Learn more about in-home care options for your loved ones

Given the choice, most of us want to stay in our homes. Sometimes, people need help to remain at home. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Personal Care Consultation


“Thank you to Ted for helping us make the adjustment to in-home care! We appreciate your willingness to put up with some negative reactions to your companionship for Bill while I am away from home.”

Susan L.

“Cindy is the perfect fit for my needs and is always kind and respectful toward my husband. I could not have hand picked a better person.”

Pam S.

“Stacy Blackwell is my current caregiver. She is the best ever and I am 95 years old - a lot of “givers” for appraisal . Stacy is naturally effective and efficient . She regularly achieves a level of strengthening and health that evokes a confidence and optimism that I have not earlier experienced. I am now in significant part due to her professional care optimistic about my future life. I wish to continue indefinitely my care from her - please. It”

James T.

“Aliyah fits perfectly with my life style,desires and needs. Ready and able to assist me in any way that I need. I am content and satisfied with our relationship,daily tasks,chores and communication.”

Pearline D.

“Since she first helped bring my husband home from the hospital after a months’ long stay, Talayna Turner has been helping me care for him. Talayna is an excellent listener, efficient worker, and responsible helper. She has helped witpersonal care, computer problems, grocery shopping, and his laundry. I don’t know what I would do without her cheerful presence. Thanks ABC for providing a wonderful caregiver resource in Talayna!”

Joan S.

“Sam is one of the kindest most sincere owners I've met. She truly cares about her clients and staff. Everyone in the office is so helpful.”

Dana N.

“Happy to Service this area!”

Jason L.

“Great caregivers working for a great agency. Everyone wins, especially my Mom. Sometimes the caregivers are taking care of me too; I always learn a new method or better way of finishing personal chores to keep Mom safe and comfortable. Best choice to use this agency over efforts to hire private caregivers. Trust and training make it a blessing to have the assistance from ABC”

Barbara R.

“Incredibly responsive, caring, and professional! They treat your loved one as a unique person for whom they also care! We have had many experiences with home care agencies and this one is exceptional!”

Kristin B.

“I can not tell you how great this company is. I called on a Tuesday at 4 pm because the live in care giver for my father was a "no show". Channing was amazing, caring and so supportive. By Wednesday morning she had people lined up to assist in covering my father's care. Channing also went above and beyond by contacting facilities and homes to help me look into care for my father. Let me explain that she didn't give me a number-she called them on my behalf. Channing could tell I was overwhelmed and did anything she could to help. This is a amazing team of care givers that really cares. I have loved the women they sent out to care for my father. Can't say enough!!!!! J. Wilkins.”

Jo A.

“Always Best Care has provided great care for my dad. I'm grateful that they're available (sometimes on short notice) and that they're so compassionate and easy to work with.”

Jenny E.

“Excellent Service!!”

Abu Y.
 In-Home Care Carrboro, NC

How does In-home Senior Care in Carrboro, NC work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

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 Senior Care Carrboro, NC

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:


How much does a senior's home truly mean to them? A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Carrboro, NC, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living
Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.


For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience
Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Carrboro, NC gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Empowers Seniors

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

Veteran's Benefits
Veteran's Benefits

Aid and Attendance benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.

Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-Term Care Insurance

Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.

Private Insurance
Private Insurance

Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.

Life Insurance
Life Insurance

Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

Respite Care Carrboro, NC

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Carrboro,NC understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

 Caregivers Carrboro, NC

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

An assessment of your senior loved one


An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home


Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

Latest News in Carrboro, NC

Town Manager Richard White Leaving Carrboro for Position in Salisbury

Carrboro Town Manager Richard White III is leaving the town government for a new position elsewhere in North Carolina.The Town of Carrboro shared the news on Thursday, saying White has accepted the role of Deputy City Manager with the City of Salisbury starting on November 6. He arrived in Carrboro in August 2021 after having worked for the City of Asheville, the Town of Elon, and the unified Athens and Clarke county government in Georgia.“The decision was a difficult one, as Carrboro is a very special community,” W...

Carrboro Town Manager Richard White III is leaving the town government for a new position elsewhere in North Carolina.

The Town of Carrboro shared the news on Thursday, saying White has accepted the role of Deputy City Manager with the City of Salisbury starting on November 6. He arrived in Carrboro in August 2021 after having worked for the City of Asheville, the Town of Elon, and the unified Athens and Clarke county government in Georgia.

“The decision was a difficult one, as Carrboro is a very special community,” White said in a release. “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to return to Carrboro to lead the organization and to help move Carrboro forward. It has been an honor to assist the Town Council and to work with a dedicated and outstanding staff.”

This marked the second stint with Carrboro’s government for White, as he was an assistant to the town manager from 2000 to 2006. During his tenure as town manager, he helped complete and begin implementing the Carrboro Connects comprehensive plan, which projects and suggests 20 years of planning framework for elected officials. White also helped complete the financing for the ongoing 203 Project — a $41 million building that will house the Orange County Southern Branch Library and the town’s parks and recreation offices.

In its release, the Town of Carrboro also thanked White for his role in helping the community recover from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. He oversaw the distribution and use of American Rescue Plan Act funding and helped develop initiatives to improve employee recruitment and retention.

“Richard has accomplished a great deal during his time in Carrboro,” Mayor Damon Seils said. “His work with the Town Council to develop strategic priorities, as well as his initiation of strategic planning processes with the Town’s staff, set the stage for achieving the vision of the Carrboro Connects comprehensive plan.”

While White has a start date with the City of Salisbury, he does not have an end date with the Town of Carrboro as of Thursday. The Carrboro Town Council will undertake the responsibility of the town manager, which is the position that helps implement the council’s policies through the town government’s staff. An interim is expected to be appointed during the search process for permanent candidates, according to Thursday’s release.

Photo via the Town of Carrboro.

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I hate paying to eat pasta at a restaurant. This Carrboro spot changed my mind.

I’m a “pasta-out-of-the-box” kind of gal. From spaghetti bolognese to pesto rigatoni, I could eat it most nights — and often do — and be perfectly content.So, call me t...

I’m a “pasta-out-of-the-box” kind of gal. From spaghetti bolognese to pesto rigatoni, I could eat it most nights — and often do — and be perfectly content.

So, call me thrifty, it’s not something I like to splash $20 a plate on.

That is, until I stumbled upon my little neighborhood eatery in downtown Carrboro: the 18-seat Italian restaurant Tesoro, meaning “treasure” in Italian and Spanish. The menu is seasonal, with French and Croatian influences.

Long overdue for a date night, I wanted some place cozy and intimate, but not too stuffy. We only had two hours; my teenage son was holding down the fort.

Because of the limited seating, I emailed two days ahead to book a table for two early one Saturday night. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

When we arrived, our waitress, a dead-ringer for a young “Fixer Upper” Joanna Gaines,” sat us promptly.

“Have you been here before?” she asked breezily, setting the tone for the night.

The restaurant’s vibe is casual and airy. As the sun sets, the dining room is bathed in a soft summer light.

We’re not the only ones wanting fresh pasta. A line has already started forming outside the door for walk-ins.

Tesoro opened in late 2021, tucked away at 110 E. Weaver St., just across from Weaver Street Market. It’s little more than a hole in the wall: open kitchen, polished concrete floors, one long banquette. A marble-topped six-person bar sits on the opposite wall.

For starters, we ordered a small plate of olives ($6) and the house-made foccacia bread ($6). From where we sat, I had a direct view into the kitchen, and could watch as the bread was pulled from the oven.

Within milliseconds, it was in front of us, still piping hot and utter perfection: crispy and golden on the top and bottom crusts with a fluffy inside. Tons of air holes, big and small.

Next up: Rigatoni with Spring Onion Sausage, Tomato, Ricotta Salata ($23) and Spaghetti with Basil Pesto and Grana Padano ($21). The rigatoni was warm and hearty and loaded with spicy sausage. It served as the perfect contrast to the spaghetti: a bundle of silky noodles slathered in punchy-green pesto that melted in your mouth.

Chef and owner David Peretin, 32, who cooks most nights, says he works with the Durham-based meat co-op, Firsthand Foods, sourcing local sustainable meat for his dishes.

“Even in our small space, we butcher half a hog every other week,” he tells The News & Observer. “That’s kind of like our starting point, more or less, for the whole menu.”

Peretin’s restaurant career began as a dishwasher at The Fearrington House Restaurant, one of the Triangle’s fine-dining destinations. Eventually, he ended up working at some of the Triangle’s most ambitious, yet casual restaurants, like Rose’s Noodles, Dumplings and Sweets and Saint James Seafood in Durham and Pizzeria Mercato in Carrboro, before striking out on his own.

Peretin says he decided to build on what he’d already learned, while adding some of the formative flavors of his youth: Croatian dishes made by his grandparents. The result is his own twist on classics, like cacio e pepe and spaghetti pomodoro, that “sing together.”

Beyond the menu, however, he wants Tesoro to be a local gathering place.

“Going out to eat can be a very communal, enriching experience,” he says. “I want people to feel value for their time.”

For a two-hour (timed) date night, I must say, I left satisfied.

Tesoro is at 110 E. Weaver St. in Carrboro, open 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Visit their website at tesorocarrboro.com.

This story was originally published July 5, 2023, 8:00 AM.

Carrboro pizza restaurant owner sues landlord, neighboring cigar bar

No compatible source was found for this media.A Carrboro restaurant owner is suing the cigar bar next door and the property manager of the building the two businesses reside claiming lost income and health issues due to secondhand smoke.Diggs Restaurant Group, LLC, which operates Coronato Pizza, filed a lawsuit this month in superior court in Orange County against Oasis Cigar Club, Inc., which operates Oasis Cigar Lounge next door on Two Hills Drive. The restaurant group is also suing the building owner Woodhill NC, LLC. based ...

No compatible source was found for this media.

A Carrboro restaurant owner is suing the cigar bar next door and the property manager of the building the two businesses reside claiming lost income and health issues due to secondhand smoke.

Diggs Restaurant Group, LLC, which operates Coronato Pizza, filed a lawsuit this month in superior court in Orange County against Oasis Cigar Club, Inc., which operates Oasis Cigar Lounge next door on Two Hills Drive. The restaurant group is also suing the building owner Woodhill NC, LLC. based on Chapel Hill.

Chef Teddy Diggs opened Coronato Pizza in 2019, but closed the dining room of his restaurant indefinitely on Feb. 26 this year, switching to takeout only, due to the "ongoing effects of the cigar smoke" from the adjacent Oasis Cigar Lounge.

The lawsuit alleges that the issue started when Oasis Cigar Lounge opened in August 2022 and "cigar smoke began migrating" from the bar to the restaurant.

In the lawsuit, Diggs said he immediately reached out to the owners of Oasis Cigar Lounge and the property owner to notify them that the "cigar smoke and odor had entered the Coronato premises" causing himself, his wife, staff and customers to suffer from "headaches, sinus and eye irritation."

The issues continued, according to the lawsuit, causing the restaurant to close early on Aug. 5 and 6 that year.

Diggs, Oasis and a Woodhill representative met in person to discuss the issues on Sept. 14, 2022, which resulted in Woodhill representative Gary Hill returning to Coronato that evening to check on the smoke himself, according to the lawsuit.

"Mr. Hill acknowledged that he could smell the cigar smoke, but that it did not bother him that badly," the lawsuit says, noting that Hill offered to purchase two air purifiers to help mitigate the smoke. The lawsuit alleges that those air purifiers did not help and were later moved to the Oasis property.

Diggs says he continued to report the issue throughout the fall and winter of 2022. On Dec. 9, 2022, Diggs said he was emailed by Woodhill's representative stating that the building owner had taken "all action that (they) believed it was required to ensure the safety of (Coronato's) air quality."

Diggs alleges that the cigar smoke has continued to migrate to the restaurant causing "health complications, extreme discomfort and other complications" for himself, customers and staff.

According to the lawsuit, Diggs reached out to public health officials, but also hired a private company, Repace Associates, to do a air quality test of the restaurant for 16 days in January 2023.

The testing found that "nicotine was detected at more than 1,000 times the minimum limit," which indicates toxic secondhand smoke, according to the lawsuit. The report found that "there was a significant leak of cigar smoke" into Coronato.

The report also found that the air pollution created by Oasis into the Coronato space exposed Diggs, his staff and patrons to "significantly unhealthy air quality from secondhand smoke that poses both an acute and chronic hazard to their physical and mental health."

While increased ventilation or unit-sealing could reduce the smoke, it would not eliminate the secondhand smoke inhalation, the report said.

"Cigar smoking produces a great deal of fine particle pollution, a great deal of carbon monoxide, and a whole host of other toxic chemicals," James Repace, president of Repace Associates, told WRAL on Monday. "Particularly for non-smokers who are sensitive to tobacco smoke, that can cause very debilitating injuries.

Repace said nicotine levels measured at Coronato were "comparable to what has been measured in the homes of smokers."

As a secondhand smoke consultant, Repace said he has "measured the nicotine levels in about 90 cases so far, and Coronato Pizza is right at the top."

"Some of my clients have gone to the hospital because of infiltrating secondhand smoke in much lower levels than are present in my estimation in Coronato Pizza," Repace said.

The lawsuit alleges that Woodhill violated Diggs' lease by not proving a premises free of cigar smoke which is a hazardous material. The breach of contract has caused damages in excess of $25,000. The lawsuit also alleges Woodhill was negligent.

In a statement, Woodhill said it was continuing to work with Coronato toward a resolution. It said:

Woodhill NC, LLC which owns South Green Center, works to provide commercial space that supports our tenants in legally operating their businesses. We have taken significant steps to ensure proper ventilation between tenants which include the installation of commercial grade air cleaners, carbon filters, and an ozone generator. We are working with Coronato Pizza and their attorney to respond to the lawsuit provided to us on April 14, 2023.

Diggs is suing Oasis for failing to prevent the cigar smoke from migrating to the Coronato property which has caused health and complications and environmental contamination.

Oasis owners shared this statement with WRAL News:

The Oasis Cigar Club has always sought to be good neighbors. It has extensive and expensive investments geared to mitigate the smoke in its space. There are 4 Industrial Strength Air Purification Units in the business. There are Ozone filters in the unit, and the HVAC units have been rerouted to negative air pressure, keeping all of the air inside. At this point, Oasis is exploring all of its legal options.

North Carolina laws state that all cigar bars opened after July 1, 2009, that allow smoking must operate in freestanding structures. The law does not apply to private clubs.

Oasis Cigar Lounge is able to allow smoking inside despite not being inside a freestanding structure because it is a considered a private club. The club is operated by the nonprofit Oasis Cigar Club, Inc., according to the state secretary of state's office. Private clubs must be operated by a nonprofit entity in order to quality for this exemption.

Diggs released a statement Monday.

"For several months, Coronato has been trying to deal with the intrusion of secondhand smoke (SHS) into our restaurant space. Professional air quality testing has deemed that our air contains a high concentration of hazardous pollutants that are related to tobacco smoke. We have been experiencing this situation for some time, but after the analysis of significant professional testing we felt that it was unacceptable for us to continue to operate our business as usual. Unfortunately, our continued attempts to resolve this issue with relative parties have proved unsuccessful thus far. Therefore, our dining room will remain closed for the foreseeable future. We believe that closing our dining room allows us to protect our guests and the public from dangerous SHS toxins, while also allowing us to manage the restaurant in a way that mitigates the negative symptoms and health risks for those of us who continue to work in the space.

This challenging time presents the Coronato staff and ownership with the same uncertainty that we felt during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful that our community showed up and supported us through those difficult years when we were only able to serve take-out – thank you! Today, we find ourselves in the same uncomfortable position where take-out is our only reasonable option for service. We appreciate your continued and conscious support of our family business, Coronato."

North Carolina Speakeasy Reinvents the Supper Club Inside a 30-Year-Old Car Wash

TheThe supper club is here to stay, and it’s anything but boring, especially in the Triangle. The latest version involves Speakcheesy, a multi-course cheese and wine dinner put on monthly by the Cheese Shop, at Belltree Cocktail Club (100 Brewer...

TheThe supper club is here to stay, and it’s anything but boring, especially in the Triangle. The latest version involves Speakcheesy, a multi-course cheese and wine dinner put on monthly by the Cheese Shop, at Belltree Cocktail Club (100 Brewer Lane) in Carrboro.

Michelle and Stevie Lee Webb recently opened the Cheese Shop inside Glasshalfull’s wine shop, serving as the Triangle’s only cut-to-order cheese shop. Find anything but the usual offerings in the grocery store cheese section, including small batch and farmstead cheeses from local, domestic, and imported producers — plus charcuterie, specialty butter, and imported pantry provisions. Customers can also walk in and taste cheeses before buying them, like at an ice cream shop, and nine times out of 10, listen to Stevie recall a fascinating story behind the cheese.

Speakcheesy was one of the earliest ideas the duo had in mind when bringing the Cheese Shop to a reality. “Originally, we wanted to put the shop within another business — so we would have a cheese shop in the back of a restaurant or a bar” says Stevie. “So if you have a cheese shop at the back of something, it becomes a Speakcheesy,” he says.

Stevie comes from a cooking background — he trained under Prue Leith from The Great British Baking Show. “When we started doing wine and cheese pairings and classes, we would have these amazing cheeses and amazing wines that went with them, and we kept thinking, ‘what other amazing things can we do with these cheeses for each course,’” he says.

Speakcheesy, which Stevie and Michelle are in the process of trademarking, is an opportunity to collide the worlds of cheese and wine in one sitting, far beyond a regular cheese pairing class where things tend to be a little predictable. “I always considered what I was doing a lot like Michelin-starred dining or dining in Europe, in particular,” Stevie says. “A meal was not a success unless it lasted at least two hours.”

“From a business perspective, I have a joke that a cheese shop just can’t sell cheese,” says Michelle. “You’re not going to survive by just being a cut-to-order right now — so Speakcheesy was a really interesting thing. We know the cheese, and we know the accouterments, but we need to find some really strong partners, and I don’t think this would happen successfully in a lot of other parts of the country where it’s so competitive and cutthroat in the restaurant industry,” she adds. The duo teams up with Paula de Pano of Rocks + Acid wine shop for their pairings. “One thing you certainly get from us and Paula de Pano and Nick Stroud (of Belltree Cocktail Club) is that they love what they’re doing and they love their products,” says Stevie. “We’re not trying to do things we don’t know how to do,” says Michelle. Find the right person, bring the local people in — partner, partner, partner,” she says.

While the cut-to-order shop is at Glasshalfull, the Speakcheesy landed at Belltree Cocktail Club, down the street, as a way to shake things up and find a venue that’s just as interesting as the dinners. The cocktail bar is a hidden gem in Carrboro, attached to popular 30-year-old Carolina Car Wash. Entering the building for a Speakcheesy dinner feels like traveling into a different world — and no two dinners are the same. “We quickly realized that our senses of humor, creativity, and love for what we do mirror each other,” says Zach White, of Belltree Cocktail Club.

The most recent Speakcheesy, which sold out within a couple of days, took guests through Italy with six Italian cheese dishes paired with de Pano’s Italian wines. “As Speakcheesy grows, and we get a bit bolder, the dishes will get more interesting,’ says Stevie. “We are going to push the boundaries a little more each time,” he notes. During Speakcheesy: the Italian edition, the menu had hot dishes like handmade ravioli in a bath of decadent meat broth with Cravero Parmigiano Reggiano, but it was the gorgonzola dolci gelato, in collaboration with Chapel Hill’s Portico 31, that really turned heads.

“Wine and cheese have always been natural pairings, especially when they both come from the same region,” says de Pano, who is currently leading the wine portion of Speakcheesy dinners. “The ‘what grows together, goes well together’ adage rings very true,” she adds. “I find that they both have a lot of flavor complexities that complement each other as well, expressing their inherent terroir. Cheeses also have their own background and histories that make them unique in their own way, the feed that the animals eat, the climate, and the traditional know-how of both the dairy farmers and cheesemakers contribute to the end product, just like wine.”

Speakcheesy Secret Supper: a six-course Iberian wine and cheese dinner will take place on June 21, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. — get tickets here. The Cheese Shop’s cut-to-order shop is open Wednesday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Follow @cheeseshopnc for news on upcoming events and future information on Speakcheesy dinners and more.

NC community thought it defeated Dollar General, but developer returned with new plan

Residents of a crossroads community west of Carrboro thought they had beaten Dollar General last year, when the developer withdrew a rezoning application to build a new store.But the developer Gland...

Residents of a crossroads community west of Carrboro thought they had beaten Dollar General last year, when the developer withdrew a rezoning application to build a new store.

But the developer Glandon Forest Equity LLC came back with a new proposal, and on Tuesday, April 4, it will have a public hearing in front of the Orange County Board of Commissioners. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Whitted Building in Hillsborough.

Most of the land around 3026 White Cross Road is zoned for agricultural and residential uses. However, neighborhood commercial development serving nearby residents is allowed at the intersection with N.C. 54, and the historically rural community has grown in popularity.

No longer do neighbors have to go to town to grab a bite to eat, buy gas or a six-pack of beer to go, get their car fixed, or shop for produce and other essentials, because of the mom-and-pop shops that have sprung up around the crossroads in the last 30 years.

Project documents indicate Dollar General’s developer is interested in the over 11,500 cars the N.C. Department of Transportation says pass the spot on N.C. 54 each day, but that hasn’t eased fears the store would siphon existing businesses’ customers.

Sally Jo Slusher started Plow Girl Farm about a half-mile east of the proposed site because it was the only part of southern Orange County that wasn’t under development, she said.

The proposed Dollar General would be “massive” and “very, very out of place,” she said, urging the county to think outside the box about what White Cross could become.

“We really value our neighbors … and I frequent Fiesta Grill and Bravos Market all the time,” Slusher said. “All these little businesses out here, I do business with, and I think our whole community sort of feels this way, or most of us. This is not a good fit for our community.”

It’s also frustrating to see the plan back again, said Kristina Snyder, a Fiesta Grill customer who has lived between Carrboro and White Cross for about 20 years.

“I recognize that ‘no’ is never forever, but it seems like it’s totally unfair because all of the burden is now on community members to first go to a hearing and then go to the Planning Board, and now go to the county commissioners,” Snyder said. The developer is “not being held to any standards (after) they were told they had to wait at least a year to reapply.”

That’s because the latest plan seeks a different kind of rezoning and includes more details about what could be built, Cy Stober, the county’s planning and inspections director, told The News & Observer in an email.

The first plan was withdrawn last year after the Planning Board voted 9-2 to recommend the commissioners deny the project. The public hearing was already advertised, however, so the withdrawal counted as a denial, triggering a one-year waiting period.

Stober noted that plan was for a conventional zoning, which would have allowed over 110 potential commercial and residential uses, and it didn’t include details about the project, or any commitments, such as ways to ease stormwater and traffic problems.

The new plan seeks a conditional zoning, which lets the commissioners negotiate with the developer for community desires and limits potential uses to just a retail store. It also addresses specific details about the store’s appearance, traffic and stormwater, he said.

The proposed 10,640-square-foot Dollar General store and its 35-space parking lot would cover roughly an acre of the 4.83-acre site, where a two-story community store building now sits vacant. The plan is to build the Dollar General next year and hire four employees, documents said.

Both county staff and local residents have raised concerns about the building’s appearance, especially since it sits across the highway from the historic 1930s-era White Cross School. Traffic is also a key issue, especially since turning right or left out of White Cross Road can be dangerous and sometimes almost impossible.

Most Dollar General daily traffic — 83 trips in and out of the parking lot — would be in the evening, a traffic study said. It recommended keeping the stop sign at White Cross Road and adding a southbound right turn lane on White Cross Road into the new parking lot.

The White Cross store is not the first “dollar store” planned for Orange County, but unlike surrounding counties dotted with dozens of Dollar General locations, only a handful are located in strip malls in Carrboro, Hillsborough and Chapel Hill.

Family Dollar, which is owned by Dollar Tree and has followed in Dollar General’s footsteps, opening storefronts in small towns and rural communities where other retailers don’t go, submitted a plan last year for the Cedar Grove community north of Hillsborough.

That plan was withdrawn after the Planning Board voted 9-2 to recommend denying the permit, saying it did not follow the county’s future land-use plan and “would not be harmonious with the surrounding area or reflect the desires of the community.”

The Planning Board also recommended denying Dollar General’s latest plan for White Cross, Chairman Adam Beeman said.

Orange County and its towns have a history of rejecting projects that its residents don’t like, from Walmart in the 1990s and early 2000s to Buc-ee’s in 2021.

Snyder and others noted that a Dollar General store in Carrboro Plaza, just five miles east, is poorly stocked and occasionally closed during business hours, often with a hastily written note in marker pinned to the door.

“The idea that they have one employee in there at any given time is an enormous safety concern for that employee,” Snyder said. “And for four more jobs at whatever (wage) Dollar General pays a cashier, that’s not building living wages in Orange County.”

She and others who spoke with The N&O said they would rather see the land being used to add more or expand existing mom-and-pop stores, provide park or green space, or create room for a farmer’s market.

“I’ve got my blood, sweat and tears I have poured into this property and into this farm, and at the end of the day, a dollar store is not going to do anything … to enhance our community and help us with our property values,” Slusher said.

This story was originally published March 31, 2023, 8:07 AM.


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