Avery County Chamber of Commerce held their Business Afterhours at Carolina Barbeque in Newland on Tuesday evening. Chamber members and guests were treated to a buffet of their famous barbeque with all the fixings. Owner and general manager Dave Calvert serenaded the group with music from the stage with Dave on guitar and Pat McConkey on harmonica.
Following dinner, chamber executive director Melynda Pepple welcomed the crowd to Carolina Barbeque and introduced Dave Calvert. Dave thanked everyone for coming out to the event and thanked the chamber for all they do for Avery County. He went on to talk about the new outdoor deck that was constructed last year in front of the restaurant. He joked that they built it because, “We thought it would look cool.” He went on to explain that the deck, “has added some space that we hope to use for outdoor music. It also comes in handy when we are at full capacity inside to have the additional space outside.” He said that they look forward to warmer weather to begin outdoor performances again, but for the winter season they have had a snowman-building contest out on the deck during the big December snow, and will have more when snowstorms hit the area.
Carolina Barbeque opened in 2003 and is owned and operated by Dave and his wife Jennette. They specialize in pork barbeque, chicken and ribs with plenty of homemade sides and desserts.
Melynda Pepple thanked Dave for all that he does for the community saying, “Dave has been a very valuable part of our community for a long time!”
Pepple then turned her attention to last month’s Chamber Business of the Month by presenting Fifth Third Bank with a plaque and inviting Kathy Boone to come up and speak to the crowd.
“Thank you all for supporting us at Fifth Third Bank. I’ve been in banking up here in the High Country since 1980 and it’s been a pleasure to work with Sarah, Cindy and Karen at the branch in Banner Elk. We are so delighted to take care of customers in Banner Elk and across Avery County,” said Boone.
Pepple also thanked Kathy for being the Chairperson for last year’s Woolly Worm Festival.
Pepple then made a couple of chamber announcements. This year’s Leadership Group is starting to take applications for the 2019 edition of the three-year old program. Over 60 people have participated so far and this year’s class starts in March. Members of the group meet one day a month and receive an education on all the things Avery County has to offer. Applications can be found on their website.
Pepple also announced the chamber will be partnering with Lees-McRae College for their upcoming Spring Business Expo to be held on March 19. Lees-McRae holds the expo each semester and has invited chamber members to participate free of charge. The college will provide tables and chairs and the event takes place in the Evans Center and is open to the public as well as their students. Contact the chamber for more details.
The next Avery County Chamber event will be a breakfast at the new Avery County Cooperative Extension Center on February 19.