… Yes I’m gonna be a star
Baby you can drive my car
And maybe I’ll love you
Beep beep mm, beep beep yeah—The Beatles
Just the thought of cars and music together — one of our focuses for this month’s issue — and I’m quickly yanked back to a time and place I hadn’t thought of for ages. Suddenly, it’s sometime around 1984 and I’m negotiating (okay, flat out shredding) the curvy country road between my home in Mount Snow, Vermont, and my classes about an hour away at Greenfield Community College just across the border in Massachusetts.
Technically, I was still a high school senior but all I needed to graduate was a senior-level English class, so with the approval of my guidance counselor I was enrolled as a full-time freshman at the local college — knocking out two school years at once and spending a lot of time on the road to do it.
But that didn’t matter, it was not much of a chore. The sun was out and I was behind the wheel of my dad’s late-1970-something Triumph TR7 convertible, putting the five-speed, “French Blue” British roadster through its paces on the two-lane road that I had all but committed to memory. I knew every pothole, every weird dip in the road where rain collected, every curve and just what gear I could take it in, every hiding spot for a bored Vermont state trooper looking to bag a tourist paying more attention to the color of the leaves than the speed limit.
And like any teenager, of course I had the music blaring. Probably not what you think I would be listening to, though. It was often The Beatles, and that’s my dad’s fault. He thought it would be clever to lay down the law that if any of us kids drove the Triumph, we were required to listen only to The Fab Four. His evil plan pretty much backfired, as it actually turned out to be music I came to appreciate and enjoy (when I wasn’t sneaking in my Genesis, Rod Stewart or The Police cassettes).
It was fun to drive around town, too, but as you can imagine, it was a little bit difficult being inconspicuous. In a town full of mostly Subarus and snow plows and where everyone knew everyone, it was hard to hide the fact that I may or may not have had four of my closest friends piled in the car (fun fact: the TR7 is a two-seater) on the way to Lake Whitingham for a summer swim or the local soft-serve ice cream stand. Yeah, good times.
But the TR7 and I had a bit of a tortured relationship — it was definitely a love-hate thing. She was all fun and games when the weather suited her, but Vermont is not North Carolina, and winter can be a long, cold, dark road in a car meant for better climes. I didn’t hold it against her when her accelerator stuck along a particularly hairy stretch of road that was part hard-packed snow and part black ice. And she forgave me when one sub-zero winter morning I nonchalantly tossed my school books onto the rear deck behind my seat, only to see them immediately shoot out the convertible top’s acrylic window that had turned as brittle as ice overnight.
I prefer to remember the good times … headed north somewhere along Route 100 after classes, a crisp McIntosh apple in one hand, my other on the classic wooden Nardi steering wheel, The Beatles belting out in harmony ... beep beep mm, beep beep yeah— LH Co-Editor Lori Helms Lori@LNCurrents.com
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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.
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.
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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A renowned travel magazine gives Hickory the nod as the country’s most beautiful and affordable place to call home.
Editor’s Note: Each month we will feature one of the 2022 Best of the Lake Norman CURRENTS Award Winners and share a little more behind-the-scenes info with our readers!
Our warm May weather is definitely the right time of year to start enjoying evenings outside, and one of the best ways to do that is at arguably one of the region’s most popular music venues, Boatyard Lake Norman. This gem in Cornelius was voted “Best Place for Live Music” by our readers in the 2022 Best of the Lake Norman CURRENTS Awards.
With several seating options in the “Yard” at the Boatlift Stage, concertgoers can share a community table, find a perch on the pine tree ledges or in the natural spaces, park in one of the comfortable chairs or crowd up close to the stage with other music lovers enjoying the show.
Upcoming shows include several popular tribute bands such as On the Border (Eagles), Rattle & Hum (U2), Dave Matthews Tribute Band, Badfish (Sublime), Pandora (Aerosmith) and Face 2 Face, the country’s longest running tribute band to Billy Joel and Elton John.
The venue also features local and national artists playing everything from Southern Rock to Country to Yacht Rock covers. Concerts are for the 21 and older crowd, with affordable tickets available for advance purchase.
Boatyard’s interior space features a large open floor plan with a main dining and gathering space between the walk-up bar and a covered outdoor patio. The menu features appetizers, wraps, sandwiches and children’s options. There is also an indoor live music stage for when the weather takes a turn.
As the result of a unanimous rezoning approval by the Town of Cornelius Board of Commissioners in early March, Atrium Health is set to break ground this month for a new hospital at the southwest corner of N.C. Highway 21 (Statesville Road) and Westmoreland Road. The hospital group received a certificate of need from the state on appeal in May 2021.
The new Atrium Health Lake Norman is planned as a multi-story, nearly 300,000-square-foot hospital with 38 beds. Also expected at the site will be multiple medical office buildings and other facilities associated with the hospital. To improve access on a stretch of road that already has its share of traffic headaches, Atrium has agreed to several improvements for access along Statesville Road, including turn lanes at its heavily traveled intersection with Westmoreland Road. Construction is expected to take about 18 months.
The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office has added a new patrol district in eastern Lincoln County. The creation of the Denver District is a goal Sheriff Bill Beam has been working toward for about the last five years, largely to provide better response times. It is the result of the existing Charlie District being split in half, containing three patrol zones and covering the area north of N.C. Highway 73 to the Catawba County line.
The Denver District operates out of the existing sheriff’s office at 2493 North N.C. Highway 16 Business and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2 to 5 p.m. serving residents from both the Charlie and Denver districts. The office can handle citizen concerns, applications for gun permits, provide copies of incident reports, set up residential security checks and more. Contact the Denver District staff at 704.483.7084 for more information on the services they provide.
In recognition of his efforts to promote and facilitate downtown economic development, the North Carolina Department of Commerce has named Mooresville Commissioner Bobby Compton as one of the N.C. Main Street Champions of 2022. The honor is part of the state’s Main Street Program.
“I’m proud to say I was born and raised right here in Mooresville,” said Commissioner Compton in a recent press release from the town. “I’ve spent my adult life serving this community — from being a firefighter, then Fire Marshal at Mooresville Fire-Rescue to serving as Commissioner since 2011. This Town means so much to me and my family. I’m thankful to play a small role in Main Street’s success and future.”
Compton’s service to the town extends across four decades. He currently serves as the town board’s liaison to the Mooresville Downtown Commission and the town’s Historic Preservation Commission, and is active in several other statewide and local organizations and commissions.
Hickory voted ‘Most Beautiful’ and more
Travel & Leisure Magazine has named our neighbor just north of us — Hickory, NC — to its list of “10 Most Beautiful and Affordable Places to Live in the U.S.” It came in at No. 1, based on data compiled from U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 to 2023 rankings, including the most affordable places to live in the U.S. and the best places to live in the U.S. In its rankings, U.S. News & World Report evaluates the impact that cost of living, median monthly rent, median home price in relation to the national median, and quality of life have on a city.
Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the magazine describes Hickory as a family-friendly destination known for its ample hiking trails and Southern charm. With a median home price of $161,000, the town is currently ranked as the cheapest place to live in the country. It describes Hickory as popular with retirees, but says it’s also becoming more attractive to young families, adding that a steady stream of residents has been flocking there for its newfound fame as a technological hub for Google and Apple.
If it’s Spring, it must be time for Davidson Town Day. Held annually on the town green at the Davidson Public Library, this event began as a day of service and fellowship and has continued as a way for members of the community to enjoy some family-friendly fun while supporting several local non-profit organizations.
The celebration will be held Saturday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will feature a variety of vendors, performances and booths showcasing our region’s service organizations. Town officials encourage those attending to walk or ride a bike to the green (in support of May being National Bike Month). There will be police officers at major intersections to ensure safety, and bikes can be parked in the “bike corral” near the Town of Davidson booth.
Not to get too preachy, but it really is important to remember that there’s more to having the last Monday in May off from work than making it a three-day weekend of pre-summer revelry. Memorial Day is the way we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and our freedoms, and it’s been observed for 155 years.
Whether it’s a brief ceremony on a town green or the placement of flags on the graves of our war dead, Americans have been showing their gratitude for our fallen servicemembers since the end of the Civil War. Some of our Lake Norman towns have done their small part in the observances for years, and here’s a small sampling of how you can take part in the local tradition of honoring our towns’ bravest:
Cornelius: The Town of Cornelius and American Legion Post 86 will host a ceremony to be held Monday, May 29, at 10 a.m., at the Cornelius Veteran’s Monument (the corner of Catawba Avenue and Main Street) and at the nearby Cain Center for the Arts (21348 Catawba Avenue). The event traditionally includes a 21-gun salute and an honor guard of local JROTC cadets from Hopewell and Hough high schools. More details are available on the Town of Cornelius’ website at www.cornelius.org.
Huntersville: American Legion Post 321, in cooperation with the Town of Huntersville, will hold its 22nd annual Memorial Day ceremony at Veterans Park (201 Huntersville-Concord Road) on Monday, May 29, beginning at 11 a.m. This event is free and open to the public. A luncheon for veterans will be held at American Legion Post 321 immediately following the ceremony (107 N. Main Street).
Mooresville: Join the Exchange Club of Mooresville-Lake Norman for its first-ever “Memorial Ruck March” on Monday, May 29, departing from behind Richard’s Coffee Shop (165 North Main Street) at 9 a.m.; registration begins at 8 a.m. Participants are encouraged to carry a pack of some kind, which would traditionally be weighted at 35 pounds. Proceeds from registrations will provide ongoing support to local veterans, as well as being used to award two scholarships for locals selected by Folds of Honor, providing support to children and/ or spouses of fallen or disabled U.S. servicemembers. A Memorial Day ceremony will follow at 10 a.m. at Liberty Park. Learn more or register at www.mooresvillelknexchange.org.
Troutman: The Evening Exchange Club of Lake Norman will sponsor a “Walk of Heroes” this year. Purchase an American flag for $35 in memory or honor of a veteran, and the flags will be displayed along Troutman’s Richardson Greenway on Main Street, May 19-29. The flag will display your loved one’s name and is yours to keep following the event. Walk the Greenway to view the flags that honor these heroes. To purchase flags or for more information, send an e-mail to email@example.com, or call 704.677.6900 or 980.585.9946. The town will also hold a Memorial Day observation on Monday, May 29, at 11 a.m., at Troutman ESC Park (759 State Park Road). There will be music and food available, and admission to the event is free.
When two Long Island natives decided to open a coffee shop in Troutman, they had visions of serving more than just a cup of joe. They saw their business as a relaxing place to make friends, and to enjoy themselves. Your Coffee Place (YCP) in Troutman is a unique, laid-back neighborhood establishment that offers a welcoming and engaging atmosphere where it’s not just about the coffee.
Nina Priore, YCP’s co-owner, had been a North Carolina resident since 2006, relentlessly determined to convince her childhood friend, Sue O’Malley, that she and her husband should leave the snow behind and move to Lake Norman. Finally, in 2021,O’Malley relented and is now her business partner.
O’Malley, a retired ER doctor and part-time Lake Norman resident, went all-out looking at locations in several Lake Norman communities, until purchasing a century-old home on Troutman’s Main Street.
“I thought the house offered a more pleasant aesthetic than a colder storefront,” she says. “The original thought was to open a craft-type business, but once we had the house, I noticed that Troutman was missing something: a coffee shop.”
“We had decided to open a coffee shop, a gathering place and a home for the locals, supporting local businesses while providing a family-friendly atmosphere,” says Priore. “We renovated the interior and added a build-out for the coffee shop.” The long-time friends decided they would focus on both coffee and crafts. The house has three seating rooms: the Patriotic Room, the Shevy Chic Room (with a feminine touch) and the Art Room, a child-friendly space where children can partake in arts and crafts. Pets are welcome as well.
Your Coffee Place schedules painting lessons, cookie decorating, quilting and candle making classes, and they sell locally produced retail items in support of local businesses. For example, YCP’s coffee of choice is Sky Mountain Coffee, micro-roasted in Mooresville; all the Troutman Rockers were produced at the Troutman Chair Company,
and Big Paul’s Honey comes from hives located in Taylorsville.
The brewed coffee — more than one dozen options to choose from — includes Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Macchiato, Frappe and Espresso. Specialty drinks and monthly drink specials include Pastel Custard Frappe, Kadbury Latte and Blossoming Peach. Energy drinks are also available along with a variety of black and green teas, including Earl Gray, Masala Chai, Pinhead Gunpowder and Moroccan Mint.
“It’s the best coffee and meeting place in the county,” says YCP regular Nicholas J. “And I’ve tried all of them.”
“We also have a wine, beer and liquor license, and want to be known for our frozen drinks,” says O’Malley. Frozen drinks include the Sexy Peach (Tito’s Vodka and peach liqueur), Cinn City (Captain Morgan, chai, brown sugar cinnamon) and Lavender Lace (Tanqueray gin, lavender, vanilla).
For those with a sweet tooth, YCP sells cookies, brownies, breads and cakes, and their food truck cooks up breakfast plates and sandwiches.
Beyond the coffee and crafts, YCP schedules a full calendar of fun-filled evening events: Music Bingo, Paint Night, Trivia, and Karaoke.
Priore and O’Malley are excited about hosting vendor fairs starting in May, and Movie Nights beginning in June.
Customer Kathleen Smyth sums up her YCP experience: “Your Coffee Place is good food, great coffee, great people, wonderful time.”
There is not a mom on the planet who would tell you that she’s tired of getting flowers for Mother’s Day. That’s just silly. What’s not silly, however, is that if you could get your mom to play “true confessions” with you, I’d bet my last convenience store bouquet that she’d admit a gift with a little more imagination (and longevity) would be refreshing.
Luckily for all of us, there are some intriguing gift options offered by Lake Norman-area boutiques and other businesses that will not only surprise your mom but will make you look like a gift-giving genius.
A great starting point is Juelerye in Mooresville. You know you’ve stepped into somewhere special when you learn their mission is “delivering happiness” — a mission they absolutely crush. Juelerye offers a thoughtful selection of handcrafted jewelry, custom works of art and memorable gifts. Owner Jacqueline Bassett is known for her selection of Sid Dickens Memory Blocks and Spiritiles wall art by Houston Llew. Wander in and prepare to impress even the pickiest mom. Juelerye is in Mooresville’s downtown district at 112 South Main Street.
To truly make it a memorable — and personalized — day for mom, try Poppie’s in Huntersville’s Birkdale Village. It’s a monogramming paradise, all done in-house and on any item you can think of. From bags to blankets to beautiful stationery, make it special for mom by putting her mark on it. Poppie’s is at 16815 Cranlyn Road, just
around the corner from eeZ Fusion & Sushi and across the street from the theaters.
Speaking of theater, try something a bit unconventional and buy mom some tickets to a live performance — or maybe an entire season — by a local theater company. The Green Room Community Theatre in Newton (about a 45-minute drive from anywhere around the lake) was founded in 1987, with a mission to “bring quality live theatre to artists and audiences in our area.” Between their main stage and black box theater, the group offers 12 productions each season from their home in the Old Post Office Playhouse — a converted Newton landmark building. Check out this season’s line-up at www.thegreenroomtheatre.org. The playhouse is at 10 South Main Avenue in Newton.
Here’s where I apologize for the crack about flowers, because the arrangements made by Albertine Florals, Wine & Gifts in Denver are simply beautiful and stunningly creative. They even offer delivery within a 17-mile radius of their boutique. But this shop is so much more than flowers. They have made it their mission to support local artists by providing a showcase for their work — everything from handcrafted jewelry to home décor — and promoting creative expression. Several of their gift items are Lake Norman-centric, and their garden poles are particularly popular. Visit them at 751-J NC Highway 16 Business in Denver, or shop some of their arrangements and gift baskets at www.albertineflorals.com.
I originally visited North Carolina to shop the High Point Furniture Market for my interior design business, and I often extended each trip and scheduled a few in between to soak up more of the gorgeous NC sun. The foliage was beautiful, the sunshine amazing and the people were so friendly. Knowing I wanted to move here one day, I sold my business and home in Indiana and moved here for a job with a custom cabinet company. I rented an apartment sight unseen in Huntersville. I’ve lived in Cornelius and now in Davidson, and I have two businesses in the Lake Norman area.
My daughter and grandson live here as well. We love the lake, how gorgeous it is here, the community, the gorgeous parks, proximity to Charlotte, the mountains, etc. Everything is here! We feel safe. We feel lucky to live in such a beautiful place that people come to for a vacation.
I’m happy to be involved with the local community via various events with the Chamber of Commerce, networking and church events. The sun shines here over 300 days a year! There are hundreds of things to do here on any given day and beautiful places to walk, kayak and relax as well. Boat rentals are easy to find and the lake is easy to navigate. Jetton Park is my favorite park and I’m there just about weekly!
My only complaint – I wish there were more palm trees!— Donna Houghton
A few decades ago, I chose to make a big decision to move from Connecticut to North Carolina. My sweet new friends immediately began acclimating me to the area by teaching me how to speak “correctly” – with a southern accent of course!
Lake Norman is the perfect spot for me. Huntersville was a great start, Cornelius was even better, but Mooresville has taken me by surprise! I was a little skeptical about the transition from a house to an apartment, but I’ve quickly come to realize … what’s not to love about living in the Langtree area?
Let’s start with location: Langtree is only seconds off of I-77 Exit 31, located at the tip of Mooresville and only one exit from Davidson and two exits from Cornelius. I feel like I am smack dab in the heart of Lake Norman.
Next, add in some convenience — did you know that Langtree is like its own little town? We have walking trails with scenic lake views, tasty restaurants and bars, shops, nail and hair salons, gyms and more, all within walking distance. This area has just about everything you could imagine!
I love calling Langtree my home! Oh, and by the way, if you didn’t know, Mooresville is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Be sure to come and check out one of the many events scheduled around town. It’s time for you to see for yourself what Mooresville is all about!— Jen Higgins
Why do you love your community? We would love to hear!
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What we love about living in Mooresville is there are so many ways to become involved and to be a part of our community! Since moving here in 2009, Billy and I have become heavily involved with nonprofit organizations that serve our community — to name the top two: Mooresville Arts and the Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists.
During our time here, we have witnessed so much growth. We love the small town feel but appreciate all of the amenities the town has to offer. We live on the west side of town but find ourselves working in and appreciating both sides of Mooresville.
Downtown Mooresville is where Mooresville Arts is housed (in the Depot) and there is so much charm and history in this part of town. Downtown is welcoming and neighborly, and the area is on a projection for growth for the arts, including activity and entertainment.
The lakeside part of town is where most of Mooresville’s projects occur for Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists. With so many people moving to the area, it is more important than ever to protect the habitat of native wildlife.
Billy and I thoroughly enjoy the organizations and the community of which we are a part. We appreciate that Mooresville is growing and thriving and we are looking forward to what is to come!— Jessica DeHart & Billy Wilson
She’s a 1991 Nissan Figaro designed by award winning designer, Shoji Takahashi, made exclusively for the Japanese market. Approximately 20,000 were produced and only about 5,000 remain operational worldwide today, so it’s quite the coup to have one in our area.
Longtime Lake Norman resident and car owner, Michele Morgan, poured a lot of money and love into restoring the vehicle.
“I have always appreciated vintage and classic cars,” says Morgan. “The level of detail and craftsmanship that went into these cars is not something you see much of at all today.”
Charlotte is small but mighty with a turbocharged one-liter engine
and 100,000 miles on the odometer. She is a right-hand drive, fixed-profile convertible — the top retracts and stores in the boot of the car.
There were only four color options, inspired by the seasons. Charlotte is the “Lapis Grey,” which represents winter. But Michele thinks her coloring is more nuanced than that.
“She is definitely more blue than grey, making her the perfect ‘something blue’ for a wedding and the most gorgeous getaway car!”
Charlotte the Figgy’s days are mostly spent on location at a photoshoot or special occasion, being a part of life’s milestones from pregnancy announcements and family photo sessions to senior pictures and weddings.
“Most recently I was at a shoot where the client was turning 50 and had hit a milestone being cancer free,” Morgan says. “That was incredibly special. The car has also been a part of branding photos for various small businesses around Charlotte. That always tugs at my heart; I have a passion for small businesses and love being part of elevating their branding. It is such a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with so many creatives.”
Red Eye Designs of Mooresville can even create custom license plates for the front of the car.
“That has been wildly popular and a wonderful way to customize my client’s experience,” she says. But the one thing clients can’t do is drive the car.
“Everyone wants to drive it. It’s a hard pass. However, that would be fun to do for charity.”
While Charlotte can be booked months in advance, the best way to inquire about her availability is through Morgan’s website at www.charlottethefiggy.com. And if you don’t need her services but would like to get an up-close look, she’ll be at Nina’s Boutique in Cornelius (21714 Catawba Avenue, Suite A6) on Saturday, May 13.
“You can’t help but smile when you see this car,” Morgan says. “It is a wonderful way to have people interact with a rare piece of automotive history. Most people won’t ever see a Figaro in their lifetime.”Photography by Ariel Perry
In October 2020, GMP Performance opened their second location in Mooresville, NC on Rolling Hill Road. This past year, they celebrated their two-year anniversary and want to thank everyone in the surrounding area for their continued support. It has been a fantastic journey. They started with one advisor, one technician and two lifts. Over the past two years, they have grown to three more technicians, four more lifts and a full-time parts specialist. They also reinvested in state-of-the-art touchless mounting/balancing equipment and an in-ground laser alignment rack. For 2023, they are upfitting an area to increase their in-house detailing, ceramic coating and paint protection volume, adding a second advisor and one more technician.
For those that don’t know GMP Performance, which stands for German Motoring Passion, has been in business since 1975. Based in Charlotte, they first expanded to Lake Norman and most recently opened a third location in Peachtree City, GA on the south side of Atlanta. They specialize in service, upgrades and detailing for Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and VW enthusiasts. They perform
every service from routine maintenance such as brakes and oil changes to engine replacements, upgrading vehicles with wheel/ tire packages and power upgrades to window tint and performing detailing services including hand washes, complete paint correction, paint protection film and ceramic coatings. Their mission is to deliver a professional experience in a passionate environment to the German automotive enthusiast. They invite you to stop by their 30,000 squarefoot gated, air conditioned facility they share with Carolina Coach Crafters and the Boat Body Shop — formerly the home of Ricky Rudd, Robert Yates Racing and The Racers Group race teams. This motorsport history is a big influence when they take their clients to the track and provide support with their enclosed trailer or four-car hauler with full paddock awning. They are also able to haul cars for pickup and delivery on their three-car wedge trailer.
They look forward to introducing themselves to new customers and the opportunity to welcome their current clients back for additional services, upgrades and detailing.
| Cornelius, NC 28031 Tel: 704-896-7955 | Website: www.wwsdental.com Providing More Than Beautiful Smiles VOTE
We would like to welcome Kimberly Coleman to the Fogle Insurance Group team! Kim will be working as one of our Personal Account Managers, who will be dedicated to servicing client accounts and creating plan coverage options that fit client needs and personal situations.
Kim brings with her a multitude of experience working with different kind of clients in different kinds of fields in her past – from being a teacher for 20+ years, to owning her own cleaning service, to working as agent for Medicare – she knows the importance of having customer service skills to encourage customer loyalty and trust while still holding a professional manner.
your classic car?
• Classic care insurance policy usually costs around $200 to $600 annually.
• You car must be at least 25 years of age or 20 years old with collectible value, but not more than 40 years old.
• You must drive another car that is used for your commute or regular travel and limit the number of on-the-road miles.
• You store your vehicle at a climatecontrolled or fully closed garage.
Within the last several years, the Lake Norman region has truly come into its own as a destination to take in some of the best in live music performances at top-rated venues (see our recommendations on Page 44). But what happens when you don’t want to just catch a show and instead decide to be a part of the show? There is a place waiting for you on the risers with our region’s very own group of singing enthusiasts.
Established in 2010, the North Mecklenburg Community Chorus (NMCC) has just wound up its 12th season. The non-profit organization is comprised fully of volunteer singers in the Lake Norman area and encourages community participation by singers from all backgrounds and abilities — no audition required. From college-aged to retirees, this chorus is for everyone.
The chorus performs several free and ticketed concerts throughout the year, providing entertainment for their audience as well as an outlet for those who love to sing. Auditions are not necessary to join the chorus, as anyone with a love for singing and performing is welcome.
“We really are a chorus for everyone,” says Todd Barnhill, the group’s artistic director. The NMCC fosters a teaching environment where members can learn to sing and perform on stage, sometimes in front of hundreds of people.
Barnhill comes from a multi-faceted musical background. Originally educated in opera performance, he now serves as the musical director in several Charlotte-area choruses.by Lara Tumer photography courtesy North Mecklenburg Community
The NMCC currently has more than 50 members and is looking to grow. One of the main objectives of the chorus is to expand their member base to 100 singers in the near future. Those looking to participate can visit the chorus’ website for information. Rehearsals are held weekly on Monday nights from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at Huntersville United Methodist Church at 14005 Stumptown Road in Huntersville.
With two seasons each year, the chorus holds a kickoff event in August and January for the upcoming sessions. The sessions traditionally run August – December (with most of the chorus’ free events taking place during this time), and January – April, with a focus on ticketed events. Generally, each season has a purpose or theme. One recent session’s goal was to reach people who typically are not afforded the opportunity to attend concerts. The group performed at retirement communities as well as assisted living facilities. Last year’s spring session had a concert theme of social justice and highlighted musical composers of color.
To see the chorus in action, visit the chorus’ website and social media pages, which are updated frequently with upcoming performances. Most recently the NMCC paid tribute to two of the greatest pop piano superstars, singing the musical hits of Billy Joel and Elton John in two performances.
Leaders come from all walks of life and can have a lasting impact on the people they encounter, instilling self-worth and confidence in others while changing life perspectives and expectations and opening otherwise closed doors and opportunities. There is a student at William A. Hough High School in Huntersville who has proven himself a leader time and again: his name is Jack Bolton.
Bolton looks forward to graduating this spring. Despite his medical condition, known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy — a recessive disease that weakens his muscles and negates his ability to walk — Bolton doesn’t let his circumstances stop him from achieving his goals.
“Every year at Hough, I’ve challenged myself to take the hardest classes and do my best in each of them,” he says. “I have a competitive spirit that is extremely helpful, driving a lot of my success.” With outstanding grades and an impressive list of accomplishments, he’s been awarded a full scholarship to North Carolina State University, where he’ll major in industrial engineering.
Bolton’s accolades, however, go beyond academics, and his dedication to the well-being of others is apparent in his actions. During the pandemic, Bolton — a Boy Scout since the age of six — served as Scout Senior Troop Guide, overseeing an online effort to ensure that new scouts reached their first rank. His success earned him the title of Senior Patrol leader, supporting an entire troop of 120 scouts. Bolton is now an Eagle Scout whose qualifying project created access to Lake Norman YMCA’s shoreline.
“I decided I wanted to create access to a Lake Norman beachfront to provide an equitable opportunity for all members of the community to
access the public beachfront,” he says. “After managing 13 volunteers and a total of 140 working hours, the path was complete, taking my wheelchair all the way to the water.” The YMCA was extremely pleased with the outcome.
Bolton serves as a student ambassador and a Teacher’s Cadet Course math tutor. He is an active member of the Hough Make-A-Wish Club, and he’s been their Sponsorship Chairman during the past two years, planning and executing fundraisers benefitting children with critical illnesses. Clearly, Bolton makes the most of his time.
Last summer, he landed an internship with Lucid Drone Technologies, a company that utilizes drones to provide exterior cleaning services. The experience opened Bolton’s eyes to the world of business administration and economics.
“Ever since I was young, I’ve always wanted to start my own business and I’ve loved watching and learning about what causes a company’s value or stock to go up or down,” he says. “It was so cool to receive the CEO’s insights and hear all he had to say about the challenges and success of starting a company.”
Just how far will this young man’s efforts take him?
“I have found that it makes a huge difference when someone is committed and invested in helping people,” says Bolton. “My vision is to explore ways I can blend my academic interests to meet these challenges to bring about meaningful change.”
No doubt, this young man is headed in the right direction.
You’ve seen them on Lake Norman, gliding leisurely over gentle, gilded waters beneath the blue North Carolina sky. They paddle from a standing or kneeling position on what resembles a surfboard, the pilot propelling the craft with patient strokes and serenity, leaving barely a ripple. There are no rolling waves to ride, nor is there salty air or ocean mist, but there are places on the lake where the scenery is calming, inspiring and beautiful – all fine locations for paddleboarding.
Paddleboarding, also referred to as stand-up paddleboarding, is one of the growing water sports enjoyed on Lake Norman. Not to be confused with a surfboard, a typical paddleboard is longer, wider and thicker than a surfboard, and it’s more buoyant, offering greater stability because its purpose is to keep the rider out of the water, un-
like surf boards, which are designed to take on waves. Paddleboards are also more versatile and produced in a variety of dimensions and materials depending on the type of paddleboarding activity. One can fish, race, tackle whitewater, tour, do yoga and even surf on specially designed paddleboards. There are inflatable paddleboards as well. Paddleboarding can take place on any body of water.
Amy Sullivan has been teaching beginner to advanced paddleboarding for five years, providing lessons at Davidson College, and at Blythe Landing in Huntersville through the Town of Cornelius Parks and Recreation Department, Cornelius Sailing Club and Lake Norman Community Sailing. Her Blythe Landing classes are held on Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day through the end of September. The advanced Sunday classes consist of 30 minutes of
yoga and 30 minutes of high intensity training. Sullivan is a certified group fitness trainer, personal trainer, whole health educator and she’s been teaching Tai Chi for more than three decades, currently offering Tai Chi lessons in Mooresville. She is a biology and psychology research assistant at Davidson College.
“Paddleboarding is perfect for fitness and the mind-body connection,” says Sullivan. “Through paddleboarding, one can find balance, strength and positive thoughts. Paddleboarding is conducive to attaining joy and happiness in what we do.” Paddleboarding and paddleboard yoga can improve strength and flexibility. It can also help alleviate muscle and joint pain associated with arthritis.
Sullivan’s classes enroll up to 12 students, participating in 20 to 30 feet of water. Paddleboards can run in length from less than 10 feet to 14 feet, depending on the activity, and they’re chosen according to the student’s weight along with the weight of paddles, water bottles and other equipment or gear that might affect buoyancy. Paddles can be up to a foot taller than the person occupying the paddleboard and are selected according to the type of paddling to be done, body strength and arm length. When compared to surf boards, paddleboards are longer, wider and thicker, and they have more rear fins than surfboards; they’re constructed more for stability than agility. For example, imagine the difficulty of exercising on a floating banana-shaped surface. It’s difficult, but it can be learned and, once mastered, the health benefits of paddleboarding are obvious. That’s where paddleboard yoga earns its reputation for improving body and mind.
Experiencing nature and spending time outdoors under the sun and in fresh air can be a stress reliever. Also, paddleboard yoga is more often a group activity, which offers a chance to make friends and bond with others. Because paddleboard yoga is a low impact exercise routine, it’s easy on the joints, and the workout benefits the body’s core and builds up heart health as well.
“Paddleboard yoga works the brain and body,” says Sullivan. “Maintaining left-right balance strengthens the connective tissues that stabilize the body and improves coordination. Stability of mind and body is important to our everyday lives.”Top right: Paddleboarders partake in one of Lake Norman Community Sailing’s Yoga classes. Middle: Yoga students ready themselves for their next Yoga lesson. Paddleboarding Yoga instructor Amy Sullivan. For more information about paddleboarding and paddleboard yoga classes at Lake Norman Community Sailing at Blythe Landing, call 704.947.7245 or visit www.LNSailing.org.
A home with a finished basement is always a great find, especially for a family with children. It becomes a place for kids to spread out and spend time with friends, and a way to confine the kid debris field of toys, games and all the other paraphernalia of childhood to one area of the house.
But sometimes, that’s all it is — and that’s what it had become for one family in Davidson’s River Run community. And to hear design-
er Anna Stowe describe it, it was a space for their kids, “fun” but far from functional, and definitely not an integrated part of the family’s overall living area.
She says the basement included a kitchenette that was not designed well, a bathroom with an unusual layout, an area for TV viewing, a fireplace that wasn’t used and a guest bedroom. With access to a beautiful backyard on a golf course, she could see the basement’s potential.This Davidson family’s basement had ample space but was far from functional and a little dated.
“It’s a great space, it just wasn’t really being utilized,” Stowe says. And her tasking was pretty specific. “They said they wanted a ‘bangin’ basement,’” she says with a laugh. “So that’s what I gave them.”
Stowe is the manager and lead designer for Great Designs 4 U, who was challenged by the homeowners to take an approximately 1,500-square-foot space from a kid-centric catch-all to a family-centric feel that every member of the household could enjoy.
She says the homeowners were clear in their mission. They weren’t interested in a space that would be some kind of bragging right that was far from livable. Instead, they wanted something that their kids would think was a cool place to hang out and call their own — a place they wanted to spend time in.
“They wanted something durable but light, something refreshing and comfortable,” Stowe says. By getting to know her homeowners better, and even having them fill out questionnaires, she learned a good bit about them — including the fact they liked shades of blue. She put that to use in the color palette she created for the space — a collection of Sherwin Williams paints that included a smoky dark blue called Grays Harbor for the accent wall in the bar area.
The kitchenette was completely transformed to include one of three of the basement’s beverage stations (there is another lockable one behind the bar and one next to the back door for the kids’ water and soda), a microwave drawer for snacks such as popcorn, a sink big enough for food prep, a double stack of refrigerated drawers and a stand-alone icemaker.
Stowe reimagined the bathroom by replacing the shower/tub combination with a frameless glass luxury shower and relocating the toilet, converting much of the basement’s “dead space” into useable living and storage square footage, and opening up the floor plan and sight lines by removing a wall at the foot of the stairs leading down from the main floor.
By installing luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout and using performance-grade fabrics that can handle wear, tear and spills, Stowe gave the space an updated and modern feel that looks great while standing up to active kids, their friends, the homeowners’ entertaining plans and the family dogs. Throw in a foosball and shuffleboard table and Stowe says it’s all the perfect fit for the way the family envisioned using the space.
“They work hard,” she says, “and they deserve a place to play hard. Right now, you probably can’t pry them out of there with a crowbar.”
Got a hot set of wheels you’d like to show off? Or maybe you just enjoy appreciating a slick ride?
If so, our region is a target-rich environment for car collectors and enthusiasts alike, with all manner of locales to take in the sights and sounds of your favorite cars. Here’s just a sampling of places to check out to get your motor running (and a few just a short drive from our Lake Norman bubble):
• Mooresville, better known as “Race City USA,” is home to “LKN Cars & Coffee” hosted by Merino Mill (500 S. Main Street). Check out the cars and enjoy some of the best local shops including Defined Coffee, Barcelona Burger and Aliño Pizzeria, which will be making breakfast pizza for sale at the events. The next one is May 27, from 8 to 11 a.m., and admission is free.
• Speaking of Mooresville, check out the Race City Festival on May 11, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s billed as a celebration of the Lake Norman area’s arts and culture and is held outdoors along Main and Broad Streets in downtown the Saturday of Charlotte Race Week each May. The festival features NASCAR displays and souvenirs, live music and other entertainment, food trucks and a beer garden. Admission is free.
• On the third Saturday of every month, Lake Norman Brewery in Denver (1753 Triangle Circle) hosts its “Brews & Cruise Car Show”
from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Get more details by calling 980.525.5562 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• One of Cornelius’ most popular coffee shops is also home to a popular car enthusiast gathering. Waterbean Coffee (19420 Jetton Road) hosts “Cars & Coffee” the second Saturday of every month from 7 to 10 a.m. Admission is free. More details are available at www.waterbean.coffee.
• Hop in your own ride and head over to Concord for the Streetside Classics CHA “Caffeine and Classics” on the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon to see one of the largest cruiseins in Cabarrus County. Local car owners and enthusiasts gather at 800 Derita Road to celebrate their shared passion and showcase their prized classics, customs and hot rods. All makes and models welcome. Enjoy complimentary doughnuts, coffee, sweet tea and lemonade. This venue is pet friendly. Stroll through the climate-controlled showroom filled with classic, exotic, unique custom built muscle cars and trucks. Learn more at www.streetsideclassics.com or call 704.598.2130.
• Gateway Classic Cars Charlotte hosts a monthly car show — “Caffeine and Chrome” — on the last Saturday of every month, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All car enthusiasts are welcome, admission is free. The event is held at 7045 Aviation Boulevard in Concord. Visit the organizer’s website at www.gatewayclassiccars.com for more details.
Whether you arrive by car, on foot or by boat, there is no lack of variety for places around Lake Norman to catch a live music performance. It might be a tribute band concert you’re craving, or a jazz jam, some Reggae chill time, country, blues, a symphony — you name it and you can find it right here around the lake.
Here is just a taste of what live music lovers can expect to enjoy locally:
• A local perennial favorite is the North Carolina Brewers and Music Festival, held annually in Huntersville at Historic Rural Hill Farm (4431 Neck Road). This year’s event runs Friday and Saturday, May 12 and 13. It’s a celebration of local craft beer and live music, with at least nine bands and more than 40 brewers in the lineup. Admission is required, and a variety of one-day and two-day ticket options are available. Tickets go fast, so learn more and purchase tickets at www.ncbrewsmusic.com.
• It’s that time of year for Davidson’s Concerts on the Green, held the first and third Sundays of every month through October on the town green in front of the Davidson Public Library. Concert times are 6 to 8 p.m., and admission is free. In May, concert goers can enjoy the Shelley Ruffin Band on May 14 (variety of music) and Crucial Fiya (Reggae) on May 27. More information is available at www.concertsonthegreen.com.
• Nightly live entertainment is on tap at Old Town Pour House in Cornelius (21314 Catawba Avenue). OTPH is a community pub, where in addition to the night life, it features craft beers and boutique wines. Want to get a taste of being on stage? Take part in the Open Mic Nights on Mondays, with sign-ups starting at 6:30 p.m. Learn more at www.drinklivemusic.com.
• Apps & Taps in Mooresville (155 Pinnacle Lane) has made a name for itself for its Pontoon Stage, featuring some of the region’s top bands and state-of-the-art lighting and sound. Performances are Friday and Saturday nights, and several slips are available for the boating crowd arriving lakeside. Find out who’s on the schedule and
check out their popular menu at www.appsntapslkn.com.
• Tribute bands have a prominent spot on the live music schedule at Boatyard Lake Norman in Cornelius (18418 Statesville Road). The outdoor stage offers a variety of seating areas. There are comfortable chairs, community tables and seats on ledges in the natural areas near the stage, as well as seating indoors and in an outdoor covered area. See more details on Page 18 about this award-winning locale, or visit www.boatyardlkn.com.
• Looking for a laid back, community feel and a great variety of craft brew offerings for your live music listening pleasure? Look no further than Lake Norman Brewery in Denver (1753 Triangle Circle). Enjoy one of their several private label beers and some music out on the patio, by the fire pit or while playing corn hole. The brewery offers 4 oz. tasters for $2 each. Find out which bands are coming to town online at www.lknbrewery.com or call 980.525.5562.
• St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson will help you scratch your classical music itch when Music at St. Alban’s presents the Charlotte Master Chorale on May 21, at 3 p.m. Arrive early to enjoy the pre-concert young artists performance at 2:20 p.m. The concert will be followed by a “meet the artist” reception. Tickets are available at the door or at www.musicatstalbansdavidson.org. Cost is $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors, and admission for children and students under 18 is free.
• If you want to step things up a notch, catch a performance at the recently opened Cain Center for the Arts, also in Cornelius — and just down the street from Old Town Pour House — at 21348 Catawba Avenue. The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra will perform Sunday, May 14, at 2 p.m. (doors open at 12:30 p.m.), and tickets range from $47 to $72. View their full schedule and buy tickets for admission and parking online at www.cainarts.org.
Liz Miller has been a Lake Norman resident since 2007, originally relocating from La Jolla, California where she began her real estate career. Liz is married with two daughters and, if she’s not working, she stays busy with her girls’ travel sports, playing tennis, enjoying boating on the lake and is involved with local school and sports programs. Juggling a career and family life can be a challenge, but she says the reward she gets from assisting so many wonderful people and becoming part of their journey makes the hard work worthwhile.
Specializing in luxury waterfront sales, Liz has quickly become one of Ivester Jackson’s top producers since joining the firm in 2019. Being diligent and customer-focused has brought her to the top 1% of Charlotte Realtors and most recently named a Christie’s Real Estate “Master Circle Agent” — a title achieved by only eight North Carolina brokers.
There’s nothing that says long-term like being in business for 120 years. That’s how long it’s been since Piedmont Federal was established, and since then, they’ve been committed to a long-term perspective that keeps them accountable to their clients, teammates and communities, not stockholders.
Assistant Vice President Amanda A. White and Senior Business Banker Brad McMillian have more than 28 years of banking experience between them. For more than nine years, White has enjoyed working with firsttime home buyers, while McMillian has specialized in construction and equipment loans, capital lines of credit and capital financing for 12 years.
Beyond the walls of the bank, both White and McMillian enjoy volunteering in their respective communities. White is heavily involved with her church, serving as church clerk, teaching children’s Sunday School and singing in the church choir. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends or watching the occasional college basketball or
Atlanta Braves game.
McMillian serves on the board of the Ada Jenkins Center and volunteers with the Basketball Beyond Boundaries program as well as the North Carolina Bankers Association Bankers at School Program. When he’s not spending time with his family, his hobbies include actively participating in basketball and boxing
Piedmont Federal offers highly competitive rates and structures on business loans, with fixed terms available and amortizations are optional. There are also fixed rate options for 10-, 15-, 20- and 30-year mortgages for home buyers.
The bank is a well-capitalized, full-service bank with retail and business banking, as well as mortgage and commercial lending.
8600 Sam Furr Road, Suite 260 in Huntersville piedmontfederal.bank
There’s nothing like an up close and personal experience to shape the way you approach your professional life, and that’s exactly what Miranda J. Mills, Managing Partner at Daly Mills Family Law & Estate Planning, brings to her practice. Senior Associate Attorney Danielle R. Feller is also no stranger to the intricacies of family law practice.
“I’ve been through a child custody battle personally,” Mills says. “Danielle and I both have lost parents and have personally experienced the difficulties of that process. This seemed like such a natural transition for us. We’ve been exclusively practicing family law and estate planning since 2019 and we have never looked back.”
That’s the year that Mills took over the firm established by Judith Daly when Daly decided to step back from the practice. Since then, Daly Mills has evolved into a full-scale family law and estate planning firm offering services related to divorce, child custody, property distribution, alimony, wills and trusts, estate administration and guardianship issues — an area of particular concern thanks to those who readily prey on this segment of our population.
“Oftentimes, our clients come in looking for help with elderly parents or family members who can no longer manage their own affairs,” says Mills. “Our aging population is often vulnerable to scammers who take advantage of them and try to steal their money. Our clients want to protect their loved ones and we can help with that. … We can also handle trust and guardianship litigation.”
It’s an issue that was exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, when Mills says there was an increase in high-conflict divorce and custody cases.
“We also saw an increase in guardianship cases,” she says. “Elderly individuals suffered significantly during long periods of isolation. Memory loss and dementia symptoms spiked, even for individuals who were in relatively good physical health. We have managed a large number of guardianship petitions for families struggling to take care of loved ones who need help managing medical care, financial issues and day-to-day life skills.”
Mills says she and Feller have always had a passion for helping people, and that they knew since they met while primarily practicing criminal defense in Charlotte that they could do more for those closer to home.
“We love helping people in our community,” says Mills. “We help people from all walks of life when they are going through incredibly challenging times. There’s no better feeling than knowing you have helped someone.”Daly Mills Family Law & Estate Planning is at 131 Plantation Ridge Drive, Suite 400 in Mooresville.
There aren’t many family-owned companies that can weather three generations of success. Those that have prevailed maintain praiseworthy distinctions of exceptional customer care and satisfaction. Crown Waste & Recycling Systems LLC is one of those companies. “We’re a full-service waste removal company,” says Giovanna Antonacci, who owns the company along with her two brothers. “Our grandparents started the company in New York City in 1958 and, in 2020 during the pandemic, we entered the Charlotte market.
Crown Waste & Recycling Systems LLC is a full-service waste removal company offering daily and weekly residential and commercial waste removal including roll off services for construction job sites and homeowners. The company provides compactors to high trash volume locations and commercial and residential recycling removal as well. “We are very big on recycling, and we’re committed to bringing zero waste to landfills,” says Antonacci. “We believe in making the community cleaner for a better tomorrow.”
Antonacci says the company mission is to always be on time and earn 100% customer satisfaction. They garner exceptional ratings by bringing their customer’s respect, attentiveness and prompt service.
It was a pleasant dental office experience as a five-year-old that started Lindsay Spears, DDS – and owner of Carolina Crossroads Dental Care – down her path toward becoming a dentist.
“The dental hygienist was amazing, super friendly,” Spears says, “and she did such a great job of easing my fears by walking me through every step and letting me touch and hold all her ‘tools.’”
It was from that point on that she knew she wanted a future in dentistry. She interned during high school at her dental office and majored in dental hygiene and chemistry in college. She worked as a dental hygienist through dental school, which she graduated in 2013. Following a two-year stint working in public health dentistry, Spears purchased Carolina Crossroads Dental Care in 2015.
Her practice offers general dentistry care, such as cleanings, fillings, crowns, sealants, extractions and cosmetic options, to name a few of its services. Dr. Spears is also a Forensic Dentist having completed a Fellowship in Forensic Dentistry and is available for Forensic Dental consulting. She serves in dental missions abroad as well, providing free dental work in Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Guyana.
Spears finds great joy in helping patients get the smile they’ve always wanted, and she loves keeping up with the latest trends in dental technology.
“We are passionate about the care we provide, but we are also passionate about delivering the most comfortable, personalized dental experience around,” she says.
Not many people would have waded into opening a business close on the heels of the 2008 recession, but that didn’t intimidate Jamie Ottinger, owner of Express Employment Professionals in Mooresville. Following a stint with Express Personnel in Hickory, Ottinger opened the Mooresville office in 2009 with two staff members – and that gamble has paid off.
“We are known as the area’s premier staffing provider,” she says. “Through our distinctive competence in matching the right employee with the right company, we strive to help as many people as possible with successful workforce placement.”
And it’s not just that initial placement that Ottinger and her team
consider a success. It’s what gets paid forward by building long term partnerships through their staffing services.
“There is nothing more satisfying than seeing an associate who we placed as a machine operator in 2018 walk through our doors with an update that their career journey has taken them to a production manager position who is giving us an order for contract associates for his employer,” says Ottinger.
As the name behind the McAlpine Team at RE/MAX Executive, Sandy McAlpine is no stranger to the real estate industry. Her career has run the full spectrum – from real estate paralegal during her college years to broker-in-charge of a team that closed $62 million in transactions in 2022. But what she’s especially proud of is what she brings to the table for her clients – her spot-on instinct and talent for marketing online, something she’s pursued and perfected since becoming a licensed broker in 2005.
“Marketing is my passion,” she says. “I fell in love with Internet marketing, websites and lead generation. I heavily invested my time into earning as many realty designations as I could, learning about networking and marketing homes online.”
She’s received several top accolades during her career, including Rookie of the Year and top producer, and earned even more awards during her time with RE/MAX as a solo agent. After starting her own boutique brokerage in 2010, she joined as a partner owner in both the Cornelius and Mooresville locations of RE/MAX Executive in 2015.
In addition to the Lake Norman area, she serves clients in the Charlotte, Hickory and Fort Mill, S.C. regions. She currently has 16 team members and two full-time employees with different specialties, ranging from luxury to investors to farms and estates. While mentoring fellow agents in how to grow their networks and convert leads, she also focuses on her clients’ every need.
“I enjoy negotiating for my clients and making sure they have the best experience possible with the least inconveniences,” says McAlpine, adding that strong and consistent communication is the key to making every transaction a smooth one.
While the McAlpine team works hard for their clients, they also support their community. McAlpine says they regularly donate both food and money to organizations such as Piedmont Animal Rescue, Children’s Miracle Network, Mooresville Soup Kitchen and Toys for Tots.
Vic and Amy Petrenko
Determined to provide white glove customer service backed by reputation and heritage, Vic and Amy Petrenko made the strategic decision to join Premier Sotheby’s International Realty. Lake residents themselves, they joined the Lake Norman office, immersing themselves within the community and lake lifestyle.
Vic served in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Brigadier General, accumulating 30 years of experience leading large-scale, multi-disciplined global organizations. He commanded a battalion, the Division Artillery and a brigade combat team in the storied 82nd Airborne Division. He has completed multiple combat tours.
Moving 16 times, during Vic’s military enlistment, Amy became an expert on the transient lifestyle while raising two children. She helped three states understand the nuances of moving families in high school resulting in those states signing the Military Children’s Interstate Compact, which helps transient students graduate on time.
After spending three years in Saudi Arabia, during Vic’s last active-duty
assignment, locating a Lake Norman home became a challenge and an adventure. When not selling real estate, the Petrenkos are traveling, biking, running, walking, boating, sailing, kayaking and paddleboarding. They have served in leadership positions at church and on boards. Vic is on the board of Patriots’ Path and Patriot Military Family Foundation (PMFF). Amy served as chair of PMFF’s The Bag Lady Lunch in ’22 and is on The Outreach Foundations Board.
The Petrenkos broad experience and negotiating skills result in developing long lasting relationships with buyers and sellers. Vic and Amy find providing first class customer service and helping clients with their real estate needs is fun and emotionally rewarding.
The Petrenkos achieved Real Trends status of Top Small Teams in NC and Top 100 Premier Sotheby’s agents of 2021 and 2022.
Victor Petrenko: 910.916.4308 | Amy Petrenko: 910.916.4305
Oral & Facial Surgery offer a wide range of maxillofacial surgery procedures with a concentration on officebased anesthesia, tooth and wisdom tooth extractions, grafting and implant placement, biopsy and pathology management, and correction of jaw deformities and facial trauma.
“Our surgical services can relieve pain and infections, correct pathology and deformities, and help restore dental health and esthetics, while improving the quality of life for our patients,” explains Dr. Coleman. Computer imaging and design has made the practice even more precise in terms of surgical planning everything from major jaw and facial surgeries to implant placement.
State-of-the-art technology combined with excellent patient care sets Carolina Oral & Facial Surgery apart. “We enjoy interacting with patients on a daily basis,” says Dr. Foran. “From the greeting at the front desk through discharge, we make patients feel comfortable throughout their entire experience.”
HealthMarkets Insurance Agency offers health, Medicare and life insurance and, according to Licensed Insurance Agent Kent Pike, “is not your typical health insurance agency.” Pike has been in the insurance business since 2011, opening his own agency in 2011. “We consider ourselves fiduciaries; we dig deep to find a personalized plan that fits our clients’ needs and budget’ he says. “We educate our customers and let them make the appropriate choices for what fits their specific needs.”
With an accumulation of outstanding referrals, the company realizes continued growth year after year. “Our mission is to better the lives of others and to make a meaningful impact on one’s health and well-being; good health makes for a good life. As people decide to retire early or become an entrepreneur, our services are needed more than ever,” says Pike.
Savvy Salon and Day Spa offers many spa services, including lash extensions, microblading and dermaplaning. A favorite option of Spa Director and esthetician Tracy Ledbetter is lash extensions which, according to Ledbetter, have an immediate impact on a person’s appearance.
“Extensions make the client’s eyes appear brighter and more youthful. They can hide sagging eyelid skin and can be subtle or dramatic, depending on the client’s preference.”
Ledbetter has been an employee at Savvy Salon and Day Spa since 2012. Prior to becoming an esthetician, she worked in business administration with a focus on logistics management.
“I was bored with my nine-to-five office job and wanted a change that offered creativity,” she says. “I love the beauty industry because I can offer services that improve my clients’ appearance and boost their confidence.”
Each year, Savvy Salon and Day Spa raises money for a chosen charity. This year’s charity is Angels and Sparrows Community Table and Resource Center in Huntersville.
Waterman Fish Bar
Anthony Bomba (General Manager), Indira Holder (Assistant General Manager), Avery Wager (Service Manager), Lee Blackwell (Bar Manager)
The Waterman Fish Bar provides a seaside state of mind. Its exclusively domestic seafood lineup, innovative flavors and boozy Boat Drinks make for easy sailing, and the restaurant now takes reservations.
At the helm is General Manager Anthony Bomba. Being warmly welcomed to his home in Cornelius, he ensures The Waterman does the same for its community. He values input from guests and has coordinated several changes to better serve Lake Norman residents.
Anthony is surrounded by a passionate crew. Each leader is as genuine as the next. Service Manager Billy Keziah makes it his mission to speak with every guest at least once during his shifts. It’s easy to recognize this team’s faces, but they strive to recognize yours as well.
Talented chefs Hector Garcia and Kai Gouacide keep “fresh” on their minds, ordering the best products, inspecting every delivery and executing memory-worthy meals; for example, the Blackened Seafood Platter paired with a Topside Treasure cocktail is the meal of dreams.
As a neighborhood spot, The Waterman continually seeks opportunities to support its neighbors. Climb aboard the third Wednesday of each month for Neighborhood Night when 20% of sales are donated to a local nonprofit. Other fundraising information is available by visiting www. watermanclt.com.
9615 Bailey Rd | Cornelius, NC watermanclt.com/LKN | 704.237.3247
Spacious and welcoming, abuzz with participants and volunteers, FeedNC’s brand-new facility on Charlotte Highway in Mooresville is already in use and gearing up for its grand opening. Once the doors open, anyone — yes, anyone — is welcome to stop by and have a made-to-order meal free of charge, while getting to know other members of the Lake Norman community.
The kitchen at Donoghue’s Open Door is already in operation, where breakfast and lunch are served and nutritious dishes: Gorgonzola & Pear Salad, Donoghue’s Shepherd Pie, the Mediterranean Bowl, the Tarheel Chicken Sandwich. Meals are prepared and served by volunteers including students in the organization’s Culinary Workforce Development program. It’s just one of many projects underway supporting FeedNC’s overall goal of “creating connections to food, education and resources as a catalyst for change.”
Lara Ingram, Executive Director, social worker and self-described “cat-herder, at times,” is in the thick of the process, getting orders out and strategizing to make the operation work optimally.
Until last March, the 32-year-old organization had been located on South Broad Street in Mooresville and was only about one-third the size. It took “reinventing space several times a day,” says Ingram, but they managed to provide all the routine services including hot meals, groceries and workforce training programs.
Here, the programs now have permanent classrooms and a teaching
kitchen, and there’s precious warehouse space. In the past, a truckload of dry goods offered for donation might have been refused for lack of storage, but “we’ll never have to say no again,” Ingram says.
Over in Grassroots Grocery, people are shopping by appointment. It looks much like any commercial grocery store, with canned goods, fresh produce, bread and a refrigerated section, except that there are volunteers donating their time instead of hired cashiers.
“The one thing there never seems to be enough of is fresh produce; it’s expensive, and harder to keep,” Ingram says. To help fill that need, Mimi’s Garden, a one one-acre produce site is in the works, to supply both Donoghue’s and Grassroots with fresh, nutritious food.
How is all this possible? Through donations, including those received in partnership with Second Harvest Foodbank, and by volunteers. “People’s lives are changed here every day,” Ingram says.
So far in 2023, 600 individuals have volunteered, many of them volunteering multiple times each week, with 50 more volunteer applications pending. It’s a selfless way to give back to the community.Becky photography by Jon Beyerle Left: Operations volunteers work in FeedNC’s new and roomy space. Below: FeedNC Executive Director Lara Ingram takes a seat at a community table.
For the area’s 55+ adults who place no limits on living their best lives!
Spend a little bit of time talking with Lori Savio about her approach to interior design, and the word “intentional” inevitably creeps into the conversation. It’s present in how she describes the way a room — or maybe even an entire home — should feel when just the right décor and finishing touches are made. It’s what drives the design ideas she brings to a client struggling to make their home less of a collection of nicely appointed rooms and more of a space they truly love to live in that’s also functional. Heck, it’s even the name of a signature candle line at her Cornelius home décor and gift shop — Home, Heart & Soul — that has become a musthave for her customers.
What’s funny is, intentional in no way describes the place in which she now finds herself and the latest twist her 40-year interior design career has taken. She has become the go-to design and remodeling remedy for what ails her clients who may be older, who may be relocating to the area in their retirement years or who may have even lost their life partner and have a desire to start anew.
“I wasn’t really looking for it,” Savio says. “It just happened.”
It wasn’t all that long ago that she tragically lost her husband, just a few years before moving to Cornelius in 2016. She had a teenager at the time, and she recalls just what a life-changing event that was. And it was that event that inevitably led her to her career’s next calling. What started out as a private shopping and design consultation at her store for a group of women living in the Bailey’s Glen 55+ community turned into a truly niche design specialty for homeowners with truly unique design goals.
“Being a widow myself, I can relate to how it’s different when you’re trying to figure out your new life without that person,” Savio says, “and how that will look for your house.”
She says most of her clients come to her wanting to make changes while still having a reflection of their spouse or of the life and memories they may have left behind in another place and time. It’s not always about starting from scratch. Often it can just be repurposing, working with what her clients have but freshening things up a bit by adding new pieces, recovering existing furniture or trying different window treatments.
Sounds simple and straight forward, but it can be a delicate task.
“You’re dealing with a lot of emotions,” she says. “But I have empathy for the people who are transitioning into a new way of life.” Her experience has taught her that there is often a commonality to that transition, and it’s a goal her older clients often express.
“They want things to feel comfortable and livable. … They want it to be new and they want it to be fresh, but they don’t want it to feel like you can’t use it.”
Savio says that can mean anything from a simple color scheme change in a living area to a complete re-imagining of a 10,000-square-foot home. She has seen and done it all, and now finds herself in what has turned out to be a very niche design market.
“There are a lot of people moving to North Carolina who are at that last phase of their life,” she says. “They want to downsize; they want a simpler life.” And Savio says her design philosophy fits perfectly with her clients’ goals.
“I believe that my design is simple, it’s approachable, it’s livable, it’s comfortable yet stylish,” she says. “And definitely intentional.”
Vote Now for your favorites! From pizza to pet services, we have a wide variety of business categories, all competing for your vote!
Here’s how to how to vote for the business you believe is the Best of Lake Norman:
• Go to our contest website at www.surveymonkey.com/r/BOTL2023.
• Cast your vote for the business you believe is the BEST.
That’s it! We’ll compile all of the votes and announce the winners in our August issue of CURRENTS!
VOTING BEGINS APRIL 1! Be sure to encourage your friends, co-workers, family members and of course your customers to go to our voting site and cast their vote for your favorite business as the Best of Lake Norman! Voting will end June 30, so you have plenty of time to get as many votes in for your favorite business as possible! Winners will be revealed at a special ceremony to be announced soon. Winners will also be showcased in our August issue and will receive a Best of Lake Norman
“CURRENT” Trophy along with an award certificate to hang prominently in your business!
So, what are you waiting for? Do it now!
We have a bluebird house in our backyard, and we enjoy the hours we spend drinking coffee and watching the brighter blue male and more subdued blue female mates build a nest, nurture their eggs and spend every waking hour feeding their brood once they hatch. And if we are fortunate, we see the fledglings escape the comfort of their temporary home to explore the joy of being a bluebird in the world that awaits them.
May is an excellent time to think about the power and joy of being a mentor and recognize those who have mentored us.
[noun]: someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person
[verb]: to teach or give advice or guidance to (someone, such as a less experienced person or a child)
Graduations, with their emphasis on the commencement of a new phase in the celebrants’ lives, are a particularly appropriate time to consider mentors. As graduates prepare for the unknown — vast and
undetermined — this is a prodigious time for grandparents to lend ear and voice as mentors.
As a longtime high school principal, I worry, particularly in these days of STEM emphasis, that graduates fail to give proper time considering their potential in areas outside of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
Our fractured world desperately needs college students majoring in areas such as:
• The arts: painting, sculpture, literature, architecture, cinema, music and theater
• History and the social sciences: anthropology, economics, political science, sociology, social psychology
• And don’t forget the welders, the plumbers, the mechanics, the caregivers who develop their futures at technical colleges.
Students about to commence the next step in their lives need mentors to help them explore their talents in all education options — or
none. An apprenticeship with an artisan has been a time-honored formula for learning for centuries.
Sometimes a grandparent, as a mentor, can help their much-loved fledglings find their unique aptitudes and show them how to develop and magnify them at the next level so that they become the things that bring them a lifetime of success and joy.
The family mentor is a unique opportunity. After all, teens often listen more closely to grandparents or beloved aunts or uncles than they do to their parents. Trust me. It’s not bad. It is a teen thing! Schools’ counselors and teachers should offer suggestions, but the decision of where to go and what to pursue next belongs around the kitchen table, not in a school office.
May is a month when spring renewal is in the air (literally covering car hoods and nasal passages) and is a perfect time to renew relationships with our mentors. It’s a time to spread a little pollen and goodwill with mentors of our past.
Mentors are generally patient people who don’t expect a “thank you” with any immediacy attached to it.
So, has it been years since you last had a conversation with your mentor? That is not an issue because it is never too late to thank the people who nudged and pushed you to be who you are today.
If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.— Isaac Newton
Dental implants are currently the most advanced and effective way to replace missing teeth. Although the technology has been around for more than 25 years, recent advancements continue to improve the success rates and decrease healing times.
Dental implants are titanium screws that are placed into the bone where the teeth used to be. Implants are very small, ranging several millimeters in width and usually no longer than 15 millimeters. The placement process is quick, with minimal discomfort or down time following the procedure. Placement is tolerated as well as many other common dental procedures.
After several weeks, the bone will heal around the implant and it will be ready to support teeth. Implants can support everything from a single tooth to an entire arch of teeth, depending on how many are used and where they are placed. Much like a house, an implant requires a strong foundation. That foundation is bone. If
inadequate bone is present, grafting procedures can improve bone quality for implant placement.
Oral surgeons are dental specialists who concentrate on procedures to gently remove diseased teeth, graft and prepare bone in the mouth for implant placement, and place the implants to help improve your smile.
To learn more, contact Carolina Oral & Facial Surgery at 704.892.1198 or visit www.carolinaoms.com.
The short answer, in classic legal speak, is, well, it depends. Having a special — or especially valuable — piece of tangible personal property such as a collectible car (see note below about that below) to protect and enjoy during your lifetime, and perhaps pass along to loved ones, can be both an exciting part of your legacy and a challenging part of your estate planning.
There are many issues to consider. How might you avoid or minimize probate, the DMV line, or liability from an accident? How is the car titled? Is it, or should it be in a trust? Is it, or should it be in one spouse’s name or both? How is the fair market value and cost basis of the car to be proved for purposes of probate and future capital gains? If the car is left to a long-distance beneficiary, who will pay the cost of transport?
Working through these issues sooner rather than later can free you to better enjoy your collectible car today knowing that you have done what you can to protect and guide your family’s future interest and enjoyment of that extraordinary piece of property.
A qualified and thoughtful Estate Planning Attorney will ask the right questions to help you define and understand these issues based on your individual circumstances and provide you with options and advice so that you can arrive at the best plan for your family and your property.
Once you have gotten that estate plan up to speed, you can sit back and enjoy the ride!
Note: Tangible personal property is defined in N.C. Gen. Stat. § 105-164.3 as “personal property that may be seen, weighed, measured, felt, or touched or is in any manner perceptible to the senses.” Typically, this definition excludes tangible property used primarily in a trade or business, and most will documents explicitly exclude tangible personal property, like cash and gold bullion, which are owned solely for investment purposes. Intangible personal property includes stocks, bonds, and intellectual property like copyrights and patents.
Genius can be defined as producing something from nothing. When it comes to wine marketing, genius is creating a need in a market space where previously there was none. This is what Robert Mondavi did, back in the day, in the1960s.
At that time, Sauvignon Blanc was an underrated grape in the United States. Mondavi had lots of it and couldn’t find many places to sell it. When he visited the Loire Valley in France he was fascinated with its wines, especially wines from the Pouilly Fumé region. These wines are made using the Sauvignon Blanc grape; most French wines get their name from their location, not by the type of grape they’re made from. That sparked an idea in his head.
When Mondavi returned to the Napa Valley in California, he put his underrated Sauvignon Blanc through a different wine-making process than he had used in the past. Instead of aging wine in neutral stainless-steel vessels, he aged it in French oak barrels. This added more body to the wine. It was vastly different than “normal” Sauvignon Blanc.
Back then, Sauvignon Blanc was considered a boring varietal, used for sweet wine production, satisfying the sweet-toothed United States market. Wines were also too grassy, too acidic, poorly processed and hard to pronounce. They were shunned by many wine drinkers. To avoid the negative image of the varietal name “Sauvignon Blanc,” Mondavi decided to invent another name for his wine.
As history tells us, the ancient Pouilly Fumé regional name for the Sauvignon Blanc grape is Blanc Fumé, which translates to “Smokey White.” Mondavi simply inverted the name and used it for his new wine, Fumé Blanc, and a wine market was born. He didn’t copyright the name, so other wineries jumped onto his
vinous bandwagon, and the wine market expanded. The “new wine” became an instant hit.
Fumé Blanc displays rounder, richer, melon-like flavors. Sauvignon Blanc, on the other hand, often displays the grassy, sharper citrus aromatics of the varietal. While it keeps some attributes of Sauvignon Blanc, Fumé Blanc has a slight amount more body. It pairs fantastically with most foods. With extra body and smoothness, it pairs well with spicy dishes and Asian food.
One more wrinkle to this tale. Two French wines are at the heart of a problem. “Pouilly-Fumé” is often confused with “Pouilly-Fuissé,” misleading people who don’t fully understand the distinctions between the two. The former refers to those Loire Valley dry white wines made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The latter name hails from Burgundy and is made with Chardonnay. These two wines express different taste profiles; thus, some Loire winemakers have gone back to the traditional name for their grapes, Blanc Fumé. The wheel has turned full circle.
There’s an old saying that when life deals you too many lemons, make lemonade. In wine terms, when life deals you too much Sauvignon Blanc, make Fumé Blanc. California’s wine industry owes a great deal to Robert Mondavi, but the story of Fumé Blanc remains one of my favorites. It shows his bright marketing mind and his influence on California wine.
While visiting a local wine merchant, I found a wine from a favorite winery in the Sonoma region, Ferrari Carano — a spectacular locale. Great memories and great sipping. Explore a little, try a bottle of Fumé Blanc and toast the man who brought it to life. Your taste buds will be glad you did.
Saturday May 20, 2023
11 am-5 pm
Elkin Municipal Park
399 Hwy 268 West Elkin, NC
For more info: 336-526-1111
NEW THIS YEAR “Food & Wine Experience”
$25 Per Ticket (must have tasting band to attend)
Certified Sommelier Jeremy Stamps and Executive Chef Tim Thompson will be pairing some of NC best wines with delicious bites. Learn the basics of wine & food pairing, history and information of each winery, & a chance to taste reserve wines not served elsewhere at the festival.
SCAN TO BUY TICKETS EVENTBRITE*
Advance Tickets: $32
Day Of Tickets: $40
*Must be 21 and have ID in order to purchase a ticket
Music: Kids in America (80’s) 11:30-1:30pm & Too Much Sylvia (beach) 2-5pm
Parking: $10.00 per car (proceeds benefiting the Elkin Rescue Squad). Shuttles: From local hotels @ $10.00 each passenger for all day.
Spring has sprung, so let’s lighten up the menu with Mango Shrimp Salad. The light and tropical flavors of this salad are perfect for the sunny days and warmer temperatures that are here.
You may be thinking that pairing mango and shrimp together is a bit unusual but, surprisingly, seafood pairs beautifully with mango by balancing the sweet flavors with the savory — one of my favorite flavor combinations.
The Asian-inspired dressing for this salad is so tasty and super simple to prepare. The combination of sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey, garlic, ginger and soy sauce make an excellent all-around salad dressing, doubling as the shrimp marinade as well.
To prepare this salad, simply add grilled or sautéed shrimp over a bed of crunchy lettuce and bell pepper, add mango and mandarin oranges for sweetness and top with avocado and edamame. Drizzle with the Asian-inspired dressing and you’ll have all the flavor profiles covered.
Served atop a lovely platter at your next get-together, this Mango Shrimp Salad is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Kathy Dicken lives in Huntersville and is the author of The Tasty Bits food blog. For more meal ideas that are simple and delicious, you can follow her blog at www.thetastybits.com or on Instagram @thetastybits.
1.5 to 2 pounds uncooked shrimp – shelled and deveined
8 cups chopped romaine or similar green
2 avocados – pitted and sliced
1 large fresh mango – diced (about 1 cup)
2 mandarin oranges – segmented
1 red bell pepper – diced small
1/3 cup shelled edamame
Optional garnish: Sesame seeds and cilantro leaves
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp. rice vinegar
4 tsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
3 Tbsp. honey
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. minced ginger
Combine marinade ingredients in a mason jar or similar. Shake vigorously to combine. Pour 1/3 of the mixture into a large zip top bag and add shrimp. Seal the bag and massage to distribute the marinade. Chill the shrimp for at least 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate the remaining sauce to use as dressing.
Discard marinade and grill shrimp on skewers over medium heat OR sauté in a skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes on each side, turning once.
To serve, arrange lettuce, avocado slices, mango, mandarin oranges, bell peppers and edamame. Finally, top with grilled shrimp. Serve with reserved dressing and garnish with cilantro and sesame seeds.
Notes: Thawed mango from the frozen section works fine if fresh mango is not available.
You can find shelled edamame in the frozen section at the grocery. Just microwave before adding to this salad.
RestauRant ‘sweetens’ the RestauRant sceneby
The modern Cuban restaurant Azúcar in Huntersville not only means “sugar” in Spanish, but it’s a reference to famous Cuban singer, and Queen of Salsa, Celia Cruz.
“It’s one of Celia Cruz’s most iconic slogans in a way. To her it meant happiness, joy,” says Hector Aguilar, the general manager of Azúcar. The potted palms, lush green velvet couches, vintage Cuban photography and (on many nights) live music at Azúcar are sure to bring joy to guests as they are transported from Huntersville to Havana.
Aguilar recommends guests arrive a little early so they can enjoy the lounge area with a cocktail list featuring seven types of Mojitos, six varieties of Sangria, classic cocktails like the Hemingway, Margarita and Caipirinha, as well as originals like the Lena Al Fuego (whiskey, apple reduction, chile arbol and sugar).
Co-owners Alejandro Soto (also co-owner of Verde in Huntersville) and Martin Alcantar (owner of La Unica) joined forces to create Azúcar, which opened in February of 2022. “We wanted to tell the history of Cuba by showing the modern cuisine that Cuba would have had if it wasn’t for communism,” says Soto.
The chefs give classic Cuban cuisine a twist by bringing in techniques and influences from other countries and cultures.
The influence of other cultures comes to life in appetizers like the Croquetas, a take on the French croquette made with yuca rather than potatoes, and the Cubano, a Cuban sandwich inside an eggroll. For entrees, the cultural fusion continues with options like salmon which is baked inside of a puff pastry with moro rice, sweet plantain and a green pea puree – a style of cooking that originated in Russia. Fans of Italian food will enjoy the gnocchi, made from yuca and paired with skirt steak, bacon chicarrón and a blue cheese sauce.
Azúcar is also open for lunch every day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with $10 lunch specials Monday through Friday. On weeknights they have various specials including $3 mojitos on Monday, half-price
cocktails and acoustic music on “Tuesdate,” $3 wine and sangria on Wednesday and live music and $5 margaritas on Thursday. On Saturday and Sunday, they offer brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring bottomless sangria for $4 and brunch items like el Yuma –ham croquettas, eggs and home fries.
As the weather warms up, guests can enjoy the outdoor patio which seats 50. In addition, Aguilar says they are planning a ticketed event with a “Chinese box” which is, ironically, a traditional Cuban method for roasting a whole pig. The pig roast will be held outside on the patio with live entertainment later this summer.
“We wanted to tell the history of Cuba by showing the modern cuisine that Cuba would have had if it wasn’t for communism...”
Twenty years ago, Mooresville residents Pete and Vienna Barger began thinking about starting their own family business. They were both well into their careers – Pete as a mechanical engineer, and Vienna working with the North Carolina Division of Public Health.
“Pete had at that point been in his third step of his career and all three of those positions had been Director of Engineering or an executive position for family-held companies. So he was putting a lot of time in helping others grow their businesses,” says Vienna. “We wanted that opportunity for us.”
Having both grown up in entrepreneurial families, they wanted to create something of their own. They started looking into different opportunities like franchises, buying a company or starting a winery. Eventually after years of research and networking, they founded the Southern Distilling Company in Statesville. They would soon dis-
cover that Statesville, where Pete is from, had a rich whiskey-making history thanks to its location and agricultural resources.
In 2014, the Bargers purchased the property and shell building in Statesville where the distillery sits today, visible from I-77 and just north of I-40.
“From a traffic standpoint and from a trucking, freight, transportation standpoint, it’s a great place to be,” says Vienna. In addition, their location in the middle of a farming community is a huge asset to their business. “It’s a great full circle agricultural location,” says Vienna.
The Southern Distilling Company buys 55,000 pounds of grain per day, almost all of it coming from within 20 miles of the distillery. After the grain is fermented, the grain-related waste product goes back to the farmers who use it as a fertilizer or feed for cattle.
“We are really an integral part of the agricultural activity in the community,” says Vienna.
Pete’s background in engineering has allowed the Southern Distilling Company to set itself apart in the business using automation and technology to disrupt a traditional industry.
“We’ve employed industrial control,” says Pete. “The result of that is we have more consistent product and we can tweak product differently than most other producers, which is important since we have so many clients and they all want something different.”
The majority of their business is supplying more than one hundred different brands around the world with new fill barrels as well as aged barrels of whiskey. They currently produce around 22,000 barrels per year, with plans to build a second distillery which will increase their production to 90,000 barrels per year.
In addition to contract production for other brands, they have created their own Southern Star brand, with several premium bourbons, rye whiskeys and a bourbon cream liqueur. Southern Star Paragon Cask Strength Single Barrel Wheated Straight Bourbon Whiskey was recently awarded Best in Class (Best Single Bourbon Up to 10 years) and Best Overall Bourbon out of a field of 650 spirits at the New York Wine & Spirits Competition ’22. Southern Distilling Company donates half of the proceeds from its Southern Star Double Rye to the Statesville-based charity Purple Heart Homes, which is committed to building and renovating homes for veterans.
Southern Distilling Company has plans to release a Heritage Spirits line, which is a nod to Statesville’s own whiskey-making history. Prior to prohibition, thanks to the crossroads of the railroads and the agricultural resources in the area, Statesville was actually known as a hub for liquor production. Farmers who had leftover grain would ferment and distill it and then bring their variants to a rectification house. The rectifiers would re-distill it to create a consistent product. Pete and Vienna learned there were six large rectification houses established in Statesville before the temperance movement gained
traction and Statesville voted to go dry in 1903 (17 years before the rest of the country).
“It put out of business a thriving industry that was supporting this whole region and a lot of the families here,” says Vienna.
One of the rectification houses that was shut down was J.C. Summers, the creator of the Hunting Creek Rye Whiskey brand. As a nod to the past, Southern Distilling Company has reclaimed the trademarks from some of those historic brands and will bring them back to life in their Heritage Series, beginning with the release of Hunting Creek Rye Whisky.
Visitors to Southern Distilling Company can learn more about the distilling process on a one-hour tour ($15) which includes a tasting, or they can just purchase a tasting or a cocktail and enjoy the cozy tasting room and surrounding farm, complete with mini donkeys — Tilly, Clemy, Marley and Barley.
The recently completed barn will be available for events this summer and will accommodate up to 500 people (weather permitting). The soaring space features a beautiful chandelier, a staircase that leads to a private area which can be used as a bridal suite, walls adorned with strips of wood from whiskey barrels and a copper counter trim around the perimeter. Garage doors can be opened to create an indoor/outdoor event with an attached patio.
Remarkably, with the upcoming expansion and growth of the business, Southern Distilling Company remains family owned and family controlled, which was their goal from the beginning.
“It’s a lot of fun to be here,” says Pete. “Our goal is to build a business everyone wants to buy, but we’re having too much fun running [to sell].”Above: Owners Vienna and Pete Barger enjoy a break on the distillery grounds. Right: Distillery employees releasing the barrel.
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 – Heart & Vascular
Jips Zachariah, MD
Naveed Rajper, MD
359 Williamson Road
Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1829
PHC – Mooresville Dermatology
Naomi Simon, MD
Michael Redmond, MD
Sarah Carlock, MD
Kristin Prochaska, PA-C
Gina Noble, PA-C
Heather Hollandsworth, FNP
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
“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
Cornelius, Mooresville, Denver www.Rivaderm.com
Ears, Nose and Throat
PHC – Lake Norman Ear, Nose, & Throat
Keith Meetze, MD
Thomas Warren, MD
Herb Wettreich, MD
Fred New, Jr., ANP
140 Gateway Blvd.
Mooresville, NC 28117
Elaine Sunderlin, MD
170 Medical Park Road, Floor 3
Mooresville, NC 28117
PHC – Nabors Family Medicine
Emily Nabors, MD
142 Professional Park Drive
Mooresville, NC 28117
PHC – Lake Norman Family Medicine
Timothy A. Barker, MD
Heather C. Kompanik, MD
Bruce L. Seaton, DO
Amanda H. Bailey, DO
Kyle Babinski, DO
Sherard Spangler, PA
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 – 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
Janeal Bowers, FNP
Kimberly Whiton, FNP
Kelly Buchholz, 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 – Gastroenterology
Brandon Marion, MD
April Lockman, NP
359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-878-2021
PHC –Comprehensive Digestive Care Center
Vivek Trivedi, MD
Tiedre Palmer, FNP-C
359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-878-2021
Laila Menon, MD
Gabrielle Miller, NP
170 Medical Park Road, Floor 3
Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-664-9506
PHC – Fox Internal Medicine
Jessica Fox, DO
Jacqueline Swope, FNP
435 East Statesville Avenue Mooresville, NC 28115 • 704-663-5056
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
Mental Health Services
PHC-Mastor Mental Health
Jason E. Mastor, MD
Kristin C. Brown, PA-C
Megan I. Flott, PA-C
Diana J. Remenar, PA-C
206 Joe V. Knox Ave. Suite F Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-662-6500
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
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
NailaRashida Frye, MD
Coral Bruss, ANP-C
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
PHC – Piedmont Bone & Joint
Scott Brandon, MD
Brett L. Feldman, MD
Alex Seldomridge III, MD
Kim Lefreniere, PA-C
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
PHC – Pain & Spine Center
Harsh Govil, MD, MPH
James Murphy, MD
April Hatfield, FNP-C
359 Williamson Road
Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1829
Enrique Ordaz MD
Jose Perez MD
Ahmed Elnaggar, MD
Vishal Patel, MD
170 Medical Park Road, Suite 201, 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
CURRENTS Magazine wants to see your fun-loving, tail-wagging, camera-craving canine adorning our Facebook page and on the cover of our annual Pet Issue coming in July.
1. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LNCurrents
2. Message us on Facebook with a photo of your Camera-lovin’ Canine along with a brief description of how you and your primpy pup first met and why he/she should adorn the cover of CURRENTS’ July 2023 Pet issue!
3. Contact your friends and have them “like” your post on our page!
The pup with the most votes will appear on the cover of our July 2023 Pet issue! The top three contestants will be featured inside the issue with a brief synopsis of their story!
All entry photos must be submitted along with the dog’s name and name of pet-parent no later than 9 p.m. Friday, May 19. Feel free to include a brief story of why your precious pup should appear on our cover.*
All votes; aka “likes” must be in by 9pm, Wednesday, June 3.
*all contestants must reside in the Lake Norman area; Cornelius, Davidson, Denver, Mooresville, Huntersville, Troutman, Statesville. Winner will be contacted for their photo shoot to appear on our July cover!!
(one vote per person please)