Thursday, May 17, 2012

Website Training

Website training for Stokes County businesses continues. If you have a website that was build by us for you or you have a site built by someone else, it doesn't matter. We want you to join us on June 21 at the Shelton Room of the King Library. Stacy Jones will be weaving her web magic and I promise you will learn with valuable information. ‘Do It Yourself’ Website Sales Workshop Presented by Stokes County Economic Development Program FREE, Open to everyone! June 21st, 1 - 5 p.m King Public Library 1 - 3 p.m.: Stokes County Free Websites for Business Overview 3 - 5p.m.: How to add E-commerce/Sales to your website (New by request) Selling from your website Ebay and Etsy Pinterest and Facebook Stokes County Website Program How-To’s Workshops taught by Stacy Jones

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What's Going On in Stokes

I was working on my website links today and realized I had not updated Jessup Mill in some time. I took a few moments to look at the site and am really pleased to see all the wonderful activities they have lined up for the season. If you are looking for something to do this spring or summer, for a day or a week, check them out. It sure looks like fun to me:

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Customer Service and Buying Local

I have been dealing with a great many companies of varying types over the past several weeks, local and national. From my perspective from this experience, our local folks stack up pretty well.

I have been dealing with estate issues after my mothers death. This is difficult under the best of circumstances but when you are faced with ill-trained and uncaring voices and faces it makes it even tougher. That is why my experiences with our local businesses this week has been a ray of sunshine. From the different restaurants, general stores, grocery stores, hardware stores and other places in Stokes County, each and every one have performed above and beyond my expectations. And it wasn't just me, I made it a point of paying attention to everyone that I saw in the stores and watched as they were treated with respect. The wait staffs were friendly and courteous, the managers of the tire shop and the hardware store were knowledgeable and pleasant. It made me feel good and helped me deal with the not so pleasant tasks that popped up during the balance of the week.

I want to say a big thank you to each and everyone of them and I am even more committed to buying local at each and every opportunity. If your experiences have been similar to mine, I hope you will join me and Think Stokes First!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Buy Local Opportunities Abound!

In case you have not being paying attention to what is going on in the county, the variety of your opportunities to visit and patronize businesses is increasing! We have a new clothing store in King (Dalton's Crossing has been open for a little longer than one month), we have a new BBQ restaurant in King: the Pig Shack located at 700 E. King St, serving award winning food. Coffee Tea and Me has expanded their menu with delicious soups, salads and sandwiches. We have a new furniture store in Walnut Cove and on top of this we will be celebrating a Sheetz Grand Opening tomorrow morning at 11 AM.

Each and every one of our businesses in the county is precious and deserves to be celebrated. We appreicate the effort, hard work and spirit they provide. The businesses mentioned above have created or will be creating over 70 jobs in Stokes County. Please join me in thanking them for the jobs they create, the income they bring to the community and the support they provide. Thank them with your words and your hard earned money.

Think Stokes First with every purchase you make and have a great day!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


If you have been driving by and watching the progress, as I have, here is good news! Sheetz will be opening their new location in King next Thursday. Hope you can join me to welcome these folks to Stokes County!

Monica Jones March 7, 2012
(814) 207-4155 cell
Mike Horn

Sheetz Opens New Convenience Restaurant
In King, NC, Thursday at 11 a.m.

Area Residents Expected to Start Lining Up Before Day Break
To Be Among First 50 to Receive $100 Gift Cards

King, NC – If past Sheetz openings are any indication, area residents are expected to be waiting in line before day break to be among the first 50 in line to receive $100 Sheetz gift cards at the opening of the company’s newest store in King, NC, at 11 a.m. this Thursday, March 15th.

“Each new store we open is drawing larger and larger crowds, with many people arriving hours before the official opening to be part of the excitement,” says Stan Sheetz, company president and CEO. “We can't wait to serve our new friends in the King area as they become part of the Sheetz’ experience.”

Travis Sheetz, Vice President of Operations, will join local officials at the 10:45 a.m. ribbon-cutting at the new 5,941 square foot store. The 703 East King Street location will be one of ten new Sheetz stores opening in North Carolina this year and will feature a convenient drive-through for Sheetz’ trademark fast service. During the King opening, customers can play games to win prizes and enjoy delicious samples of Sheetz food and specialty beverages.

The new Sheetz will provide an economic boost to the area, creating 40 to 45 new full and part time jobs, and add $3.5 million taxable property value to the city and county tax base. Additionally, Sheetz has been a proud supporter of the Special Olympics for more than 20 years and will make a donation to the local chapter of Special Olympics North Carolina as part of the opening festivities.

The King Sheetz will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and offer fresh food items like Sheetz’ signature Made To Order (MTO®) items that include Angus beef burgers, premium grilled chicken sandwiches, freshly made salads, French fries, onion rings and more. The new store will also feature are MTGo! and Shweetz Bakery lines of sandwiches, wraps, donuts and muffins, along with Sheetz Bros. Coffeez®, a full-service espresso and smoothie bar staffed by a trained barista where customers can order hand-made specialty coffee drinks including lattes, cappuccinos and mochas - hot, frozen or iced.


Established in 1952 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Sheetz, Inc. is one of America’s fastest growing family-owned and operated convenience restaurant chains, with more than $5 billion in annual revenue and more than 14,500 employees. The company operates 412 locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina. Sheetz provides an award-winning menu of MTO® subs, sandwiches and salads, which are ordered through unique touch-screen order point terminals. Sheetz currently ranks on the Best Places to Work list in Ohio a, North Carolina and Virginia and has been on the list in Pennsylvania for ten consecutive years. All Sheetz convenience restaurants are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For more information, visit

Monday, January 30, 2012

Starting Small Can Make a Difference

My wonderful bride sent me this link. It is a statement of what a few people pulling together can do. No reason we can't do this in Stokes County:
In the era of big boxes, a day for the little guy
By AMY SANCETTA | Associated Press – Wed, Jan 25, 2012 7:33 AM EST

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CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio (AP) — It began quietly, as an email to 40 friends.
But when a steady stream of customers began coming through the door before the family-owned Chagrin Hardware had even opened for the day on Saturday, it was clear that it had turned into much more than that.
The idea started with Jim Black, a resident of Chagrin Falls, a close-knit village in Cleveland's eastern suburbs that is part artist colony and part bedroom community. Black posted the email to a group of his friends. "Let's show our support for one of our local businesses," he wrote. "I challenge everyone to spend AT LEAST $20 at the hardware on the 21st."
Although his email referred to the idea of a "Cash Mob" or the notion to "Occupy CF Hardware," he really had no political agenda. And it wasn't meant as a protest against the big-box stores that have created an ever-tightening circle around the community.
It was just a way to thank Chagrin Hardware's owners for a beloved shop that has been a fixture in the village since 1857.
"These are good people who needed our support," Black said. "It's just that simple."
The store, overlooking meandering Riverside Park and the Chagrin River in the middle of town, has been run by the Shutts family for the last 72 years. It passed from uncle to father to older brothers Rob and Kenny and the three youngest, Steve, Susie and Jack, who run the store today.
Black's note was forwarded and forwarded and forwarded again. Calls started coming in from folks out of state who wanted to make a purchase over the phone.
And when the day came, so did the shoppers — one by one, with dogs on leashes and children in tow, hour after hour until the hardware was teeming with customers.
"This is small-town America," said resident Martine Scheuermann, a bag of pet-safe ice melt in her arms and her Springer Spaniels tapping their toes on the worn wooden floor at her feet. "This is a special family business in a town where everybody knows you."
The store has seen its share of tough times. Road construction on Main Street at the store's front door some years back crippled business for a time. More recently, the weakened economy and the big boxes have stolen away customers.
On this day, though, those storylines were forgotten.
By 10 a.m. the place was jammed. By 1:30 p.m., the credit card machine was overloaded and had to be reset. "This is so cool," said Steve Shutts, a mix of joy, wonder and happy exhaustion spread across his face. "I've seen people today I haven't seen in years."
The line at the checkout stretched in two directions as people with snow shovels and light bulbs and fireplace grates and vintage movie posters and horse shoe caulk — yes, horse shoe caulk — waited to pay.
Chad Schron, 38, came with his 8-year-old son Robert. "We didn't have anything we had to get, but we found things we had to get," he said. As he spoke, Robert clutched an Ohio State desk lamp and two flying monkey toys to his chest.
"When I was a kid, my Mom would send me down here with a note to let me buy BB's," Schron recalled. "Lots of kids did that back then. The notes still are in a drawer over there," he said as he pointed past the register to a wall of wooden drawers containing everything from old springs to screws. In the drawer still labeled "BBs" were stacks of crumpled notes dating to the '50s, from mothers just like Schron's
When the final customer had finally left well after closing time with her fuzzy dice and floodlights, Schwind and Steve Shutts tallied the day's receipts. Shutts shook his head at the wild and unexpected ride.
He wouldn't say how much the store made that day, but was clearly pleased with the outcome.
"Thanks to Jimmy Black," he said. "Thanks to everyone. Thanks to Chagrin Falls.
"What a place to live."
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Trends in The Restaruant Business

If you are wondering what to grow on your farm or how to produce what the markets are asking for, the information below may be of some use. Hope it helps and Think Stokes First!

From the Restaurant News magazine daily updates:

The National Restaurant Association's "What's Hot in 2012" survey of nearly 1,800 professional chefs – members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) – reveals that children's nutrition and local sourcing will be the hottest trends on restaurant menus in 2012.

The chefs also identified smartphone apps and tablet computers as the top technology trends. In addition, 6 out of 10 chefs said they would consider a food truck as an entrepreneurial business venture.

The top 10 menu trend predictions include:

1. Locally sourced meats and seafood

2. Locally grown produce

3. Healthful kids' meals

4. Hyper-local items

5. Sustainability as a culinary theme

6. Children's nutrition as a culinary theme

7. Gluten-free/food allergy-conscious items

8. Locally produced wine and beer

9. Sustainable seafood

10. Whole grain items in kids' meals