Category Archives: Businesses

Help East Durham Pie Company Open a Cafe

East Durham Pie1

Ali Rudel launched the East Durham Pie Company out of her certified kitchen in Durham back in October 2015 and her pies have been a huge hit across the Triangle ever since. You might have come across her delicious pies at businesses around Durham or maybe you’ve seen her at at one of the regular Pop-Up Slice Shops at Ponysaurus Brewing Company every Tuesday evening. I was lucky enough to catch her selling pies at a weekend market in North Raleigh at Sola Coffe a few months ago. I liked the pie so much I made a special trip to Durham a few weeks later to buy some more. I’m not alone. Sometimes the pies sell out within just a few hours at the weekly Pop-Ups.

In order to keep up with growing demand East Durham Pie Company is planning to open a cafe and bakery in the commercial district of Old East Durham. They’ve launched a Kickstarter Campaign to help offset equipment costs and some of the expenses associated with up-fitting the space. Once open the plan is to offer locally roasted coffee, tea, the seasonally-inspired handmade sweet pies, savory meat and veggie pies, breakfast pies, simple salads, soups and other baked goods. Even better, launching the cafe will create more jobs and East Durham Pie Co. is a Durham Living Wage Project certified employer committed to paying their employees a living wage.

If you would like to learn more about East Durham Pie Company or contribute to their kickstarter campaign (just 12 days to go!) visit

East Durham Pie Company
Twitter: @EastDurhamPieCo

Leave a comment

Filed under Businesses, Durham

North Raleigh Rise Biscuits & Donuts Opens Saturday Nov. 14th!

Rise Biscuits & Donuts

Rise in North Raleigh

If you are a donut lover like me you probably already knew that Rise is planning to open several locations across the Triangle over the next year. Their new North Raleigh location is set to open this Saturday, November 14th at 7am. In case you didn’t know, the North Raleigh shop is located in the Sutton Square Shopping Center at the intersection of Falls of Neuse & Spring Forest Road (the one with a Fresh Market). They will be open daily from 7am to 2pm.


Rise Raspberry Jelly Donut

The great thing about Rise is that they are well known for both their daily rotating donut menu AND creative breakfast biscuits. So even if you don’t like donuts there are great breakfast options for you to try. They also feature locally roasted coffee from Bean Traders in Durham. Chances are this location will be busy on weekend mornings much like the original so I would suggest checking them out on a weekday to avoid the crowd. Either way, I’m glad to see this new addition to North Raleigh and will be visiting very soon!

Rise Sutton Square – Grand Opening November 14, 2015
6325 Falls of Neuse Road
Raleigh, NC 27609 (map)
twitter: @RiseNRaleigh
instagram: @RiseNorthRaleighfacebook:

1 Comment

Filed under Businesses, Coffee, Raleigh, Restaurant News

Valentine’s Day Ideas 2015


Valentine’s Day Ideas ~ February 14th, 2015

I know things are getting down to the wire but I wanted to share some resources to those of you still working on your Valentine’s Day plans. Andrea Weigl at the News & Observer has put together a great list of Valentine’s Day offerings across the Triangle here.  I share a few of my own Valentine’s picks below. Whatever you end up doing I hope it is a great one!

Special Valentine’s Day Dinners

Academy Street Bistro in Cary
Special Valentine’s Day three-course dinner for $58 per person. A wine flight costs an additional $18. Go here to view the full menu. For reservations, call 919-377-0509.

Midtown Grill in Raleigh
Midtown Grille will be celebrating Valentine’s Day, all weekend long offering their Valentine’s Menu Friday, February 13th through Sunday, February 15th. In addition to our seasonal menu, Midtown Grille is offering a four course couple’s dinner for two for $150 with an optional wine pairing, selected by our in-house Sommelier Max Trujillo, for an additional price of $25 per person. View the menu here. For reservations, call 919-782-9463.

La Farm Bakery in Cary
The French bakery in Cary is offering a special four-course dinner (view menu here). The special dinner is offered on both Feb. 13th and 14th. Costs is $85 per couple. Limited reservations are available. Call 919-657-0657 for reservations.

Sola Coffee & Cafe in North Raleigh
“An Intimate Night of the Beatles” as performed by LARSEN. The husband and wife team of Jeff  (acoustic guitar/lead vox) and Kristen (cello/vox) will perform all Beatles on this Valentine’s evening from “I am the Walrus” to “All You Need is Love”. So bring your sweetie or just yourself as we know you’ll be humming and/or singing all night long. Dinner reservations will be taken at (website)

Gift Ideas

Videri Chocolate Factory in Raleigh  –
Videri Chocolate Factory in downtown Raleigh will be open on Valentines Day until 11pm. They are offering a complimentary glass of Champagne to enjoy while browsing their shops for chocolates to purchase. Videri also has great chocolates to give as gifts. If you plan to buy chocolates, make sure you stop by early this week to avoid the rush!

Escazu Chocolates in Raleigh –
Escazu is another great bean to bar chocolatier in Raleigh that has wonderful dark chocolate bars and confections. Here is a post I did about Escazu back in 2010. Again, if you plan to buy some of these great local chocolates make sure you stop by early this week. I guarantee there will be a line out the door for last minute shoppers!

IvyCottage Collections in Cary –
Ivy Cottage Collections is a locally owned shop in Cary I recently learned about that specializes in unique gifts and home decor. They offer gifts like poetic monogram charms, bangles from Melinda Maria featuring 14 carat gold plated bands with clusters of turquoise stones in various designs and cashmere three-way wraps by Claudia Nichole.

Monuts Donuts in Durham
This may sound like a strange suggestion, but I think getting a box of a dozen awesome donuts from Monuts would be a great alternative to a dozen roses. Ok, maybe it isn’t the best idea I’ve ever had, but I sure would appreciate it if I got it as a gift so maybe your significant other will too!


Filed under Businesses

Gather in Downtown Cary Celebrates One Year Anniversary ~ Friday Aug 29th!


Gather is a unique business located at 111 West Chatham Street in downtown Cary. Gather is a hybrid space that serves many functions: coworking, gift shop featuring local goods, coffee shop, and classroom and it’s celebrating it’s one year anniversary on Friday August 29th from 5-9pm. The celebration will feature 20% discounts on everything in the shop, and free chair massages by one of their coworker businesses. The Humble Pig food truck will also be there serving BBQ and beer will be provided by the soon-to-be-open Pharmacy Bar & Bottle Shop in downtown Cary.

About Gather 
Passionate about community and revitalization, Michelle Smith, founder of The Rock & Shop Market, has taken her expertise on local makers, design and marketing and applied it to another retail incarnation, Gather, in downtown Cary. As an introverted creative entrepreneur Michelle saw a need for a space for herself and others to work out of that was more organic, less competitive, and felt more like a home away from home than traditional coworking spaces – a place that fostered other entrepreneurs like herself.

The majority of Gather’s coworkers are women: editors, massage therapists, programmers, photographers, and artists. Though the gender mix isn’t intentional, the atmosphere is. “I wanted to create a space that fosters emerging makers and entrepreneurs through many channels, not just a shop featuring their goods, but also a place for them to work and meet and learn that suits their creative personality.

The choice of housing the space in downtown Cary is intentional too, if not unconventional “It was a bit of a risk to place Gather in downtown Cary since my audience has traditionally been in Raleigh and Durham, but I believe strongly in the concept of making the Triangle as a whole more unified. I see a lot of potential in downtown Cary, and I like that it is this sleepy, under-recognized town in the middle of the thriving Triangle.”

The gift shop portion of Gather aims to elevate the concept of shopping locally by featuring high caliber North Carolina products and merchandising them well: think Anthropologie, or West Elm, but with a focus on makers in the Triangle’s own backyard. Durham-made peanut butter, for example, or terrariums, hand-stitched leather wallets and bags, all made in Raleigh, or modern mugs adorned with geometric shapes, are just a few of the products you can find in the store. The shop also has a coffee and tea bar, which serves locally roasted Joe Van Gogh coffee and loose-leaf teas from Raleigh-based Tin Roof Teas.

In addition to coworking and products, the space hosts classes continually. The majority of the instructors are North Carolina makers themselves whose goods are in the shop. Gather finds the instructors and curates the classes in the same mindful way they do of the pieces in the gift shop. The most popular offerings so far have been Hand Lettering, Product Photography and Styling, Marketing Your Business, and Making a Terrarium.

About Michelle Smith
Passionate about promoting emerging artisan entrepreneurs, community and revitalization, Michelle Smith has long promoted the best local and regional makers through her endeavors as The Rock & Shop Market, a 2000+ person annual event held in Durham featuring juried emerging artisan makers alongside bands, DJ’s and food trucks.
A designer herself, Michelle creates surface design patterns for textiles and home wares and also works as a stylist and photographer. Her work has been featured in Real Simple, Southern Living, Design*Sponge, West Elm, Anthropologie and more. She is the owner of Gather. She was the creative director of the short-lived but inspired non-profit retail incubator, Kindred, in downtown Raleigh. For more info visit

111 West Chatham Street – Cary, NC
twitter: @GatherNC
instagram: @GatherNC



Filed under Businesses

North Raleigh Gets A Cheese Shop!

Six Forks Cheese

Six Forks Cheese Shop ~ Lafayette Village

I made a quick visit to Lafayette Village last night to check on the progress of Six Forks Cheese. This is a new cheese shop opening up in North Raleigh that will offer a host of fresh gourmet cheeses with a focus on American and European cheese and a special selection of local small-batch and NC farmstead cheeses (Chapel Hill Creamery, Goat Lady Dairy, Looking Glass, Spinning Spider, Cultured Cow and more). The shop will also feature a full line of unique meats, relishes, accoutrements and charcuterie.

When I stopped by I was happy to see a sign on the door announcing they plan to open this Friday July 18th! I’m looking forward to checking out this locally owned and operated cheese shop and plan to return once they open and share additional pictures. In the meantime check out their facebook page here.

Six Forks Cheese – Lafayette Village
8490 Honeycutt Road Suite 102 – Raleigh, NC


Filed under Businesses