WALTER Magazine - September 2018

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Atlantic Tire’s Anthony Blackman





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Volume 7, Issue 1



WALTER PROFILE Anthony Blackman by Will Lingo photography by Smith Hardy


THROUGH THE LENS Imagine Circus by Catherine Currin photography by Gus Samarco


STORY OF A HOUSE Personal Charm by Catherine Currin photography by Catherine Nguyen


AT THE TABLE Postmaster by Alex Dixon photography by Ben McKeown


ARTIST IN STUDIO Peppertrain Jewelry by Iza Wojciechowska photography by Jillian Clark

102 DESTINATION WALTER Chihuly at Biltmore by Jason Frye photography by Nick King 108 GIVERS CASA by Hampton Williams Hofer photography by Juli Leonard


86 On the cover: Kaci Torres and Liz Bliss perform with an aerial hoop at downtown Raleigh’s SkyHouse; Photograph by Gus Samarco


Jillian Knight (PEPPERTRAIN); Smith Hardy (ANTHONY); Ben McKeown (POSTMASTER)


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OUR TOWN On Duty: Philip Freeman Shop Local: Canterbury Shop Game Plan: Shane Dittmar The Usual: Poker Face Girls by Katherine Poole and Samantha Gratton photography by Eamon Queeney OUR TOWN SPOTLIGHT Green House by Iza Wojciechowska photography by Eamon Queeney AFIELD Loose on the Neuse words and photography by CC Parker

117 EVENTS WINnovation 2018 WALTER’s Book Club

by Catherine Currin 138 END NOTE ‘Que Up

by Catherine Currin


Letter from WALTER



20 Your feedback 22 The Mosh 24 Raleigh Now

112 QUENCH Pinetop Distillery by Catherine Currin photography by Taylor McDonald


38 Triangle Now 127 The Whirl


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t seems Raleigh is growing in every direction. There’s a new collaborative design space in Five Points (p. 60), a caninefriendly spot to grab a brew in Holly Springs (p.42), and a plant oasis right on Wilmington Street (p. 24). Towers are rising on Fayetteville Street and at the Dillon, and Bird scooters are popping up for a downtown cruise. Wherever you live, work, or play, there’s likely a new restaurant, bar, or shop to explore. While some things change, some stay the same. Clyde Cooper’s Barbeque celebrates 80 years of pig cookin’ (p. 138), and 40 years later, you can still get a hot dog all-the-way at Snoopy’s (p. 28). Our city is full of generous givers, from the folks at CASA (p. 108), to Atlantic Tire’s Anthony Blackman (p. 66). From Bluegrass to Dreamville to Art of Cool, music festivals are flocking to the Triangle each September (p. 38). As Raleigh grows, so does WALTER. To celebrate our sixth year in publication, you’ll find us in new spaces this month, tucked into vintage News & Observer stands refurbished by local artists. As we expand to new places, we can’t forget our roots. This month marks our 4th annual WINnovation, featuring a group of five extraordinary women that will share their stories of career and personal growth (p.117). One of this year’s WINnovation speakers, Lindsay Zanno, says it best: “There’s a spirit here that feels kind of boundless.” There’s inspiration and change all around us, but our foundation remains: there’s a sense of pride to be a Raleighite. We hope you’ll join us for the ride, and enjoy the first glimpse of fall within our pages.

While some things change, some stay the same.

Beauty, Artistry, Tradition

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Advertising Sales Manager JULIE NICKENS



Senior Account Executive & Operations CRISTINA HURLEY


Published 10 times a year by The News & Observer Publishing Co. A McClatchy Company


WALTER is available by paid subscriptions for $14.99 a year in the United States, as well as select rack and advertiser locations throughout the Triangle.

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WALTER does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. Please contact Catherine Currin at for freelance guidelines. ©The News & Observer. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the copyright owner.

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ALEX DIXON / W R I TE R Dixon is a writer and journalism researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For this month’s At the Table, he investigated the history of Cary and how it intertwines with one of the town’s newest restaurants, Postmaster. “Cary, like the rest of the Triangle, is experiencing rapid growth so it’s nice to see acknowledgements of the past while plotting what it may look like in the future” he says. Photo by Surya


HAMPTON WILLIAMS HOFER / WR I T ER Hofer lives in Raleigh where she writes and raises babies. She says she struggled to stay within the word limit when writing this month’s Givers, because every messy, heartbreaking, redemptive, hopeful story she heard at CASA deserved to be told. “CASA’s story has really stuck with me because I had never even heard of CASA before, and now I want everyone to know about them—about the way they are literally changing the face of homelessness in our community. Anyone who learns about CASA and the people they serve will undoubtedly want to support them.”

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Born and raised in Brazil, Samarco has been living in Raleigh since 2000 and photographing since 2010. He joined the circus for this month’s Through the Lens with Imagine Circus. “I have followed the Circus community in Raleigh since I first started photographing in 2010, for the very simple reason that they are incredible subjects for a photographer, never mind the fact that all are talented, humble, and great people that I am proud to know. ”

JILL KNIGHT / P HOTO GR A PH ER Knight is an editorial, wedding, and lifestyle photographer in Raleigh. She is a former staff photographer at The News & Observer and digital producer at WRAL. Her photos have appeared in The New York Times, The Associated Press, and The New Yorker. Knight photographed this month’s Artist in Studio featuring Kaitlin Ryan of Peppertrain Jewelry. “It’s always fun to work with other creatives. Photographing Kaitlin was like spending time with a friend. I loved watching her pour over the tiny details of her custom pieces.”

all photos courtesy of contributors

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Tailgating goals

CACKALACKY DAY September 28 is National North Carolina Day. Don a N.C. flag hat from House of Swank, then queue up for Clyde Cooper’s Barbeque (p. 138). Absorb all things native to the Old North State at the history and natural sciences museums, or pick up some Got to Be N.C. produce at the State Farmers Market. Raise a glass to Cackalacky with a Carolina Gin cocktail from Pinetop Distillery (p. 112).


Birthday bouquet Fleur boutique in North Hills celebrates its 15th anniversary September 26. Shop the fall collection while enjoying champagne, cupcakes, and special savings throughout the store. Be sure to try on the signature Fleur 15th earring, which will be unveiled at the celebration. 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.; 4209 Lassiter Mill Rd #126;

Durham Distillery has taken their bestselling liquor and made it portable—in a can. You can tipple a Conniption gin with tonic, or signature cucumber vodka with soda for a bubbly bev on the go. Grab a few before the big game at Carter-Finley, Kenan, or Wallace Wade.



Indulge in a cone of seasonally inspired ice cream at Two Roosters’ new Person Street location...Fuel up for power shopping with a Krispy Kreme doughnut from the new kiosk at Crabtree Valley local at Mandolin Farm’s fall dinner Sept. 6...get plucky at the 12th annual Hoppin’ John Old-Time and Bluegrass Fiddler’s Convention at Shakori Hills Sept. 13-15...have fun storming the castle while The Princess Bride screens at The Rialto Sept. 17...get a behind the scenes tour of the State Capitol Sept. 22...

The 54th annual Frankie Lemmon Golf Classic tees off September 24 at TPC Wakefield Plantation. The tournament benefits the Frankie Lemmon School, a development center providing education and support for children with and without disabilities aged 3-5. Golf for good—it’s a hole in one.

courtesy House of Swank (HAT); courtesy Fleur (DRESS); courtesy Durham Distillery (CANS); Adobe Stock (ICE CREAM, GOLF)

“Do you remember the 21st night of September? / Love was changing the minds of pretenders / while chasing the clouds away.”

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LOOSE LEAF The Zen Succulent opens in downtown Raleigh location


aleigh native Megan George has been taking care of plants for as long as she can remember. “My mom and I would do the typical chores, and then we’d tend to the plants. It was all greenery all the time,” she says. George has taken her green thumb to the next level with her shop, The Zen Succulent. With the success of the original flagship store in downtown Durham, George says she couldn’t be more thrilled for the space that recently opened on Wilmington Street. “We’ve wanted to be in Raleigh from the beginning. It made sense because people came to our Durham shop as a sort-of ‘destination.’ There are plant people here, and we want to build that community.” The shop, overflowing with gifts and greenery, is complete


with prickly cacti, towering fig leaf trees, and a DIY Terrarium Bar. There’s also natural light and a wealth of knowledge. George is not only a business owner and self-proclaimed plant lady, she’s also the author of Modern Terrarium Studio. She says that she wants shop visitors to feel comfortable and part of a community, whether it’s asking questions about how to keep their houseplant alive or sharing a gardening success story. The team at The Zen Succulent hopes to serve as a friendly face in a space to share knowledge, she says. George describes the process of opening the Raleigh shop as “good vibes all the way through,” and she hopes those vibes translate into the bright and welcoming space. —Catherine Currin

Allie Mullin Photography

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OPA! Come out for an Olympic-size Hellenic experience September 7-9 at the Raleigh Greek Festival. Now in its 37th year, the festival began as a way for parishioners of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church to share their heritage and culture with the community. Enjoy three days immersed in the Mediterranean at the Fairgrounds Jim Graham Building: shop vendors selling Greek-inspired art, jewelry, and gift items; take in a traditional folk dance; pick up a few tips at a cooking demo; and eat, eat, eat. The Holy Trinity family will be serving up all the baklava, galaktoboureko, moussaka, pastitsio, souvlaki, gyros, and salata. Greek out. $3 general admission; $2 seniors and students 13-18, free for children under 13; 1025 Blue Ridge Road.;


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Pay tribute to the purple one at 4U: A Symphonic Celebration of Prince at Red Hat Amphitheater September 13. This is the premier tour of the only Prince estate-approved symphony performance. Joining the stage with a full orchestra, world class vocalists and musicians perform the hits and the highlights from Prince’s extensive musical catalog curated by The Roots frontman, Questlove. Fans, be prepared to get delirious. 7:30 p.m.; $25 - $85; 500 S. McDowell St.;

Takaaki Iwabu (GREEK); Purple Rain by Denise Huges (PRINCE)






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Trunk Show Sept. 26-28

Décor demonstration by Creative Director & Founder, Erin Weston courtesy Snoopy’s

Wednesday September 26, 2018 12-2PM A curated collection for La Maison will be available to pre-order for fall and holiday décor.

OLD DOG, SAME TRICKS Martha J. Schneider, Owner & Designer 4209 Lassiter Mill Road, Suite #132 Raleigh, NC 27609

919. 324.2310


fter 40 years, Snoopy’s Hot Dogs & More doesn’t have plans to change a thing. The virtually untouched hot dog joint takes pride in their history, with tried-and-true recipes that Raleighites crave. “We seldom change a recipe,” says founder Steve Webb. “If you came to Snoopy’s last year, 15 years ago, or today, your menu item would be prepared the same with the same ingredients and taste the same.” Webb says his favorite menu item is a hot dog ‘Snoopy’s Way’—mustard, onion, and chili—while other best sellers include their crinkle cut fries and chicken salad. You can celebrate with Snoopy’s all year long but especially September 9-15. There will be giveaways, half-price hot dogs, and plenty of that coveted crushed ice to go around. —Catherine Currin


courtesy SPARKcon (SPARK); Rachel Neville Photography (FIREBIRD)


13-16 SPARK PLUG It’s all right there in the motto: “We’re here. We’re weird. It’s awesome.” SPARKcon, the four-day event celebrating the arts, returns to downtown September 13. VAE, a nonprofit art gallery and incubator, is the visionary force behind the festival. This year SPARKcon will welcome more than 2,000 artists in over 200 events designed for creative leaders to connect and engage with the community. All disciplines are represented: art, circus, comedy, dance, design, fashion, film, literature, music, food, and theatre. SPARKcon offers an eclectic mix of performance and interactive activities designed to captivate anyone of any age, such as bike polo, breakdancing, inflatable architecture, music video dance party, and a fire-breathing dragon. Come out and get creative, it only takes a spark. See website for festival hours; free; Fayetteville St.;

OCTOBER 8, 2018

13-30 TO RUSSIA WITH LOVE The Carolina Ballet opens its 2018-19 season with Firebird & A Tribute to Russian Ballet & Its Composers at the Fletcher Opera Theater. The evening opens with a performance of Firebird by Igor Stravinsky. Based on the classic Russian fairytale complete with a charming prince, plucky princess, and evil sorcerer, co-artistic director Zalman Raffael brings the magic and majesty of this major work to roaring life. The tribute to Russian music and dance continues with selections from Tchaikovsky and a performance from Aram Khachaturian’s Spartacus. September 13-30; See website for showtimes and ticket prices; 2 East South Street;

OCTOBER 24, 2018

NOVEMBER 2, 2018

NOVEMBER 4, 2018


NOVEMBER 10, 2018

NOV 23-DEC 24, 2018

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SCENIC SOUND Raleigh Symphony kicks off new season


aleigh Symphony Orchestra will begin and end its 39th season outdoors—in the scenic rosegarden confines of Stephenson Amphitheatre at Raleigh Little Theatre. Things will kick off on a cinematic note September 16 with a program titled Heroes & Villains of the Stage and Screen. Repertoire for the opening program includes Neal Hefti’s 1966 classic Batman Theme from the TV series, Monty Norman’s James Bond theme, Henry Mancini’s The Pink Panther theme from the Inspector Closeau comedies, and more. The

upcoming schedule features a Halloweenthemed program October 21 at Meredith College’s Jones Auditorium; a “Rising Stars” concert February 3 at Jones Auditorium; May the Fourth Be With You: John Williams and His Influences, May 4 with music by the iconic Star Wars composer; and, back at Stephenson Amphitheatre, West Side Story for the finale May 18-19. You can also catch the orchestra at a series of free pre-season pop-up shows September 2 at so•ca and September 9 at Tazza Kitchen Cameron Village. —David Menconi

September 16 (rain date September 23);

courtesy Raleigh Symphony


N&O Archives (BUG); courtesy (QUEEN)


15 INSECT-A-SITE It’s time once again to celebrate all the creepies, crawlies, and bumpers in the night. Bugfest is spinning its web over the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences September 15. This year’s theme dives into the world of the trusty crustacean, the Arthropod. Get bugged by 100 exhibits, crafts, and activities inside and outside of the museum, including a beginner Beekeeping Workshop. Bring in the fanged, furry mystery insect found on the bedroom wall to the Stump the Experts table. Sample exotic dishes featuring insects as the main course. Plan to stay for the Evening Insectival from 5-7 p.m. on the Plaza at Edenton Street. It’s a street carnival vibe with live music and bug stations starring the creatures of the night: moths, fireflies, and katydids. Bug out. 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.; free; 11 W. Jones St.;


Scaramouch, scaramouch will you do the fandango? You will want to ride your bicycle over to Meymandi Concert Hall for The Music of Queen with the North Carolina Symphony September 15. A full rock band joins the symphony on stage for this royal tribute. It will rock you. 8 p.m.; $37 - $77; 2 E. South St.;

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DREAM BIG J. Cole brings music festival to Dix Park


orth Carolina native J. Cole will be joined by his hip-hop contemporaries for the first annual Dreamville Festival at Dix Park this month. Adam Rodney, festival producer and creative director of Dreamville Records, says the crew is excited to bring new artists to downtown Raleigh. “Cole and our Dreamville team have been working behind the scenes on this event for over two years. We’ve explored hundreds of potential locations up and down North Carolina, and we’re really excited about what we can build in our new home at Dorothea Dix Park in Raleigh.” The Grammy-nominated rapper who grew up in Fayetteville now resides in Raleigh, and released his fifth numberone album KOD earlier this year. The Dreamville duo hopes to create some-

thing unique in the midst of festivals popping up nationwide. “We plan for Dreamville Festival to be an annual tradition for our fans, Raleigh residents, and visitors across the globe,” says Rodney. There are 3 levels of VIP packages for the September 15 performances, from ‘JV’ to ‘MVP,’ which include everything from Dreamville swag to bar and restroom perks. Rodney says Cole has carefully selected the hip-hop centric lineup. “I feel we have some acts that really speak to die-hard Cole fans, although we are looking to showcase several notable acts of North Carolina fame too,” he says. “The festival is an opportunity for J. Cole to give back to his home state, which has helped shape the successful and creative artist he has become.” —CatherineCurrin

12 noon; for tickets, VIP access, and more information, visit

Scott Roth (J. COLE); courtesy Dreamville Festival (LOGO)

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20 courtesy (STRINGER); courtesy Tobacco Road Harley Davidson (HOG)

STRINGER BELL Joshua Bell, one of the most celebrated violinists of our time, returns to Raleigh September 20 to perform with the North Carolina Symphony. The Grammy Award-winning prodigy and virtuoso will perform the Brahms Violin Concerto. Conductor Grant Llewellyn will round out the evening of masterful performance with selections from Rimsky-Korsakov, Liszt, and Berlioz. 6:30 p.m.; $33 - $200; 500 S. McDowell St.;


21-23 WHOLE HOG Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines and plug up your ears, the 14th annual Capital City Bikefest rolls into Raleigh September 21-23. This family friendly event is hosted by Tobacco Road Harley Davidson (TRHD) (formerly Ray Price Harley Davidson) and attracts thousands of riders and enthusiasts to downtown for a weekend of celebrating bike culture. Highlights include juried bike shows open to all motorcycle owners; the Show of Lights (formerly the Parade of Lights), a night ride showcasing flashy, customized lighting and accessories; a car show; and Tattoofest, which is exactly what it sounds like. Kickstands go up for the Patriot Ride September 21, a memorial ride from TRHD to the Holly Springs War on Terror Memorial for a wreath laying ceremony. Plenty of vendors will be on hand all weekend at the Raleigh Convention Center and at TRHD to share the latest in gear and technology. Add in live music, thrilling stunt shows, and special guests from the biking world to get you revved up. Proceeds from the bikefest benefit the United Services Organization (USO) and the United States Veterans Corps (USVC). See website for full schedule of events, locations, and to register for events;

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Ahoy matey, all hands on deck for the City of Oaks Pirate Fest September 22 at the North Carolina Museum of History. The museum marks 300 years since Blackbeard, that son of a biscuit eating pirate terrorized the N.C. coast and lost his head in a skirmish with British soldiers. Get your sea legs to this family friendly event and meet Blackbeard, join in swordplay, sing sea shanties, enter a costume contest, and engage in general swashbuckling tomfoolery. Food trucks will be on hand to feed the salty dogs and scallywags. Thar she blows! Full steam ahead. 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; free; 5 E. Edenton St.; pirate-fest



from the

5:30 P.M. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25 MILBURNIE FISHING CLUB 1308 Old Milburnie Rd., Raleigh, NC 27604 SPONSORED BY Join WALTER for a spirited evening of good-natured sport & tales from the wild. Guests can participate in demos and interactive skill stations while enjoying local beer and Southern fare from the Milburnie Fishing Club.


FEELIN’ GROOVY Make a move to Groove in the Garden September 22 at Raleigh Rose Garden’s Stephenson Amphitheater. Suitable for all ages, the day long music festival is back for its fourth year with a full line up of live acts including Lydia Loveless, Loamlands, Pie Face Girls, and ZenSoFly. Specialty vendors, local food trucks, and concessions including beer, wine, and Larry’s Coffee will help groovers stay vibing throughout the day. Be Groove approved: blankets, lawn chairs, and picnics are welcome, but keep alcohol and glass bottles at home. Dogs are welcome too, but must be on leash. 1:30 p.m.; $10 in advance, $15 day of, $25 advance ticket and t-shirt, $65 VIP ticket; 301 Pogue St.;

Associated Press (BOOTY); Ana Caicedo (GROOVY)



Fall Collections have arrived

ARTSY OUTDOOR INSPIRATION Get your creative juices flowing the Well Fed Community Garden Sept. 29, with basic painting and a picnic from Irregardless. Art in the Garden ticket prices include lunch and a watercolor kit (you can bring more advanced materials at your discretion). $38; 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.; 1321 Athens Dr.;, keywords: art in the garden

k a n non s c lot h i n g . c om WOMEN 2015 Cameron St . | 919.365.7074 ON DISPLAY You can visit the Judaic Gallery at NCMA to see a shiny new acquisition. The museum is now the home to an 18th century Torah Crown from Venice, pictured above. NCMA is one of two museums in the country with a permament Judaic collection, and the delicate and detailed silver crown was restored by renowned silversmith Ubaldo Vitali.

COOPER’SFurniture Quality, Selection, Value & Service Since 1929

BE SCENE You can visit the City of Raleigh museum this month for a throwback. The museum has curated a special exhibit of The Underground at Cameron Village, with photographs from The News & Observer’s Chris Seward. There are thousands of photos documenting the local nightlife scene from the ‘70s and ‘80s. 220 Fayetteville St.;

Tuesday-Friday 10am-6pm • Saturday 10am-5pm • Closed Sunday & Monday

820 East Chatham St., Cary 27511 Corner of East Chatham St. and Maynard Rd.



Armes Photography


MOVING FORW ARD Carolina Ballet debuts dance school


his month, Carolina Ballet is expanding into a new space: the classroom. The School of Carolina Ballet officially opens for classes September 10 at their headquarters on Atlantic Avenue. Executive director Michele Weathers says that a school, open to all ages and levels, has always been a part of the company’s plan, and the timing is finally right. “The stars aligned in a way. We saw this opportunity to expand our space as the right time to begin the school and celebrate our 20th anniversary.” Creative director Zalman Raffael hopes to preserve the community that exists while simultaneously adding to it. “Without having a younger group, it’s challenging to develop


the next generation of patrons and dancers,” he says. The pair says they hope the school will create more access points to ballet and the performing arts in general. Each Saturday, Raffael will teach a class as part of an outreach program, reaching students that may not have the means to take classes or attend the ballet. “After 20 years of presenting ballets to the Triangle, the next step is incorporating a younger generation that grows up with those works and new works,” says Raffael. —Catherine Currin 3401 Atlantic Avenue;



courtesy Marvel Studios/Disney (PANTHER); Getty Images (STORYTELLING)

PANTHER PRIDE Transport to a mythical, Marvel-ous world at Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., Theater in the Museum Park for the Wakanda Forever! Black Panther Movie Party Sept. 28. For the uninitiated, Wakanda is a super secret mythical country in Africa populated by a technologically and socially advanced people. The blockbuster film celebrates African culture and so does the movie party. Enjoy special music and African art-making activities before the film screening. Food trucks as well as beer and wine vendors will be out in full force as well. Fully immerse in the experience by touring the newly redesigned African Gallery, which will be open until 9 p.m. Be a super being: blankets, lawn chairs, and picnics are welcome, but leave the alcohol and glass containers at home. Wakanda forever. 6:30 p.m.; $8 members, $10 nonmembers, free children under six; 2110 Blue Ridge Rd.;

29 ONCE UPON A TIME Children (of all ages), come gather round for the 35th Annual Storytelling Festival at Oak View Park sponsored by Wake County Public Libraries and Wake County Parks, Recreation, and Open Space. Spend a whimsical day September 29 at the park listening to professional storytellers perform tales, fairy and tall alike. Featured yarn-spinners include: Heather Forest, Sherry Norfolk, Bobby Norfolk, and musical guest Crann Ull. Live your own adventure story by participating in one of the activity tents or riding the wagon shuttle. Food vendors will also be available to fuel the fun. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and tuck in for a great escape—guaranteed happily ever after. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.; free; 4028 Carya Dr.; events/1941198326161606

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WITH BODY AND SOUL Bluegrass opens wide


he grass is always bluer in late September when the World of Bluegrass descends upon downtown Raleigh. Presented by the International Bluegrass Musicians Association (IBMA), the week-long series of events brings together industry professionals, amateur musicians, and fans of the music tradition deeply rooted in North Carolina. The week kicks off September 25-27 at the Raleigh Convention Center with the IBMA Business Conference, a trade show for bluegrass professionals to network and share the latest advancements in technology and sound. The professional conference concludes with the IBMA Awards Show to recognize and honor the best in bluegrass across 17 categories. It’s not all work … also on the calendar is the Bluegrass Ramble, a showcase of over 200 performances introducing up and coming talent to the bluegrass community. Acts will be playing September 25-27 at venues all around downtown, including the Raleigh Convention Center, Vintage Church, Kings, the Pour House, The


Architect Bar and Social House, and Lincoln Theatre. Business in the front, party in the back: Bows will be rosined and strings will be tuned September 28 - 29 for Wide Open Bluegrass. The self described “one-of-a-kind urban bluegrass festival” will spill into downtown with over 100 bands performing on seven stages. Square dance and clogging sessions, workshops, street performers, vendors, food and adult beverage trucks, and the Whole Hog BBQ Championship contribute to the hootenanny. Red Hat Amphitheater serves as the main stage featuring big names and emerging acts (see right sidebar). Main stage performances are ticketed and up to half of the proceeds benefit the Bluegrass Trust Fund, a nonprofit organziation that helps bluegrass professionals in times of need. Downtown will be wide open: impromptu jam sessions, clogging in the street, humming, strumming, picking, and a whole lot of grinning. —Katherine Poole

Be well addressed... SEPTEMBER

GRASS FED WORLD OF BLUEGRASS EVENTS SEPT. 25 - 27 Bluegrass Rumble Various clubs downtown

SEPT. 25 - 27 IBMA Business Conference Raleigh Convention Center

SEPT. 27 IBMA Awards Show 7:30 p.m.; Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts

920 Runnymede Road Coley Forest


3309 Bellewood Forest Circle Bellewood Forest


SEPT. 28 - 29 Wide Open Bluegrass Festival Downtown


FRIDAY, SEPT. 28 Alison Brown, Becky Buller, Sierra Hull, Missy Raines, and Molly Tuttle, with guest appearances by Gillian Welch and Rhiannon Giddens The Earls of Leicester presented by Jerry Douglas The TRUST, an all-star set featuring Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Balsam Range, Lonesome River Band, Donna Ulisse, Chris Jones and The Night Drivers, Sideline, and Love Canon

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SATURDAY, SEPT. 28 Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder with guest appearance by Patty Loveless The Wide Open Jam presented by Leftover Salmon The Gibson Brothers Chatham County Line and friends, featuring Mandolin Orange, Libby Rodenbough (Mipso), Bobby Britt (Town Mountain), and Compton and Newberry Laurie Lewis and friends Volume Five For more information, tickets, and a full schedule of events, visit

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7 WORLD WONDER Blues legend Taj Mahal will cakewalk into town for a performance with the Taj Mahal Trio and Jontavious Willis at the Carolina Theatre in Durham. Mahal’s career spans 50 years, beginning with the formation of the band Rising Sons with Ry Cooder and continuing as a self-taught singer-songwriter, film composer, and two-time Grammy Award winner. The multi-instrumentalist infuses elements of world music into traditional American blues for a sound that has left an indelible mark on the genre. His influence reaches far and wide; he has played with and for everyone: Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Chaka Khan, Wynton Marsalis, Muddy Waters, and the Rolling Stones. Take a giant step to Durham for a night with this mighty wonder of the world. 8 p.m.; $39.50 - $59.50; 309 W. Morgan St., Durham;


November 9, 2018 | 6:30 pm old-world culinary roots, seasonal and pristine fresh, nouveau dining from Napa to Sonoma Individual Ticket $95 includes dinner with wine pairing package


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Hops to it: Beericana, the craft beer and music festival is back at Sugg Farm Park in Holly Springs. It is nirvana for the craft beer enthusiast with offerings from 70 breweries, 58 of which are from North Carolina, including: Aviator Brewing Company, Fullsteam Brewery, Mother Earth Brewing, and Weeping Radish Brewery. Craft music fans can groove to: Mel Melton and the Wicked Mojos, Empire Strikes Brass, and The Jamie Mclean Band. Craft foodies are covered as well with food trucks from: American Meltdown, Baozi Steamed Buns, and Poblanos Tacos. Craft a plan: bring blankets, lawn chairs, bottled water, a bag for swag, a valid photo identification, and your printed ticket to enter. There will be plenty of cabs and car services available for safe passage home. Any questions? Beericana has an app for that. See website to download. 12 noon - 6 p.m.; $15 - $75; 2401 Grigsby Ave., Holly Springs;

courtesy Taj Mahal Trio (WONDER); courtesy Beericana (TAP)

dining series. Experience delectable cuisine









BEER IS GOOD FOR YOU Black Dog Bottle Shop opens in Holly Springs

Katherine Poole


atherine Nicholson and Steve Smith are bonafide craft beer nerds. Before moving to Holly Springs, the couple frequented area bottle shops, like Crafty Beer in Five Points. The bottle shop was their ideal place to meet up with friends and discover new beers. It was the kind of place Smith dreamed of owning one day. This month, that dream will become a reality as the couple opens their own space, Black Dog Bottle Shop. Nicholson says she was skeptical of the dream, and then 2017 happened. Early in the year, Smith was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which required surgery and radiation therapy. Recovery was long and difficult. Right before Christmas, Nicholson lost her grandmother. Taking solace in their community, the couple spent New Year’s Eve at Crafty Beer Shop. Talk turned to opening their own bottle shop, but this time it got real. As Nicholson recalls, the signs were all there, including an actual sign. After a massage on New Year’s Day, she got up from the treatment table and faced a sign on the wall reading, life begins outside your comfort zone. The couple quickly moved out of that zone and by July, secured a location and broke ground. They say naming the shop was easy. They like beer, but they love dogs, specifically their black dogs, Bentley and Gypsy. Stop in and you’ll find Nicholson and Smith with their canines in tow serving up craft beers from 20 rotating taps. The taps are linked to a computer system that updates on a television screen in the shop as well as on their website, so patrons can stay updated on what’s flowing. There is a cozy bar and a few tables for gathering, but the majority of the space is dedicated to the bottles. The shop will carry a small selection of international beers, with a focus on domestic craft brews from all over

the country, as well as selections from local breweries. There’s something for everyone, including ciders and gluten-free beers. Visitors can even mix and match bottles to take home for sampling, or grab a cold six pack from the cooler. The shop’s goal is to foster community, and perhaps a dog or two as well. “This is community first and beer second,” says Nicholson. On one wall of the shop, there is a large bulletin board for posting notices about dog adoptions and rescues in the area. Smith and Nicholson say they hope to work with local animal rescue organizations to sponsor adoption events at the shop. Community, dogs, and beer—no matter how you rank these in importance, Black Dog Bottle Shop provides a welcoming comfort zone. —Katherine Poole

Monday - Thursday 2 - 10 p.m., Friday 2 p.m. - 12 a.m., Saturday 12 p.m. - 12 a.m., Sunday 12 - 10 p.m.; 140 W. Holly Springs Road., Holly Springs;



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12-30 Getty Images (ROBIN); courtesy (APEX)

ROCKIN’ ROBIN Tuck and roll on over to Playmakers Repertory Company in Chapel Hill for Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood. Take a riproaring, swashbuckling rolick through Sherwood Forest in this comedy of arrows by two-time Olivier Award winning playwright Ken Ludwig. With original music by The Red Clay Ramblers’ Jack Herrick, come and cheer on Robin, Marian, Friar Tuck, and Little John as they parry and thrust their way through this comedy for all ages. Sept. 12-30; See website for show times; $15 - $48; 120 Country Club Rd.; Chapel Hill;


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PEAK SOUND The 8th annual Apex Music Festival reaches its zenith September 15. The event is hosted by the Apex Downtown Business Association to support the continued revitalization of downtown Apex and to benefit Guardian Angel Thrift, a nonprofit supporting Alzheimer’s research. The streets of downtown close to welcome patrons to three outdoor stages and one indoor theater with a continuous lineup of acts from rock, folk, and R&B to bluegrass, country, and Americana. Catch Shawn Mullins, the Brass-A-Holics, Johnny Folsom 4, Beth Wood, and David LaMotte to name a few. Take a break from the music to shop downtown merchants or indulge in a bite to eat and an adult beverage from a food truck or local eatery. Secure a sitter, this festival is best enjoyed by adults. Also leave pets, coolers, and lawn chairs at home. All you need is your boogie shoes to reach the highest heights. 3 p.m. - 12 midnight; $15 general admission, $35 VIP admission; downtown Apex;

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Experience Cary’s own Gilded Age September 15 at Bygone Daze: A Celebration of the Page-Walker at 150. The PageWalker Hotel was built in 1868 by Cary’s town founder Allison Francis Page and operated as a hotel catering to railroad travelers through the early 20th century. It is one of the rare examples in North Carolina of the architectural style, French Second Empire. In the early 1980s a group of concerned citizens formed the Friends of the Page-Walker Hotel and began a decades long effort to preserve the historic landmark. Bygone Daze honors the hotel’s Victorian Era heyday with activities, carriage rides, history displays, costumed personalities, period music performances, and craft demonstrations. Food trucks will be on hand as well to keep ladies and gents properly sated. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; free; 119 Ambassador Loop, Cary;



The wagon wheel rolls to a stop at Koka Booth Amphitheatre September 20 for Old Crow Medicine Show with Special Guest Dawes. The Grammy Award-winning Americana string band based in Nashville, Tennessee, (via Boone) is on the road to promote their sixth studio album, Volunteer, and to celebrate 20 years together. Leave pets, coolers, food, and beverage at home. The venue will offer everything fans need to take their medicine. 7 p.m.; $35 general admission lawn, $40 general admission pit or reserved table; 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary;













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courtesy Town of Cary (HOLIDAY); Danny Clinch (CROW)





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JUMP TO IT From City Plaza to Neptune’s basement, you can jam out at this year’s Hopscotch Music Festival. Download the app for everything including ticket information, schedules, and maps. Be an insider hopscotcher by snagging a VIP wristband for the weekend. Tickets includes beverages from R&D brewing, hors d’oeuvres, and of course, music to these exclusive nightly celebrations: September 6, 5-7 p.m.: Whiskey Kitchen September 7, 4-6 p.m.: Mofu Shoppe September 8, 4-6 p.m.: COR Museum

HOP ON POP Catch music acts from all over the world, including headliners: Miguel, Nile Rodgers and Chic, The Flaming Lips, and Grizzly Bear. You can also see favorite local acts like: Boulevards, Mipso, Sarah Shook, and the Disarmers, H.C. McEntire.

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Raleigh native releases thoughtful album


aleigh native Jess Ray is set to release her second full-length album this month. Her signature lyrics are deeply thoughtful and Ray describes her sound as “friendly folk” paired with indie pop. Her anticipated album, Parallels + Meridians, reflects its two-part nature. One set of songs focuses on relationships and life change, while the other explores her faith and worldview as she dialogs with God. While her own experiences inspire much of the album’s content, she says she hopes to reach listeners, to connect and relate with them regardless of their own relationships or spirituality. “I think that life is hard and that there’s a lot of pain in the world. But I hope that my music, which is hopeful and joy-filled, can face some of those things and offer hope and joy.” A full-time musician, Ray makes her living right here in Raleigh through her work as a singer-songwriter, by producing and recording other bands in her studio, and through leading worship at her local church. “At the end of the day, I’m doing music full-time, and that was my dream. I’m getting to do what I love all the time right now.” —Samantha Gratton

This month, you can find her single What Have We Found Ourselves In on iTunes and Spotify, which will be available on the new album, set to release in November.

courtesy Jess Ray


Getty Images (HIPPIE); Josh Cheuse (BUDDY)


Make love, not war at Hippie Tribe Fest 2018. Turn on, tune in, and drop by the happening at Sugg Park in Holly Springs—a day long, family friendly festival celebrating peace, love, and connection with our community of creators, artists, and musicians. Shop over 200 vendors and artisans selling groovy wares—all natural, handmade, bohemian, and fair trade. Gather at the main stage and jam to local musicians or go with the flow and join a drum circle. Let little free spirits fly to the Flower Child tent for kid activities. Satisfy the munchies from one of the local food vendors. Don’t be a square: bring your hippie style, folding chairs, blankets, drums, and other instruments—let your freak flag fly. 12 noon - 7 p.m.; $5 advance tickets, $10 day of, free children under 12; 2401 Grigsby Ave., Holly Springs;

29 BUDDY UP Buddy Guy is one of the best guitarists of all time. Just ask Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, or Keith Richards, who all credit Guy as an influence. See for yourself on September 29 when Guy performs at Memorial Hall in Chapel Hill as part of the Carolina Performing Arts Series. Steeped in the tradition of Chicago blues, Guy incorporates elements of rock, soul, and free jazz to create his singular eclectic sound. You’d be stone crazy to miss him. 8 p.m.; 114 E. Cameron Ave., Chapel Hill; $62 - $132;

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courtesy Art of Cool Festival (DWELE)


REMAIN COOL Art of Cool festival moves to September lineup


ome changes are afoot with Art of Cool, the hip-hop/ jazz/soul music festival that has turned Durham into an oasis of, well, cool the past four years. For its fifth edition this year, Art of Cool is under new ownership— and the biggest change is timing, with the festival moving from its late-April time slot to September 28-29. The lineup will feature jazz-leaning chanteuse Erykah Badu, platinum-selling rapper Nas, R&B hitmaker and Charlotte native Anthony Hamilton, as well as hometown producer and DJ 9th Wonder. Venues include Carolina Theatre, Durham Bulls Athletic Park, and MotorCo Music Hall.


And while September is a crowded month for music festivals, Art of Cool’s new owner Sulaiman Mausi is confident there’s room for everyone. “We’ve been the urban promoter for Durham Performing Arts Center since it opened, and we’ve been watching Art of Cool these last four years,” said Mausi, who owns Detroitbased concert promoter The Dome Group. “We’ve always looked at doing a festival, and acquiring this one seemed like a great idea. We are definitely going to grow it.” —David Menconi

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“We reflect the values of our community, and never want to let Raleigh down.” —Philip Freeman, founder, Murphy’s Naturals


ive years ago, Philip Freeman set out to solve a problem. He hoped to combat summer’s pesky mosquitoes, and founded Murphy’s Naturals to create a natural repellent, from candles and spray to incense sticks. The products are free of harmful chemicals, and utilize natural ingredients like eucalyptus oil. Murphy’s Naturals can now be purchased locally at spots like NOFO @ The Pig, or nationwide at Target and on “For years and years, I wrote down business plans, one after another,” says Freeman. Murphy’s Naturals was the idea he finally executed. It started as a hobby in a garage and grew into a storage unit before upgrading to a 2,000-square-foot space. Freeman began working full-time over three years ago, and the company has since expanded to 12 employees. When the company outgrew its location, Freeman wanted to find enough space that would last Murphy’s Naturals several years. He says he wanted to surround his employees with other people who would inspire and challenge them to grow and excel. Freeman helped form Loading Dock Raleigh, a coworking space on Whitaker Mill Road. The space now holds

over 180 members, including individual entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofits. He remembers the challenges of starting a business and says he’s excited for the opportunity to support new businesses while simultaneously strengthening his own. “A lot of collaboration and community goes on here,” says Freeman. “It’s just rewarding. When you can surround your company and your employees with that much excitement, it’s going to rub off.” In 2015, the company became a Certified B Corporation, a testament to its commitment to transparency in production and sustainability. Freeman says that Murphy’s Naturals strives to be the best it can be, both in the world and for the world. “You can’t fake being a B corporation. You have to earn it. The certification and recertification constantly challenges us to be a better company,” says Freeman. As part of that initiative, Freeman says Murphy’s Naturals gives two percent of its gross revenue to like-minded, local nonprofits, such as Bee Downtown and Triangle Land Conservancy. “The values of our community and the members of our community help shape our business.” —Samantha Gratton photograph by EAMON QUEENEY



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From left to right: shop buyer Frances Fontaine and shop co-chair Lucelia Selden

“During my career with WCPSS, I experienced first hand the impact local charities and individuals make in the lives of students and families.” —Lucelia Selden, retired school principal and current co-chair of The Canterbury Shop


ucked into a corner at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church is The Canterbury Shop: It’s the only in-parish retail space in the Raleigh area, which offers an appealing array of merchandise. You can purchase home decor, apparel, items for entertaining, kids toys and apparel, seasonal decor, greeting cards and stationery, as well as a curated selection of religious gifts, bibles, and faith-based books. Shop co-chair Lucelia Selden says there is something for everyone, even the Most Rev. Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church. Selden became co-chair after years spent working in the Wake County Public School System. “It seemed like a natural fit for me to work in a shop which contributed directly to charities working with students and their families.” The inviting and cozy space welcomes not only church members, but the entire community. While only open during morning hours, it is a convenient stop when running errands or grabbing a bite for lunch. Here, visitors will be sure to find a gift that keeps on giving. The sentiment may be cliché, but the shop’s singular mission is community outreach. 100 percent of the shop’s earnings are donated to Wake County

nonprofits, including Alliance Medical Ministry, Family Promise of Wake County, Green Chair Project, InterAct, Raleigh Rescue Mission, StepUp Ministry, and Triangle Family Services. Grants to nonprofits in 2017 amounted to $21,000, bringing total funds donated since the shop’s inception in 1997 to $100,000. The shop’s reach is far and wide, especially for a space that measures only 200 square feet, is open less than 20 hours per week, and is run entirely by a staff of unpaid volunteers. It is the army of volunteers that make The Canterbury Shop a success. The shop is run by 35 women: They are welcoming, gracious, hard-working, and deeply passionate about their mission. So dedicated, in fact, that shop buyer Frances Fontaine says, “not a single volunteer has failed to show up for her shift.” In July, the shop received a facelift. With a fresh coat of paint and boutique style upgrades, The Canterbury Shop hopes to entice new customers to, as their new slogan suggests, go forth and give. —Katherine Poole 1520 Canterbury Rd.; photograph by EAMON QUEENEY



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“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then music must be more than that because it has so many layers.” —Shane Dittmar, music composer and teacher


hether he’s composing, playing, or directing, Shane Dittmar often gets lost in the music. It’s his passion, his art form, and his job. Born with a rare genetic eye condition, leber congenital amaurosis, Dittmar is legally blind. Considered a setback by many, Dittmar has barely skipped a beat. One of his earliest memories is receiving a keyboard for Christmas, and his love of music has only grown since. He sang in church choir, joined the middle school band, and later performed in choir and theater at Sanderson High School. Dittmar began composing songs when he played in a band with his brother and friends. Now, his compositions have been performed by choral groups around the world—from his own high school and the N.C. Chorale Chamber to a choir in Nairobi, Kenya.

“It’s an art form that’s entirely accessible to me,” Dittmar says of experiencing and performing music. While his challenge may be reading sheet music, he recognizes that others must overcome their own challenges in order to perform at a level of professionalism. “No one gets to the point I did without working hard,” he says. Dittmar graduated last spring from UNC-Greensboro with a degree in music education. He immediately got to work, as the musical director for Raleigh Little Theatre’s Teens on Stage production of Into the Woods. This fall, he will begin working full-time as a music teacher at the Washington State School for the Blind. Dittmar says he hopes to use the challenges he faced to help his students become successful faster. “I’m an educator and an advocate for people with disabilities. I want everyone to have the chance to have the thing that has been so fulfilling to me.” —Samantha Gratton photograph by EAMON QUEENEY












From left to right: Poker Face Girls Club board members Annette Anderson, Anne Underwood, Winnie Stephens, and Jane Jordan

“No one is good at poker, but they have a wonderful time.” —Anne Underwood, charter member, The Poker Face Girls Club


eet the group of women raising the stakes on charitable giving in Raleigh: the Poker Face Girls Club. These fun-loving ladies gather throughout the year to play poker benefitting charitable organizations in our community. The club was founded in 2014 on a gamble, but charter member Anne Underwood says she knew it would pay off. “I served for many years on various boards and love nonprofit work, but I wanted to create something for women where we give to the community, but really have fun.” Underwood settled on poker as the money making method, a game she had long wanted to learn. It was not to be all fun and games, however. She set up the club as a 501(c)(3) public charity and signed on friends Annette Anderson, Winnie Stephens, and Jane Jordan. They formed a governing board, and from there, the group has since grown to 35 members. The club rules are simple: Poker Face Girls meet nine times a year to play poker at the home of Annette Anderson. No experience is required—Anderson’s daughter and son-in-law serve as in-house tutors. Every game night has a $35 ante, collected in a lump sum at the beginning of playing season. The money is divided equally into ‘pots’ of $1,200 for each of

the nine meetings. The women gather for dinner and drinks, a brief meeting, and then break into groups of 6-8 to play rounds of Texas hold ‘em. At the end of the evening, whoever has the most chips wins, and that winner selects an accredited charity of her choice to receive that night’s pot. The list of recipients include: Backpack Buddies, Boys & Girls Club, Dress for Success, Green Chair Project, Interact, Transitions Life Care, and the YMCA. To date, the club has donated over $19,000. Underwood says her vision for the club was to multiply in numbers, which seemed logistically impractical, until her friend Virginia Parker asked if she could start a Poker Face Girls Club in North Raleigh. Parker’s club, the Queens, became a DBA sister organization. Today, there are at least three clubs in the works as the Poker Face Girls Club continues betting on our community. Underwood says that the group’s motto is what drives the group. “We like to have fun and give back. —Katherine Poole Interested in starting your own club? Contact Anne Underwood at photograph by EAMON QUEENEY


“We discovered Blue Ridge Mountain Club when we lived in Raleigh—we knew then this was the place for us.” Tina & Mike Ihnat, former Raleigh Residents Blue Ridge Mountain Club homeowners

Tina and Mike Ihnat have always loved the mountains, especially the High Country of North Carolina. As Raleigh residents many years ago, they were drawn to the Blowing Rock area, less than three hours away. “We had always hoped to make this area our permanent home,” says Mike. “And after looking at a lot of different communities and properties we knew that Blue Ridge Mountain Club was right for us. It has a beauty and majesty that we haven’t seen anywhere else.”

Homes & Condominiums from $430k. Homesites from $80k. To learn more or plan your visit contact Team BRMC: 828-414-4261 or online at 6I[HPU [OL 7YVWLY[` 9LWVY[ YLX\PYLK I` -LKLYHS 3H^ ILMVYL ZPNUPUN HU`[OPUN (SS PUMVYTH[PVU PZ ILSPL]LK [V IL HJJ\YH[L I\[ PZ UV[ ^HYYHU[LK ;OPZ PUMVYTH[PVU ZOHSS UV[ JVUZ[P[\[L H ]HSPK VɈ LY PU HU` Z[H[L ^OLYL WYPVY YLNPZ[YH[PVU PZ YLX\PYLK ;OPZ information and features and information described and depicted herein is based on proposed development plans, which are subject to change without notice. Actual development may or may not be as currently proposed. No guarantee is made that the features, amenities, or facilities depicted by an artist’s rendering or otherwise described herein will be built, or, if built will be the same type, size, or nature as depicted or described. © 2015 Blowing Rock Resort Venture, LLC.


A top-of-the line fitness center with unparalleled views

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From left to right: Lie + Loft founder Luke Davis and Pamut Apparel founder Kat Williford recently opened Green House, a collaborative design space and storefront at 233 Bickett Blvd.


“It’s so energizing for me to meet customers and see people excited about my product, but if you sell online or sell wholesale, you don’t really get that experience at all. It’s really rewarding and keeps you going.” —Kat Williford, founder, Pamut Apparel



recent addition to the Five Points neighborhood brings together two local businesses in an unusual—yet fortuitous—way. Green House, which opened in August in an old convenience store, is a studio, workshop, and retail space shared by Lie + Loft and Pamut Apparel. Lie + Loft specializes in making modern golf prints and other golf-themed accessories and art. Pamut is a sustainable and eco-friendly fashion company. For both of the young entrepreneurs who run these companies, Green House is their first venture into having a space to call their own, and they’re off to a running start. Luke Davis, 29, founded Lie + Loft two years ago, combining his love of home décor with his passion for golf. Together with a few employees, he creates contemporary prints of traditional golf course maps and custom poster rails out of locally sourced walnut. After selling prints wholesale to major golf resorts like Pebble Beach and Pinehurst, Davis thought a bigger space might provide a good opportunity to branch out into retail and events; when an acquaintance pointed him toward the convenience store last year, he jumped at the chance. He moved in last November, transferred his woodworking workshop to the store’s old beer cooler (“Schlitz” and “Stroh” are still scrawled on the wall), and hosted a few events. But he soon realized the space was too big for Lie + Loft alone.

SEPTEMBER 2018 | 61

“I’ve always worked in startup incubators, out of school, and I kind of like that feeling of working alongside other like-minded people trying to do something entrepreneurial,” Davis says. He placed an ad, and Kat Williford, Pamut’s founder, soon moved into the second half of Green House, which she’s using as both a retail shop and her design and sewing studio. Visitors to the store will be able to see her working. “Clothing is such a tactile experience,” says Williford, 29. “When you touch it and can experience where things are made and you get to see it, I think that makes people so excited and more involved in the idea and the process.” Williford started Pamut in 2014 while living in Budapest, Hungary, where she began designing trendy, eco-friendly cotton clothes and screen-printed T-shirts. When she moved back to her native Raleigh, she brought her business with her and was eager to work with North


Carolina textiles and the local, sustainable sewing and screen-printing companies she outsources to. “I love to throw in handmade details, so I’ll do a lot of hand-dyeing, and I handdraw all the prints that I do,” Williford says. “So it definitely has that handmade quality while also representing all that North Carolina has to offer and representing the textile industry.” There’s a lot in store for Green House. In addition to showcasing their own pieces and allowing customers to glimpse them at work, Davis and Williford hope to make the space more than just a store. On the agenda are artists’ workshops, block parties, video screenings, and other community events. In addition, Davis and Williford plan to display and sell other local artists’ work in the store. “I would love for this to feel like a welcoming space that people can come into and also support the design community,” Davis says. “It’s a community that

needs to be pushed up in Raleigh and kept in Raleigh. So we want to feature that and show off the talent.” And though Pamut and Lie + Loft may seem like pretty disparate ventures at first, sharing a space has already gotten Davis and Williford thinking about how they can collaborate. Pamut-made Lie + Loft T-shirts are in the offing, which will give Davis the opportunity to expand into the apparel side and will give Williford the chance to explore menswear. Davis also has plans to expand Lie + Loft in the near future with a sister brand, Land + Loft, which will feature art and accessories related to national parks, coastlines, mountains, and other outdoor destinations. “The Pamut product is all about being organic and sustainable and keeping things natural and wearable, so I think [Land + Loft] will fit in really well with that,” Williford says.


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IMPACT Anthony Blackman’s captivating personality never tires of giving back by WILL LINGO photography by SMITH HARDY


nthony Blackman is a testament to the power of saying yes. He grew up in Sanford, North Carolina, and attended N.C. State University as the first college attendee in his family. He started his own business from the ground up, and gives to more charities than he can count. Blackman is always seeking connection in a world that tends toward isolation. And he’s not about to slow down now. Blackman owns Atlantic Tire & Service, a local car care chain that opened its fourth location this year. The new store in Wake Forest joined the existing stores in Cary, Raleigh, and Research Triangle Park. And he has plans in place to open the fifth and sixth locations over the next couple of years.


Blackman doesn’t operate out of a corporate headquarters somewhere. He has a modest office right off the lobby at Atlantic’s Cary location, and he’s as likely to be out of the office as in it, talking to customers or employees. He’s on a crusade to make people feel better about dealing with auto mechanics, focusing on customer satisfaction above all else. He says he recognizes that the industry can be quite negative. “We’re very up front with people in letting them know what’s wrong and how we’re fixing it. We show people the parts we replaced and what we did. If we replaced your air filter, I’m going to have it in a plastic bag to give to you to show you why we replaced it. Above everything else, we want people to know when you need us, we’ll be there.” That same attitude extends beyond the business for Blackman and his wife, Beth.

Blackman says he made charitable donations to 44 organizations last year, and a story several years ago in the Triangle Business Journal estimated that Blackman donated roughly 11 percent of his revenue to local nonprofits and community organizations. The reasons he does it are myriad and go beyond simply writing checks. The Blackmans have served in leadership roles for charitable organizations and civic groups, and Blackman has served as chairman of both the Cary and Morrisville chambers of commerce. It goes back to the way he was raised. “We didn’t have a whole lot, but we shared, and that’s what has always meant the most to me,” he says. “When people help people, we have a much better chance of solving problems.” Blackman says there isn’t a plan to their giving: They do what they can when they can. “I know my accountant says my bot-

SEPTEMBER 2018 | 67

tom line would be a lot better if we didn’t donate so much, but I know I wouldn’t be any happier.” In conversation with Blackman, it’s not hard to trace the origin of both his business success and servant’s heart to his family. They taught him the importance of hard work, and it was his uncle’s two-bay service station in Vass, North Carolina that planted the seed of auto service in his mind. “When I was a little boy I remember seeing my uncle go to the Coca-Cola machine, and he would take a Coke out and not have to pay,” says Blackman. “That made an immediate impression on me. But as I got older I realized his business made him a pillar of the community and

toward managing our home because she had four children.” His mother’s influence truly shines through in Blackman’s dedication to service, however. He recalls the death of his grandfather when he was young. The family was using a local funeral home to handle the arrangements, and went with their housekeeper, who was African-American, to pay their respects. Someone stopped them and said, “We don’t allow coloreds in the funeral home.” Blackman’s mother did not raise a fuss. She acknowledged the policy and simply said, “We’re taking our granddaddy out of here.” They took their business to another funeral home and never returned. Blackman says he didn’t fully under-

Blackman says there isn’t a plan to their giving: They do what they can when they can. “I know my accountant says my bottom line would be a lot better if we didn’t donate so much, but I know I wouldn’t be any happier.” allowed him to take care of his family.” That inspiration sat on a foundation built by his parents, however. His father worked at a textile mill in Sanford, and his mother raised four children. He remembers his first job, as a paperboy delivering The Sanford Herald. On a snowy day, he decided to skip one of the steeper streets on his route, figuring no one would know the difference. By the time he got home, one of his customers had already called to ask where his paper was, and his mother was waiting for him. “I learned right then and there: You deliver on your promises,” says Blackman. And that was a two-way street. As determined as his parents were to make sure he made all his deliveries each day, they also impressed upon him how important it was to collect his money each week. “My mother was a business woman at heart,” he says, “she just directed it


stand what was happening at the time, but he did get the message that if you wanted the world to be a better place, you had to take an active role in making it that way. “That sense was instilled in me at a very early age,” he says. You see the evidence of his work all over his office. Awards or other tokens of appreciation from the Miracle League, a local nonprofit that provides the opportunity to play baseball for children with special needs; the Carying Place, a group in Cary that provides transitional housing for homeless families; the Boy Scouts, the USO, the Rotary Club, the Salvation Army. It’s obvious that Blackman thrives on human connection, and values giving more than receiving. “When you give back, you hope other people see the value in that, and do something themselves.” The Carying Place clearly has a special place in Blackman’s heart, not only

because it has an intensely local focus, but because it is about helping people through a direct relationship, and giving them the skills to become stable and self-sufficient. He talks about not throwing money at problems, about actually getting out and helping people, and The Carying Place seems to check all of those boxes. Leslie Covington, the executive director of The Carying Place, says the Blackmans have helped the organization through everything from donations and event sponsorships to leadership on their board. “So many people like Mr. Blackman will assist from year to year because they see what I saw coming here,” she told Tire Business when it named the Blackmans the recipients of the 2016 tire dealer humanitarian award, a national honor dating back 25 years. “They see progress. They see people making changes in their lives and doing it with the assistance of others and a hand up, but not a hand out.” “Their presence gives us merit. Because they support us, a lot of people will say, ‘You know what, that’s got to be some good stuff going on over there.’ And when their light is shining, it shines in someone else’s direction, and it gives us more attention and allows us not just to raise money but to raise awareness of what we do.” Don’t get the idea that business is just a sideline to Blackman, though. Building a thriving business is what has allowed everything else to follow. Blackman graduated from N.C. State in 1977 and went right to work as a retail management trainee for Goodyear. He helped manage a store on Poole Road, and he says he enjoyed it from the start. “I love the interaction with the people.” Even if Blackman doesn’t call himself a people person, you could make that determination for yourself. When talking to him, you’re bombarded with the names of the various people he has crossed paths with through the years, from the rich and powerful to the poor and humble. In 1988, Blackman decided to strike

From top: Anthony Blackman works out of the Cary location of Atlantic Tire & Service; Anthony Blackman’s hands-on approach to service ensures customer satisfaction and confidence.

out on his own, with his partner Richard Leicht. They opened Atlantic Avenue Tire & Service in Raleigh, with “$20,000 and the hope that people would come to my door.” Blackman says he faced the typical challenges of starting up a business, but his confidence did not waver. “I never thought about not succeeding.” Blackman says a positive sign came early, when a woman stopped in for help with a flat tire before the business had even officially opened. “We were lucky; a lot of customers followed. We expanded from six to 10 bays pretty soon after opening.” After 10 years, Blackman wanted to expand the business westward, and Leicht wanted to get his family involved, so they parted amicably. Leicht retained the original business, which he contin-

ues to operate in its original location on Harrod Street right off Atlantic Avenue. Blackman opened a standalone location in Cary, simply dropping the “Avenue” from the business name. Blackman has grown his business as the Triangle has grown, relying not only on marketing to individuals but also on a strong commercial business. “Our clients are very loyal,” he says. “Rarely does

someone come to do business with us that they don’t come back.” And while he expects to have six locations open soon, it’s the vision for his seventh that gets him really excited. His first job with Goodyear brought him to Southeast Raleigh, and he says he hopes to come full circle with an Atlantic Tire location in the same area. “When I worked there, it was the first time

SEPTEMBER 2018 | 69

Numerous awards, thank you notes, and recognition plaques line the walls at Atlantic Tire & Service, thanking Anthony Blackman for his comittment to the community.

besides my nanny when I interacted with African-Americans, and that really makes a difference in how you view things.” He says he will never forget a young neighborhood child named Tommy Lee Morgan who came into the store asking about one of the bikes on display. Blackman let him borrow it, and they developed a long-term relationship. As the boy grew up, Blackman helped him financially and counseled him. Morgan died at a young age from drug use. “That really opened my eyes up. I saw

the challenges people are facing, and I wanted to work in a small way to help people out of that.” Blackman says he believes people need opportunities in order to be successful, and he envisions the Southeast Raleigh location as an incubator of sorts. He says he hopes to hire local businesses to build the store, and wants to employ local residents that are in need of trainng to become technicians and mechanics. He plans to hire graduates from Shaw and St. Augustine’s universities in management

“I want to make it something the community can really be proud of,” he says. “I think it could enhance the lives of so many people. It’s just about me and my company wanting to give back to that community.” 70 | WALTER

roles, and he sees corporate sponsors taking their involvement beyond just being a standard business partnership. “I want to make it something the community can really be proud of,” he says. “I think it could enhance the lives of so many people. It’s just about me and my company wanting to give back to that community.” Those plans are still a few years off, but the vision is there. As is the case with most of Blackman’s pursuits, he hasn’t even contemplated the possibility that it won’t be successful. He can already see the building, inside and out. “And I guarantee you one thing,” he says. “There’ll be a picture of Tommy Lee Morgan in there.”

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O U R G L O B A L L I S T I N G E X P O S U R E All Luxury Collection listings are featured on The Wall Street Journal’s, and its partner websites: and All listings priced at $1 million and above are featured on The Wall Street Journal’s Our Luxury Collection properties also appear on both sides of China’s Great Firewall through, China’s largest international property portal. In addition, our international syndication strategy also includes Financial Times of London. To learn more, please visit us online at Cary 919–859–3300 • Cameron Village 919–832–8881 • Chapel Hill 919–929–7100 • Durham 919–383–4663 • North Hills 919–782–6641 ©2018 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of HomeServices of America, Inc.® Equal Housing Opportunity.




e’re all searching for magical moments: the extraordinary, moments that transport us from the mundane of daily life. Look no further than Imagine Circus. Raleigh’s Imagine Circus is a full-service production company bringing circus and cirque-style entertainment to the Triangle, North Carolina, and across the United States. You can book a wide variety of acts for a private or public event, including fire breathers, aerial dancers, stilt walkers, fire dancers, live body painters, magicians, and fortune tellers. Co-owner Liz Bliss says the company was created to further collaborate in the niche art form. “It was built out of a desire to create community and positive relationships in our hometown.” Bliss founded the circus with friends and colleagues Katie Bouterse and Kaci Torres. The trio owned two separate companies, and they decided to join forces in January of 2017. “We didn’t want to compete with each other,” says Bliss, “our goal was always a supportive and positive relationship.” Over a year later, the circus has almost 30 performers, and many are scattered throughout the country. As you turn the following pages, allow yourself to be transported to a boundless world of whimsy, creativity, and extraordinary


performance. Bliss says she hopes that these unique performers inspire viewers to embrace joy and experience beauty. “Circus offers the opportunity for people to realize that we are all ordinary people doing extraordinary things,” she says. “It’s the constant reminder of the beauty that exists amongst the ordinary.”

IN THE AIR Twenty-three stories high, aerialists show off their flexibility using an aerial hoop on the SkyHouse rooftop. UP IN FLAMES Opposite page: A fire breather emerges from the pool at Mulino Italian Kitchen & Bar in downtown Raleigh.

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BUBBLE DOUBLE Splashing in the SkyHouse rooftop pool, Kaci Torres and Liz Bliss perform their duo acrobatic act in a giant bubble sphere. STEP RIGHT UP Opposite page: Wearing costumes designed by Imagine Circus, Liz Bliss and Kaci Torres “climb” the brick mural wall at CAM.



MIRROR IMAGE Opposite page: Mirror Man, Ben Sloan, struts his stuff outside of Union Station in Raleigh’s Warehouse District. VIEW FROM THE TOP Imagine Circus performer Kaci Torres performs aerial dance from the SkyHouse rooftop.

STORY of a house

PERSONAL CHARM A family home in Five Points brings vibrant appeal to the block by CATHERINE CURRIN photography by CATHERINE NGUYEN


SEPTEMBER 2018 | 79


Alicia Gilleskie Lupton and her husband, Kevin, were drawn to the walkable, charming nature of their Five Points neighborhood. Both North Carolina natives, the couple moved to their home, customized by Dixon Kirby, almost two years ago. The Luptons says the neighborhood just felt right for their family, which includes two young daughters, Olivia and Alexandra. “The combination of charm and proximity to downtown is not something that you can find just anywhere. It’s part of what makes Raleigh so special to us,” she says. The couple says they came into the construction process at the perfect time. “The architecture was complete and building was underway when we discovered the house. We immediately fell in love with it,” says Gilleskie Lupton. “With the hardest work done at that point, we were still early enough in the process to pick paint colors, floor finishes, countertops, light fixtures, add a garage and some built-ins, as well as other fun aesthetic choices.” With the help of Lisa Sherry Interieurs, the couple was able to combine their love of modern and traditional styles to create their dream home. “My husband and I had many of the base furniture pieces, and we worked with Lisa to fill in gaps and create more interesting style,” Gilleskie Lupton says. “She has a completely unique aesthetic, and her design gives our home a sense of calm, while not feeling boring or overdecorated.”


MODERN COMFORT Opposite page: The four-bedroom home is the perfect amount of space, says Gilleskie Lupton. She says they use almost every inch, but they spend lots of their time at the breakfast nook. The Luptons wanted to create a space mixing modern and traditional decor. The main living room, above, includes modern fixtures with classic seating. In many rooms, the light fixtures serve as the focal point. “We love the very modern light throughout the home, particularly contrasted against the more traditional furniture that’s in there. We particularly love the lighting in the dining room, kitchen, and eating area, too,” says Gilleskie Lupton.

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SWEET DREAMS This page: Kevin Lupton and Alicia Gilleskie Lupton's two daughters' rooms are bright and welcoming, and open out to a full porch facing the front yard. Opposite page: The upstairs media room is filled with plush leather and wood; Lupton says it was intended to have a more masculine feel. “The room was designed with a ‘man cave’ in mind, as a getaway for my husband, who is surrounded by women in the house. It’s morphed into part-man-cave-part-play-room, shared by all of us.” The family utilized eccentric wallpaper throughout the home, like in the laundry and powder rooms.


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COUPLES RETREAT At right: The master bedroom is furnished with Restoration Hardware, and the couple added their own accents to make the space more personal. “We mixed in eclectic art that we’ve collected over time, and added the big mirror and rug to diversify the look a bit,” says Alicia Gilleskie Lupton. Homeowners Kevin Lupton and Alicia Gilleskie Lupton, pictured below, enjoy their outdoor back porch, complete with comfortable poufs and string lights; the master bath, below, was transformed into an oasis with the help of designer Lisa Sherry. The cowhide rug and gold stool bring unexpected details to the space.


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at the TABLE


nostalgic FA R E Honoring Cary’s past and paving the way for its future by ALEX DIXON photography by BEN MCKEOWN


t’s no coincidence that downtown Cary’s Postmaster overlooks the historic railroad hotel, built by town founder and self-proclaimed postmaster, Frank Page. Page, described as an energetic entrepreneur, paved the way for many firsts in Cary. In his own way, Postmaster’s owner Tyler Watt has done the same, as Cary increasingly becomes a destination for residents of the Triangle and beyond. “Frank Page deemed himself to be the first of many things in Cary and we’re kind of the first on Cedar Street,” Watt says. “And we won’t be the last on Cedar Street, that’s for sure.” In the last three years, Watt says Cary has seen several owner-operated businesses open in the core of downtown. Watt was at the forefront of this growth, when he opened Pharmacy Bottle and Beverage in 2015 just 500 feet from Postmaster. He says he only sees this growth continuing. “The projection I see for Cary is that we’ll never be a down-

town with skyscrapers, but we will be an ultimate neighborhood destination.” Postmaster, which Watt opened in 2017, is both a nod to Cary’s roots and a look into its future. The modern and quaint space was born from a popup beer dinner at the Pharmacy that brought Watt and Postmaster executive chef Chris Lopez together. At the time, Lopez worked at Ashley Christensen’s Joule Coffee and later assisted chef Sunny Gerhart in the same space at St. Roch Fine Oysters & Bar. “We saw this empty gap. With that beer dinner and how quickly it sold out, that showed us we can do something fun, we can do something unique, we can do something funky without having to go to downtown Raleigh, Chapel Hill, or Durham,” says Lopez. Set in a commercial building on the corner of Cedar and North Walker Streets, Postmaster has an open dining room with window walls that face the railroad tracks. Across the tracks is the hotel, constructed in the late 1860s by SEPTEMBER MARCH 2018 | 89 87

Page, now known as the Page-Walker Arts and History Center. Today, the center provides a variety of events for locals. A functioning garage door opens to a patio with a view of Cary’s burgeoning downtown. Lopez describes the food as upscale comfort food, and he aims to invoke nostalgia with his dishes. Items like hominy hushpuppies topped with sorghum, crème fraiche, and chili oil provide an upscale twist to a familiar item, and this theme is constant throughout the menu. The squash and mushroom gratin with goat cheese, cornbread, and tomato gravy has that homey feel while highlighting local produce and has “no air of pretension about it,” Lopez says. Pastry chef Maria Luna and bar manager Patrick Dunmire maintain this down-to-earth approach with the desserts and cocktails. Luna put her own spin on the nostalgic kids’ dessert, a “cup of dirt.” It includes a chocolate pastry cream with red-wine-soaked chocolate cake, chocolate streusel, and a homemade fig gummy worm. “We’re going to plate it up fancy and all of that, but at the end of the day, it’s still a ‘cup of dirt,’” Lopez says. At the bar, Dunmire stirs and shakes cocktails that are both innovative and approachable, such as the Lavender Sunflower, which includes gin, Cointreau, St. Germain, and lavender tea concentrate. The simple Cary Fashion is a variation on the Old Fashioned with bourbon sorghum syrup and orange bitters. While some of the restaurant’s staples remain constant throughout the year, Postmaster changes the menu seasonally and sources the majority of its items locally when possible. Weekend features allow for Lopez and the staff to test out recipes and determine which

items deserve a place on the permanent menu. “In downtown Raleigh, you can put whatever you want on a plate and people will flock to it,” Lopez says. “We have to tread lightly a little bit, and that’s why we run features every weekend so we can see what works, what doesn’t, and tweak and modify from there.” On a weekend in July, a small plate highlighted the bounty of summer produce in a simple preparation—blistered shishito pepper and sun gold tomato escabeche with purple basil vinegar, shallot, sea salt, and olive oil. The braised brisket Au jus balances a rich cut of brisket with the brightness of a spring hash with charred cabbage. As the fall and winter approach, Postmaster will transition to heartier dishes that Lopez says are intended to feel like a “warm hug.” The restaurant recently launched a brunch service, and Watt hopes this will be a popular draw for Cary residents on Sundays. He says it’s a great chance to try unique menu items like the African-inspired cornmeal drop doughnuts. “There’s a lot of churches down here and a lot of Sunday foot traffic happening in downtown, but there’s not a lot of food,” he says. “Sunday brunch is an opportunity that we’re looking at to bring more people down here and experience Postmaster in a slightly more casual atmosphere.” As businesses continue to open, visitors and residents alike will be a part of an experience that is uniquely Cary, such as dinner at Postmaster with a short walk to the nearby Bond Brothers Beer Company afterwards for a beer. “You can do everything here that you can do on Glenwood South, Five Points, or Ninth Street in Durham or wherever it is,” Watt says. “That’s the trajectory we’re on.”

Postmaster, which Watt opened in 2017, is both a nod to Cary’s roots and a look into its future. 88 | WALTER

Below: Postmaster executive chef Chris Lopez, at left, and owner Tyler Watt.

SEPTEMBER 2018 | 89

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Once melted, add cornmeal and cook for five minutes while constantly stirring. Add crushed tomato to the mixture and increase the heat to medium. Once at a slight simmer, add in salt and pepper, then pull from heat. Set aside to cool

STEP 3: GRATIN BUILD 2 yellow squash Boxed or homemade cornbread, cooked prior to gratin assembly Goat cheese crumble ½ cup Texas Pete hot sauce


¼ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice yellow squash into thin circles. Spread half of the cooled tomato gravy on the bottom of a 9” square casserole dish. Layer half of the squash slices over the tomato gravy. Place entire cooked mushroom filling on top of the sliced squash, and layer the remaining squash on top of the mushroom filling. Spread the remaining tomato gravy. Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes, uncovered. Switch oven to medium broil. Crumble cornbread and goat cheese on top. Place under broiler until golden brown, around 3 to 5 minutes. Serve warm, drizzled with Texas Pete and olive oil.

2 pints oyster mushrooms ½ yellow onion 3 garlic cloves ¼ cup white wine


1 teaspoon salt

Squash and Mushroom Gratin

Shred oyster mushrooms by hand into small pieces. Dice onion, and thinly slice garlic. Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. Sweat garlic and onion in butter for 5 minutes or until translucent. Add white wine and cook for two minutes to reduce wine. Add in mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Gently cook them over medium heat for two minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool.

STEP 1: TOMATO GRAVY 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 tablespoon cornmeal 2 cans crushed tomato

1 teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper

fine gifts custom stationery furnishings interior design


ARTIST in studio

Polymer clay creations make for spunky statement jewelry

Breaking the MOLD by IZA WOJCIECHOWSKA photography by JILL KNIGHT

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W When Kaitlin Ryan’s oven is on, there aren’t any smells of bread or baked goods wafting through her downtown Raleigh apartment, but the anticipation is there nonetheless. When the timer goes off (15 or 30 minutes later, at 275 degrees), she pulls out a hot baking sheet stacked with perfect little balls of clay in bright colors—pink, mustard, royal blue—or else a neutral palette: jet black, stone gray, or a subtle mocha marbled with white. After they cool, she takes these beads, each with a hole through the middle, back into her second bedroom, which serves as her studio for Peppertrain, the jewelry business she started in 2014. She strings the beads onto long leather cords, in unconventional arrangements. The Everyday necklace in 94 | WALTER

the “Rosé All Day” colorway, for example, features two big beads, in millennial pink and gold, one smaller hot pink bead, and a small cylinder of copper pipe. The Sunday necklace in “Peacock” has one long, turquoise bead that hangs like a smile just below the clavicle. The chunky Bebe earrings have a sophisticated costume jewelry vibe. Colorful beads—big or small, spheres or discs—and metallic notions come together in a number of other eye-catching statement pieces. They are artful, yes, and also whimsical; and Ryan enjoys every minute of it. “It’s the color, to me, that’s so intriguing and the fun part about it. It takes me back to when I was a kid and I’d play with Play-Doh,” Ryan says. “I just sit down like I would with a canvas and just

start making. The process is fun because it’s so free.” Peppertrain is sold in 28 stores— primarily clothing and gift boutiques— across North Carolina, and a few out of state. But jewelry-making wasn’t always on Ryan’s mind, and the way she describes it, she’d have you think Peppertrain became an all-out success by accident. Ryan, 33, moved to Raleigh from Wilmington to attend Meredith College, where she first studied interior design but graduated with a degree in fashion merchandising. After a stint working for Ann Taylor Loft in Washington, D.C., she moved back to Raleigh to run Raleigh Denim’s storefront, The Curatory. By that point her personal style had

changed, she says, and she was in the market for new jewelry; she made a few pieces of her own, which she wore around the store and which received compliments. She’d never had any formal training in jewelry-making or done much art beyond some amateur painting, she says, but she was inspired by the creativity of Raleigh Denim’s owners, Victor Lytvinenko and Sarah Yarborough. Fortuitously picking up on her penchant for making, they gave her a box of craft supplies for Christmas in 2013, including spray paint and polymer clay. “I went home and started playing around with the polymer clay and made some super-simple stuff and then started wearing it,” Ryan says, noting that she still uses some of those earliest beads in the jewelry she makes today. “Then I started getting feedback like, ‘Oh, you should sell it,’ and I was like, ‘Really?’” She went for it. After setting up a table full of necklaces that summer at an annual pop-up sale hosted by Raleigh Denim, “it just kind of sprung from there,” Ryan says. She continued working at Raleigh Denim while making and selling necklaces on the side. Last year, she left to pursue Peppertrain full-time and now makes 200 to 300 pieces a month. Recently, she’s also begun including earrings in her lineup, ranging from disc

Every one of Peppertrain’s beads is made by hand, by Ryan. As a result, each bead is unique, and no two necklaces are identical. studs to dangly squares and half-moons in Peppertrain’s characteristic color palettes. “Kaitlin has exceptional style and a really great eye for color and shape,.” Yarborough says. “When she combines texture, color, form, and function, the

result is elevated and polished, but still feels handmade. Peppertrain embraces the wabi-sabi I look for in almost everything I wear and that we stock at the Curatory. I smile every time I see a piece of her jewelry in the wild.” SEPTEMBER 2018 | 95

Kaitlin Ryan, owner and founder of Peppertrain Jewelry, creates handmade beads from polymer clay. She sells her eclectic earrings and necklaces in over 28 stores and online at peppertrainjewelry. com.

While Ryan says she is most inspired by experimenting with color combinations, she also bases her designs on the kind of jewelry she herself wants to wear. And it turns out that her personal style resonates with a wide audience, with everyone from teenage girls to retirees finding something to love at Peppertrain. “Just adding a color can change who wants it,” Ryan says. “I love that. I think [Peppertrain’s customer] is somebody who doesn’t take themselves too seriously and likes something that’s fun and handmade, but also likes wearable art.” Every Peppertrain bead is made by hand, by Ryan. As a result, each bead is unique, and no two necklaces are identical. For Ryan, each necklace or pair of earrings is its own little piece of art—and for her customers, that’s also part of the appeal. “There’s something exciting about touching each piece, and I think people really like that part too,” she says. “No matter how many I could make of a certain color or a color combination or a collection, they know that theirs is still individual.” It also makes the jewelry endlessly customizable. And in fact, many Peppertrain pieces Ryan sells in one store differ from those sold in another or on Peppertrain’s website. For instance, Ryan works closely with Vert & Vogue, a clothing boutique in Durham. She caters the styles and colors of her jewelry there to the shop’s clothes, honing in on its customers’ aesthetic. “Peppertrain is eclectic, modern, and handmade—a perfect complement to our collection,” says Nadira Hurley, co-owner of Vert & Vogue. With so much thought put into the jewelry, it’s no surprise that Peppertrain has taken off. And now that the company has morphed into a full-time enterprise, Ryan’s sights are set on expanding into more boutiques throughout the state and beyond, and elevating her marketing approach. But one thing that’s not likely to change soon are the beads themselves, made individually in Ryan’s spare bedroom and baked in her kitchen, a triedand-true recipe.

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“Marta's unique brands of clothing and accessories along with their customer service is fantastic. And, their dedication to assisting others is not just about clothes. Marta’s commitment to giving back to the Triangle through their fundraising efforts makes shopping here a win-win in my heart! And for that – Marta’s matters.” Kari Stoltz, Bank of America, Community Leader and Marta’s customer


LOOSE on the NEUSE words and photography by CC PARKER


he plan for our family Neuse River paddle was announced at the dinner table. Our family had enjoyed a nice Sunday meal together, everyone loosened up by good food, conversation, and libations (adults only). During a lull, I announced that the upcoming Sunday we were having a family-only, mandatory kayak trip. Never quite sure what the response will be to my ideas for family fun … I paused for their reaction. They didn’t fail me. “MOM, it’ll be so long!” “MOM, it’ll be a far drive. Where is it? WHY DO WE HAVE TO DO THIS?” “Mom, the water will still be cold!” “Mom are the snakes out yet?” Th Then they turned to my husband pleading for intervention but he ended the subject. “This is what your mother wants to do.” B Before they could reload with another set of objections, I pointed out what they really n needed to worry about: Their boatmate. We will be in tandem boats. Who in the famiily can share a boat for a prolonged period of time? Who is going to paddle their fair sshare? Who is the least annoying? Who will permit their partner tanning breaks? They ssurveyed each other critically. This was unexpected … it never occurred to me that inner-family alliances would b be formed from this excursion. Would anyone choose to ride with me? Why do I find ssuch pleasure in forced family fun? I know I am not alone. But why do some par-


ents feel such joy in forcing their most beloved ones to spend recreational time with them? The opportunity to tell your children to put down the Fortnite headphones feels like a victory. Perhaps in my case it’s due to my upbringing: summer after summer of camp drop-offs, my parents (people who don’t normally seek out attention) would honk, wave madly and scream Ahoy There! to every handsome counselor in sight as I hide from the embarrassment in the back of the station wagon. Thirtyfive years later and I am doing the same thing. Scheduling our float down Paddle Creek was seamless. The website is easy but I had questions, and Brittany (who runs the show) called me right back and we were booked for our tandem kayak special. I ignored all the rolling eyes. The children were sullen and silent and even my husband was grumpy. I ignored their negative energy and gathered the necessities for the trip: a small cooler of ice water, towels, wine (it’s never too early for that), sunscreen, and bug spray. We were ready to roll.

The drive to Paddle Creek is a 20-minute drive from downtown Raleigh. We found a parking spot and joined the crowd at the makeshift registration tent next to the river. My sister and parents were already there and looked a bit pensive—they surveyed our crowd to determine their own boatmates. Brittany distributed wet sacks for anyone needing to protect electronics. Once the participants checked in, she introduced us to the team of four young men, reviewed the rules, and pointed out the nearby train trestle. That trestle would serve as a visual reminder to the group that the trip ends at the “take out” spot. The group piled into two large vans and drove 15 minutes to the put-in site at Falls Dam. Once arrived, the young guides distributed paddles and unloaded the kayaks as we made our way to the water. Falls Dam is a busy spot with a happy vibe. The guides instructed us to load into the kayaks with our partners. It was the moment of truth for family alliances. It was a bit of a shock when my beloved youngest child grabbed my mother’s hand. He picked her

for his team. She was the safest. And the nicest, certainly compared to his siblings who were yelling all sorts of admonitions to him about not waking up the snakes on the river. We filed two by two into our boats and let the current carry us downstream. It was a hot day—97 degrees—but pleasant on the water. My husband and daughter immediately took the lead and passed the group. That was a shame because the water cooler was on their boat. My eldest child and my sister took their time, mainly because my son was snapchatting and tanning so his aunt had to do most of the work. My father and I took in the landscape as he reminisced about a real estate deal on the river that he brokered as a young agent many moons ago. I knew he was in the spirit of the day when he suggested there was no rush to the finish and we should allow the current do some of the work. We made small talk and splashed family members as they passed. My mother and youngest pulled up the rear. Brown was on the lookout for those dreaded water snakes but then

SEPTEMBER 2018 | 99

became distracted by the frolicking tattooed millennials floating nearby. He has a keen eye for misbehaving shenanigans. Paddle Creek’s “short run” is only three miles and takes about an hour and a half. Lots of paddlers, tubers, and other kayakers are out there with you, and you can find lots of pretty spots for a picnic. Bathroom pit stops aren’t a problem as the river isn’t that big. Our boats stayed within view of one another throughout the run. It was relaxed, old-fashioned fun. As expected the train trestle eventually appeared and the young Paddle Creek guides waved us in as they helped us out and hauled the boats away. When our family reassembled at the registration tent, everyone was sort of… quiet. Peaceful. Relieved? Perhaps wanting to make a point (or wanting reassurance), I asked my eldest son his thoughts about our paddle. In reply, he gave me a hug and said, “Yea Mom, it was good.” Two hours with the people I love most in the world. Parental sadism aside, his hug and reassurance was the best gift.

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102 | WALTER


by JASON FRYE photography by NICK KING

BEAMING CONTRAST Chihuly visits the Biltmore

t’s not often that one experiences sudden enlightenment. It is typically achieved after years of meditation and reflection, and the moment of it arrives unexpectedly. Chinese poet Wumen Huikai describes it as “a thunderclap under the clear blue sky.” The art currently sprinkled on the grounds at the Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina, however, may cause a shift in the way we see things. Throughout the first floor and woven into the gardens of America’s largest home, renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly has placed a visual thunderclap. Chihuly’s work, delicate glass that pushes the medium’s architectural boundaries, stands in stark contrast against the stoic beauty of the Biltmore. The home, built in the 1890s by George Vanderbilt, is all stone and clean lines—the garden, the crisp arrow of paths, and the tips of leaves and blooms. His glass creations trade crisp lines for fluid curves, brilliant color for the white of limestone, and smooth glass for the organic velvet of leaves and blooms. As you drive in, Sole d’Oro welcomes you to the estate’s front lawn. A 14-foot sphere, the sun shape glows with translucent, amber, and gold horns. In the Italian Garden, boats are filled with natureinspired forms like reeds, onions, and cattails. The indoor Winter Garden has been transformed into Laguna Torcello II, complete with flowers and eelgrass of vibrant blues and greens. Each piece creates a shocking juxtaposition, a successful one at that, keeping with the grandeur of the historic house. “[Frederick Law] Olmsted viewed the landscape here as art, and we know George [Vanderbilt] was a patron of the arts, so this installation, modern as it is, makes sense,” said Parker Andes, Biltmore’s director of horticulture. “We needed to answer a few questions,” says Andes. “This would be the art exhibition in our gardens. Would George and

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Edith [Vanderbilt] have supported work like this? What would they do with it? How would they display it?” He says they eventually decided that they would support and welcome an artist like Chihuly. “We still questioned how to showcase the work without taking away from it or the estate,” says Andes. “With the Biltmore, we have the art connection—the family members have been and still are incredible collectors—and we even have the glass connection with our pieces from John La Farge and Tiffany & Co. Considering that the Vanderbilts loved beauty found in art and architecture, the stunning architectural pieces from Chihuly felt like a natural fit,” says Travis Tatham, director of entertainment and event programming. “But we still wanted to tie our collective desire for this installation with something from our archives.” They settled on a garden party with Chinese lanterns hanging from the trees: a beautiful, temporary

104 | WALTER

display that mirrored the organic forms of the landscape. “Dale [Chihuly] was excited to part-

ner with Biltmore, so it was just a matter of timing. Getting to the point where we were working in earnest with [Chihuly] and his team took a while. Years, actually,” Tatham says. Andes and Biltmore’s horticulture team began the infrastructure work a year before the May 2018 opening. To prepare, the horticulture team visited Atlanta to examine another Chihuly installation. They took notes on the look and feel throughout the day, in order to see what plants helped highlight the glass. Andes says he felt confident in his team’s ability to create a stunning and functional installation. “When I overheard conversations like ‘Is this plant too architectural?’ and ‘Is this too colorful?’ I said to myself, ‘they’ve got it!’” While walking the gardens with Chihuly’s team, the complexities of the installation appeared. Some of Chihuly’s pieces are simply settled into the landscape. Others require small foundations and

modifications, such as specialty containers and heavy structural support. “The issue wasn’t just with the supports and foundations, but the gardens themselves. These are historic gardens, and we didn’t have electric lines and cables for the necessary cameras. We needed to install and conceal them, conceal the foundation and support, while ensuring all of these factors complimented the pieces,” says Andes. His team delivered, disguising the supports and foundations, hiding the wiring, and planting beds full of flowers and foliage that accentuated the sculptural glass. In the Walled Garden, maroon and green plantings hide the base but also enhance the color of Electric Yellow and Deep Coral Tower. Begonias, red with yellow anthers, echo the colors in the individual tower horns. It’s like this throughout the gardens—the plants enhance the glass, while the glass forms seem to make each plant’s colors more vivid. There are places where it feels as if the plants and glass radiate light, and that feeling grows as day turns toward the golden hour of twilight, and then to night, when the glass towers, chandeliers, reeds and balls shine from concealed lights. This exhibition offers a rare glimpse of the estate, as both the home’s first floor and gardens are open into the evening for Chihuly Nights at Biltmore, a ticketed event. Tatham and Andes say that Chihuly Nights is the best way to experience the pieces. “Daytime is gorgeous, but as you near twilight, the glass seems to glow. They gleam and some look as if they’re on fire. Then as it starts to get truly dark, the lights come on and each piece takes on a new life,” Tatham says. Andes agrees: “At dusk, the sky still has some blue, but the shadows are gone, and the pieces look otherworldly. Under the lights, some pieces appear to float. It’s absolutely amazing.”




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Chihuly at Biltmore runs now through October 7. Tickets are available online at or at the Biltmore.



SEPTEMBER 2018 | 105


Have a Big Vacation in a Small Town

Scenic trips along the Tuckasegee River and into the Nantahala River Gorge in the Great Smoky Mountains


Your Heart’s Adventure Awaits!


Home of the North Carolina Zoo Visit the Heart of North Carolina | 800-626-2672 ARCHDALE s ASHEBORO s FRANKLINVILLE s LIBERTY 2!-3%52 s 2!.$,%-!. s SEAGROVE s STALEY s TRINITY




More than a

HOME Local nonprofit gives dignity to homelessness

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ne Raleigh woman and her daughter used to spend every afternoon waiting in line for a bed at the shelter. Now, the daughter spends her afternoons at Girl Scouts meetings. A Raleigh man used to sleep in a tent by the highway, hoping it wouldn’t rain. Now, when he sees storm clouds, he doesn’t worry that he’ll lose all of his belongings. These stories, and those of thousands in this community, have ended in hope, thanks to CASA, a Raleigh-based nonprofit that develops and manages affordable apartments in the Triangle for low-income individuals and families, many of whom are veterans or living with disabilities. For 26 years, CASA has worked with the goal that no tenant becomes homeless again. At CASA, the complex problem of homelessness is met with a seemingly simple solution: housing. “When people look at the cost of apartments to rent in our community, it’s overwhelming, and it’s easy to think there’s nothing you can do about homelessness, but there is something you can do,” says Missy Hatley, CASA’s resource development director, “And we’re doing it.” In 1993, the organization purchased its first four properties in downtown Raleigh with a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. CASA now manages 490 properties in Wake, Durham, and Orange counties. “At first, people think, oh, these affordable apartments will devalue my neighborhood, but then they find the opposite to be true,” says CEO Mary Jean Seyda. CASA often rehabs abandoned buildings or builds new structures that add to the value and vibrancy of their settings. In Raleigh, these buildings are nearly all inside the beltline, for easy access to public transportation. “It can happen to anyone,” says one tenant, a veteran whose combat injury caused a neurological condition that prevents him from holding a steady job. “I didn’t think it could happen to me. I’m educated, I went to a good school, I have a degree and had a good job, but when I got sick, I lost my savings and it was all—just gone.”

SAFE AND SOUND Opposite page: Tangie Thompson, left, in her apartment with CASA’s newly appointed CEO Mary Jean Seyda. Thompson has lived at CASA’s Sunnybrook Village in Raleigh for two years; At right: One of several apartment buildings owned by CASA, a nonprofit that provides affordable housing.

For individuals who have experienced homelessness, an apartment means dignity. In CASA apartments, tenants pay 30 percent of their income on rent, regardless of the number on their paychecks. For those who have experienced homelessness, moving off the streets and into a home outwardly changes them: “Tenants start to look different,” Hatley says, “They come in seeming taller, holding themselves differently, looking you in the eye.” During bouts of homelessness, many tenants kept people at arm’s length so no one would know, but once the tenants receive housing, they can reunite with family, have their children visit, and reconnect with friends. Many join churches, volunteer in the community, and realize their potential as contributing members of society. An apartment also means safety. Many CASA tenants cry when they first hold their apartment keys, when they realize they have a door to lock, a place of refuge. “I can go home and be at peace, and I’m able to cook,” one tenant says, “If I want to get up at four o’clock in the morning and fry eggs and bacon I can do that. My self-esteem is a lot higher. My health is better.” Having a refrigerator means access to more nutritious foods, but the health factor goes beyond the kitchen. One local couple slept on the street for years before learning the wife had cancer. Her doctor would not allow her to start chemotherapy while living in a tent. Desperate for housing that could save her life, she turned to CASA. The couple now lives in an apartment near Cameron Village, which will be their home indefinitely. Dr. Keith Hull, co-founder of Raleigh Neurology Associates, says: “Since my earliest career, many patients who were homeless have told me that it was hard to keep their medications secure, and to

remember to take them, because of uncertainty about where they were going to sleep.” Hoping to provide a good example of community service for his children, Hull joined the volunteer Wake County Board of Mental Health in 1989, where one of his ideas led to the formation of CASA. After 26 years of involvement with the nonprofit, Hull says, “Working with CASA has been like achieving success during a Monopoly game; it’s easier to sustain the effort when, as time goes by, we’re seeing more CASA structures in more neighborhoods.” One such CASA structure is a veterans’ community near WakeMed called Hull’s Landing, which was named for Dr. Hull. He believes CASA has perfected a system that “efficiently and wisely uses resources from local donors, banks, and governmental agencies to develop clean, safe, and affordable housing for our tenants.” CASA doesn’t just provide the affordable housing; it also has a compassionate property management team, a leasing staff, and a maintenance staff that frequents the sites to ensure things are in working order. “We’re always saying please call us,” Seyda says, “Those prop-

erties are our assets, and we want to be good stewards both to our tenants and our funders and donors, by sustaining these buildings into the years ahead. It can take a while for new CASA tenants to believe they can ask us for help.” Some tenants worry they’ll be charged for things like leaky faucets and broken appliances; others just aren’t comfortable asking for help. Of the second sort, most are veterans who are hesitant to ask for help since they are used to being the helpers themselves. Typical landlord turn-offs like bad credit and criminal records won’t keep tenants out of affordable housing: “CASA serves people who are left out,” Hatley says. “We say yes.” Within CASA’s properties, there is a tremendous sense of community. One new tenant is a young woman who aged out of the foster system at age 18 and experienced years of homelessness. “This is her first apartment in her own name,” Hatley says, “and her favorite thing about it is that she has nosy neighbors.” The tenants check on each other and care for one another. The apartments are dignity, safety, and health, but they are also community. CASA will host its 5th annual Cabin

SEPTEMBER 20182016 | 109| 115 NOVEMBER


Trunk Show Exclusive look at the newest fall styles. Cathy Bryan, from Johnston & Murphy will be present for style and fit advice

Saturday, September 22 10am-6pm


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for CASA September 20 at Whitaker & Atlantic. It’s a party with an auction and raffle, and a $100,000 goal. This year’s fundraiser is particularly significant, as it is the first one since the loss of CASA’s CEO of 23 years, Debra King, who lost her battle with blood cancer in April. Under King, the organization grew to a 27-person staff with an operating budget of $4 million, but Seyda says that King’s main legacy is one of compassion: “When it came to homeless children in our community, Debra would say, ‘We’re better than this. We have to be better than this.’” CASA plans to honor King at this year’s Cabin for CASA, and also to raise funds for land in Wake County where a community will be built in her name. Last year, 98 percent of CASA tenants completed a year of paying monthly rent. Nearly 500 tenants and their families currently live in CASA apartments around the Triangle, but another 1500 are waiting in the applicant pool—waiting while they line up for shelter beds and pitch their roadside tents, waiting as CASA works tirelessly on new developments, more land, more apartments, until every one of them has a roof and a bed. “We have worked with other groups in other communities that work on part of the problem, such as helping pay bills and providing services, but this doesn’t get to the fundamental issue of affordable housing,” says board member Stewart Witzeman, who along with his wife, Kerry, has been involved with CASA since they moved to Raleigh five and a half years ago. “CASA’s model gets to the root of the problem, treats people with dignity, and helps those that can be easily forgotten,” he says. Recipients of CASA apartments who used to sleep in their cars, or on inflatable mattresses in storage units, find real human compassion at CASA, and the solution isn’t temporary: As long as the tenants pay rent, their leases will never expire. “When you don’t feel safe, you’re always looking over your shoulder,” one tenant says, “Thanks to my apartment, I don’t have to do that anymore. Now I look ahead.”

special autumn activities

legends & lanterns tours

Salem Saturdays



hands-on workshop

quilting frolic

“Old Salem’s had something of a makeover and it’s wonderful.” —Trip Advisor Review 2018

Join us Saturdays this Autumn and experience a NEW Old Salem. Start the day at the Old Salem Cobblestone Farmers Market, spend quality, family time exploring history in the new kid-friendly “please touch” buildings, try your hand at quilting, take part in one of our popular “Hands-On Workshops,” stroll Main Street, enjoy a boxed picnic in Salem Square, and do a bit of early holiday shopping in our unique stores. It truly is a special time at Old Salem—just for you and your family. Book a hotel package and make a weekend of it! Don’t miss our popular, spooky Legends & Lanterns Tours October 26–3o. · 336-721-735o · old salem museums & gardens, winston-salem, nc Weekend Hotel Packages at the Brookstown Inn, the Kimpton Cardinal Hotel, or the Zevely Inn include tickets to Old Salem and overnight accommodations. visit



Pinetop Distillery brings the Triangle old-school spirits by CATHERINE CURRIN


he way people consume is changing. What’s old is now new,” says Tom Sibrizzi, co-owner of Pinetop Distillery. Sibrizzi says that he and fellow co-owners, Grady Knight, John Keener, and Gabe Guillois realized the major metro areas like Raleigh were lacking local spirits, and Pinetop was born in 2016. “We decided to bring Raleigh its spirit.” Pinetop is one-of-a-kind, not only

in the production process, but in the creation of Prohibition-style liquor. Pinetop produces Carolina Gin and Carolina Moonshine (an unaged bourbon). The lemony gin is sure to ignite an interest in non-gin drinkers, says Sibrizzi. “Our Carolina Gin is unique because we focus on citrus—lemon and oranges—versus the typical juniper-forward spirit.” The distillery is also tapping into local resources—utilizing corn, wheat, barley, and rye from nearby farmers. “Making

liquor is somewhat of a novelty. Our customers have refined palates and want to know the story behind what they are consuming,” says Sibrizzi. “We use continuous distilling, which breaks down liquor for a smoother taste, while also clearing impurities.” Once the grains are spent in the distilling process, Pinetop passes them on to Old Milburnie Farm for pig feed. “It’s the circle of life. We consider this our way of giving back to the community,” says Sibrizzi. photography by TAYLOR MCDONALD

112 | WALTER

Tailored Clothing is Always in Style

THE MARTINEZ Ingredients: 2 ounces Pinetop Carolina Gin 1 cap full of Vermouth

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1/8 ounce Maraschino liquor 3 dashes of orange bitters

Mix ingredients and stir in a glass with ice for a silky texture. Double strain into a coupe glass, then garnish with a dehydrated stained lemon.

This month, Sibrizzi says he’s most excited about the Martinez, the cocktail that is the predecessor to the martini. Daniel Barnes, beverage director at Watts & Ward, pictured at left, stirred up the mixture for WALTER. The smooth gin balances with a sweetness that resembles a Manhattan, and the booze-forward flavor cuts the sometimes sugary Maraschino flavor. While you can visit Pinetop on Saturdays for a tasting at Dock 1053, the team encourages you to take a sip at the many local bars carrying the booze throughout Raleigh. 1053 E. Whitaker Mill Road;

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Mark your calendar for these upcoming experiences… ART FARE October 18 CAM Raleigh Local restaurants Heirloom, Garland, and Brewery Bhavana collaborate for a memorable meal inspired by art. Each chef’s team will draw from the latest exhibit at CAM for an intimate 3-course dinner with wine pairings in the gallery. Sponsored by: Bailey’s Fine Jewelry

TALES FROM THE WILD October 25 Milburnie Fishing Club A spirited evening of good-natured sport and tales from the wild. Participate in demos and interactive stations including fly fishing, oyster shucking, and knife skills while enjoying local beer and Southern fare. Sponsored by: Great Outdoor Provision Co.

For tickets and more information: A DAY WITH VIVIAN HOWARD November 3 Kinston, N.C. Spend the day with award-winning chef Vivian Howard. Enjoy brunch at the Boiler Room followed by a gallery tour at Art 105, and a brewery tour at Mother Earth. End the day with a 4-course dinner at Chef & The Farmer. Sponsored by: Great Outdoor Provision Co. Support from Bailey’s Fine Jewelry & River Dunes

CELEBRATE THE SEASON November 28 Merrimon-Wynne House Join WALTER for an exclusive holiday shopping event. Enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while shopping with local retailers. Each guest will receive a limited edition WALTER tote bag with special offers and gifts from vendors, sponsors, and partners.

;I VIGSKRM^I SYV QSWX TVIGMSYW VIWSYVGI ȅ XLI TISTPI MR SYV GSQQYRMX] Thanks to you, things are getting done. Thanks to you, our community is a better place and the lives of real people are being changed for the better. Bank of America recognizes our community’s female entrepreneurs for helping to make a lasting difference where we live and work. Thank you for being an inspiration to us all. Visit us at 0MJIȈW FIXXIV [LIR [IȈVI GSRRIGXIHq ©2018 Bank of America Corporation | SPN-128-AD | ARRYK5V8

WINnovation 2018


September 7 The Umstead Hotel & Spa



WINnovation 2018 SEPTEMBER 7 The Umstead Hotel & Spa 4:00 p.m. Optional Startup Workshop 5:00 p.m. Cocktails Meet and network with fellow innovators, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts before the main event. 6:00 p.m. Dinner & Program Enjoy a delicious three-course meal with wine pairings as you listen to our WINnovation speakers.

OUR PANEL Emily Sexton, The Flourish Market Melisse Shaban, Virtue Labs Lindsay Zanno, N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences Sepi Saidi, Sepi Engineering Cicely Mitchell, Art of Cool Festival Presented by Bank of America Supported by Diamonds Direct Tickets: $125 For more information, please visit

WALTER magazine is proud to present the fourth annual WINnovation this month at The Umstead Hotel & Spa. The event celebrates women in innovation through shared wisdom from local leaders who have embraced the entrepreneurial spirit. The annual event consists of a panel of honorees that will share 5-minute TED-talk-style “WIN” presentations about their careers, personal lives, and beyond. These five remarkable women are diverse: They hail from the industries of fashion, engineering, beauty, music, and even paleontology. WALTER is also thrilled to welcome Inspiring Capital and StartingBloc to be our 2018 Workshop Leaders. We hope you’ll join us at this spirited and inspiring evening. 118 | WALTER


Eamon Queeney

Founder & Owner, The Flourish Market

MELISSE SHABAN Founder & CEO, Virtue Labs

LINDSAY ZANNO Head of Paleontology, N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences

After years in corporate America, North Carolina native Emily Sexton wanted to make a change. Her international volunteer work opened her eyes to the amazing makers throughout the world that needed an advocate. “I had this vision of bags, jewelry, and other products from the developing world,” says Sexton. By fall of 2015, The Flourish Market was born—on wheels. The fashion truck cruised around Raleigh, and Sexton soon realized this do-good concept was much bigger than just an upcycled uniform truck. “People were getting tired of trying to find out where the truck would be. We needed a permanent location,” she says. A year later, in November 2016, Sexton opened a storefront on Tucker Street near Glenwood South. Today, one-third of the products are made in the United States, and 100% of the goods have a facet of giving back in some way. Not to mention, she’s launching a subscription service, The Flourish Box, and writing a book. “Our mission is deeper. Elevating a woman’s worth is a universal need. I always tell people, ‘Our products have a bigger purpose, and you do too.’”

Melisse Shaban is disrupting the beauty industry, and it’s happening in Raleigh. Shaban is the founder and CEO of Virtue Labs, and she says the products’ innovative technology inspired her to take the ambitious jump. “I’d never seen any sort of technology like this in the beauty industry. I really believed I had a vision with this company.” After years of leading companies in New York, like household names Aveda and Frederic Fekkai, Shaban says she wanted to bring a consumer goods brand to the Triangle. “There’s a lot of young talent in this area, and what we didn’t see is a lot of entrepreneurial companies here. Talent follows opportunity, and we wanted to provide that opportunity.” Shaban says she’s proud of the business they’ve built in Raleigh, one that is constantly evolving and gaining nationwide attention. Virtue has even received celebrity recognition from A-listers like Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Garner. She says the people she’s surrounded herself with professionally make or break success. “When you invest in a business, it’s not only the business and brand, its the people you align yourself with.”

Lindsay Zanno remembers a time when she had dinosaur figures lined up on her desk. That was in 2nd grade, and she never imagined those dinosaurs would be the focus of her career. Today, she’s taken that love of the species seriously as Head of Paleontology at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. She graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree, and received her masters and Ph.D. from the University of Utah. With her position at the museum, Zanno is also an assistant research professor at N.C. State University. Originally from New York, she has travelled far and wide to learn about these vertebrate species. She says her favorite destination she’s visited is Mongolia, and she’s recently returned from an expedition in New Mexico. Zanno says she hopes to make her research more accessible to everyone in the Triangle. “We want to bring the community into the process, from the moment of discovery to finding the answers. … There’s a spirit here [Raleigh] that feels kind of boundless. Wanting to be a leader permeates through the community.”

SEPTEMBER 2018 | 119

Sepi Saidi moved from Tehran, Iran to North Carolina as a high schooler. Since then, she’s made a name for herself. Not only does she have two engineering degrees from N.C. State University, she’s started her own firm in Raleigh, and is the only woman currently serving on the board at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Saidi has no intention of slowing down, either. She says one of her priorities is supporting and encouraging women to excel and obtain more leadership roles in her industry and beyond. “There’s no reason why women can’t do exactly what a man does in terms of leadership and education. It’s satisfying to me that others feel inspired to do more based on what I have done,” she says. “I would say that the only barrier between what you want in life and what you actually do is the way you think about who you are.”



“I think both of my careers chose me,” says Cicely Mitchell, Dr.PH. She says she jumped at the chance to live this dual lifestyle, serving as the President and co-founder of the Art of Cool festival as well as the Global Director of Biostatistics for Pharm-Olam International. Mitchell moved to the Triangle for graduate school at UNC Chapel Hill, where she received her doctorate in biostatistics. Along the way, she met musician Al Strong and became intrigued by the jazz culture in Durham. Together, Mitchell and Strong founded Art of Cool five years ago, with the goal of creating a community around the local music scene. “We came along at a very crucial time, when Durham was sort of ‘rebranding’ it’s image,” she says. As the festival takes on new ownership for its 5th anniversary, Mitchell says she will still be heavily involved in bookings and community partnerships. “I’m extremely passionate about connecting more people to the music. We’re trying to connect the music to the audience here.”

Co-founder, Art of Cool Festival

WORKSHOP LEADERS INSPIRING CAPITAL Founded in 2013, Inspiring Capital began as a one-woman consulting firm aimed to help nonprofits find more sustainable ways to finance their work while championing the integration of profit and purpose. From there, the company has evolved their model in response to market feedback, realizing that bridging the divide between social impact organizations and the private sector is critical for ushering in a healthy, equitable, and new economy. STARTINGBLOC Since their conception in 2003, StartingBloc’s programs have reached 2,900 change leaders in 56 countries. The highly rated institutes have been held in cities including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Raleigh, Durham, and London.

120 | WALTER

Eamon Queeney

Founder & CEO, Sepi Engineering

THE UMSTEAD.COM | CARY, NC | 866.877.4141

WALTER events

An evening with Celia Rivenbark

Well, bless her heart!


athered at the Matthews House in Cary, WALTER readers enjoyed a night of fellowship with author Celia Rivenbark. Rivenbark hails from Duplin County, and her anecdotes about small town Southern life kept the audience in a fit of laughter all evening. Over 150 guests enjoyed cocktail hour, followed by dinner and a presentation by Rivenbark. Wine Authorities, Topo Distillery, and Brice’s Brewing provided cocktails and refreshments to beat the summer heat, while Southern Harvest Catering Company provided a delicious three-course, Southern-inspired meal—biscuits included. photography by MADELINE GRAY

122 | WALTER

Above: Elisabeth and Isabel McGowan At right: Mimi Wellington and speaker Kaitlin Ryan

A local newspaper reporter from a young age, Rivenbark uses her writing to find humor in the midst of daily life. Her book titles invoke cheeky humor that can’t be ignored: From You Can’t Drink All Day If you Don’t Start in the Morning to You Don’t Sweat Much for a Fat Girl, Rivenbark draws from personal stories and some, admittedly, she borrows from friends. With a pseudo stand-up comedic style, she riffed on everything from Southern stereotypes to barbeque, Southern men, and ACC basketball. An avid UNC-Chapel Hill fan, she simply “has no time for anyone that pulls for Duke

basketball.” She’s proud of where she came from, and wears her hometown and charming accent with pride. “Southerners never use their turn signal, and that’s because it’s no one’s business where we are going,” says Rivenbark, who describes the culture shock Northerners face when driving down South. WALTER’s Catherine Currin facilitated a Q&A with Rivenbark, followed

by a book signing with her popular titles for sale by Quail Ridge Books. Guests exchanged one-on-one bantor with Rivenbark, recalling stories of growing up in the South, or moving from a foreign place: ‘The North,’ as Rivenbark describes. Through a night of funny stories, silly jargon, and Southern slang, Rivenbark’s message rings true: you can find laughter wherever you go.

SEPTEMBER 2018 | 123

Above: Over 150 guests enjoyed a three-course dinner from Southern Harvest Catering Company; at right: Catherine Currin and Celia Rivenbark take questions from the audience.

This event was made possible by our sponsors Renewal by Andersen and Closets by Design. Themeworks provided the stage setting, while Bloomworks arranged the seasonal florals. Quail Ridge Books provided Rivenbark’s titles for sale.

124 | WALTER

From left to right: Supporting sponsor Closets by Design: Amy Goodison, Tami McCrackin, Suzanne Pomrehn, and Shannon Pius; supporting sponsor Renewal by Andersen: Jodie McClement and Kelly Scuotto.




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Joe Kwon reaches #NewHeights for Kidznotes

The Whirl is WALTER’s roundup of local happenings. From store openings to big galas, fundraisers, intimate gatherings, and everything in between, The Whirl has got it covered.

PARTIES 128 Raising Hope 2018 131 YMCA Executive Leadership Breakfast 132 Rex Open 132 Distilling the South Panel Discussion and Fish Fry

Submissions for upcoming issues are accepted at WALTER’s website:

133 ‘Cue for Cali 134 #NewHeights 135 2018 Triangle Man and Woman of the Year Grand Finale

SEPTEMBER 2018 | 127


RAISING HOPE 2018 The Raising Hope silent auction and dinner at the Glenwood celebrated the accomplishments of young people aging out of foster care Junt 7. The event raised funds in support of The Hope Center at Pullen. The center connects young people aging out of foster care in Wake County with the resources and support they need for a successful transition to adulthood.

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#NEWHEIGHTS #NewHeights was a fundraising event for Kidznotes June 2, and more than 70 people rappelled off the Capital Bank Plaza Building downtown. The event raised $50,000 for Kidznotes’ 2018 program expansion. The event included a street fair featuring local bands, free iced coffee and donuts provided by Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee, and food trucks.

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the WHIRL YMCA EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP BREAKFAST Triangle leaders gathered June 19 for breakfast at the Umstead Hotel and Spa to learn more about the YMCA of the Triangle’s plan for expanded service in Southeast Raleigh. The 32-acre YMCA Beacon Site on Rock Quarry Road will include a joint YMCA and a Wake County Public School, mixed-use housing, and commercial space. The YMCA is currently raising funds for the innovative project.

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DISTILLING THE SOUTH PANEL DISCUSSION AND FISH FRY Chef Coleen Speaks welcomed Kathleen Purvis, award-winning food writer for the Charlotte Observer, to Whitaker & Atlantic July 27 for a celebration of her latest book, Distilling the South. Representatives from five local distilleries held a panel discussion, followed by a tasting of spirits and a fish fry dinner.

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Coleen Speaks, Scott Maitland, George Smith, Rim Vilgalys, Melissa Katrincic, Kathleen Purvis, Jeremy Norris

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REX OPEN The 2018 REX Hospital Open, the Triangle’s premiere charity golf tournament, hosted more than 150 golfers from around the world at TPC Wakefield May 31-June 3. Spectators of the tournament witnessed Joey Garber’s winning putt and enjoyed live music, food trucks, and face-painting stations. The annual event, part of the Tour, raises money for patients, programs, and services at UNC REX Healthcare.

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‘CUE FOR CALI Triangle Wine Experience, the largest fundraiser of Frankie Lemmon School and Developmental Center, hosted ‘Cue for Cali June 15 in support of wildfire relief for Napa and Sonoma Counties. The event raised $100,000 and will be split between Napa Valley Community Foundation and Community Foundation of Sonoma County. Rodney Scott, James Beard Best Chef of the Southeast, and Sam Jones, James Beard semifinalist provided the food, and Brewery Bhavana provided the beer.

Kate Pope Photography

Guy Davis, Judy Davis, Pam Starr, Ryan Pflumm, Henk Schuitemaker, Lenora Evans, Steve Reynolds

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SCRIBO Across 3. A festival for this genre of music returns to Raleigh at the end of the month 5. ______ Distillery makes Carolina Gin and Moonshine 6. Imagine ______ has 30 performers throughout the United States Down 1. You can visit Chihuly’s exhibit this month at this North Carolina home 2. Murphy’s Naturals creates products to protect against this pest 4. A group of Raleigh women play this game for charity 6. Kaitlin Ryan makes jewelry out of this material

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2018 TRIANGLE MAN AND WOMAN OF THE YEAR GRAND FINALE The Man and Woman of the Year (MWOY) campaign is a 10-week fundraising competition that raises funds for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) mission to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. The 2018 MWOY Grand Finale was a celebration at the Raleigh Convention Center of the 13 candidates who collectively raised over $900,000 to help further the mission of LLS! The winners were Colt Rever (Boy of the Year), Selia Powell (Girl of the Year), Dr. Timothy Pardee (Man of the Year), and Catherine Sellers (Woman of the Year).

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138 | WALTER

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lyde Cooper’s Barbeque celebrates 80 years of cooking pigs and frying chicken this year. The downtown institution, which opened on Davie Street in 1938, has relocated only once, and maintains its roots in the heart of downtown Raleigh. You can hardly walk down Wilmington Street without catching an aroma of signature pulled pork and homeade Eastern N.C.-style vinegar sauce. The no-frills restaurant is open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and it’s cash only—no exceptions. A quintessential Raleigh to-do list should include lunch at the joint, whether your plate is full of fried chicken, fried okra, or hushpuppies. —Catherine Currin


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