February 20, 2024 Last week at the International Window Cleaning Convention in Galveston TX both Izzy Smeltzer and Rowen Todd Competed and won first place in Two categories. Izzy competed in the women’s speed cleaning and took first place after going head to head with talented women from 3 or more countries including Brazil, Canada, and USA. Rowen entered the Medley competition which includes cleaning a large array of various windows in under 2 minutes while leaving the fewest mistakes. After Mountain Vista’s strong showing we have been invited to Brazil for the South American competitions this November.
February 6, 2024 Institute for Organization Management, the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is pleased to announce that Cathy Barker, Vice President of Business Development, of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, has recently completed her first year at Institute for Organization Management, a four-year nonprofit leadership training program at University of Arizona in Tucson. Charles Hardin, President and CEO of the Blowing Rock Chamber commented on this opportunity for Barker as she furthers her Chamber experience and gains the necessary knowledge to move forward in her career with the Chamber.
January 29, 2024 The Restaurant at Gideon Ridge in Blowing Rock, North Carolina is a 2024 James Beard Award Semifinalist in the Outstanding Restaurant category. Semifinalists are recognized as exemplary in their category; the top 5 in each award category will be announced as Nominees this spring. According to the James Beard Foundation’s website, the Outstanding Restaurant Award recognizes restaurants that “demonstrate consistent excellence in food, atmosphere, hospitality, and operations while contributing positively to their broader community.”
December 4, 2023 VPC Builders has been awarded North Carolina’s 2023 Small Business of the Year by Business North Carolina.Out of the 70 or more nominees who topped the judges list, VPC Builders and three other small businesses (one from each region) were selected for their outstanding entrepreneurial spirit that is a catalyst to North Carolina’s economic prosperity.Judges for the contest were Byron Hicks, the state director of the N.C. Small Business and Technology Center; Jennifer Curtis, co-founder and CEO of Firsthand Foods, a Durham distributor for local farms and meat processors, and one of the 2022 Small Businesses of the Year; and Business North Carolina Publisher Ben Kinney.
October 20, 2023 There are many arts and craft festivals that take place across the High Country, especially in the summer, and at these events, there are various vendors who are excited to share their creations with others. Anything from drawing, pottery, tie dye, woodwork, jewelry, and more gives consumers lots to explore and appreciate. Ashe County resident Jessica Russell is just one local artist in the area; however, her products are more than just materialistic items – each piece holds a slice of history and a part of her personal story. By Harley Nefe
October 12, 2023 With the mountain scenery that surrounds the area and the breathtaking views that can be enjoyed by all, the High Country is a hub for outdoor opportunities. Hiking, camping, and picnicking are just some of the ways nature enthusiasts can experience the environment. And with all of these activities, there is one product available that can take one’s adventure to the next level. Whether you’re going to a live music festival or catching a sporting event at the park, Tarpestry tarps make a statement no matter the occasion. By Harley Nefe
August 8, 2023 Many counties within the Tar Heel State have been celebrated as the horse country for well over a century. The horse people of the High Country have owned, rode, showed, and enjoyed these four-legged friends for multiple generations. Horses are surely a contender for the title of “man’s best friend,” as animal-human connections like these are rarely seen outside of those formed with dogs and cats. By Peter Morris
July 31, 2023 At all types of gatherings – whether it be for holidays, celebratory events, or regular get-togethers – a delicious treat can usually be found that is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face: chocolate. A local High Country resident is spreading cheer one piece at a time with her midlife transformation that has resulted in a new business venture – Boone Chocolat. By Harley Nefe
July 6, 2023 A walk down main street in Blowing Rock would not be complete without a visit to High Country Candles and Blowing Rock Pottery, located in the historic Martin House. Visitors and homefolk alike have found the unique shop to be more than the perfect place to pick up the perfect gift for any occasion. Many recognize the family-owned and operated business to be a “connection” to the High Country area. By Sherrie Norris
June 14, 2023 Josiah Davis knows beans. He and his wife, Meredith, opened Local Lion roastery and coffee shop in Boone in 2012, and Venture Chocolate and Wine shop on King Street in 2022. By Jan Todd
May 1, 2023 “It’s the little things that make a difference,” said Marsha Speer, innkeeper with her husband John at Lazy Bear Lodge Bed and Breakfast near Valle Crucis. By Jan Todd
March 30, 2023 March is Women’s History Month, and to continue the series of Women of the High Country, High Country Press is spotlighting Ashley Galleher, owner of Zionville Ramp Company. Zionville Ramp Company is a female-owned business in the High Country offering skateboarding camps, lessons, and even custom half-pipes for clients. By Sebastian Dionicio
March 13, 2023 Women’s History Month is celebrated every March. In honor of Women’s History Month, High Country Press is spotlighting women-owned businesses in the High Country and the local entrepreneurs who founded them. This week, High Country Press is spotlighting Kathy Carlin, owner of Appalachian Hair Salon. By Sebastian Dionicio
March 9, 2023 It’s not often that I get to interview a mascot, but today was an exception. In this exclusive interview, learn more about some of Hutch’s shenanigans as well as his goals for the Watauga Humane Society. Follow him on Facebook to see where his latest adventure will take him. By Kris Testori
March 1, 2023 Coyote Kitchen & Lost Cantina is excited to announce that they’re completing some major interior renovations and have expanded the existing restaurant located at 200 Southgate Drive, Boone NC. The expansion adds new seats and gives the restaurant more of an open concept feel. They’ve also added a new full bar, which will have over twenty Lost Province beers on tap and a creative craft cocktail menu. The bar and expanded section of the restaurant will be open for business Friday, March 3, 2023.
February 27, 2023 The combined talents and skills of local photographers Jonathan and Bonnie Burton have long been acknowledged and respected in the High Country and far beyond — their work displayed on walls of homes and businesses throughout Boone, across the United States and abroad. It came as no surprise to many that the couple was recently named Photographers of the Year during the annual (High School) Senior and Youth Sports National Conference, also known as SYNC, held in Orlando, Fla. By Sherrie Norris
February 9, 2023 Mast General Stores in Valle Crucis and Boone continue their commitment to supporting its food security partner, the Hunger and Health Coalition, by donating $1 for each pound of bulk candy purchased the weekend before Valentine’s Day, February 11 and 12.
February 3, 2023 Sharon Crisman, a marketing professional, purchased Christopher’s Wine and
Cheese in 2013. She said she didn’t know anything about wine at the time, but has enjoyed
learning the industry, developing her own taste for wine, and forming friendships with customers
over the years. She renamed the shop to Sunset & Vine in 2017, moved to a new building and
expanded the business. By Jan Todd
January 31, 2023 With ringing in the new year, there is a lot of focus on resolutions – especially when it comes to wellness and its eight dimensions: financial, vocational, intellectual, social, environmental, spiritual, emotional, and physical. And there is a locally owned Avery County yoga studio that believes in the holistic and multidimensional approach to wellness and strives to provide an inclusive safe space for people of all ages. By Harley Nefe
July. 26, 2017. On Wednesday September 6, The Avery Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting and open house event for Rustik by Underwood from 5 p.m.- 8 p.m. Complimentary beer, wine, and appetizers were provided. Toni Gualt won the raffle prize. Rustik by Underwood is located at 65 Orchard lane, Banner Elk N.C. By Kate Herman – Photos by Ken Ketchie
July. 26, 2017. Peabody’s has collaborated with craft brewers from all over the country in order to produce Peabody’s line of beers: The Blendiculous and the Cocktail series. Offered exclusively at Peabody’s, these beers combine the brewer’s recipe with ideas from Peabody’s. Peabody’s serves as a pioneer and granddaddy of collaborative beers with various breweries. By Kate Herman – Photos by Ken Ketchie
Aug. 3, 2017. If you’re a beer or wine lover of the High Country and you haven’t stopped by Peabody’s for one of its weekly tastings, you’re truly missing out. But there’s never been a better time to make your first visit — or return as a Peabody’s regular — than this August. In addition to holding tastings each Tuesday and Saturday this month, Peabody’s Beer & Wine Merchants is gearing up for a week-long series of tastings in celebration of this year’s High Country Beer Fest, which is set for Saturday, August 26 at the High Country Fairgrounds. By Bailey Faulkner
July 27, 2017. It isn’t hard to see that the High Country has grown significantly over the last few decades. New businesses open, buildings are constructed and visitors from around the country make the trip up the mountain each year, but few have seen the High Country evolve quite like “Lil” Jack Anderson and his family at Banner Elk’s Resort Real Estate & Rentals, which just reached its 35th anniversary this May. By Bailey Faulkner – Photos by Ken Ketchie
Mar. 05, 2017. Last Wednesday, March 1, Booneshine Brewing Company celebrated the release of their first canned beer. The release has already been a major hit for this growing brewery, which was completely sold out of the 16 oz 4 packs in just two days. By Cramer Lewis
Oct. 25, 2016 Hailed by many as the best lunch in the High Country, Eat Crow Café not only serves up fresh and delicious soups, salads, and sandwiches, it also offers catering services, custom-made orders, classic English specialties, and frozen take-home items. As a small-scale bakery, Eat Crow mixes up all sorts of sumptuous pies, cakes, tarts, and other confectionaries, as well as, savory pies, special order breads, and the daily sandwich bread. By Davin Underwood