Business is Booming in Davidson
It appears that business is booming in Davidson. Kim Fleming, the town’s economic development manager, said simply, “Everyone wants to be in Davidson! I hear from many businesses that want to locate here, and that’s awesome.”
In fact, it’s hard to keep up with all the changes and openings in town. But to help you keep track, NewsOfDavidson.Org has conducted an inventory of business development in the primary business areas — and reports to you now its findings.
- Davidson artist and News of Davidson contributor, Kristen Feighery, plans to open her business, “Casual Creative,” on October 1 in the South Main space formerly occupied by Davidson Violins. Feighery previously managed the Sanctuary art gallery on Main Street but had to shutter it a year ago. Casual Creative will be a combination gallery and studio where Feighery can create, display, and sell her own works of whimsical modern folk art, while her partner, Maria, books lessons for individuals and art parties for birthday and other “night out” groups. “The space fell into our laps and is just what we wanted,” said Feighery. In addition to the physical space, Casual Creative will have an associated internet space displaying pieces for sale. For a samples of Feighery’s work, see the 20-foot mural she painted on a wall in Mandolino’s restaurant, or visit her Facebook site.
- Wells Fargo will close its drive-through facility at the corner of Main Street and Catawba Avenue on October 24. The facility, recognized officially by the corporation as a “remote motor bank,” allows customers to conduct their banking from their cars. Josh Dunn, a communications manager at Wells Fargo, said the number of customers who use the facility has been declining, but had no specific figures on that trend. Regular motor bank customers are being notified of the closure with signs and a mailings, and service at the bank’s main office downtown will not be affected. Dunn confirmed that Wells Fargo plans to sell the small building and the two adjacent lots on which it sits. First Union (now Wells Fargo) obtained the properties in 1976-77, and their total area is about .7 acres.
- The population of people working in Davidson has increased substantially with the opening of Davidson College’s Jay Hurt Hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Created in a refurbished former mill building behind the Brickhouse, the Hurt Hub’s 23,000 square feet provide several forms of office space, from 36 desks for coworking to 15 private and enclosed offices. General manager, Julie Goff, said the facility can accommodate about 400 people, and almost all its facilities are already rented. The Hub will host a launch party open house for the public this Thursday, September 6, from 5-8 p.m.
- Michelle Castelloe’s grandfather always told her growing up that she had a lot of “moxie.” She liked the description, and she is getting another chance to exercise it as she opens “Moxie Mercantile,” in the building between Ben & Jerry’s and Raiford’s Barber shop. She has managed a similar store in Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood neighborhood for the past 13 years but has always dreamed of coming to Davidson. Her husband, Clifton, was a soccer player and 1993 graduate of the college, so the family regularly visits the town and campus. When the 750-square-foot Davidson location opens later this month, customers will find a plethora of one-of-a-kind leather, wood, and glass vintage and new items. They include handmade leather goods from Utah, hand-poured soy candles from Indiana, hand-hammered jewelry from Boston, and handcrafted linen bags from Brooklyn, as well as fair trade commodities from Africa. There will be jewelry from local artists and repurposed treasures Michelle finds in her travels around the country. The inventory will regularly change as Michelle obtains new items. “If you like it you’d better buy it now, because it might not be there later in the day!” Michelle said.
- There’s also a change of proprietors and product in the heart of downtown. The Sweet Shop has vacated its premises, and will henceforth be supplying chocolates and candies for sale at the Wooden Stone on South Main. Taking its place downtown will be “Gateau on Main Bakery and Dessert Bar.” Co-managers Tara Ragan and Cara Jorgensen will bake and serve desserts and breads inside the building, on the porch and on the sidewalk. In the evening, they will also serve beer and wine. Cara, the baker, will practice her craft in full view of customers. Tara will handle all the business management, relying on her experience working “up north” for 27 years in motorsports management and non-profit development. She has lived in Davidson for nine years, and for all that time has hoped to open a bakery in town. She now intends that their dream-come-true will be socially conscious, as well as delicious, serving “good food that does good.” If all goes well, Gateau on Main will open at the beginning of November.
- NewsOfDavidson previously reported the relocation of Davidson Violins from space in the Ice House building into the ground floor of the central downtown building, formerly occupied for decades by the Needlecraft Center. Read that report here:
- We also reported on the opening in Davidson Commons of the restaurant Sabor. Visit that report here.
- The Pickled Peach has recently expanded into about 500 square feet of adjacent space laden on one side with a tall wall of upscale market items like wine, chips, and snacks. The expansion also provides more room for the establishment’s kitchen. Owner Jen Jentz says the restaurant now seats 80 customers and is doing very well in its fifth year of operation.
- Lindsey Williams plans to open the Davidson Wine Co. before Christmas in the Depot Street building between the Village Inn and Il Bosco restaurant. The store will have a room for display and sale of wines, and another room and patio for tasting and consumption. The store will also have the technology to print and affix custom design labels for customers on site, celebrating anniversaries, birthdays, or other occasions and reasons.
- In mid to late September, Maria Orozco and her husband Julian Morales will open their third Original New York Bagel restaurant. They will serve up a wide variety of oven fresh bagels custom-made to the customer’s orders for breakfast and lunch. Maria said her favorite is bacon, ham and cheese on an asiago bagel, while Julian says customers should try the tasty Cuban sandwiches. The restaurant will employ three to four people during the week, and six to seven on the weekends.
- Well Kept Clothing at #135 Davidson Commons promotes itself as the region’s first fitness-fashion boutique, with a comprehensive collection of carefully curated luxury activewear. Owner Lauren Marre cites the friendly atmosphere and support from her customers for the success of the business so far. The business maintains an active web site that accommodates sales. Part-time employee Jessie McDowell populates the Well Kept Clothing web site with attractive and dynamic images of the 60 brands of clothing they carry.
- Optometrist Kendra Hatfield, proprietor of Trade Winds Optical, is in her second year of offering full-service eye care to clients at #140 in Davidson Commons. Having outgrown a Mooresville location, she has seen her new space in Davidson grow to the point that she is looking for another employee. Hatfield is proud to operate independently, rather than as a franchise or chain store. Even many of their extensive inventory of frames are crafted by independent craftsmen. “It’s very much a mom and pop store, family owned and operated,” she said. “We love it here in Davidson”
- Facing Davidson Commons across Jetton Street are several businesses on the street level of The Linden. Carolina Craft Butchery and Clean Juice offer comestibles appropriate to their names, and Monkees clothing store is thriving in larger quarters just across the street from its previous location in the Commons. Tucked into the Linden’s shops is the whimsical “Pete and Pops Findery,” a store crowded with colorful items, games, toys, stationery, candles, and “just because” items.
Bill Giduz was the son who followed his father’s footsteps into journalism. He has been involved his entire life with news and photography in schools he attended and jobs he’s held. He believes now that he’s got a few good years left to devote to The News of Davidson.