Hickory – Downtown Hickory businesses have a history of supporting each other, so it comes as no surprise that they have come together during this pandemic. Steven Lyerly and Jason Yates, owners of Olde Hickory Brewery, reached out to Katye Fredieu, owner of Artisan Soapery, to talk about working together to produce hand sanitizer.

Rodney Miller, Kevin Greer and Rick Beasley of the City of Hickory with Kayte Fredieu holding a bottle of hand sanitizer in Olde Hickory Tap Room

Lyerly said, “We teamed up with Artisan Soapery so that we could have some hand sanitizer. Through our suppliers we can buy the isopropyl 99% alcohol in bulk that is not available in stores. We use isopropyl to sanitize the brewery and, since it was something we had access to, we teamed up to make hand sanitizer. We need it for our employees and we can’t buy it.”

Fredieu and her team at Artisan Soapery were excited about working together and said, “We are happy to be working with Olde Hickory Brewery, I was running very low on the high quality isopropyl alcohol needed to make hand sanitizer. We are dividing the bottles we produce so that they can supply their businesses and colleagues with hand sanitizer, too. Now we have enough to supply local businesses and our community with hand sanitizer and until we run out, which hopefully won’t be anytime soon, we are going to make sure everyone is safe and clean.”

As Covid-19 affects the world, these downtown Hickory merchants are proving through this partnership that we are stronger together. The City of Hickory, the City of Newton, and many local businesses have been able to acquire hand sanitizer as a result of this collaboration.

Amy Ogle, Executive Director of the Hickory Downtown Development Association, has been working with the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Newton Development Association to support and promote local businesses and restaurants via social media. They are promoting the Catawba Chamber’s Take-Out Blitz Catawba campaign to support local restaurants. Use the hashtag #takeoutblitzcatawba on Facebook, along with a photo of a meal you purchased from a local restaurant, to be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card from the Chamber.

Downtown Hickory restaurants, including Olde Hickory Station, Hickory Wine Shoppe, Olde Hickory Tap Room, Charlie Graingers, Hart & Soul Cafe, Hatch Sandwich Shop, Taste Full Beans, Notions, Hickory Cafe & Arcade, Hong Kong Cafe, and Dukes Restaurant and Wine Bar, are offering specials to-go, gift certificates, and some are offering curbside delivery.

Many local businesses are now required to close and need your support! Many boutiques offer online shopping; hair salons, gyms, therapeutic businesses and others offer gift certificates. If you would like to support a local business, please consider purchasing a gift card to use later or gift to someone else.

Focus Newspaper has created a Facebook group called Keep It Local. The mission is to “Think. Shop. Dine. Local. We are stronger together!” Anyone can join the group to share news, updates, specials, and information about any type of local business, including community service announcements.

Our community is both generous and strong, and together we will come through this pandemic. Till then, Fredieu says, “If we do run out of hand sanitizer, we will not run out of soap. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap is just as effective as hand sanitizer.”

Family, Friends and Neighbors: Wash your hands. Practice social distancing. Keep It Local. Stay Safe.

Jason Yates of Olde Hickory Brewery and Kayte Fredieu of Artisan Soapery