardest part with annuals is remembering to water them regularly. The hotter it gets, the more often you will need to water them.

Spring is the perfect time to plant those annuals that will bloom all summer and bring beautiful color to your landscape!

| Elenathewise

2024 Wedding PAGES

Creating a Budget

Weddings are such a special day for couples and their families. It is a day that will be remembered and celebrated for years to come, so you want your ceremony and reception to be special and unique. For this reason, most couples take a year or more to plan their wedding.

Many start with a budget. While having a general idea of your budget is a good thing, a few decisions need to be made before setting that budget in stone. First get your guest list together. The number of guests will affect your food and beverage costs and your venue will need to accommodate them comfortably. Next, decide on a theme for your wedding and choose a venue with an atmosphere that fits the theme.

The venue, food, and drinks will probably be your most expensive items. However, venues are not all created equally. Some are a blank slate and some include a lot of amenities. Keep that in mind when choosing where the wedding will be held. The amenities offered can save you a lot of money, cut down on the number of vendors you have to hire and rentals you will need. The more you get from your venue, the more convenient the planning becomes. On the following pages, we have featured some great wedding venues that offer many services and extras, allowing you to focus on the personal touches!

Once you have your guest list and venue, and know what is included, then you can create a realistic budget. Regardless of how much you spend on your wedding, remember at the end of the day you will be married to the love of your life and ready to start your journey together.

HICKORY LIVING • APRIL 2024 23 ©iStockphoto.com | olegbreslavtsev

In a renovated 150-year-old historic Warehouse in downtown Hickory on the newly established city walk, Warehouse 18 is a perfect combination of rustic, vintage, and elegance. With its original wood beams, exposed brick, and chandeliers, it is 10,000 square feet of wedding planning bliss. Add in a customized catering package, two full-service, licensed bars, and a list of vendors to help you with the rest, and your wedding and reception are planned!

The Warehouse can accommodate from 50 to 500 people, with two spaces to choose from or combine.

One side is more formal and has chandeliers over the tables with elegant cushioned chairs, while the other side of the venue has farmhouse tables with two large chandeliers in the center. There is a beautiful bridal suite and groomsmen’s lounge equipped with a pool table and dartboard. In addition to the vast indoor space, there is an expansive outdoor patio and a charming hidden garden. The options are endless!

The staff at Warehouse 18 enjoy working with couples and within their budgets to get them the most for their money. They go over all the details with you so that there are no hidden

charges or surprises. Chairs and tables are included in the venue rental, and ample parking is available. You just have to add your personal touch!

When you are looking for comfort and convenience from a great wedding venue without sacrificing style, class, elegance, and price—Warehouse 18 is the first choice. For more information, visit them online and start your booking or schedule an on-site visit.


• Wedding Ceremony

• Reception

• Rehearsal Dinner

• Bridal Shower

• Bridal and Groomsmen Suites

• Catering

• Two Licensed Full-Service Bars

• Prime Downtown Location

• Adjacent Boutique Airbnb

Warehouse 18 Venues

18 2nd Street SE, Hickory, NC 1-828-320-0037


Adjacent Airbnb


Visit their other venue with a neighborhood restaurant and whisky bar!

Rustic Elegance at an Affordable Price!

Introducing The Venue at Carbon City, a charming and sophisticated barn-style Venue nestled in the heart of Morganton, North Carolina. This exquisite event space serves as the ideal canvas for your special occasions, be it a wedding, reception, rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, or vow renewal, all with budget-friendly options in mind.

Step into a world of rustic and elegant ambiance within this venue, adorned with sparkling crystal chandeliers, rugged stone arches, and a beautiful barn like interior. Explore the tall pines, water wheel, string lights and arbor that provide the perfect backdrop for fairytale-inspired photoshoots, boasting protective trees, wooden archways and a stone path. Your journey commences with a magnificent indoor or outdoor ceremony, encircled by the radiant smiles of your beloved guests. Following this, retreat into a magical space adorned with rustic wooden accents to celebrate and dance the night away with your friends and loved ones.

Feel free to enlist the services of external caterers who can serve up delectable delights in the convenient onsite catering kitchen. As a thoughtful touch, the venue’s team offers an array of décor and furnishings for your event, including vintage wine barrels, an intimate sweetheart table, a quaint sweet cart and more. Additionally, they are readily available to assist you in weaving together the elements of your day with their comprehensive wedding and décor packages. Don’t hesitate to contact the team at The Venue at Carbon City to embark on your rustic yet elegant-style wedding journey.

Twinkle Lights • Music • Table Linens Centerpieces • Chair Linens & Sashes

Place Settings • Arch Vines & Flowers • Kitchen

Indoor and/or Outdoor Ceremony & Reception

Rustic Sweetheart Table • Sweet Cart

Bridal Suite • Wedding Signs • Wine Barrels

Set-up & Tear-down included

HICKORY LIVING • APRIL 2024 27 Stress Free Ultra Diamond Package $3695
or Sunday Weddings
800 Carbon City Road Morganton, NC 28655 704-858-2839 or 828-999-7000 www.thevenueatcarboncity.com
Photo by The Phoenix Coalition

Wedding Trends

I think wedding trends are moving toward less formality and more personality. Couples are less concerned about tradition and more interested in an event that reflects their personal journey and style. It seems to be more important to create a fun experience for their guests than emphasis on all the speeches, cake cutting, and first dances.

The reception is trending toward less about the couple tying the knot and more about the guests having a great time. Some are opting to cut the cake entirely (no pun intended) and going with a dessert bar instead. Private vowels and ceremonies are gaining popularity with a party afterwards. Themes can go beyond the decorations and include theme-inspired dress codes for those attending the event. Wedding attendants are taking a more casual approach sitting in a designated area instead of standing during the ceremony and some are choosing to have no attendants at all. The main thing to take away from this article is that if you want a traditional wedding, go for it! If you prefer something totally different, that’s okay as well. You just want to consider all of your guests and make sure they are comfortable with your choices.

Look for blasts of color this year instead of pastels and muted shades. Unique veils will be a thing in 2024.

Retro neon signage is big as well as rustic signage. Food will range from a five-course gourmet meal to food trucks for variety; even mobile bar trucks with bartenders are available for serving alcoholic beverages.

In addition to photographers and videographers, guests will be taking more candid shots with disposable film cameras. Drones will play a role in the photography and videography with aerial views of your venue. It’s the perfect merge between the vintage and digital era.

The entertainment is all about the arts. Bands and DJs are still a hit, allowing guest to dance the night away. Karaoke, dance contests, and skits can be a fun source of entertainment. Couples are hiring sketch artists to do caricatures or quick sketches of guests as wedding memorabilia. It’s all about engaging the guests.

Whatever direction you choose, I’m sure your wedding will be beautiful and a day you will remember for years to come.

©iStockphoto.com | Andreua 28 HICKORY LIVING • APRIL 2024

What’s Cooking?

Kathy Dicken lives in Huntersville and is the author of the food blog, The Tasty Bits. For more meal ideas that are simple and delicious, you can follow her blog at www.thetastybits.com or on Instagram @thetastybits.

Stick-To-Your-Ribs Stew

Ever since attending the legendary Mallard Creek Presbyterian Annual BBQ, I have had a love affair with Brunswick Stew. If you are not familiar with this delicious concoction, it is a tomatobased stew starring all things smoked meat. And it is nothing short of perfection.

The pulled pork and beef sausage give this stew a smoky BBQ flavor that is irresistible, especially to the men in your life. So, if you are looking for a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs kind of dish, I think you will love this recipe.

In fact, our favorite neighborhood bar, the Cornelius Drafthouse & Bottle Shop, just hosted their Third Annual Soup Cook Off, and this was the winning recipe. This soup is so tasty that I had my own personal groupies stationed right by my crockpot, telling everyone that they had to taste my Brunswick Stew because it was so good — I was so very proud.

Be sure to check out Cornelius Drafthouse if you haven’t already. It’s such a cozy and friendly bar, with a rotation of draft beers on tap and a cooler full of other can options, and dog-friendly too.

Simple Smoky Brunswick Stew

Servings: 10 • Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes to an hour


½ lb. smoked sausage, cut into bite-size pieces

3 cups chicken broth

½ lb. pulled BBQ pork

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

2 Tbsp. dried minced onion flakes

1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 (12 oz.) bag frozen baby green lima beans

1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes

1 (14.75 oz.) can cream-style corn

1 (11 oz.) can whole kernel corn

½ cup white vinegar

1/2 cup ketchup

1½ tsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. minced garlic

1-½ tsp. liquid smoke

1 Tbsp. hot sauce, optional

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

Salt and pepper, to taste


In a Dutch oven, cook smoked sausage until starting to brown. Add chicken broth and scrape down the pot. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes to an hour.


I used rotisserie chicken to keep prep super quick.


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.