Hickory – The City of Hickory’s 2020 Business. Well Crafted. Award winners were announced in a Facebook Live virtual event on Wednesday, October 14.

Presented by the City’s Business Development Committee (BDC), the Business. Well Crafted. Awards annually honor businesses, organizations, and entrepreneurs that support and affirm the City of Hickory’s vision for economic vitality.

Congratulations to the following 2020 Business. Well Crafted. Awards winners:

Individual (Entrepreneur of the Year)

Lorie Street of The Hub at Hickory Crossing: The Hub at Hickory Crossing is a coworking space located in downtown Hickory that offers professional workspaces, ranging from simple desks to private offices, without having to commit to a multi-year lease. The Hub provides opportunities to startups and other small businesses that may not be ready to go out completely on their own. Lorie is also an active member of the area’s entrepreneurial support community, regularly partnering with the Small Business Center and Small Business Technology Development Center to hold workshops, digital happy hours, and other events that bring together entrepreneurs and mentors.

Business and/or Organization (10 or fewer employees)

Hickory Sandwich Shop: The Hickory Sandwich Shop operates a commercial kitchen and hosts a fleet of vehicles, bringing food to customers and events throughout the foothills. It supports the community by serving food at numerous organizations and by serving on committees and joining local civic organizations. It has supported the City’s vision for economic development by offering its commercial kitchen as a commissary kitchen to local entrepreneurs with food trucks to help them get started in the business.

Nailed It DIY Studio Hickory: Nailed It DIY Studio is a do-it-yourself workshop experience where customers are guided step-by-step to transform project materials into unique, wood signs. It partners extensively with numerous businesses and organizations throughout the community. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Nailed It DIY Studio Hickory created numerous new ways to interact with customers while maintaining safety protocols. These included Facebook Live tutorials and Take and Make Kits. Nailed It is also active in The Chamber of Catawba County and the Hickory Downtown Development Association.

Business and/or Organization (11 to 50 employees)

FOURK: FOURK is a local family-owned restaurant providing quality food in a revitalized space. Its mission is to welcome locals and visitors to enjoy a great dining experience in Hickory. FOURK regularly partners with The Chamber of Catawba County, Viewmont Business Association, and City of Hickory to promote the city and region. It has had to pivot its business significantly due to COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants that have decreased business. The restaurant offers curbside takeaway and has reopened for dinner. Even with the disruptions, FOURK continues to generously support local fundraisers and partner with businesses to support first responders and other organizations.

Patrick, Harper & Dixon, LLP: The law firm of Patrick, Harper & and Dixon has been serving its clients and the community since 1946. Its practice areas include: Corporate and Business Law, Trademarks, Estate Planning and Administration, Real Property Law, Employment Law, Elder Law and Special Needs Law (including Medicaid planning and applications), Mediation, Litigation, Divorce, Disability, and Health Care Law. As a full-service law firm, it is committed not only to upholding the highest standards of professional excellence, but also to contributing positively to the community. Its attorneys serve on countless city and county advisory boards, nonprofit boards, and community agencies.

Business and/or Organization (51 or more employees)

Century Furniture: Since its beginnings in 1947, Century Furniture has strived to be the best furniture company in the world by providing finely crafted luxury furniture with impeccable design and quality along with excellent customer service. A third-generation family company, Century now employs over 800 associates and is one of the largest employers in the City of Hickory. Its commitment to the craft of furniture making and support of innovation in the industry truly embodies the spirit of Life. Well Crafted. The company has a long history of civic engagement through both extensive fundraising efforts for community causes and facilities and service on local boards and committees.

Design Foundry: Design Foundry is a relatively new company that has become extremely active in the community during the short time it’s been in existence. Its motto is Building People, Making Furniture. Design Foundry makes high quality upholstered furniture while working to enhance the lives of its associates. It offers paid time to volunteer in the community and donates a portion of its profits to local nonprofit organizations. In response to COVID-19, the company shifted 25 percent of its cutting and sewing capacity to manufacturing gowns that could be used by health care workers.

Neill Grading & Construction Co., Inc.: Neill Grading & Construction is a third-generation family-owned business that has been in operation since 1966. It has continuously looked to broaden its reach. In 2011, it moved beyond grading and utilities into building construction, and more recently has opened a land development division. The company was instrumental in the renovation of the Hollar, Moretz, and Lyerly mills, which began the transformation of Hickory’s central core. More recently, the company completed the renovation of the downtown Hickory streetscape and is currently working on the construction of the City Walk through downtown. The company regularly contributes to The Chamber of Catawba County, as well as the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation and numerous local charities and organizations.

COVID Innovation

Hickory Crawdads: COVID-19 hit the Hickory Crawdads especially hard, given the cancellation of the 2020 Minor League Baseball season. The team has taken numerous steps to generate revenue and activity while adhering to social distancing guidelines. These activities include hosting travel baseball tournaments, parking lot fireworks shows, a kickball league, and graduation ceremonies. These new sources of revenue enabled the organization to keep all full-time staff members employed. The staff and organization continue to be active in the community. Mascots Conrad and Candy make over 100 appearances per year in the community. Staff members volunteer extensively in the community and partner with numerous community organizations.

“The Business Development Committee is proud to honor these nine award winners for their commitment and support of the City’s vision for economic vitality,” said Hank Eimer, chair of the BDC. “This year, each of our Business. Well Crafted. Award winners will also be featured in a series of videos shared during Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 16-22.”

For more information about the Business Development Committee and its Business. Well Crafted. Awards, please contact City of Hickory Business Services Manager Dave Leonetti at 828-261-2227 or via email at [email protected].