Local Caribou store grinds to a close this Sunday
The social media world is abuzz with word that several Caribou Coffee stores in the Charlotte region will close their doors by mid-April, including the store in Mooresville on Bluefield Road.
An employee at the Mooresville location confirmed earlier this week that indeed, it will close its doors for good at noon, Sunday, April 14.
While Caribou will reportedly permanently close about 80 coffee shops across the country this month, the same amount or more are expected to eventually convert to Peet's Coffee & Tea locations.
Funding and leadership focus will shift when McDaniels takes the reins on April 15.
When former Lake Norman Regional Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Jerry Broadway gave notice of his resignation about six months ago, LNREDC board chairman Mike Griffin and his colleagues immediately went to work on finding his replacement while setting out to forge a new path for the agency.
That odyssey resulted in the hiring of Ryan McDaniels, a Cornelius resident and currently the vice president of economic development at the Cabarrus Economic Development Corp., but only for about four more days. When he settles into his new role at the LNREDC on Monday, McDaniels will bring his expertise and interest in creating a sufficient inventory of available land and buildings — or product development — to the agency's roadmap toward success.
In turn, Griffin will bring more money to those product development efforts, more than doubling the mere one-fifth of the agency's budget currently committed to finding landowners and developers willing to partner up for business prosperity in Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville. McDaniels will use the results of a product development study nearing completion by consultant Michael Trotter of Bearing Resources as a start for building that database.
And a new relationship with the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce will bring a wealth of new prospects to partake of the plussed-up Lake Norman region products.
Griffin and McDaniels recently spoke with the Citizen about their new product development focus, a new partnership with Mecklenburg County economic development players and what new leadership will look like at the LNREDC going forward. Following are excerpts from that conversation.
On the product development push
Griffin: I kind of label this a "good-to-great" process. We feel like we have a very good EDC at the moment. But when you have these significant changes (in leadership), you want to find a way to make it better.
We looked at what we felt we've done good in the past. Our business retention and expansion (BRE) program is very strong. We've also been very successful with prospects.
But product development is the most important, and that's our Achilles heel. Our three towns are wonderful to live in and we've really grown residentially as a result, but we have not put any focus on commercial business growth. It's going to happen naturally, but if you want smart growth and want to manage that, you've got to put resources toward that. We were probably putting about only one-fifth of our resources toward that.
Last year, we hired Michael Trotter to look at raw land in our three towns and to put a scorecard to our opportunities to see if we had any low-hanging fruit.
McDaniels: If you look around the suburban counties, the model that we're following to some degree but in a much smaller scale is Gaston County. They are actually land developers and own property. I think this is an interesting model and a very exciting one. My belief has always been that I would rather put $30,000 into a phase-one study for a site than run an ad (for prospects) in a magazine.
Charlotte and the Lake Norman region are going to sell themselves because this area is so attractive. We need to be able to respond and have adequate product for the companies interested in this area.
Right now, the private development sector is struggling to get adequate financing for projects. If you look around the region, the majority of speculative buildings coming out of the ground are publicly funded or a combination of public and private funding. As a big free market person, you would expect the market to respond to demand naturally, but there seems to be a hiccup right now in the financial sector.
A lot of communities have used public money to prime the pump to allow the private sector to come in and develop a building or a business park, and then repay the public sector.
Griffin: Since the meltdown of 2008, speculative buildings are next to impossible to get. There is a need for more public-private partnerships, and that's were I see the EDC helping. We're going to be the cheerleader.
Within our $400,000 annualized budget, we don't have the money to go do deals on our own, but we do have enough money to help incubate and promote public-private partnerships. I would envision us taking a lot of our money and most of Ryan's time meeting with landowners and meeting with developers and putting them together.
As an example, take a landowner who perhaps doesn't have any debt on his land; he's got some value there. Then you've got a developer who has all the contacts and expertise to build something efficiently, and you've got the towns motivated to see (the site) become a commercial business.
If we can team those three together where the towns can maybe use their bond rating, the developer has the expertise and the landowner has a bit of patience, you put them into a partnership and then maybe we can build some stuff.
On the new Charlotte Chamber relationship
Griffin: On Feb. 28, we received a letter from the Charlotte Chamber that basically reduced a lot of the redundancies that the two organizations have. They have a significant economic development team led by Jeff Edge. Their team did a lot of redundant things that we were doing, particularly for prospect management.
Basically, the letter says that they'll let our leader be a part of their economic development team, and that includes weekly meetings. Ryan will basically be side-by-side with all the hundreds of leads that come into the Charlotte Chamber. He will be a quasi-member of that team so we'll have much better access than we've ever had to prospects.
Obviously, a lot of those won't fit into the available product we have here but at least we'll know about them and we'll be able to analyze them and see what the needs are and see what the trends are.
The new relationship will allow us to redeploy resources more toward our Achilles heel. What I'm projecting for the next fiscal year that starts July 1, we'll spend more than 50 percent of our money toward product development.
On the region's attractiveness
Griffin: Huntersville is going to have more high-tech manufacturing opportunities because they have more land. They also have The Park, which is a wonderful corporate-type locale. Cornelius has some great opportunities and is similar to Davidson in that it's a little landlocked, but it's a bit closer to major infrastructure like I-77. Davidson has some N.C. 73 opportunities and maybe one or two more sites along I-77. They all have a little bit different needs and desires.
If you look at Mecklenburg County's long-term opportunities for commercial business growth, they are this way. There is less density in that regard.
On McDaniels' pending to-do list
McDaniels: One of the most important things is getting out and walking the sites. You can't sell what you don't know. Same thing with our available building inventory. The vacancy rate in Lake Norman is ridiculously low on the industrial side. It's less than five percent, which is not healthy. We need something in that five to 10 percent range to be considered healthy. We need space, and we've been jumping up and down saying that for years about the region. That's my charge.
To a lot of people in Charlotte, anything north of I-85 is Virginia. We're in "Nowheresville." Just getting over that perception is key. We're still part of Mecklenburg County. But this is where the opportunity lies. The potential is there, we just need to tap into it.
On the change in leadership styles
McDaniels: You'll see me in boots walking through a field trying to discover a gem that's out there. It will be a lot of just good, old-fashioned due diligence and trying to strengthen a lot of the relationships in Charlotte as well as in Raleigh. There's a new regime in Raleigh and we want to make sure they know Lake Norman is on their radar.
Griffin: He said he would rather spend $30,000 on a phase-one environmental study on a piece of land than that same amount on an ad in a magazine. That's a big shift. The more glamorous part of the EDC job is the prospecting. Putting $30,000 in an ad makes the phone ring from some company in Germany. That's a heck of a lot more fun.
The stuff that is hard to do and is less glamorous is product development. That's the key. That's why we hired him, because that's where we need to go. I'm glad he likes to wear boots on occasion.
Mention the grocery chain Publix Super Markets to anyone who was born, bred or on borrowed time in Florida or other parts of the Deep South, and you'll likely get an instant and slightly unsettling, groupie-like response, not far from what a 14-year-old girl would work herself into when "the Biebs" is brought up.
Seriously, folks, it's just a grocery store. Isn't it? We, the locally uninitiated, may just find out.
We all know one. Often it's more than one.
The colleague down the hall, the neighbor down the street, the fellow faithful member of the flock down the pew.
They are the onesawho, in spite of being bottled up in today's pressure cooker of a business world and slave to a schedule laden with a steady stream of both professional and personal responsibilities, always seem to find those spare few hours a week or a month to volunteer their time to others in need.
The search is over. The Lake Norman Region Economic Development Corp. has found a replacement for Jerry Broadway, its executive director whose retirement was effective earlier this year.
Ryan McDaniels, the vice president of economic development at the Cabarrus Economic Development Corp., will replace Broadway, who has been at the helm since 2006.
McDaniels has held the VP slot at the Cabarrus EDC since 2008. He joined the organization in 2001, also holding positions as project manager and director of economic development.
He's a graduate of UNC Charlotte as well as the Economic Development Institute at the University of Oklahoma, and is a past chairman of the Charlotte Regional Partnership-Economic Developers Advisory Council. McDaniels currently serves on the Accredited Economic Development Organization board for the International Economic Development Council.
That's a lot of bona fides for the incoming executive director, and a good deal of perspective on what the future could hold for the area's economic development climate.
"I am excited to get to work and feel that the Lake Norman region is well situated for continued growth," McDaniels tells the Citizen. "The proximity to uptown Charlotte and the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport provide an attractive option to new and expanding businesses considering North Carolina."
He says his interest in the executive director position was a result of what he sees as the many strengths of the region and the LNREDC board of directors' shift in focus to product development — economic development-speak for available land and/or buildings.
"Product development is an obstacle for many communities," he says, "and I am optimistic we can find the best model for Lake Norman."
McDaniels' first day on the job will be Monday, April 15.
Mooresville agency state's top producer
The Griffin Agency–Nationwide Insurance was recently recognized as the No. 1 Nationwide agency in North Carolina, earning the "Agency of the Year" award for achieving the highest sales production out of 380 Nationwide Insurance agencies across the state. The ranking is based on total new sales in property and casualty insurance, life insurance and financial services for 2012.
In addition to the top state ranking, The Griffin Agency was named the No. 6 agency in the country out of 3,600 Nationwide Insurance agencies. This ranking earned it the "All-Star Team" designation for the ninth time, which recognizes the top 12 agents in the company.
The Griffin Agency's financial services division, headed by Charles Moore III, earned "Court of the Table" honors for 2012. This places the Griffin Agency in the top three percent of financial producers in the world. This was the seventh year in a row earning this status, making it the longest consecutive period in the country for a Nationwide Insurance agency. In addition, Moore was named "top annuity producer" in the country for Nationwide Insurance.
Mike Griffin founded The Griffin Agency in 1978. Headquartered in Mooresville (with two locations), with a staff of 40 employees, it also operates locations in Statesville, Denver and two offices in Lincolnton.
Restoration experts roll out 'Last HEMI'
After a year of intensive restoration work, the RKM Performance Center in Mooresville will debut the last documented car to leave any Chrysler plant with a factory-installed 2G 426 Hemi. The 1971 Charger, dubbed "The Last HEMI," will be unveiled to the public at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 4, as part of opening day of the Food Lion AutoFair at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The car is believed to be one of approximately 33 1971 Charger R/Ts assembled with the HEMI/A727 Torqueflite combination. Records indicate the car was built on June 18, 1971, a full two weeks later than the closest documented HEMI-equipped Charger R/T.
"I'm tremendously excited for Mopar fans to see the car for the first time," said Joseph Carroll, president of parent company RK Motors, in a recent statement. "We've restored a lot of storied Chrysler products, but this is by far the most significant. I'm confident that it will be among the top '71 Chargers in the country."
Special ordered through Glavic Dodge in Wickliffe, Ohio, the original owner was told by a Glavic salesman that the car would likely never be built, as Chrysler had discontinued the 426 HEMI. Against all odds, the GW3 Bright White Charger R/T was delivered just three weeks later.
In the late 1970s, a 14-year-old boy named Joe Angelucci spotted the back of the car sticking out of a small garage. The son of a racer, Angelucci immediately recognized the car as something special. That chance sighting kicked off more than a decade of attempts to buy the Charger. By the early 1990s, his efforts were successful and the car had a new home.
"I didn't find out if was the last HEMI for many years. I bought the car because I loved it. It had nothing to do with value," said Angelucci. "I'd known of RK Motors and the RKM Performance Center for a while and had seen the kind of work they do. I knew that was where the Charger had to go."
Since May 2012, the Charger has undergone an exhaustive restoration, leaving it in "better-than-new" condition. The car is comprised of 100 percent Chrysler sheet metal and features an impressive list of original and "new old stock" components.
RKM Performance Center has completed dozens of award-winning restorations since opening its 40,000-square-foot facility in Mooresville (161 Knob Hill Road) last year.
Realtors to focus on 'Care Day' rehabs
Marking its fifth year of helping area home owners with home repairs or adaptive safety modifications they might otherwise be unable to afford, the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association will hold "Realtors Care Day" Friday, April 19, throughout Mecklenburg and Iredell counties.
The signature project for the more than 500 Realtor volunteers involved in this year's event will be rehabbing three residences at the Barium Springs agency for abused and neglected children near Troutman. Volunteers will also be on site at 16 other homes across two counties to repair roofs and gutters, replace windows, paint siding and more.
At Barium Springs, work will be done to make improvements to residential homes built in the 1960s. Electricians will install several new lighting fixtures, and volunteers will paint, replace carpet, install new gutters and eaves and landscape.
In the last four years, more than 2,300 Realtors Care Day volunteers have assisted 110 families, with a community-wide impact of more than $800,000. Nearly 100 local businesses and organizations provide financial sponsorships and in-kind donations. The event's regional partners include the Davidson Housing Coalition's HAMMERS Program, Habitat for Humanity of Iredell County and Our Towns Habitat for Humanity in Cornelius.
The war is over for these cupcakes
The powers behind the pastries at Maddy's Fatty's Bakery & Café in Cornelius were finalists in a recently aired episode of Food Network's Cupcake Wars.
As one of the four teams competing for the cream of the cupcake crop honors, sisters-in-law Madeline Baucom and Enza Friedman finished in second place behind a cupcake bakery in Riverside, Calif.
The episode aired Sunday, March 24, but was taped in July. Baucom and Friedman had to keep their visit to the network's studios in Los Angeles last summer hush-hush, telling customers they would be away for a week-long vacation.
Faces and places
• The McIntosh Law Firm, located in Davidson, has been named one of the best small- to medium-sized companies to work for in the state by Business North Carolina. The results were based on information regarding a company's general employment policies, benefits and work environment.
Employees of the companies participating in the search for the best were also asked to complete a workplace survey. The firm is led by president Bob McIntosh and vice president Bill Ellison.
• Cornelius-based Artisan Graphics is celebrating 20 years in the graphics and signage business this year. Established in 1993 in Charlotte, the business moved to Cornelius in 2002 and has grown to more than three dozen employees and contract installers throughout the Carolinas.
Learn more at www.artisansignsandgraphics.com or call sales manager David Keith at 704-655-9100.
Volunteer mentors offer guidance on how to turn an idea into a real business, or even when not to try.
CORNELIUS, N.C. -- The world of a small business owner can be a chaotic and sometimes confusing one; the path of the entrepreneur from awesome idea to actual success, fraught with obstacles.
But those hopeful travelers need not churn through the uncharted waters of the small business sea nor tread that long path toward success alone, not when they have local resources right within reach, rich with years of business experience and wisdom.
Not when a small army of seasoned business veterans is living right here and giving of its time.
SCORE one for the little guy.
Mike O'Hara, a Davidson resident, can recite on command what the SCORE acronym stands for: Service Corps of Retired Executives. It's a nation-wide, nonprofit association and partner with the Small Business Administration that's been in existence for nearly 50 years, providing confidential business counseling services free of charge.
In the same breath, however, O'Hara, a volunteer counselor with the Charlotte chapter of SCORE and one of nearly a dozen of those who work specifically with Lake Norman area clients, will also tell you that the word-for-word definition of the acronym has become a dated one.
Since its inception in 1964, the face of the more than 13,000-strong national SCORE network of small business mentors and counselors has changed. While a bit longer in the tooth than your average small business owner or entrepreneur just setting out on their journey, no longer are SCORE volunteers entirely retired. Nor are they all executives.
A quick look around the table one morning earlier this week at McAlister's Deli in Cornelius is an immediate reflection of that demographic shift. Seated with O'Hara, a veteran of the corporate world of insurance services, are Gilbert Lorenz and John Kurti — all gentlemen of a certain age but far from fully retired, and far from the archetypal buttoned-up, button-down wearing executive.
Lorenz's background is in the financial realm, but not from being on the upper floors of a bank building in some nearby, supposed banking mecca. He's a self-made man, so to speak, who started, grew and eventually sold his own successful commercial mortgage banking company.
And there's Kurti, who began his professional life in the aerospace industry, but shifted to entrepreneurial existence when he moved to Cornelius about 20 years ago. He owned several of the first Mailboxes Etc. stores in the area, then decided to semi-retire, sold the stores and became actively involved in the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, Visit Lake Norman, and as of about eight years ago, SCORE.
He now volunteers his time to offer his years of experience in retail franchises, as well as his more recently developed insight into site selection for new businesses, to clients of SCORE both in Charlotte and here in the Lake Norman region.
These three, in addition to about eight more of the nearly 70 SCORE counselors from the Charlotte chapter, are local business professionals who volunteer their time to Lake Norman area entrepreneurs on the move or small business owners in a bind.
SCORE provides a very deep pool of deeply committed volunteers willing to navigate those waters with a fellow business owner in need.
All you have to do is ask.
And that, says Lorenz, is sometimes the rub. Because SCORE is entirely volunteer and nonprofit, there's not much funding available for expensive marketing campaigns. Lorenz says SCORE counselors rely heavily on word-of-mouth and reputation to connect with a business owner whose financial plan might be floundering or a young buck with grand ideas but not even a grand in the bank to execute them. But he says they have found a reliable source of referrals from the Lake Norman Chamber.
"One of the relationships we have found very productive is that with the Chamber," Lorenz says. "They are consistently trying to find ways to help their members and the business community, and since we obviously offer a free service, it is a win-win for everybody."
And win they sometimes do.
There is a strict code of ethics among SCORE mentors to hold their counseling sessions with clients very close to the vest for obvious reasons in a very competitive, and very localized, dog-eat-dog small business universe, but O'Hara says he received permission from two local "success stories" to brag on them a bit.
The owners of Maddy's Fatty's Bakery & Café in Cornelius, Madeline Baucom and Enza Friedman, as well as Heather McLean, owner and founder of Yappy Hour Bakery in Huntersville, are just a couple examples of Lake Norman-based entrepreneurs who were able to find the right mix of business savvy and guidance for their recipes for success, thanks in part to time spent with SCORE counselors.
Lorenz is quick to emphasize the "in part" aspect of a SCORE counselors role in that success.
"One of the difficulties with success stories is that it implies a 'soup to nuts' approach," he says. "As in, we met with you and two years later you had 100 employees and were on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. When in reality, (our roles in) those success stories are small. Maybe we helped you with a marketing program or we just asked the right questions to lead you to the conclusion that maybe you should not go into the business you're thinking about."
Adds O'Hara, "Invariably, it's the energy and hard work of the entrepreneur that makes the business a success."
O'Hara says in addition to the time spent with SCORE counselors — a commitment that could range from a single visit to a years-long relationship — part of that hard work can be achieved by participating in the workshop series SCORE offers throughout the year. It's the only aspect of SCORE guidance that comes with a price tag (each one costs only $25 to attend, including materials), but O'Hara says their inherent value, as well as the free access to SCORE's bottomless pool of website resources, tools and tutorials, is priceless.
He speaks of one potential small business owner in particular who went through the entire series, or about 15 hours of intensive "starting your business" immersion. O'Hara says the man had an idea, he vetted it thoroughly through the workshop process, used the online resources to crunch the numbers, and ultimately decided not to pursue his particular business course.
Sometimes successful SCORE counseling comes in figuring out when to say no, preventing a professional (and often also personal) train wreck in the making.
"He made an informed decision to not pursue it," says O'Hara. "He new the pluses and the minuses (because of the workshops). ... Years from now if he ever wonders what might have happened, well, he actually knows what would have happened."
Just as SCORE counselors are regularly trying to spread the word about their services, they are also perpetually recruiting new volunteers to the cause. It's a significant commitment — counselors must complete a three-month orientation and can spend several volunteer hours a month providing their expertise.
But O'Hara, Lorenz and Kurti all agree that regardless of the amount of time they put into their SCORE counseling duties, the return on their investment when a business succeeds or an entrepreneur makes an informed decision to rethink their aspirations is worth it.
"I started with SCORE because I wished that I had somebody like me when I started a business for the first time," says Kurti. "I feel that it's very rewarding, the feeling that you are actually helping someone. You go through a session and at the end of it, they say, 'That was really helpful, I didn't think about that.'
"That's the satisfaction."
Need to SCORE?
To access SCORE's local free resources, or to volunteer your services as a SCORE counselor, visit its website at www.charlotte.score.org.
After a little more than a year in business, Yappy Hour Bakery founder and owner Heather McLean recently celebrated the launch of Yappy Hour's "Treat Truck." The truck can be found every Saturday and Sunday at Birkdale Village in Huntersville (near Starbucks), from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., where McLean plies her homemade puppy treats to a very loyal — and growing — following. In addition to the Treat Truck, Yappy Hour products are available at local stores and veterinary offices, including Lakecross Veterinary Hospital in Huntersville and Coffeehouse LKN in Cornelius. McLean and her dog Wrigley were joined at this week's Treat Truck launch by Tony Bertucci.
Cornelians crazy for fresh-baked carbs now have a new outlet for their obsession. Our Daily Bread Bakery owners Gabriel and Christina Domitrescu and their two sons, a Romanian family who emigrated to the U.S. about 10 years ago, opened the bakery at 20124 W. Catawba Ave. in February, and recently held a ribbon cutting to celebrate.
Last week, I asked our What Say You? readers for their opinion about the American workforce's decades-long dalliance with the work-from-home concept — an issue pushed to the front burner when Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer made headlines by lassoing her telecommuting Yahoos and yanking them back to the cyber-giant's Silicon Valley ranch (see the full piece, "Testing the work-from-home experiment: pass or fail?" online at www.lakenormancitizen.com, under the "Business" tab).
Your responses covered the spectrum, from circumspect to downright silly, and provided some great food for thought. Following are those responses.
— Lori Helms
"We will never return to the day when work had a strictly defined time and place. Technology lets us take work away from the 'workplace' and to do work outside of the 'work day,' and the same technology enables us to work without being confined to a physical workplace isolated from the rest of life.
My children were born in the mid-1980s. The lawyers with whom I practiced then thought I had my priorities wrong when I insisted on starting my day hours before they did so I could leave the office at 5:00 to have dinner with my family. When ultimately I opened my own shop, I was able to weave the law practice, my church work and my family in and out of a 24-hour day. Technology has made this possible, and there is no turning back.
Yahoo, in my opinion, is in a fight for its very survival. Few industries move faster and require more creative thinking. For Yahoo to cut itself off from workers who have tasted and will continue to demand flexible working hours and circumstances is myopic."
— Jesse C. Jones, attorney
"This is a topic I have been thinking about more often recently for a few reasons: 1) Do we want to allow people to work from home immediately when they start a new job? Have they earned that trust yet?; 2) Have new entries into the workforce learned how to socialize properly, which will make them better leaders in the long run? (Too much texting, shorthand e-mailing, etc.); 3) Are the diligent workers out there able to not look at the red blinking light on their phone or computer, which they know is work related (especially tough in sales)?; and 4) It could end up once again with the 80/20 rule; 20 percent of the workforce doing 80 percent of the work.
So, with that being said, it is still a perplexing conversation to have and could be looked at on a case-by-case basis. I think Yahoo leadership is WAY ahead of the curve on this topic and hope it serves them well.
Best Buy on the other hand, at least in my opinion, was allowing workers to take advantage of a good opportunity. I believe I read that if the employees were getting their work done in 20 hours a week, it was okay.
I actually do work from home and run a market of professionals around the state; they had to prove their desire to be successful which allowed them that privilege, but I guess in sales, you either sell or move on to something else. ...
... I really have been thinking about this more recently and where we/the workforce will be in 20 years."
— Dean Pawlowski, Regional Sales Manager, MetLife Auto & Home,
"As with so many parts of business management, I don't think it is an 'either/or' issue. There is value in an onsite or single location for employee collaboration and camaraderie and there is a very real notion that productivity is found where you are, wherever that may be.
Part of the genius of long-term business success is understanding what it is that you are trying to accomplish while also understanding your employees — are they best served in a more formal office setting, in home offices or some combination of the two?
The best decisions are made with an eye toward marrying the ideas of effective business management and true value/benefit to your employees.
— Joshua Dobi, owner of Dobi Financial Group
"I have worked in a strict 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. "clock in/clock out" job and obviously now I am an entrepreneur that has the ability to make my own schedule. I am a very creative thinker and often have ideas come to me at random times. I write down the ideas and then when I meet with my team, we discuss them and either elaborate on them for an even bigger and better idea or decide that it is not something that makes sense for our business.
"These ideas come without being confined in an office setting for 40-plus hours weekly. I do agree that there is a camaraderie that is established when you spend time with your co-workers, but from my perspective and experiences working both in and out of corporate America for more than 17 years, this can be accomplished with a balance of being in the office and working from home. I feel that flexibility, especially when running a business and an active family, is priceless."
— Susan Johnson, Susan Johnson & Associates Realty
And for a lighter take on the whole work-from-home debate, the following was submitted by the owner of a local and much-loved Italian market and butcher shop.
"The work-from-home experiment did not work well for us. We had a hard time living around the display cases in our living room and bedrooms while we were closed, and when we had guests over, there was never enough room for them. The prep tables also took up a lot of space and the slicers were just too noisy.
We found that keeping all of the food fresh was a bit of a dilemma as well, because we ran out of room in our refrigerators, and our customers could not really see what they wanted because of the doors being closed at all times. They were also not crazy about being served by people in their pajamas who had not showered, not to mention being annoyed by our pets wanting attention.
Cleaning up every day became a nightmare when we had to clean all the utensils, the dishes, pots and pans and machine parts in our small sinks. I tried using a garden hose, but it got the carpet wet.
It has been much better for us since I called all of my people back to the store. They are much happier now that they no longer have to deal with 15 Davidson students for lunch in a dining room that can only fit six people.
To sum it all up, working from home is not a good option for Ferrucci's. I agree with Yahoo!'s decision.
— Tony Stafford, owner of Ferrucci's Italian Market
LAKE NORMAN, N.C. -- There will be a job networking event hosted by HOHT (Helping Others Help Themselves), Lake Norman's own job bank, on Tuesday, April 9, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (9820 Northcross Center Court in Huntersville). There is no cost to attend, and lunch will be served.
HOHT will also offer a free seminar called "The Dynamic Resume" on Wednesday, April 24, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., in the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce's Randy Marion Conference Room (19900 W. Catawba Ave., 2nd floor, Cornelius). Learn more about HOHT or post a resume or job opening at www.LKNjobsearch.com.