Lake Norman Currents Magazine

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Creating a

kitchen garden A thriving

The Story of

pickle business

Potts Barber Shop

Attention to Detail:

LNHBA’s Best of the Lake Design Competition Winners

Wintery Adventures! Enjoy fun times with your family

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The magazine by and for the people who call Lake Norman home


The Stuff of Dreams Did you know that Jan. 13 is “Make Your Dreams Come True Day”? I had no idea myself until I started researching ideas for this month’s column. As I started reading all the articles coming in for this issue, I reflected on the many people in our area who are either making their own dreams come true or bringing life to the dreams of others. This is our annual home design issue, and I continue to be impressed and amazed by the talents of builders, architects, and interior designers in the Lake Norman community. They’ve taken material and supply delays caused by the pandemic in stride and continued to work to achieve the best possible outcomes for their clients. I guarantee you will be amazed by the pages of homes all designed with stunning outdoor entertaining spaces, libraries, gourmet kitchens, master retreats, and in some cases, areas designed specifically to make even the dreams of the homeowners’ pets come true! One Davidson resident found sanctuary in planting a kitchen garden in her backyard and now assists others in finding their own joy with greens. No matter what your space looks like, there are so many ways to make it your own, from soothing or bold paint colors, meaningful accessories, framed prints, cozy seating, surrounding yourself with your favorite books, and much more. We also share the legacy of Potts Barber Shop, where one man’s hard work and determination inspired a family business that’s been operating in Cornelius for 63 years and is now a historic landmark. Another young man has embraced his entrepreneurial spirit and started his own line of successful products that are now sold in stores statewide. A local man has turned his love of sports trading cards into a business where other like-minded collectors can gather. Two children’s book authors listened when inspiration came calling and produced stories children and adults of all ages can embrace for years to come.

MacAdam Smith

Advertising Director Sharon Simpson

Advertising Sales Executives

Carole Lambert

Beth Packard

Trisha Robinson

Event Coordinator Alison Smith

Social Media Specialist

As for me, I’m not afraid to admit that as a writer, I constantly dream up new ideas for ways to tell stories. This past November, I participated in National Novel Writing Month and completed 60,000 words of a suspense/thriller novel I outlined early last year. I know I have months of editing ahead of me, but it felt great to get that first draft completed. I’m also in the process of exploring publishing options for a young adult novel I wrote more than 10 years ago. I dreamed up a podcast in early 2020 and still produce that in what little spare time I have. Having these goals and dreams keeps me moving, and I think they’re good for both our mental and spiritual health. So on Jan. 13, I encourage you to stop and take a moment to dream, whether big or small. Think past the normal January goals of eating healthier and working out more. What would you like to work towards in 2022? Write it down and put it somewhere where you can see it every day. There’s no better time than now! Editor

Lauren Platts

Design & Production idesign2, inc

Contributing Writers Trevor Burton Allison Futterman Grace Kennedy Bek Mitchell-Kidd Karel Bond Lucander Tony Ricciardelli Mike Savicki Abigail Smathers Allie Spencer

Contributing Photographers Jon Beyerle Lisa Crates








About the Cover: Kingswood Custom Homes helped create a stunning outdoor space. Photography by Michael Blevins/ MB Productions


23 LAKE SPACES How we live at the lake


41 Dwellings

Movers, shakers and more at the lake


Davidson entrepreneur creates LockDok


For the Long Run Potts Barber Shop


A support for dementia caregivers in Cornelius


Progress on the Cain Center for the Arts

FEATURES In Every Issue

26 Thoughts from the Man Cave

Tasty Pickles by Carson

30 Game On

Buddy Wilson’s love of sports trading cards



Bet You Didn’t Know A new N.C. scenic byway in Huntersville We’re Just Crazy About Cozy sneakers at MINE by sandy

41 IN THIS ISSUE 24 Young Leaders

Aiden Tacy Kelly serves up kindness

47 The 2021 LNHBA Best of the Lake Design Competition Winners


32 Navigators

The business of writing children’s books


Focaccia Barese

74 Nibbles + Bites

Lake Norman CURRENTS is a monthly publication available through direct-mail home delivery to the most affluent Lake Norman residents. It also is available at area Harris Teeter supermarkets, as well as various Chambers of Commerce, real estate offices and specialty businesses.

484.769.7445 |

Rioja at Mestizo in Davidson

How do you design a kitchen garden?

Huntersville, NC 28078

69 Wine Time

72 In The Kitchen

80 Renee Wants to Know

10225 Hickorywood Hill Ave, Unit A

Eating, drinking, cooking and fun

A new “dive bar” in Mooresville

A month of things to do on the lake


70 On Tap

76 On the Circuit

An award-winning out door living design project on the lake

The entire contents of this publication are protected under copyright. Unauthorized use of any editorial or advertising content in any form is strictly prohibited. Lake Norman CURRENTS magazine is wholly owned by Oasis Magazines, Inc.


Mariella & Grace Olive Oil

Mission Statement: Lake Norman CURRENTS magazine will embody the character, the voice and the spirit of its readers, its leaders and its advertisers. It will connect the people of Lake Norman through inspiring, entertaining and informative content, photography and design; all of which capture the elements of a well-lived life on and around the community known as Lake Norman.







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Channel Markers Movers, Shakers, Style, Shopping, Trends, Happenings and More at Lake Norman

Leave Your Essentials at the Door

Davidson resident creates product to streamline daily life by Renee Roberson

Left: The LockDok mounts to most doors using existing hardware. Right: Jack, Lucy, Liz, and Mike Faubert.

Davidson resident Mike Faubert may have studied sales and marketing in college, but he’s also always had a passion for entrepreneurship. He got his first taste of working in product development in his previous job at a company that produced door locks. In that role, he had the opportunity to help create products, but LockDok is the first product he’s designed and produced on his own. He began brainstorming the product while making the transition from his previous employer to a new role with a different company. “It was created because I’m a little bit of a germophobe,” Faubert says. Pre-COVID, he was mostly worried about his two teenagers bringing the flu into the house. “I’d tell my kids to wash their hands,” he says, envisioning a way to make it easier for them to use hand sanitizer right as they were entering the house. “A door is an open canvas,” he says. “I thought about having something you could mount to a door.” Faubert wanted to create something that could be mounted or installed on a doorknob, noting this part of a door is the second highest germ collector behind the gas pump. His invention, the LockDok, easily installs on most doors using the existing screws from a traditional lock or deadbolt. Once installed, the product, which serves as a storage cup, can hold a number of items, such as a bottle of hand sanitizer, to help simplify your daily routine. Due to his previous experience working with door locks, Faubert has access to 29 factories across the globe. He’s partnered with a company in Vietnam to produce the LockDok, and the

invention is patent pending. It’s been designed primarily for indoor use and made out of a high-grade plastic that should last more than 25 years. He says he’s learned that utilitarian products like the LockDok need to be attractive or practically invisible. This product is pure white, because most doors are white on the interior side. A diamond-pattern background helps the LockDok stay mounted. When testing the first versions of the product, Faubert asked friends and family for their feedback. One friend suggested adding two grooves on either side of the storage cup to hold keys. He added that feature. Other people say they put their work lanyards on the LockDok so they don’t forget them on the way out of the house. Because this is an original product created through his parent company Mount Up Brands, Faubert is helping get the word out through cause marketing. So far, he’s partnered with area schools such as Community School of Davidson, Bailey Middle School, and Hough High School. Anyone who purchases the LockDok via an use a specialized code and $8 from the proceeds will go to the school. He also recently entered a partnership with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. For every LockDok that is purchased using the code “CFF,” Mount Up Brands will donate $8 to the foundation. To learn more, visit or e-mail Faubert at to learn how you can support one of the above schools with your purchase. | JANUARY 2022


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Making the


by Karel Bond Lucander Photo courtesy of Town of Cornelius

Potts Barber Shop receives historic landmark designation Townsfolk have been getting their ears lowered at Potts Barber Shop in Cornelius for 63 years. But recently their 1930s-era building on Catawba Avenue received a special distinction to permanently preserve it: Historic landmark designation. “Landmark designation gives a special layer of protection to the property,” says Stewart Gray, historic resources program manager with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission. “The architecture is an important artifact of the town, but Potts Barber Shop also helped to grow the town,” he says. Potts Barber Shop is Cornelius’ oldest continually operated Black-owned business and the town’s first integrated barber shop. In 1972, “Toot” Burton, an African American, entered the shop and asked for a haircut, which Wilson Potts provided. Before that, he had only served white clientele. “It was a big step in the Civil Rights movement in the town of Cornelius,” Gray says. As Wilson’s son and fellow barber, Mickey Potts, recalls, “We may have lost one customer but everyone else just took it in stride. There wasn’t any animosity; it was just something that happened.” Gray adds, “It is an example of how one person, Wilson Potts, could navigate Jim Crow and still advance and come up a pillar of the community.” In 1996, Wilson transferred the building and shop to Mickey, who continues to cut hair on Saturdays. “Dad cut hair for 71 or 72 years and I’m going on 65 years,” he says. Now Chad Hill and 16


Wilson Potts and employees tend to customers in the 1990s.

Mark Muldrow, who have been working with Mickey for 25 and 23 years respectively, do most of the barbering. “They are kind of like my other kids,” he adds. During the 1950s and 1960s entrepreneur Wilson Potts helped to bring running water, sewer and electric service to Smithville— long before Smithville was incorporated into the town of Cornelius. He also helped to develop a community center and landscape the town. Raising six children with his wife, Bobbie, Wilson instilled in them a strong work ethic and civic responsibility. Dr. James Potts, their eldest son who practiced as a cardiologist for five decades, remembers his dad’s lessons well. “He was absolutely demanding about doing things right and doing them with the right attitude,” he says. “He was also a generous person to everyone in need. I have kept that throughout my life.” Ron Potts, their youngest son who bypassed barbering for a career in insurance, says his father would be pleased. “I know he would be honored that his barber shop got this designation, particularly as a Black-owned business in Cornelius that survived over 60 years. He had a ninth or tenth grade education, so I think it’s pretty remarkable for him to have achieved what he did.” On Feb. 26, 2022, there will be a presentation at Cornelius Town Hall with a plaque unveiling to follow at Potts Barber Shop at 21324 and 21328 Catawba Ave., Cornelius. | JANUARY 2022



oC mpassionate Connection

Support for frontotemporal lobe dementia caregivers in Cornelius by Allison Futterman photos courtesy of Charles Elligson

Although many support groups have stopped in-person meetings because of the pandemic, the frontotemporal lobe dementia (FTD) group still has monthly meetings in Cornelius. Providing a lifeline to caregivers/loved ones of people impacted by FTD—the meetings are a place to find and exchange support and information. Leading the effort is Charles Elligson. He’s a volunteer, and is an Ambassador for the Association for Frontotemporal Lobe Degeneration Association, which describes FTD as “The Cruelest Disease You’ve Never Heard Of.” Frequently misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s, stroke, or depression, it’s actually the most common form of dementia for ages 40 to 60. Elligson has always been someone who has worked to make a difference. His professional life reflects service to others—first as an educational missionary, then as director of several group homes, and eventually working at the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services. It was there that he met his wife Jan, a social worker at DSS. After Jan retired in 2004, he noticed there was a problem. Normally a very busy and active person, she became lethargic. She developed aphasia, a condition which robs people of the ability to communicate. Elligson took her to one neurologist, and then another. They both diagnosed Alzheimer’s, but he had 18


a gut feeling that it wasn’t. He wouldn’t give up trying to find the proper diagnosis and help for Jan. His journey took him to Duke, where they got an answer: FTD. He remembers that day well. The doctor was matter of fact, lacking any compassion. It was a terrible, long drive home. Jan was very angry. Behavior changes are a part of FTD, and one of the most difficult aspects for caregivers. People with FTD can be combative, make uncharacteristically rude and offensive comments, become reckless, and have aggressive outbursts. “The behavioral components took me a long time to come to terms with. Logically, I knew it was the disease and not really her. But as the husband, it was very difficult,” says Elligson. When he joined the group himself in 2009, he found it provided a lifeline. “It was magical,” he says of the experience. It was a way to connect with others who could relate to his situation, which had been very isolating. He started leading the group several years later, and spearheaded the creation of the Cornelius group. Elligson devoted his life to taking care of Jan for seven years, until she passed away in 2011. He calls the experience of FTD “a living nightmare.” But his commitment to Jan never wavered, as unimaginably challenging as it was. Although he got remarried in 2015, his bond with the FTD community remains as strong as ever.

FTD/AFTD Caregiver Support Group Third Monday of Each Month | 10:30 a.m.-Noon Mt. Zion United Methodist Church | 19600 Zion Avenue, Cornelius For meeting information, contact Charles Elligson at

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Culture Leaps Forward Anticipation grows as Cain Center for the Arts takes shape

Construction is on track for the Cain Center for the Arts to be completed by December 2022.

by Tony Ricciardelli

Looking beyond the fenced-in construction area along East Catawba Avenue in Downtown Cornelius, welder’s sparks shower from above, while outside the foundation, rumbling in muddy, rutted clay, a crane lifts another beam to the steel frame: one more bone in place, one more brace to uphold the transforming structure that will become Cain Center for the Arts. And while construction sites aren’t supposed to be elegant, often becoming an inconvenient but temporary part of the landscape until the finishing touches reveal something beautiful and eye-catching, the architect’s renderings of the proposed multi-million-dollar Cain Center for the Arts certainly elicits interest and anticipation, just ask Justin Dionne, executive director of the arts center. “We broke ground last May, and I’m happy to say we’re on schedule,” says Dionne. “Foresight and expert planning have mitigated supply chain issues thus far, and favorable weather has kept us on track; we’re moving forward.” The much-anticipated grand opening of the facility, scheduled for December 2022, will increase opportunities and exposure for artists, while offering a wide and impressive selection of venues for patrons of the arts. As the structure progresses, Dionne is busy, not only monitoring the Center’s construction but building the Center’s program schedule as well. He emphasizes, “The Center will generate art awareness while showcasing visual and performing arts, and cultural events and opportunities to the Lake Norman community and beyond.” In September 2021, Cornelius Parks and Recreation 20


turned over its arts programming to the Cain Center for the Arts, while the Cornelius Arts Center transferred from the Town of Cornelius to Cain Center for the Arts. At a later date, some of the articles housed in the Cornelius Arts Center will be moved to the Cain Center for the Arts location. Enhancing exhibits, art classes, workshops, camps, live theatre, and music are only one part of the ambitious plan. According to Dionne, building partnerships with top-tier art and performance organizations will also add to the Center’s appeal. “We’ve already established relationships with The Charlotte Ballet and Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. We’ll be working closely with those organizations as we plan our classes and live performances. To be sure, we’ll be partnering with additional institutions as well.” Dionne looks forward to bringing notable performance artists to the Center’s stage. “I think patrons will be pleased and surprised with the caliber of artists and performers we’re hoping to feature at the Center. Our purpose and our vision will serve well the Cornelius community and the surrounding lake region.” Additionally, the Center will offer programs for community enrichment and social gatherings. Space will be available for business meetings and private functions: conferences, corporate training, private engagements such as weddings and family reunions. For more information about Cain Center for the Arts and its Winter Class Schedule, visit the Cornelius Arts Center or go online to

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History Lane

McAuley Road in Huntersville is now a N.C. Scenic Byway by Renee Roberson photo courtesy of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission

McAuley Road in Huntersville has officially received designation as a North Carolina Scenic Byway. This dirt and gravel road between N.C. 73 and Huntersville-Concord Road provides access to a few remaining homesteads and a public roadway. The Board of Commissioners for both the Towns of Huntersville and Davidson voted to support this effort to include the road as a North Carolina Scenic Byway. The distinction will help serve as an indication to keep the road and property around it unchanged. The road is also part of 1,000 acres of protected land that will never be developed. McAuley Road Farmland received designation as a local historic landmark in 2007. According to The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission, “With the phenomenal growth of Charlotte and



Mecklenburg County during the 20th Century, the McAuley Road Farmland is the last large area of the county that accurately depicts for the public, the once dominant late 19th century and early 20th agricultural character of Mecklenburg County.” A characteristic found among most state byways include having an area with little development and a lot of natural scenery. Other unpaved roads that remain in Mecklenburg County include Duke Power’s Mountain Island Lake boat ramp access road, and the westernmost section of Neck Road. But none of these other roads have been identified as part of a productive agricultural landscape like McAuley Road. Visitors to McAuley Road experience what was once the most common landscape in the county, but today is the rarest.

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YOUNG LEADERS Bottom left: Aiden Tacy Kelly and his dad, Brendan. Right: Kellys’ Community Kitchen rescued 624 pounds of food in November.

Serving Up an Extra Helping of Kindness Aiden Tacy Kelly turns his senior project into a food rescue nonprofit by Grace Kennedy photography by Jon Beyerle

When it comes to the issue of food insecurity, Aiden Tacy Kelly thinks outside the boxed lunch. Back in early 2020, the Pine Lake Preparatory student was designing his senior project and decided to focus on providing food to underserved populations in the community. The problem of food insecurity became clear to him whenever his family would venture out of their hometown of Davidson to visit Charlotte. Those were the days of the “Tent City” north of Uptown, and that was an eye-opener to Aiden. “Having to make choices like, ‘Will I eat today, or gas up the car?’ or ‘Which child can I feed today?’ is just not fair when I see all the comforts and excess some of us have,” he says. “Why not try to connect the extras some of us have with those that don’t have enough?” Like many pre-COVID initiatives, Aiden’s original idea has taken twists and turns. In the beginning, Aiden and his father, a former chef, planned to cook unused produce and perishables to distribute at the Tent City. When COVID transformed the restaurant supply chain and the Tent City was removed, Aiden relied on his creativity and the support of his family to keep his mission going. Instead of cooking food, Aiden and his team (his mother and father, Beth and Brendan, brother Liam, uncle Carl Tacy, Jr., and Aiden’s grandmother) began “rescuing” surplus food from college and university dining halls and partnering with existing organizations to get it distributed. “We had put so much work into [the project] and were so excited that we couldn’t turn our back on it,” says Aiden. “You have to be 24


flexible and take what comes your way. We are feeding way more people this way, so it’s kind of a blessing.” The project, now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit called Kellys’ Community Kitchen, recovers 150 pounds of fully cooked or flash-frozen food weekly from Belmont Abbey and UNC Charlotte, and partners with FeedNC in Mooresville, and Samaritan Ministries and Salvation Army in Winston-Salem, for distribution. November was a record-setting month, with 624 pounds of food rescued and reallocated. Now that people are finding out about Kellys’ Community Kitchen, they are working on additional partnerships. Kellys’ Community Kitchen fills a sizeable gap that food pantries and soup kitchens don’t readily touch: safely repurposing surplus cooked food. According to the FDA, 40 percent of the food in America remains unconsumed, making Aiden’s mission a blessing not only to our neighbors, but to the environment as well. The journey has had its challenges, but through it all, Aiden has modeled persistence and adaptability — two qualities that will serve him well as he enters college. He hasn’t pinned down a field yet, but he’s interested in public health, public policy, and pharmacy. Wherever he lands, he will have left an incredible gift to his home community. Learn more about Kellys’ Community Kitchen and join the cause at


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From School Assignment to Successful Business

Customers and retailers love Tasty Pickles by Carson by Mike Savicki | photography by Lisa Crates

Carson Lester is a 20 year old who is going places. But it hasn’t always been that way. Nor has it been easy. When you have autism and learning disabilities life can be hard. School can be paralyzing. And the thought of getting a job and working for someone else in the real world after graduation can be flat out terrifying. When Carson was still at South Iredell High School, his teacher asked him to come up with a plan for a business. He knew it had to be something entrepreneurial that he could do himself. At first, he thought about building a greenhouse to grow and sell flowers, but that idea didn’t materialize. So he turned to pickles, his favorite food. Not knowing much about the process or what it would actually take to make and jar pickles, he nevertheless brought the assignment home on a Friday, got to work researching, planning, pulling together the necessary ingredients and equipment (from his mom Debra’s kitchen), making a test batch, and then jarring his first pint-sized set. Carson returned to school the following Monday with jars ready to go. His business outline said he planned to sell the jars but, truth be told, his mom didn’t think anyone would buy them. She gave Carson $20 and secretly passed them out to a few friends with the strict instructions that if he asked, they would tell him the money he received had come from their pickle purchases. Debra thought that would be the end of it all. But the pickles were really good. So instead of dodging the sales question, that first set of customers went straight to Carson and requested more. He was more than willing to oblige. In October 2018, “Tasty Pickles by Carson” officially became a North Carolina Department of Agriculture small business. Debra’s kitchen became a state certified cannery. And remember how Carson was afraid of what others might think if he tried to get a job working for someone else? That fear disappeared as the soonto-be high school graduate became his own boss—a true entrepreneur—handling each and every executive and operational task with care, concern, passion, and purpose. 26


Carson’s formula for finding customers is rooted in building relationships and providing personal service. He has reached out to no one, yet his vendors come to him with orders for pint and quart jars to stock their shelves. His pickles are in nine area Food Lions and nearly a dozen other small businesses. From his website, pickles have been shipped to 37 states and enjoyed in two countries. He numbers every jar. At last count he had sold more than 10,000 jars.

What’s next? He wants to go big. Near the back of his family’s Troutman home, a 14’ x 40’ outbuilding, complete with a commercial sized kitchen, is currently under construction. It’s already being called “The Pickle Factory.” And business-savvy Carson talks about growing his company into a privately held corporation. He envisions introducing a corporate structure complete with employees, officers, and a board of directors. Before COVID hit, Carson had been invited to tour the Mt. Olive pickle facility and chat with its top executives. He made strides towards appearing on Shark Tank, but he‘s not sure he’s ready to accept a second invitation. Carson typically works almost every day of the week. Behind the brine, the cucumbers, the commercial slicer, the jars, the thermometers, the pots and pans, and the timers, is a secret ingredient. That ingredient is love. Carson loves his responsibilities, his job, his company, and his customers. His brother Drew, 23, is paid to handle local deliveries and he loves that friends help and assist as needed. Debra oversees certain production steps. And every jar of “Tasty Pickles by Carson” comes with a meaningful message, too. “I’m autistic and I started a company and I want people to know that they can do things like this, too,” he explains. Visit If you are interested in helping Carson reach the finish line of building and equipping his commercial kitchen, visit the GoFundMe page, “Pickle Factory for Carson by Debra Bailey Lester,” which is currently receiving contributions.

We’re Here For You Before, During, & After the death of a loved one

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Express Yourself So many ways








[1] All of these items can be purchased at:


Historic Downtown Mooresville 148 N. Main |

7. Sid Dickens Special Occasion Collection Memory Blocks $121

1. Hummingbird Bowl by Sandra Eaton $150

3. LTD Jon Crane “January” $75

5. Daybreak Pearl Earrings $220

2. LTD Jon Crane “September Morn” $75

4. God’s Eye View, Ambrosia Maple by Ric Erkes $425

6. Robindira Unsworth 8. Jamie lamp - blown Necklace, Sterling Silver, 14K Gold, Moonstone $640 glass $960 | JANUARY 2022





Buddy Wilson fulfills childhood dream with new sports card business by Allie Spencer photography courtesy of Facebook

Customers browse the wide range of cards available at the store.

Buddy Wilson credits a reignited childhood hobby as the catalyst behind Lucky Box Sports Cards in Cornelius, one of only a handful of card shops in the Charlotte area. In 2017, owner and Huntersville resident Wilson decided he needed a hobby and remembered how much he enjoyed collecting sports cards growing up as a kid in Des Moines, Iowa. He started collecting again, and eventually got involved in online box breaking—where a box of cards is opened via livestream. Wilson’s Facebook page dedicated to box breaking, Lucky Box Breaks, has grown to 1K+ members, but something was missing. “Online you don’t get the face-to-face interaction,” he says as he describes what pushed him to open his own card shop this past August. “I really enjoy the social aspect of it. I like being able to educate kids and new collectors about the hobby. When I was in Iowa, I would go to the card shop and sit there for an hour, two hours at a time, talk with other collectors…it’s like going to a bar if you are a regular and hanging out with your friends.” 30


Getting the green light

He decided to open Lucky Box Sports Cards in May, and with the support of his wife he took a step back from his tech role at an online benefits administration company. “She knew how much I got back into the hobby over the last few years and saw that it was a profitable business, so she gave me the green light,” he says. Inside Lucky Box Sports Cards, the walls are lined with sports memorabilia, display cases full of boxes of cards, and the “Hornets bar” where Wilson displays his large collection of Hornets cards. He describes his regulars as kids between the ages of 8 and 10, and “middle-aged guys” who used to collect and are getting back into it. “A lot of people are starting to see the potential and the earnings income and that’s bringing their love back for sports cards. [There have been] a lot of high dollar cards being sold in the last three

Buddy and Megan Wilson with their two children.

or four years for $2-3 million dollars and people are beginning to realize there’s a lot of money in sports cards now,” he says.

Cards for all budgets

With a varied customer age, he carries products appealing to all budgets from $20 packs to $5,000 boxes. Collectors will find basketball, football, and baseball as well as some NASCAR, Pokémon, StarWars, WWE and soccer cards. Wilson also hosts a monthly Trade Night, the second Thursday of the month, where customers can bring in their cards to sell or trade or participate in a live box break. Wilson says the name Lucky Box comes from his luck pulling great cards out of boxes when he got back into collecting. He also got lucky when it came to the store’s location at 19905 W. Catawba next to Bakery 28 & Café. “I was on a few different sites and came across a place near Birkdale Village and called the realtor, but it was just leased that day. He asked me what kind of business I was opening and when I told him he said he had the perfect spot that used to be an old coin shop. I came the next day, saw the space and signed that day.”

As with any new business he has faced some hurdles, particularly due to COVID-19. “Covid puts a hold on just about everything. It took me two months of being opened before I received my glass showcases from the manufacturer.” But as a result, he has learned to be more proactive, and he encourages others to try entrepreneurship. “…If you’re on the fence about starting your own business, just go for it. It’s never going to be the right time to take a leap. I have met so many new people and created so many new friendships since I opened Lucky Box that I am grateful for. Nothing beats seeing a smiling kid’s face after opening a pack of cards and pulling one of their favorite players,” he says. Lucky Box Sports Cards 19905 W. Catawba Ave., Suite 106, Cornelius

Video, Internet and Voice Bundled For What You Do.

Whether you’re no frills or all thrills, TDS® has the bundle you need to let your true colors shine.


704-235-6327 | | JANUARY 2022



L. Leigh Love was inspired to share her love of nature.

Young at Heart Two Lake Norman authors share the inspiration behind their children’s books

Ashley Belote was inspired to write her book while teaching at a summer art camp.

by Allison Futterman

The Lake Norman area has no shortage of creative talent—including filmmakers, artists, and writers. Two local residents have authored children’s books, which are available now. L. Leigh Love has worked for years in the area of animal communication and pet grief. Her book, “Roly-Poly and the Light” explores themes of friendship and self-worth. There are also important messages about acknowledging our differences and similarities and valuing our connections with one another. Ashley Belote is a talented illustrator who has done illustrations for previous children’s books. This is her first time writing and illustrating a children’s book. “The Me Tree” centers around a bear who thinks he wants to live alone, but winds up experiencing the ups and downs of living with others. It’s about the importance of community. Below, both share their experiences about writing and publishing their books. What inspired your book? LLL: The story was inspired by a real encounter I had with a roly-poly, or as some people call them—pill bugs. One day we 32


had a nice visit, and that sparked the creativity of this story. It’s about the friendship a child has with a roly-poly and how it’s important recognize and accept our differences, while celebrating our similarities. I was also inspired by wanting to share a message of absolute love for nature. AB: I was teaching summer art camp, working with a group of kids. And I always noticed that one or two kids who wanted to go off on their own, to have some alone time. It made me think how I’d like to do that too. We were working on a project, and I looked at my example and it reminded me of a tree. So I drew a bear sticking out of the tree. And then the line “Who’s in my tree” just came to me. And I got the visual of a bear who wanted to be alone in his tree. What was the creative process like? LLL: First I had the inspiration in the yard, then I went in and wrote about my encounter with the roly-poly. I let my imagination take off and some beautiful messages started coming through in that creative process. I wrote the initial draft very quickly, about an hour. But then it took time to polish it up, eight months all together. But it actually sat in my computer for 10 years. I picked it back up when a publishing company asked about a dif-

ferent book I was working on, one about pet loss. I realized this story had a lovely message that is in line with the times and one we all need to hear. AB: I wrote several lines right there and I also started doing sketches. I created a book dummy, which is where I have the sketches paired with the manuscript. That took several months. The book dummy helps editors (who might be interested in buying the project) to see the big picture. I’m definitely an illustrator first, so I need to see what my characters are going to look like before I write about them. I did some character sketches with the bear in situations that would be funny—because I think humor is very important. Humor gives kids a chance to escape. After many revisions, it all came together. What made you decide to go with your publisher? LLL: I published with a hybrid publisher. I wanted to maintain control over the creativity and the illustrations. I was able to do that, working closely with an illustrator. I worked as the art director on the book. I wanted to be very involved with how the layout looked and you don’t always have that option with a traditional publisher. Using a hybrid approach allowed me to have a lot of input, but also have the professionalism of working with an editor and publisher. Working with Barringer Publishing was fantastic option.

AB: I’ve worked very hard to get to this point, and I’m lucky to have such an amazing agent. She’s like my partner in helping me pick projects to submit to certain editors. She gives me valuable feedback on my dummy books. We were thrilled that Penguin Workshop was interested in The Me Tree. It was a two-book deal, so there will a sequel. Why write a children’s book? LLL: Because I think I was really speaking to the child within me when I wrote this—because I was picked on for my differences. And I think it’s beautiful when people have differences with others but find that global connection through their similarities. It’s taken me a long time to see that my interaction with the roly-poly was an important message. It helps me even as an adult to feel comfortable with who I am. AB: I’ve always been drawn that genre because my illustrating style is for a young audience. Illustrators can do many things, like graphic novels or cover illustrations. But picture books are where I feel most comfortable—in that six to eight-year-old mindset. I know I was meant to be a picture book maker. And even as an adult, I love reading picture books. Visit and to learn more about these authors and where to find their books.

Fresh New Goods for the New Year!

Visit us at The Bungalow Market Oak Street Mill in Cornelius 19725 Oak Street, Unit 10 Shop us on-line: @bungalow_market | JANUARY 2022




create a fresh accent





[3] [5]


All of these items can be purchased at:

178 N. Main Street, Mooresville, NC 704.957.5014 34


1. Malibu Chandelier $6100

3. Potted Phalaenopsis $179

5. Custom Pillows $79 and up

7. Belem Credenza $2789

2. Oyster Shell Votive $22

4. Dynasty Lidded Jar $157

6. French Wing Chair $1449

8. Blithe Painting 48x48 $978










Dedicated to Quality

Amish Oak & Cherry Furniture has an unmatched selection of high-quality, American made, Amish furniture designed and built to last a lifetime.We have decades of experience with handcrafted furniture and can help you select heirloom-quality furniture that will be in your family for generations. We can help you select from our in-stock furniture, or design your furniture to your specifications, and have it built just the way you want it. Let us show you all of the amazing advantages of American made, Amish built furniture today!



Solid Hardwood, American Made, Custom Furniture Designs at Outlet Prices. 2220 Hwy 70 SE | Hickory North Carolina 28602 Hickory Furniture Mart | South Entrance Level 828.261.4776 | | JANUARY 2022 39


Lake Spaces How We Live at the Lake

P. 42 A custom home on Lake Norman receives accolades for seamless outdoor living design.

Photography by Michael Blevins/MB Productions

This spot the patio provides the perfect place to relax on a sunny day. Styling by Eleanor Roper Style and furnishings by Patrick Lewis Interiors. | JANUARY 2022



The Secret

Garden A timeless outdoor

living design complements waterfront custom home

Secret English gardens around the property also create great spots to enjoy the mature landscape that was brought in. 42


The materials were hand selected to craft this stunning custom home. Local stone was sourced but rearranged in a palette that felt timeless. Reclaimed slate, custom ironwork, rolled steel windows, copper gutters and custom cut limestone surrounds add a formality and exquisiteness of the home, creating a true estate feel.

compiled by Renee Roberson | photography by Michael Blevins/MB Productions

Walking onto the property of this waterfront estate on Lake Norman, you’d never know it hadn’t been there for many years. The owner wanted construction of this home to represent a timeless feel, and the exterior designed by Harry Schrader from Schrader Designs features English architecture influences. The Lake Norman Home Builders Association awarded this Kingswood Custom Homes masterpiece “Best in Show” for “Best Outdoor Living ProjectMore than $500K” in the 2021 Best of the Lake Design Competition. The client wanted her home to take advantage of the amazing views when on her rear loggia. It features a stunning pool and spa, along with a relaxing backyard oasis with

large living and dining areas, along with places for intimate conversations. The outdoor living and dining spaces were important to the client as she often hosts friends and family outdoors. She wanted areas that her guests could comfortably enjoy while also taking in the views of Lake Norman. Several statues and fountains can be found on the property, creating a formality in the front of the home, while the rear of the home focuses on the view of the lake. In the end, the client completely trusted the design process and could not be happier with the outcome. She wanted a home that could be passed along to generations to come and was rewarded in spades. | JANUARY 2022



This waterfront home features a fantastic pool and spa, along with expansive living and dining areas.



The beautiful mature landscape that was brought in at the end of the project truly makes this feel like it’s an estate that has always been there. | JANUARY 2022


“Best of the Lake” Multi-Year Award Winner Best Design / Build Process Best Customer Experience Best Resale Value | (704) 905-0139 20600 North Main Street | Cornelius, North Carolina 28031


BEST BEST of the

Lake Norman Home Builders Association’s 2021 Best of the Lake Design Competition Winners

2021 BEST IN SHOW: Kingswood Custom Homes Best Outdoor Living Project/More than $500K This year’s Lake Norman Home Builders Association’s Best of the Lake Design Competition looked a bit different with no official awards gala due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic. Entries and judging took place on online in the following categories: Best New Home Construction, Best Custom Waterfront Home, Best Remodel/Existing Home, Best Remodel/Kitchen, Best Remodel/Bath, Best Project Designs, Best Residential Interior Design, Best Residential Interior Staging, Best Outdoor Living Project, and Best Landscaping. In addition, the judging committee, featuring a panel of experts in the homebuilding and design industries, recognized a number of individuals for their achievements in the building and real estate industry. Electrolux served as the main sponsor of the competition, along with supporting sponsors Ferguson, Queen City Audio-Video-Appliances, Dominion Energy, and ITC Millwork. The LNHBA is a not-for-profit professional association that represents and protects the interests of the building industry in and around the Lake Norman area. Learn more about these award-winning projects on the following pages, and check out the more photos of the “Best in Show” winner beginning on page 41. | JANUARY 2022


Best New Home Construction-$350-$499K


Best of the Lake Design Competition Winners

Sponsored by the Lake Norman Home Buillders Association

The site previously housed an old trailer on a fully wooded pie-shaped lot. Fitting the home within the required setbacks, including a 35’ building, a 50’ lake, septic 10’ from the house, and well 50’ from the septic, all on a .62 acre lot, was a challenge. COVID-19 severely disrupted the scheduling of subcontractors and supply of goods and materials. Design objectives included creating an indoor living space that would accommodate large gatherings. There are three master bedrooms with their own bathrooms. Additionally, there are two bunk rooms (one for younger children and the other for teenagers). The outdoor space needed to be maximized to accommodate a place for everyone. This included two beaches, fire pit, covered front porch, screened rear porch, and seating on the end of the dock.

Winner: Bryler Builders

Best New Home Construction- $500-$749K

This home emphasizes the large use of natural materials such as would and stone, as well as efficient use of space in order to make the smaller floor plan feel as spacious as possible. The clients desired to have as much entertainment space as possible while keeping the home on a single level. They also wanted a laundry room accessible to the owners’ suite as well as a large pantry and room for a pool to be built prior to construction of the home. Another major objective of the home was longevity of the home and aging-in-place. The clients desired for aspects around the home to allow them to live there the rest of their lives without the need for remodel or changes when they need it to be more accessible.

Winner: T. Whelan Homes Inc.

Best New Home Construction-$750K-$999K

The client on this project wanted a timelessly-styled lake house with a very wide appearance. Objectives included great indoor/outdoor entertaining space and taking advantage of lake views from every room. Having ample space to store the lake toys while also keeping the home conducive to one-level living was also important to the clients. The main entrance into the home off of the front entry porch features a gorgeous barreled ceiling and curved roofline. The main two car garage is on the right side of the home and leads the family though a wonderfully practical and flexible space that includes an area to sit and put your shoes on, hang your jacket up, access any cleaning supplies and a beautifully appointed laundry area. The guest suite at the end of the hallway behind the kitchen features its own beautiful lake views.

Winner: T. Whelan Homes Inc.

Best New Home Construction-$1M-$2M

The goal of this design was to create a home that was functional for a multigenerational family. With a client style that embraces a variety of trends, the overall feel of this home is bright and elegant, without being pretentious. The home was designed to employ a careful balance of rustic and sleek elements. The glass wine room creates a feature corner where the dining room and dry bar meet. The space includes a geometric placement of shelves with stained wood with galvanized pipe supports backed by a distressed brick wall feature. Contrasting with this casual detail is a sleek dry bar and contemporary gold light fixtures over the bar and dining table. Throughout the home, the selections feature the thoughtful use of casual, natural materials in harmony with a mixture of different metals, unfussy moulding and geometric shapes.

Winner: AR Homes Monterey Bay Charlotte

Best New Home Construction-More Than $2M

The client wanted a timeless home that leaned towards transitional and traditional styles. The exterior was designed by Harry Schrader from Schrader Designs and has English architecture influences. The trim inside played a major role in the feel of the home, with the Grand Salon being a large focus of a formal gathering space. The Grand Salon features a large crown molding and unique paneling, all made from walnut. The materials were hand selected to craft this stunning custom home. Local stone was sourced, but rearranged in a palette that felt timeless. Reclaimed slate, custom ironwork, rolled steel windows, copper gutters and custom cut limestone surrounds add a formality and exquisiteness of the home, creating a true estate feel. The beautiful mature landscape that was brought in at the end of the project truly makes this feel like it’s an estate that has always been there.

Winner: Kingswood Custom Homes 48


Premier Custom Home Builder in the Lake Norman Area Lakemist Homes is owned and operated locally. Our experienced staff is committed to the highest standards of building quality, energy efficiency and customer service.

We are the proud recipient of numerous industry awards, including: Best of The Lake Home 12 Times (11 Consecutive Years) and two time Builder of The Year.

Contact us about building in one of our beautiful communities or we would be happy to build on your lot in the Lake Norman area.

Lakemist Homes is proud to open our newest community at Davidson Pond. We offer estate lots only 2 miles from downtown Davidson. Located off Presbyterian road in Mooresville. The community allows for low county taxes while offering the convenience of 1-6 acre homesites.

(704)799-7609 | |


Photography By Dustin Peck

StarrMiller Interior Design

Are you comfortable with color? Color affects us all in various ways. Some clients want monochromatic spaces, others want it bright and fun and most are unsure of where to go. Which are you? I have been intrigued and delighted to listen to clients as they tell me what colors they love in their home and which colors they love only in someone else’s home. I had a fabulous client in a showroom that moved from cool blues in one room to orange and grey in the next. When we entered the orange and grey room, she had an immediate reaction where she was uncomfortable and wanted to move out of the room as soon as possible. I have another client who cannot stand to be in a yellow room and yet third client who wants every room to be yellow. Not only is color important, but it is also the value of the color. A person may love all colors in their purest form, but when you add grey or ‘heather’ the color they become bored and tired. You may be inspired by the clear vibrancy of color in its truest form. Or you may want a calm, 50


cool environment. To tone down color we add white to lighten towards a pastel or add a touch of grey to heather or mute the color. Color has power. Not only does the eye see the hue, but the body also feels it. When you were a child faced with your first box of Crayola® Crayons which one was your favorite go-to color? The one that wore down the fastest. Do you like that color still today? You may not want it everywhere, but would a touch of it calm you and take you back to that simple time? Just remember that color is personal. Never let anyone force you into a color that makes you feel uncomfortable just because it is the ‘color of the year’. A great designer will take the time to learn about you and how you react to color to find just the right match. It is all about YOU! 20109 Knox Road, Cornelius, NC 28031 704.896.3321 |

Photography By Dustin Peck | 704.896.3321 20109 Knox Road, Cornelius, NC 28031

Best Custom Waterfront Home-$500K-$749K


Best of the Lake Design Competition Winners

Sponsored by the Lake Norman Home Buillders Association

In designing this custom waterfront home with numerous opportunities for the owners’ comfort, the builder addressed the challenging drainage issues and setbacks posed by this scenic homesite. Drainage for ten different homes crossed the property, requiring diversion and more involved site work. The Energy Star Home offers an exceptional HERS rating for efficiency, along with utilizing maintenance-free exterior materials to offer clients convenience in the future. The luxurious features and finishes both inside and out met the clients’ needs and desires for entertaining both inside and outside the home. The open floor plan with first floor living utilized the most current building methodology, along with offering unique design creativity and architecture the client envisioned for accommodating a large family.

Winner: Lakemist Homes

Best Custom Waterfront Home-$750K-$999K

The clients wanted a clean, fresh modern home that would accommodate the aging process as well as entertaining local and overnight guests. The lot was a second generation family property with a modular home that had to be removed. There needed to be a new septic and well to service the new home. The lot had an accommodating slope for a walk out basement that would house two additional bedrooms, two baths, second great room, as well as safe room and mechanical space. This home has finishing touches of cedar columns, deck with synthetic decking, stone, Hardie siding, stucco, tile floor screen porch with motorized screens, and outdoor shower. The grounds have a firepit area that overlooks the lake, and a paver drive with a retaining wall.

Winner: WHB, Inc.

Best Custom Waterfront Home-$1M and up

The clients wanted an authentic, New England coastal-style home and pool house with classic architecture and exterior finishes. These finishes include cedar shingle siding, a slate roof, all copper gutters and downspouts, a functional cupola, flagstone porches, and silver travertine pool deck. The main living areas were to be generously-sized to be functional for large parties as well as comfortable for daily living. The clients are big dog lovers, and so the builder created a dedicated “canine country club” area within the house that features a dog wash and grooming area, secure dog sleeping areas, and a suite for the dog sitter. The 20x42’ pool/outdoor living area includes a stone and slate cabana with bath and showers, a changing area with locker, an outdoor kitchen, pecky cypress ceilings and a covered eating island.

Winner: Patrick Joseph Distinctive Homes

Best Project Design/Waterfront-$750K-$999K

The peninsula lot had 50’ deep setbacks on all three lake sides and the septic field occupied half of the remaining site, leaving a small, oddly shaped building envelope on which to design the house. The goal was to accomplish a home for a family of three with four bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, a small home office, a large great room, a gourmet kitchen, a bonus room, and a workshop. Fun and functional indoor/outdoor interface elements include a bi-folding window between the kitchen sink and outdoor grill and a large slider to access the covered porch from the master bedroom, providing phenomenal sunset lake views. The ‘Surf Shop’ was designed within proximity to the dock side of the lake, so toys and gear are easily accessible in the areas they’re needed most, and provided excellent organization for everything, including kennels for the dogs.

Winner: Pippin Home Designs

Best Project Design/Waterfront Home-$1M and up

The clients wanted a showpiece with a “WOW” factor and grand entrance to make a statement in the neighborhood. The homeowners desired the use of a coveted “Tree of Life” window in the family wing to bring natural light into the long hallway from a dormer window in the adjoining attic space, and it has an engraved plate written with a piece of scripture that is meaningful to the family. There are plenty of entertaining spaces inside and outside, including a formal living and dining room, an adults’ rec room and a kid’s playroom, an exercise room, a formal study called the Travel Room, to storage all their photo albums from their world travels, and a highly functional home office, known as the Resource Room. A 3-stop elevator was installed to allow the homeowners to easily access all floors of the home including the massive storage space of the attic.

Winner: Pippin Home Designs 52






Interior Design with a strong focus on the client’s vision

space planning, lighting, furniture, new construction or renovation, color consultation, window treatments, art and accessories 704-906-7469


Homestyles Interior Design



Best Interior Designer

Best Project Design/New Home -$1M-$2M


Best of the Lake Design Competition Winners

Sponsored by the Lake Norman Home Buillders Association

This newly constructed showcase home was built in a new subdivision. The client for this $1.7 million home was envisioned to be a family who wanted to feel as if they live at a resort. The rooms surround a beautiful pool and the organic touches throughout the home closely engage. It is designed to have both public and private spaces to offer an ideal layout for all members of a family. The first-floor primary bedroom suite and office wing are extremely private providing the perfect space for the homeowner. The kitchen appliances are state of the art with a custom RAL painted range for easy of the transitions and continuity with the cabinetry. In the primary bath, the sumptuous wood bathtub is made from distinctive, sustainable domestic hardwoods and built for everyday use.

Winner: Starr Miller Interior Design/Southern Cottage Corp

Best Project Design/New Home-$2M and up

This unique farmstead home was designed for an active and ambitious family with a full regulation basketball gym, resort-like pool with waterfall, home theater room, covered outdoor entertainment area with ceiling heaters for year-round enjoyment, and ample windows and bi-folding doors throughout to view the natural beauty all around them. Being nature lovers with farm animals and taking pride in the surrounding equestrian community, they desired views of the farmland around them to admire the beauty and keep an eye on all of their farm animals. The wife wanted a big multipurpose laundry room with a laundry chute, an island for crafts, and a desk at a window. The husband wanted a home office. Each of the three kids were provided their own suites, a wide hallway and play and gathering space on the second floor.

Winner: Pippin Home Designs

Best Project Design/ Existing Home-$276K-$500K

This renovation was originally a split-level post and beam home with vaulted ceilings which left no room for attic space or an HVAC system. Exposed ductwork was installed throughout the home to allow for an HVAC system making the home far more livable. Design objectives included adding a stairless entry into the home to accommodate both homeowners who had mobility issues. The tiny kitchen was opened and expanded into a massive focal point of the main floor. The barely finished basement was turned into three bedrooms to accommodate guests overnight. The screened in porch on the lakeside of the home was transformed into a master suite with large windows and beautiful views surrounded by the large mature oaks. The homeowners originally planned for this to be a guest house, but fell in love with the completed project and moved into it full-time after selling their primary residence.

Winner: Pippin Home Designs

Best Project Design Existing Home-$501K and up

The street side exterior was in serious need of a dramatic makeover, to bring it up to date with the recently improved lakeside curb appeal improvement. The clients wanted to transform the style of home from the outdated 80s contemporary into a beautiful New England style that the client always desired. A large addition helped expand the living spaces to be more functional, including a gourmet kitchen, walk-in-pantry, formal dining room with butler’s pantry and a large laundry room. A new enclosed basement garage provided more living space with an expansion of the rec room. Other additions included a new three-car garage on the first floor level, a private side entrance with an elevator up to a new mother-in-law accessible apartment, walk-in storage above garage, a new drop zone, powder room, home office, and a grand foyer into the home.

Winner: Pippin Home Designs

Best Remodel/Existing Home-$76K-$175K

This 1930s-era mill house was relocated from Davidson’s Mill Village to a location about two miles away, placed on a new foundation, and updated. A gas-fueled water heater sat in the middle of the house, taking up space and undoubtedly causing a potential safety hazard. The ceilings throughout the house were only 8 feet high. The roughly 900-square-foot home received a more open floor plan, a “cook’s” kitchen, along with a true owner’s suite with a bathroom and more closet space. Most of the existing hardwood flooring remained, and additional ceiling height was added with two glulam beams which were trimmed out and whitewashed. This additional ceiling height helped incorporate a loft space, complete with a custom ship’s ladder. At 1,100 square feet, the home maintains the charm of the original design.

Winner: John Marshall Custom Homes, Inc. 58


3 time 2021 “Best of the Lake” Winner Lake Norman’s Premier Design-Build Remodeling Service

Custom Design-Build 3D Rendering Catered to each client All in one remodeling Service

Whole House Remodeling Additions Kitchens and Baths Complex Renovation Projects | @craftandtradenc | 704-266-0844 |


Titan Realty

Specialized Service and Dedication to Community In the current real estate market, it’s imperative to have an experienced and knowledgeable agent working on your behalf, whether you are a buyer or a seller. Titan Realty is a full-service boutique real estate firm specializing in Lake Norman and the surrounding areas. Owner and Broker-in-Charge Kristi Hand is a Lake Norman native and has worked with many area families since 1997. Her team consists of six real estate brokers, including herself, Client Care Coordinator Rhonda Walker, Transaction Coordinator and Office Manager Ellen Turner and builder/partner company Titan Custom Builders. Hand believes Titan Realty’s combined 50 years of real estate experience, client focus, staging and design savvy, and community engagement help set their firm apart from others. She enjoys consulting with clients on the benefits of strategically pricing their home and staging it to sell, because even though home values have skyrocketed, buyers are still very particular about what they are looking for. “This is really important, and I truly enjoy this part of the process,” says Hand, who has garnered several industry awards in the past year, including Realtor of the Year in the 2021 LNHBA Best of the Lake Design Competition. “I can use existing pieces of furniture to rearrange, provide staging accessories and advice on how to declutter and organize your 60


Best of the Lake “Realtor of the Year” 2021

home. This can make a difference of thousands of dollars with the sell price.” Hand also utilizes an expansive marketing budget for all her listings— from professional photography to a 3D camera for agents to use along with social media advertising and personal property websites. She also networks with thousands of top producing agents and relocation companies across the country to further expand the firm’s reach and network to buyers. Titan Realty hosts the Annual Light up the Night 5K each year, with all proceeds going to combat human sex trafficking. In 2021 the event raised more than $50,000. They also partner with One Blood to hold an annual blood drive, participate in a Toys for Tots collection each holiday season, and coordinate community food donations for FeedNC. Hand considers herself fortunate to have grown up in this area and is now raising her family here. “What an incredible place to work and help other families sell their homes,” she says. “It really is a dream come true to live in Lake Norman.” 331 Alcove Road, Suite 103, Mooresville 704.201.3691


Absolutely stunning Lake Norman waterfront home - modern design features 6300 square feet on 3 levels - 4 bedrooms, 5 full baths 1 half bath, 2 full kitchens with main level featuring a butlers pantry, gorgeous white oak hardwood floors, glass railing and floating staircase, 19’ lineal fireplace, 24 foot automated stacking glass doors, massive 3300 sf patio space on upper and lower level. Incredible outdoor space including gunite pool with recessed hot tub, 360 degree overspill, two tanning shelves, water features, outdoor shower, putting green, beach area with fire pit and stone wall. Fixed dock with automated dock lighting & cable lift.


Broker/Owner cell: 704.201.3691 Best of the Lake “Realtor of the Year” 2021 Whos’ Who Top Agent Top 50 LKN Women In Real Estate | JANUARY 61 | 704.201.3691 | 331 Alcove Road Suite 103 | Mooresville, NC202228117

Best Remodel/Existing Home-$176K-$275K


Best of the Lake Design Competition Winners

Sponsored by the Lake Norman Home Buillders Association

The goal was to lighten up with house and maximize the view of the lake. This was achieved by painting the walls swiss coffee and staining the white oak floors with a neutral water based stain. Removing the large over-sized fireplace in the middle of the house, adding a large sliding door off the sitting room onto the porch, and adding a large picture window in the master bedroom addition helped maximize the views. Another large design change was to increase the main hallway from 3’ to 4’, making the living quarters more inviting. Two hundred square feet was added to the master bedroom, complete with a roll-in shower and heated floors. COVID-19 interrupted the build time and labor and caused delays with materials, but the clients were thrilled with the results at the completion of the project.

Winner: Cypress Builders, LLC

Best Remodel/Existing Home-$276K-$500K

The goal was to update the dark 2007 interior to an airy open concept and modern design. The remodel not only was on the outside of the home but included most of the inside of the home as well, with custom cabinets to the ceiling, huge island with quartz tops, and a built in hutch decked with a walnut top that completes the kitchen. A 48” Pro Wolf range, Wolf Hood, Wolf microwave, Cove dishwasher and built-in JennAir refrigerator and freezer, spacious pantry and custom coffee bar makes this a dream kitchen for a master chef and guests. Both of the upstairs bathrooms were completely demoed, with new tile showers, larger vanity cabinets, quartz countertops, barn door vanity mirrors and linen closets were added. The lower family room opens up with a set of 10’ tall stacking doors with an amazing view to the newly constructed pool cabana.

Winner: Titan Custom Builders

Best Remodel Existing Home-$500K and up

After sitting empty for years, this home was completely gutted, renovated, and brought back to life. To begin the renovation, the roof and brick were removed and the home taken down to the floor joists. The main level height was raised from 8’ to 10’ and a second level was added. slate roof and selected aluminum clad windows to compliment the new iron front door. The main level includes open concept kitchen, dining and living spaces, and owners suite. The second level includes three additional beds and baths. Outside, a new roof, windows and doors complete the transformation. The clients wanted an open concept floorplan on the main level for entertaining. The new gourmet kitchen connects to the screened-in porch, dining room with built-in bar, and family rooms.

Winner: Andrew Roby, Inc.

Best Remodel/Kitchen-$50K-$100K

The clients wanted a modern style kitchen so they needed space that had the vibe they were looking for, but also included a transitional feel so that it felt cohesive with the rest of their home. They were seeking something more dramatic than a standard black and white kitchen. The clients were living in the home during entire renovation. Everything had to be gutted and rebuilt from the ground up. The end result featured upscale appliances, state of the art materials, high end finishes, and technology driven system throughout. The end results were a contemporary, modern look that the clients loved. Collaborating Designers included Amy Lee and Artistic Interior Design.

Winner: Fleur De Lis Construction

Best Remodel/Kitchen-$101K and up

The existing space included a small kitchen tucked at the back of the home away from the lakeside, two major structural walls that were each supporting individual steel beams in the ceiling separated the kitchen space from the sunken living room. The step from the kitchen area to the sunken living room defined the spaces so that kitchen could not be enlarged without major renovation. There were windows on the side of the home that would not work with a new larger kitchen design. The renovation raised the sunken living room and redefined the kitchen space. The windows were replaced with ones that would maintain the lake views but allow for cabinetry below. The kitchen was expanded with double the amount of cabinetry, along with a large island with a built-in dining area.

Winner: Craft and Trade Renovations LLC



Laura Sumrak Photography

For new homes and renovations, John Marshall Custom Homes is recognized as one of the leading custom builders in the Charlotte area. For expert interior and exterior design, contact Blackwell Interiors. | 704-239-1124

Blackwell Interiors | 704-562-5873


We Specialize in Taking Your Vision and Turning It Into Reality 704-614-5784 |

1st Place Winner “Best of the Lake” 2021 | JANUARY 2022


Best Remodel/Bath-$20-$50K


Best of the Lake Design Competition Winners

Sponsored by the Lake Norman Home Buillders Association

The existing bathroom was dark, especially compared to the rest of the home. All the finishes – cabinets, tile, and paint featured tones of brown. The tub deck was built with two larger shelves with nothing beneath, taking up unused space. The new long vanity includes a grooming pull-out for hair dryers and curling irons, a custom built tower to house these clients’ television, towel storage, and a built in makeup station. The cabinetry is a rich blue green topped with pure white quartz countertops. The main floor is a stretched hexagon porcelain tile with warm veining running throughout each tile. Mirrors were custom made in matte black with a picture box frame. The brass plumbing fixtures and hardware are from Restoration Hardware. The modern brass pendant finishes off the space.

Winner: Craft and Trade Renovations LLC

Best Remodel/Bath-$51K and up

The goal was to transform this dated, log home style bathroom and turn it into a glamorous space with luxury finishes. The client had traditional taste but appreciated special touches. The bathroom was relatively small for the home—long and a bit narrow—so keeping it bright with a bit of sparkle to make the space feel larger and open. Anchoring each end of the bathroom was a tub deck and a shower. A smaller hexagon mosaic created two tile inlays on the main floor and a larger hexagon mosaic in the shower. A partial wall was also removed in the shower in favor of glass. Finishing off the space was the wainscoting accent wall. To create more space, the designer added a custom height cabinet under the window with two pull-out hampers and shelving for towel storage. The black accent added a masculine touch.

Winner: Craft and Trade Renovations LLC

Best Residential Interior Design-Less than $25K

A bare off-campus apartment unit was turned into a hip, boho chic model. The property management client desired an updated/current design aesthetic to complement the updated renovations to the model unit. The existing furniture needed to be used, while incorporating complementary furnishings appropriate for young adults that would convey an exciting lifestyle model that would quickly enable students to decide where to live. Neutral colors and modern furniture were used to create a space where everyone wants to hang out. The off-campus apartment model unit was recently renovated with new flooring, a new kitchen, and new bathrooms. The living room was minimally furnished with one sofa and one coffee table. The bedrooms were minimally furnished with bare beds, two storage chests, and a desk chair.

Winner: Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design

Best Residential Interior Design-More than $50K

The winner served as the builder’s designer on all aspects of all fixed design elements within the new $1.7-million home and finished the decoration of the kitchen/pantry and primary suite. The kitchen showcases a mix of soft wood and clean, crisply painted cabinets, DACOR appliances, Greyne Tahoe in Sandstone flooring, a pantry featuring playful wallpaper and pink cabinetry. The master suite has the built-in feel of a yacht, incorporating natural materials and a palette that framed the view. The strength of the headboard balances with both the light fixture in the bedroom and the book matched porcelain wall in the bath. The bath features a sumptuous wood tub made from sustainable and domestic hardwoods and stepdown shower with Kallista plumbing fixtures throughout.

Winner: StarrMiller Interior Design

Best Residential Interior Staging-$1M+

This project was a homebuilder’s personal home, designed and built to his personal taste. The 11,113 square-foot home with seven bedrooms and eight and a half baths had been listed for sale vacant for one year under two different agents, with no offers. The objectives were to tone down the formality of the home, lighten and brighten the feel of the home, and make it appealing to a wide range of buyers. The client’s guidelines were to stage this home to sell. The client also did not want to make any changes to the home (the client would not paint over dark walls or change light fixtures).

Winner: Carolina Spaces Furniture & Design



Cabinetry for every room. Designed on your budget!

Outdoor kitchens Custom cabinets Semi-Custom cabinets Bath vanities

704-663-0077 388 E. Plaza Dr. Mooresville, NC 28115 | JANUARY 2022


Best Outdoor Living Project-$101K-$200K


Best of the Lake Design Competition Winners

Sponsored by the Lake Norman Home Buillders Association

The existing home required demolition of the rear porch and extensive repairs to the exterior areas of the home. This enabled the winner to create a truly amazing and unique outdoor living space. Challenges included properly securing the new outdoor base area to the existing foundation as well as tie in the new roof system to the existing roof. The existing pool area needed to be protected while constructing the new outdoor living space. The client requested an outdoor living space inclusive of a covered area, fireplace, grill area, retractable screens, overhead heater and ceiling fans.

Winner: Southern Cottage Corporation

Best Outdoor Living Project-$301K-$500K

The client wanted a comprehensive outdoor living area as part of their new lakefront custom home to include a large pool, cabana, pergola, veranda, and dock. The large, 20’x42’ pool became the centerpiece of the rear yard and could be viewed from almost every room in the house with the lake beyond. A stone/slate roof pool cabana on the left side of the yard keeps the views open but provided a number of service areas: a pool bath and changing area with lockers, an outdoor kitchen, and a dining island. To the right of the pool is a large pergola lounge area. All these different areas viewed, with the lake, from the elevated veranda and are linked by over 2000 square feet of the same silver travertine pavers, including a walkway to the dock.

Winner: Patrick Joseph Distinctive Homes

Best Outdoor Living Project-More than $500K

The client wanted her home to take advantage of the amazing views when on her rear loggia. The outdoor living and dining was important to the client as she often hosts friends and family outdoors. She wanted areas that her guests could comfortably enjoy while also taking in the views of Lake Norman. This waterfront home features a fantastic pool and spa, and expansive living and dining areas. The property also features a pool house with a bathroom and stunning landscape with English gardens.

Winner: Kingswood Custom Homes

Best Landscaping Project-More than $20K

The clients wanted an authentic, New England coastal-style home and pool house with classic architecture and exterior finishes. This project was a new, custom design/build for the clients who the winner had built with before. They acquired a large, flat, easy-tobuild waterfront lot. Using client-provided direction and inspiration photos, an enlisted a residential design firm and an interior designer to help us bring the project to life.

Winner: Patrick Joseph Distinctive Homes

Special Project-Commercial

The client requested a small commercial veterinary office that gives the impression of a Hawaiian-style home but functions as a vet clinic. This newly built office features the finest in up-to-date technology, unique and one of kind features throughout but provides the warmth and care that the word Aloha means. The road sign was made from a 700-year-old Cachichira Buttress Root from Bolivia. Entering through the massive mahogany front door you are greeted by a modern wave blue topped reception desk staying with the Aloha theme. The main lobby is designed to maximize natural light with large windows and has a warm soothing feel with the built in benches and ottomans designed by the builder. Patients can enjoy built-in benches and frosted glass doors to reduce anxiety for the animals in the exam rooms.

Winner: Titan Builders

Individual Achievements: • Superintendent of the Year - Colin Chura, Lakemist Homes • Designer of the Year - Louise Leeke, Kingswood Custom Homes • Sales Manager of the Year - Jim Shalvoy, Patrick Joseph Distinctive Homes • Mortgage Professional of the Year - Lorri Hoffman, Movement Mortgage • Realtor of the Year - Kristi Hand, Titan Realty • Community Service Project - Andrew Roby, Pitches for Wishes Cornhole Tournament • Shining Star - Tammy Bracey, Kingswood Custom Homes 66



Owner Brooks Henderson has been in the Custom Home Building and Home Improvement business for over 22 years. Whether it’s building a new home or a home remodeling project, we are here to help you meet your needs. We pride ourselves in building strong client relationships, and providing smart, effective solutions to achieve your goals.

Call 704.201.1429 | email |

Helping LKN Small Businesses Reach Goals



Each business can find themselves in unique situations specific to their operations and no single small business insurance policy covers all risks. Different types of commercial insurance address different risks that could impact a business, but a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) is a great place to start. » Commercial Property Coverage Tailor your Business Owner’s What is a Business Owner’s Policy? A BOP bundles two key coverages, General Liability and Commercial Property, under one convenient packaged policy. This simplifies the insurance buying process and is one of the most cost-effective policies. » General Liability Coverage is a must for any small business as it protects your business by covering common business risks such as customer injuries like a slip-and-fall, customer property damage, and advertising injuries, such as libel and slander.

Policy with Additional Coverages: We can tailor your BOP to better meet your business’s unique needs by adding additional coverages such as: • Cyber Liability/Data Breach • Equipment Breakdown • Hired Auto and Non-Owned » Business Income or Business Interruption is an additional coverage Auto Liability that falls under property coverage and helps cover loss of income your business may suffer from a covered loss. will protect your place of business and help replace and cover costs for the building structure, equipment, furniture, and other physical assets if there is a covered cause of loss.

Scan the QR code to learn more about these additional coverages for your small business

Donna Yost

Commercial Lines Manager

(704) 875-3060

With 17 years of experience Donna has extensive knowledge in the field of Business Insurance. | JANUARY 2022


Dine Out & Lake Norman’s Finest Restaurants, Pubs and Wine Bars

Wine Down Good Food & Good Times

Off I-77 @ exit 33 • 117 Trade Court (Mooresville) 704.799.1110 •

Call: 704-663-5807

Gumbo and Cajun pasta Go to thelostcaju k up to order Pic y or Deliver


Catfish... Seafood Platters ... Oysters on Half Shell

9709-A Sam Furr Rd, Huntersville | 980.689.2924 |

Our dining room is open! Take out is also available. 275 N Main St, Troutman, NC 28166 (704) 528-1204

wine time - DINE+WINE

Latin Love

Relishing the Spanish wine Rioja at Mestizo in Davidson by Trevor Burton | photography by Trevor Burton

Picture this; I’m relaxing in our living room and I get a text message from our niece. She needs some wine information and, oh-by-theway, she’s in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico’s wine country, and enjoying herself. My teeth were immediately gnashed. Valle de Guadalupe is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit; Bucket List status. As a result, I had an urgent need for some good Mexican cuisine and a good, Latin wine to go with it—Mexican wine is something you rarely see around the lake, so I would settle for one of my favorite wines from Spain. Some context; toss aside your impression of Mexican cuisine. It’s probably an impression of Americanized, Tex-Mex dishes. I got spoiled in the past by some time spent in Mexico City, indulging in the real thing, authentic Mexican dishes. Authentic Mexican food dates back to the times of Mayan Indians and the Aztec Empire. Those cultures mingled together, combining foods like corn tortillas, beans, chili peppers, wild game, and fish. Then, when Spain invaded Mexico in the 1500s, foods like pork, dairy, garlic, and other herbs and spices were added and became popular. For my Latin fix, I headed to Davidson and to Mestizo Restaurant. Their dishes are definitely authentic. I quickly grabbed their wine list and that’s when things got good. I found a Reserva category of Rioja. I was onto a winner. Some background on Spanish wines, particularly Rioja. Most Spanish wines are named for the region where they’re grown, they have a DO, Denominación de Origen. Rioja is of a higher quality than most Spanish wines. It has a DOC designation, Denominación de Origen Calificada. This is the top rung of classifications for Spanish wine regions. Generally, on Spanish wine you have to check out two labels, one on the front of the bottle and one on the back. The front label

gives you the DO of the wine and the name of the “Bodega” that produced it. The back of the bottle tells another story. Controls on the aging process of Spanish wines are strict. The small label on the back of the bottle describes what aging process the wine has undergone. The three top levels of quality are: Vino de Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. An aside, a factoid. Spain’s Rioja region is a strip of land that surrounds the Ebro River as the river flows down a valley from the northwest to the southeast. A small tributary of the Ebro is a river named “Oja”—in Spanish, Rio Oja, hence the name, Rioja. As I said, my Rioja at Mestizo was a Reserva. That meant the wine was from a vintage judged to be special. By law, it had to be aged thirty six months in casks and bottles, twelve months of which had to be in oak. I had a special wine that had been specially aged. To add to the fun, the wine had a few years on it. What that did was smooth out the wine. I wasn’t in my, Bucket List, Valle de Guadalupe but I was in a pretty good place. This wine was just what my gnashing teeth needed; each sip made me feel like I needed another. Thoughts turned to food to pair with my Rioja, Denominación de Origen Calificada and Reserva. Actually, it wasn’t that difficult. I have a favorite Mestizo dish and it really fit the bill, a steak chile relleno. This is a simple dish but it’s downright authentic and just right for my wine. A slow, languid lunch followed. Accompanied by a delightful conversation with Lupita, one of Mestizo’s owners. I sent a text message back to our niece. I told her to enjoy some Mexican wine on its own territory and not to be overly concerned about me. I was extremely content with my Latin fix in our Lake Norman area. ¡Delicioso! | JANUARY 2022


DINE+WINE - on tap


158 on Main’s

into the Underground

new concept bar supports local charities

by Abigail Smathers | Photography by Lisa Crates

Main Street in Mooresville has found itself with yet another underground treasure, and this time, it’s literal. Last month, 158 on Main owners Gary and Kiera Preston unveiled a bodacious new bar in the basement of their iconic Main Street storefront. Aptly named for its eclectic decor and unadulterated amusement, Dive Bar is a fresher, cleaner take on the classic—you guessed it—dive bar. Jam-packed with arcade machines, tabletop games, and nostalgic knick-knacks, this joint is a blast from the past that has patrons both young and old kickin’ back like it’s 1986. From its inception, the Prestons and their team at 158 on Main knew what the space was destined to be. “It was always just a Dive Bar from day one,” says Tara Johnson, Head of Marketing and Business Development for 158 on Main. “[The Owners] are just such creative and fun-loving people. They wanted an environment that was high-energy and fun, where people could just kick back with friends and have a great time.” Following the success of their upstairs endeavor, Gary and Kiera wanted their next venture to be something that appealed to a younger audience; they wanted a place where people could come and find a channel to interact with the neighborhood. Instead of taking a competitive approach to their new business, however, the Prestons set out to create an intimate and supportive cornerstone within the community. 70


“It’s a reason to come downtown, it breathes life into the area,” Johnson continues. “I grew up here, and it’s just crazy to see what places like this can do for an area [where there was nothing]. Gary always says that rising tides raise all ships; everything we do here is just to grow the community.” Even Dive Bar’s pay-what-you-can membership fee goes toward bettering the Lake Norman area, with 100 percent of contributions donated to local non-profits that rotate quarterly. In the first week alone, the bar garnered over 1400 unique members collected nearly $4,000 for the victims of childhood abuse and neglect at the Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center. Aside from supporting a good cause, patrons of Dive Bar are privy to a wide selection of beers from local breweries including D9, Legion Brewing, King Canary, and many others, as well as domestic selections, wine, seltzers, and top-shelf liquor. Food options include concession-style treats like hotdogs, nachos, and chicken tenders for a fun, easy, and foolproof bite that’ll have you back to letting loose in no time. If you’re looking to have some fun close to home, Dive Bar is located at 158 N Main Street in Mooresville. Doors are open from 3 p.m.-midnight Friday-Saturday, Noon-5 p.m. Sunday, and 5 p.m.-midnight Tuesday-Thursday. Be prepared to pay your membership fee, and remember: 100 percent of contributions go to local charities.

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y l n e v a HeBread

Photo By Lisa Crates

DINE+WINE | in the kitchen

Focaccia Barese Focaccia bread is enjoyed throughout Italy and the world. The best bread in the world is said to be from Altamura in the Metropolitan City of Bari. Focaccia Barese, specific to this region, adds a potato to the dough, which gives it a special body and texture. Also, I can’t think of a better food to highlight quality extra virgin olive oil. It perfectly soaks it in and transports it to your taste buds, while transporting your mind to Puglia! Ingredients: 1 ½ cups of room temp water 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour 2 cups semolina flour ½ teaspoons sugar (or honey) 2 teaspoons active yeast 1 potato Cherry tomatoes ½ cup olives (black or green, preferably pitted) Oregano and rosemary Sea salt (coarse or flakes) Fine grain salt Extra virgin olive oil (the best you can find!) 1. Peel, boil, and mash your potato. 2. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in half of the water, followed by the sugar to activate the yeast. 3. Add the mashed potato (now cooled), 4-5 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, fine grain salt and the rest of the water. Mix well. 4. Add all of the flour. Mix and knead until smooth and elastic. You can use your hands or a mixer. 5. Coat two bowls with olive oil. Divide the dough in half. Shape the dough into balls, place them into each bowl, cover them with a towel and let them rise for two to three hours. 6. Coat two pans (preferably cast iron, to get that nice, crisp shell) with lots of olive oil (more of a pool than a coating). Stretch each dough ball out to cover the pan. Cover the pans with the towels, and let rise for another 30 minutes. 7. Preheat oven to 450-500 degrees F. 8. Brush the dough with another layer of olive oil. 9. Sprinkle on your coarse/flake salt, oregano and/or rosemary. 10. Press the tomatoes into the dough. I usually half them into the dough. This lets the juice flow into the dough. Spread your olives into the dough too. Make your own pattern. 11. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. Depending on the oven, it could take shorter or longer. I like patches of hard brown crust to form on the outside. Sometimes I get a few blackened areas, especially if you are in a traditional wood-fired oven. The cast iron pan, and globs of olive oil help with this. 12. Drizzle more olive oil and enjoy! Recipe by AJ Vezendy of Mariella & Grace



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DINE+WINE | nibbles + bites

Honoring Italian Heritage Denver entrepreneur AJ Vezendy imports olive oil

by Tony Ricciardelli | photography by Lisa Crates

People cook for enjoyment, and people cook for relaxation. Some cook to stay healthy, and some cook to be creative. AJ Vezendy cooks for all these reasons. He knows that quality food equals well being. He seeks purity and freshness in the ingredients that go into culinary efforts, and he remains true to the family cookbook and the Italian culture passed from grandmother to mother to son. “I remember taking a Home Economics class in fifth grade, says Vezendy. “From that point, I became food conscious, learning recipes and cooking techniques from my mother and grandmother. I learned how to choose the best ingredients and how to preserve the authenticity of Pugliese cuisine.”

“Food represents culture”

Vezendy has strong opinions about food habits and distinguishing the difference between available ingredients versus the best ingredients. “Food represents culture,” he says, “it’s important we educate ourselves on how our food is grown, harvested, and processed. The means vary, and the information we’re provided on labels is often unclear and misleading. My Italian family includes generations of food provisioners, exporters, and family-owned markets. Food has always been a mainstay in their livelihood.” Vezendy had seen the Italian olive groves located in Gargano, a sub-region encompassing northern Puglia, and Vieste, the seaside home of his ancestors, where resident olive growers still bring their harvests to the local mill for pressing. He had witnessed the process first-hand during several trips to Vieste beginning when he was a boy. He knew very well the Olivieri Estate and the local olive variety known as Ogliarola Garganica, and he knew that the excellent olive oil produced in this region of Italy wasn’t exported to the United States. Consequently, in 2020, Vezendy contracted with Lino Olivieri, and started his olive oil import company, Mariella & Grace, in honor of his late mother, Maria Grazia. Interestingly, Vezendy’s recent venture is a notable leap into fresh territory. He studied Materials Science and Polymer Engineering at Penn State, and he worked in the materials industry for more than two decades. “Twenty-three years is a 74


long time to stay in one industry,” he says, “and you begin to wonder if there is anything else out there. About three years ago I left my job and started my own company, AVEE, LLC, where I offer consulting services and materials sourcing to manufacturers. The company keeps me solvent, while I watch where the olive oil business takes me.”

An olive oil expert

Vezendy has become an olive oil expert, offering insight into the legitimacy, the processing, and the packaging of olive oil. “For example: Many olive oil manufacturers and sellers use the phrase ‘cold first press’ to indicate a superior product. This is nothing more than an outdated marketing term. The term ‘Extra Virgin’ is a technical category indicating that the olive oil has been extracted in the absence of heat (below 27°C) as per international olive oil quality standards. Therefore, the term ‘cold first pressed’ is unnecessary if already labeled as ‘Extra Virgin.’” According to Vezendy, “once picked, olives must be processed within hours by mechanical or other physical means under conditions, including thermal conditions, which prevent oxidation and alterations of the oil.” He emphasizes the best time to consume extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is right after it’s processed. “Look for a harvest date on the label and choose a harvest date that is as recent as possible. It’s good practice to consume EVOO within a few months after opening it. If you’re buying olive oil according to the ‘Best By’ date, that reasoning doesn’t apply. Without knowing the harvest date, the ‘Best By’ date is meaningless.” He describes his extra virgin olive oil as “full-bodied, buttery, with hints of pepper, almond, vanilla, and wild herbs.” Vezendy hopes to visit Vieste every year for the fall olive harvest, to enjoy the beauty of a small town on the Adriatic Sea, and to spend time with family and friends. For more on AJ Vezendy and his company Mariella & Grace, and to learn more about choosing quality olive oil, along with a recipe for Focaccia Barese, go to Olive oil from the 2021/2022 harvest will be available in February. Pre-ordering is available on the web site.



Providing tax, bookkeeping and payroll services to the Lake Norman area since 2006


Raymond Halstead

Andrew McMillan

704 - 662 - 8249 | 223 Williamson Road, Ste. 104


Mooresville, NC 28117 | JANUARY 2022




Compiled by Bek Mitchell-Kidd

From hikes and live theatre to art shows and home shows, we’ve got the list to start your New Year off right by exploring all of the wonderful experiences the lake area has to offer.


The 22nd Annual Polar Bear Metric Century Ride (Jan. 8) Ride 50k or 100k during the return of the Rocky River Road Club tradition that benefits Ada Jenkins Community Center. 10 a.m. $30 per person with pre-registration (minors ride free with parent). Ingersoll Rand Campus, Davidson. Davidson College Basketball Men vs UMASS (Jan. 11 at 7 p.m.) Women vs Dayton, (Jan. 30, 1 p.m.) John Belk Arena, 200 Baker Drive, Davidson. Ticket prices vary. View the full schedule: www. Cowans Ford Wildlife Refuge Hike (Jan. 27) Take advantage of this unique chance to hike the sunny prairie crossings and trails that are not open to the public. Expect to trek through the woods on moderately difficult terrain with some rocks and patches of tall grass. Bring comfortable hiking shoes you trust to get you through approximately three miles in two hours. Ages 11+. Free. 2 – 4 p.m. Register at www.


Baby Sign & Sign Storytime (Jan. 3) Engage your little one with new sights and sounds through books, songs, signs and rhymes. Parents/ guardians will learn sign language to use with stories and songs to enhance your child’s communication skills. Free 10 a.m. Online event by the Mountain Island Library. Zoom registration required 24 hours prior. Fibers & Frames (Through Jan. 22) A multi-disciplinary exhibition featuring a husband-and-wife team. Terry and Sue Ruhs combine his love of painting with her passion for quilting for an unforgettable art experience. Mon,-Thurs. from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. from 9 a.m.noon. 19725 Oak St., Cornelius. Paul Stephen Benjamin’s, Black Form (Jan. 20 - March 27) The exhibition continues the artist’s exploration of the color black or the 76


sound of black as a conceptual entry point into conversations about identity, race, and masculinity. His paintings, large-scale blacklight sculptures, and video installations draw inspiration from history, popular culture, and daily, personal meditations. Van Every Smith Gallery, 315 N. Main Street, Davidson. Check website to confirm winter hours: The Bluegrass Jam (Jan. 12) Featuring an all-star cast of pickers from the Lake Norman region and hosted by the talented BK Keedy. All pickers are welcome to join in on the fun so bring your instrument. Free. 7-9:30 p.m. Old Town Public House, 21314 Catawba Ave Cornelius. Greater Charlotte Home + Landscape Show (Jan. 28 – 30) Find the latest products and services for your home and landscape: builders, remodelers, contractors, building materials, decks, pools, spas, entertainment systems, storage solutions, all kinds of plants, landscape displays, kitchenware, home accessories and so much more. Adults: $9. 12 and younger: free. Ticket discount online. Fri. 2-7 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-7p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Cabarrus Arena, 4751 NC-49, Concord.


Frozen JR. (Jan. 28 - 30) Enjoy this tale of true love and acceptance between sisters. When faced with danger, Anna and Elsa discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood. Fri and Sat., 7:30 p.m., Sun., 3 p.m. See website for ticket prices. The Green Room Community Theatre, 10 S. Main Avenue, Newton, www. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (Jan. 28-Feb. 6) This dramatization of C.S. Lewis’ classic work faithfully recreates the magic and mystery of Aslan, the great lion, his struggle with the White Witch, and the adventures of four children who inadvertently wander from an old wardrobe into the exciting, never-to-be-forgotten Narnia. The intense action features chases, duels and escapes as the witch is determined to keep Narnia in her possession and to end the reign of Aslan. This story of love, faith, courage and giving, with its triumph of good over evil, is a true celebration of life. Presented by The Connie Company. Armour Street Theatre, 307 Armour Street, Davidson, See website for show times and ticket


Front Load Garbage & Recycling Service Compactors Residential Waste & Recycling Service 15 & 30 Yard Roll Off Dumpsters

Call To Start Service Today! 704-222-2639 78


Living Well Your local resource for health and wellness services near you Acupuncture Best Acupuncture Deleon Best LAc Tom Cohen LAc Raven Seltzer LAc

8213 Village Harbor Drive Cornelius NC 28031 • 704 655 8298


PHC – Lake Norman Ear, Nose & Throat Megan Mathis-Webb, AuD Susie Riggs, AuD Del L. Hawk, Au.D 140 Gateway Blvd. Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-664-9638


PHC – Cardiology Jips Zachariah, MD

359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1829


PHC – Mooresville Dermatology Center Naomi Simon, MD Michael Redmond, MD Kristin Prochaska, PA-C Gina Noble, PA-C Justin Loucks, PA-C Susan Stevens, RN, BSN Michelle Caamano, RN, BSN Laetitia Cloete, Licensed Aesthetician 128 Medical Park Road, Suite 201 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1827

PHC – Wolfe Dermatology Steven F. Wolfe, MD Molly Small, PA-C

114 Gateway Blvd., Unit D Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-663-2085

Riva Dermatology

“Imagine your skin at its Best!” General Dermatology for the Family, Botox, Fillers, Laser/IPL & more

Kerry Shafran, MD, FAAD Lindsay Jayson, MPAS, PA-C Erin Dice, MPAS, PA-C Ashley Noone, MPAP, PA-C Nikki Leahy, MSBS, PA-C Mari Klos, CMA, LME

704-896-8837 Cornelius, Mooresville, Denver

Ears, Nose and Throat

Family Medicine

PHC – Nabors Family Medicine Emily Nabors, MD

142 Professional Park Drive Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-696-2083

PHC – Lake Norman Family Medicine Timothy A. Barker, MD Heather C. Kompanik, MD Bruce L. Seaton, DO Amanda H. Bailey, DO Sherard Spangler, PA Kyle Babinski, DO 357 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-664-7328

PHC – Sailview Family Medicine Tiana Losinski, MD

206 Joe V. Knox Ave. Suite J Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-360-4801

PHC – Full Circle Family Medicine James W. McNabb, MD Jacqueline Swope, FNP 435 East Statesville Avenue Mooresville, NC 28115 • 704-663-5056

PHC – Fairview Family Medicine Golnar Lashgari, MD Jennifer Scharbius, MD

150 Fairview Road, Suite 210 Mooresville, NC 28117 •704-235-0300

PHC - Troutman Family Medicine Amrish C. Patel, MD Amanda Honeychuck, NP Kimberly Whiton, FNP 154 S Main Troutman, NC 28166 • 704-528-9903


Charlotte Gastroenterology and Hepatology John H. Moore, III, M.D. Steven A. Josephson, M.D. Scott A. Brotze, M.D. Michael W. Ryan, M.D. Devi Thangavelu, M.D. Vinaya Maddukuri, M.D. Nicholas R. Crews, M.D.

Lake Norman Offices: 13808 Professional Center Dr. Huntersville, NC 28078 115 Commerce Pointe Blvd. Mooresville, NC 28117 Appointment Line: 704-377-0246 Locations also in Charlotte, Mint Hill, Matthews, and Ballantyne

PHC – Lake Norman Ear, Nose, & Throat Keith Meetze, MD Thomas Warren, MD Herb Wettreich, MD Fred New, Jr., ANP

PHC –Northlake Digestive Care Carl A. Foulks, Jr., MD April Lockman, NP


PHC –Comprehensive Digestive Care Center Vivek Trivedi, MD Tiedre Palmer, FNP-C

140 Gateway Blvd. Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-664-9638

PHC- Endocrinology Elaine Sunderlin, MD

170 Medical Park Road, Floor 3 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-664-9506

359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-878-2021

359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-878-2021

PHC- Gastroenterology Laila Menon, MD

170 Medical Park Road, Floor 3 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-664-9506

Internal Medicine PHC – Internal Medicine & Weight Management Manish G. Patel, MD Julie Abney, PA Andrea Brock, PA-C

128 Medical Park Road, Suite 101 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-658-1001

PHC – Lake Norman Internal Medicine John C. Gatlin, MD LuAnne V. Gatlin, MD 548 Williamson Road, Suite 6 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-660-5520


PHC – Neurology & Sleep Medicine Dharmen S. Shah, MD 359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-873-1100

PHC – Lake Norman Neurology Andrew J. Braunstein, DO Ryan Conrad, MD Craig D. DuBois, MD Douglas Jeffery, MD Roderick Elias, MD

124 Professional Park Dr, Ste A Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-662-3077

PHC – Lake Norman Neurology Andrew J. Braunstein, DO Ryan Conrad, MD Craig D. DuBois, MD Douglas Jeffery, MD Roderick Elias, MD

9735 Kincey Avenue, Ste 203 Huntersville, NC 28078 • 704-766-9050

Obstetrics/Gynecology PHC – Lake Norman OB/GYN James Al-Hussaini, MD Laura Arigo, MD Katie Collins, DO Grant Miller, MD James Wilson, MD Nicole S. Wellbaum, MD Coral Bruss, ANP-C Pam Monroe, WHNP-BC

131 Medical Park Road, Suite 102 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-663-1282


Southern Oncology Specialists William Mitchell, MD Poras Patel, MD

46 Medical Park Rd, Suite 212 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-659-7850

Orthopaedic Surgery PHC – Piedmont Bone & Joint Scott Brandon, MD Brett L. Feldman, MD Alex Seldomridge III, MD Kim Lefreniere, PA-C Jeffrey Reeves, MD

359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1829

Orthopedic Surgery – Spine

PHC – Piedmont Bone & Joint Alex Seldomridge, III, MD

359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1838

Physiatry –Interventional Spine Care PHC – Pain & Spine Center Harsh Govil, MD, MPH James Murphy, MD April Hatfield, FNP-C

359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1829

PULMONOLOGY PHC –Pulmonology Enrique Ordaz MD Jose Perez MD Ahmed Elnaggar, MD

125 Days Inn Drive, Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-838-8240


PHC – Rheumatology Sean M. Fahey, MD Dijana Christianson, DO

128 Medical Park Road, Suite 101 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-658-1001


Seed to Sanctuary founder Sara Rubens tends to the Chef’s Kitchen Garden behind Flatiron Kitchen + Taphouse.

If You Build, it Will Grow

Seed to Sanctuary creates a Chef’s Kitchen Garden in Davidson by Renee Roberson Photos by Renee Roberson

If you’ve been walking in Davidson recently, you may have noticed a revitalization in the piece of land behind the Flatiron Kitchen + Taphouse. What was once overgrown with weeds is now a thriving garden complete with four raised beds, a wrought-iron bench, and a little free library with garden-themed books.

could create their own kitchen gardens. Now Rubens enjoys helping others as a kitchen garden consultant, where she can do everything from design a blueprint, suggest equipment, building materials, what types of vegetables are best for which season, and help with installation upon request.

Davidson resident Sara Rubens was walking past the lot one day with her dog when she got the idea on how to upfit the space and create what could also double as a Chef’s Kitchen Garden for Flatiron Kitchen + Taphouse and Mandolino’s. Rubens had been bit by the gardening bug when she moved into her home in Davidson a few years ago and planted her first raised beds. While she had no previous knowledge of gardening, she found the enjoyed the process and reconstructed her beds to be more successful during the pandemic, when she had more time on her hands to research and experiment. Rubens came upon the concept of making a garden part of ordinary day-to-day living, as referenced by the blog

Rubens contacted her neighbor, Mike Orlando, who owns the building where Flatiron is located. “I said, ‘Hey Mike, do you still control that sad little piece of land behind Flatiron? Because I think it needs some love,’” says Rubens.

Rubens, whose day job includes working in corporate America, found the process of tending to her gardening a great way to decompress throughout the workday. “Mother Nature is working all the time,” she says. “And I just found that it was so soothing.”

“Our minds and bodies are connected in ways we are just starting to understand, and in the fast-paced demanding world, we’ve got to find ways to slow down, reconnect with nature and care of ourselves again,” says Rubens. “So now is the time to get some dirt on your hands and start growing your own delicious veggies.”

The idea for a side business called Seed to Sanctuary began to bloom in Rubens’s mind. As she documented her journey with gardening on her social media pages, friends and neighbors began reaching out to her for tips and to get suggestions on how they 80


Orlando toured her kitchen garden and loved the idea of creating something similar in Davidson. He hired Rubens to install and now maintain the garden, and she harvests the vegetables and herbs and takes them over to Chef Bill Schutz for use in dishes for Flatiron. Rubens is also hosting monthly “Sip and Snip” events throughout the year so that others in the community can learn how to grow their own kitchen gardens.

To learn more, e-mail Sara Rubens at and follow her on Instagram and Facebook at Seed to Sanctuary.



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