Margot C. Lester
Support your local producers and purveyors
Itâ€™s no secret that folks around these parts love their food â€“ and the more local, the better. Happily, with summer bearing down on us, the regionâ€™s rich bounty is already showing up at local markets (farmersâ€™ and otherwise). Weâ€™re truly blessed with a bumper crop of great local providers and purveyors of incredible ingredients and delicious dishes.
Thereâ€™s good news this season for lovers of Locopops, tho sse tasty paletas made with lots of local ingredients: Owner Summer Bicknell has added distribution points in Orange County. Stop by one of the stores (at 231 S. Elliott Road and 128 E. Franklin St.) or pick up a pop at Carrboro Beverage Co. (102 E. Main St.), Matthewâ€™s Chocolates (107 N. Churton St., Hillsborough) or Harryâ€™s Market (3300 N.C. 54, White Cross).
In other local food business news, Kevin Callaghan at Acme Food & Beverage Co. launched Sunday suppers last weekend. Limited to 16 people, the five-course, monthly meal is based on ingredients Callaghan purchases at the Saturday Carrboro Farmersâ€™ Market.
â€œPeople want the authenticity of an actual farm-to-table dinner â€“ the sense that a real person grew the food and that a real person made it,â€ Callaghan explains. â€œSometimes economic downturns are deeply connected to people feeling un-rooted to the world around them. This helps that.â€
Itâ€™s also a help to local food producers.
â€œThe recession is very real to a lot of them,â€ Callaghan says. â€œI want to be able to highlight the diversity of the growers and let people experience the season at the table.â€
The next Sunday supper is June 27. To find out more or to make reservations (which are required), call 929-2263.
Those of you whoâ€™ve been complaining about the lack of free and easy parking in downtown Chapel Hill and Carrboro may have to find something else to kvetch about. The recent opening of a new municipal lot at South Greensboro and Robeson streets has eased the parking situation in the Paris of the Piedmont. And the very-popular free valet parking on Chapel Hillâ€™s West Franklin Street will be extended eastward beginning June 1, easing the parking burden for visitors to the Southern Part of Heaven. A new valet stand is located in front of Kidzu Childrenâ€™s Museum (105. E. Franklin St.) and operates from 5 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday. Depending on demand, the valets will work till 2 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. For more information, contact the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership at 967-9440 or visit downtownchapelhill.com.
Greener car care
While BP and its colleagues are still trying to cap the gusher in the Gulf, many concerned citizens are more actively seeking ways to reduce their dependency on oil. Chapel Hill Tire Car Care Center is doing its part by launching Environmentally Friendly Oil (EFO) changes featuring a synthetic blend made from re-refined base motor oil. The formulation conserves resources by requiring up to 85 percent less energy to produce than oil refined from crude. Make an appointment for an EFO change at chapelhilltire.com/contact.html
Kelsay Berland, Rachel Leber, Buffie Webber and Jeffrey Weinstock, licensed real estate brokers with Keller Williams Realty in Chapel Hill, received the Certified Negotiation Expert designation. The certification goes to agents who complete formal training in the art of negotiation from Negotiation Expertise LLC, a national negotiation training and coaching company. These skills help real estate pros get better results for buyers and sellers.
State holds steady
For the second consecutive year, the Old North State ranked second on Chief Executive magazineâ€™s annual list of best states for business. The publication surveyed 651 CEOs on business conditions around the nation, including proximity to markets and resources, regulation, tax policies, workforce quality, education resources, quality of living and infrastructure. Texas retained the top spot for the fifth year in a row; California was last.
â€œItâ€™s a good thing for all of us in the Research Triangle region,â€ says Brad Broadwell, Orange Countyâ€™s economic development chief. â€œThe fact that the [area] has had great investment over the last two years â€“ $1.9 billion with over 10,000 jobs committed to that growth in 2009 alone â€“ speaks volumes. But what holds Orange County back from completing deals is the necessary tools, such as incentives, stream-lined permitting and site-ready [with infrastructure] land.â€