Born in North Carolina: Food Lion

Food Lion, a brand born in North Carolina.

Food Lion in Durham, North Carolina. (Photo:  Ildar Sagdejev)

Food Lion is one of the most iconic grocery store brands in the southeastern United States, but did you know the company first got its start in Salisbury, North Carolina? That’s why so many North Carolinians choose Food Lion as their go-to supermarket.

As part of Dickens Mitchener’s “Born in North Carolina” series, let’s take a closer look at why people who live in North Carolina have a special place in their heart for this major grocery store chain.

The early days of Food Lion

Food Lion first opened its doors on December 12, 1957, by Wilson Smith, Ralph Ketner, and Brown Ketner in Salisbury, North Carolina — the same city that brought you the region’s most beloved cherry soda, Cheerwine. The community-centric store was originally known as “Food Town,” but the company officially changed its name to “Food Lion” in 1982 after being acquired by international food retail group Ahold Delhaize.

Food Lion’s secret of success? Cost cutting

The company first became a regional and national competitor in the 1960s thanks to its “Lowest Food Prices in NC” cost-cutting strategy. The idea was to lower the price of all items across the board to entice customers to buy more products and achieve a larger profit. The innovative concept revolutionized how supermarkets work, and as a result, Food Lion grew at a rapid pace over the next several decades. During this time, Food Lion was considered the fastest growing grocery store brand in the U.S., with 100 new stores opening their doors each year.

Today, there are around 1,100 stores and 63,000 employees spread across North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia. In keeping with its 60-year-old commitment to building community, Food Lion donates to local school districts as well as organizations like the Children’s Miracle Network, America’s Second Harvest Food Banks, Easter Seals, the United Way, and the American Red Cross.

Contact Dickens Mitchener today to learn more about why people and businesses choose to make North Carolina their home.

Retirement Communities Are Booming in Charlotte

Charlotte was recently recognized as a hot spot for millennials, but another group is growing as well, active adult communities! 55+ retirement communities are contributing to the construction boom in the Charlotte area. People are retiring to the Charlotte area to be close to grandchildren, for the climate and accessibility to the mountains and coast.

retirement communities

Image courtesy of Del Webb Communities

All of the communities we are featuring are age-restricted for owners at least 55, and they’re all marketed to “active adults.” These neighborhoods come with many amenities including new clubhouses which feature indoor/outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, walking trails, dozens of social clubs, gyms with fitness programs and so much more. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the newer communities in the Charlotte area below.

Amber Meadows – Pulte Homes – Homes Starting From the Mid $400s 

Amber Meadows is located in Marvin, NC and is Pulte Homes’ first 55+ Active Adult community.  This new home community features ranch plans, all brick elevations, and fully maintained lawns. They offer access to recreation centers & greenways, are close to medical centers, country clubs, and plenty of shopping and dining venues in nearby shopping centers.

Carolina Orchards – Del Webb – Homes From the Mid $250s – $400s

Carolina Orchards is located just over the Charlotte border in Fort Mill, SC. This community offers leisure activities, a planned state-of-the-art fitness center, hobby and game rooms, indoor and outdoor pools and sporting facilities. You can choose from new ranch-style homes in a maintenance-free setting.

Cresswind Charlotte – Kolter Homes – Homes From the Mid $200s – $500s

Cresswind Charlotte is located conveniently off of I-485 in Charlotte towards Matthews/Mint Hill. The neighborhood is set on more than 370 acres of picturesque woodlands with miles of walking trails. The clubhouse will include a full-time activities director and fitness center,  resort-style amenities, including outdoor and indoor pools, tennis, pickleball, bocce ball and event lawn.

Regency at Palisades – Toll Brothers – Homes From the Low $300s – $450s

Regency at Palisades is located in close proximity to beautiful Lake Wylie. Choose from a range of floor plans from 1,794 to more than 4,000 square feet that reflect a modern lifestyle. These home designs include open-concept plans, and feature first-floor master bedroom suites. The amenities are also extraordinary and include a new, exclusive clubhouse – open to Regency at Palisades homeowners only. It boasts a year-round indoor lap pool, a large hot tub/spa, vaulted event room, full chef’s kitchen, private tavern area, billiard and game room, fully apportioned fitness center and more.

Trilogy Lake Norman – Shea Homes – Homes from the Mid $200s – $400s

Trilogy Lake Norman is a new community which is located just a few miles from I-77 and Lake Norman. Home sizes range from 1345 to 2917 square feet. The Twin Hills Club is the center of the community featuring 30,000 sq feet of amenities including the grand living room – a place where the community connects, and neighbors become friends; the foundry – the signature restaurant, featuring a modern farmhouse look, and forging exceptional food and drinks every day;  Crow’s Nest – the sports and game-themed escape, offering poker, pool, billiards, and more; Afturburn – a sleek and comfortable environment with world-renowned TechnoGym® equipment, Fitness on Demand, personal trainers, a resort pool, and so much more!

For more information about Charlotte and assistance with your next move, contact your preferred Dickens Mitchener agent.

Charlotte Home Ownership Beats Surrounding Cities In Affordability, But Act Fast!

Buying a family home in a modern, bustling city is within reach in Charlotte, NC. (a mortgage research site) has identified Charlotte as the ideal area to purchase an affordable mid-sized home, however one must act fast as prices are rapidly increasing. The Queen City has become an in-demand location for new homeowners due to payments reporting lower than the national average, even beating metropolitan cities such as Nashville, Austin, and Raleigh. Home ownership in the Charlotte area is now within reach for buyers of a medium income of $56,000. This report does, however, account for a 20% down payment and other base price fees. It also is apparent that home prices are on a constant rise, more specifically up 6% since June 2017 (which is faster than the national average.) So what does all this information tell you? The time to buy is now!


Read the full article here and reach out to a Dickens Mitchener agent today!

Born in North Carolina: Snyder’s-Lance

Lance Captains Wafers Peanut Butter and Honey Cracker Snacks

Peanut Butter & Honey Captain’s Wafers (Photo: Mike Mozart/Flickr)

There’s nothing like opening up your lunch box as a kid and finding a 6-count pack of Captain’s Wafers cracker sandwiches inside. The company responsible for these deliciously salty snack packs is Snyder’s-Lance — one of the most successful food companies founded and operated in North Carolina.

As part of Dickens Mitchener’s “Born in North Carolina” series, let’s take a closer look at how this snack brand has changed over more than 100 years in business.

The history of Snyder’s-Lance

The story begins in 1913 as Philip Lance and his son-in-law, Salem Van Every start selling packets of peanuts on the streets of Charlotte. Single-serve snacks, like the peanut butter cracker sandwiches, soon followed. After two years of success, Lance Packaging Company opened its doors in Charlotte, North Carolina. Since that humble beginning, the company has developed and overseen the success of a number of America’s most iconic snack products, such as snack cracker and cookie sandwiches like ToastChee, Captain’s Wafers, NipChee, Toasty, and Nekots.

Changing with the times

In 2010, Lance, Inc. merged with Snyder’s of Hanover, a fellow snack food company based in Pennsylvania. The result of this merger was Snyder’s-Lance, the second largest salty snack food company in the country. Snyder’s-Lance serves as the parent company of several snack food subsidiaries, including Cape Cod Potato Chips, Tom’s Snacks, Stella D’oro, Pop-Secret, KETTLE Brand, and much more. In 2015, Snyder’s-Lance adopted a brand new logo and mission statement, emphasizing the importance of developing “better for you” snack options.

Today, the company continues to manufacture, market, and distribute its snack products from its headquarters in Charlotte’s Ballantyne neighborhood. Ballantyne is one of the city’s most upscale neighborhoods, and its 535-acre Ballantyne Corporate Park is home to several other major companies and organizations, including, MetLife, Extended Stay America, ESPN, and Babcock & Wilcox.

Contact Dickens Mitchener today to learn more about why people and businesses choose to make North Carolina their home.


Charlotte’s Air Quality Continues to Improve

Charlotte is known for being one of the cleanest cities in the country, and our air quality is gaining that reputation as well. The American Lung Association’s recent ‘State of The Air’ report showed drastic improvements in the Queen City . Read the full report here for all the details.

In addition, Charlotte is now ranked as being one of the cleanest cities in America for ‘Short-Term Particle Pollution.’ Exciting news for our city, and we’re proud of the improvement!

For more information about Charlotte and assistance with your next move, contact Dickens Mitchener’s Relocation Director Catharine Pappas.

Charlotte Tops Another List – “8 American Cities to Visit Before They’re Too Popular”

Image result for whitewater center

Charlotte recently made Thrillist‘s list of “8 American Cities You Should Visit Before They’re Too Popular.”

The article highlighted Charlotte’s Kimpton Hotel construction, Oak Steakhouse, Kindred, the National Whitewater Center and Knights baseball.

Houston, Chattanooga, San Marcos, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Columbia, Boise and Vieques Island in Puerto Rico also made the list.

To read the full article, click here.

Dickens Mitchener Listing Featured on Scout Guide!

The Scout Guide notoriously tracks elegant listings across over 60 cities, bringing dream home-ownership to elite clientele. Our listing at 651 Museum Drive has been named as a property to look out for this fall. View the full Scout Guide post here!

631 Museum Drive is a stunning 5 bedroom, 4.2 bathroom home is move-in ready with an open floorplan that wows. With 8,679 square feet located on .96 acres, there is plenty of indoor and outdoor space to entertain and enjoy with family and friends. For cozy nights in, owners will enjoy a private study and spacious master suite with a spa-like master bath.

Contact Vicky Mitchener at (704) 517-0177 or Ducie Stark at (704) 641-5398 for more information or to schedule a private showing.

Born in North Carolina: Cheerwine

Cheerwine, born in Salisbury, North Carolina.If you’ve spent any amount of time in the great state of North Carolina, you know that Cheerwine soda holds an almost cult-like status among residents and transplants alike. For many decades, the availability of this fizzy, cherry-flavored drink was exclusive to a handful of Southeastern states, but that’s changing now that the product’s distribution is beginning to extend to all 50 states. Of course, even as Cheerwine appears in grocery stores and restaurant soda fountains throughout the country, the drink still holds firmly to its rich North Carolinians roots.

As part of Dickens Mitchener’s “Born in North Carolina” series, let’s take a closer look at why people who live in North Carolina absolutely love this quintessential soft drink brand.

The history of Cheerwine

Cheerwine was developed in 1917 by businessman L.D. Peeler in Salisbury, North Carolina, just as the U.S. was entering the first World War.

“Sugar was heavily rationed at the time,” according to Eater, which is why “Peeler wanted to create a new soft drink that would use less of it; adding cherry flavoring reduced the amount of sugar needed to make the drink palatable.”

While the pleasantly strong cherry flavor makes Cheerwine stand out from the crowd of other major soft drinks, Cheerwine is also famed for its extra fizzy carbonation levels. Cheerwine has also become forever associated with North Carolina-style barbecue — it pairs perfectly with the state’s signature vinegar-based sauce. It’s even the official beverage of the National Barbecue Association!

In addition to the drink, it’s not uncommon to find other Cheerwine-inspired products in North Carolina, including Cheerwine ice cream, Cheerwine cake, and even limited edition Krispy Kreme Cheerwine donuts. Naturally, you’ll find all these products in Food Lion — another major food brand that got its start in Salisbury, North Carolina.

The future is sweet, red, and fizzy

Today, Cheerwine is still owned and operated by Peeler’s family, and even as sales of competing soda brands drop around the country, Cheerwine is experiencing growing sales by leaning into its cult-like status and distributing at a larger scale.

In 2017, the drink marked its 100th anniversary. As a testament to the drink’s “hometown hero” status, the city of Salisbury organized a centennial Cheerwine celebration this past May, featuring live music, a barbecue competition, and of course, plenty of the fizzy red drink to toast to the next hundred years!

Contact Dickens Mitchener today to learn more about why people choose to make North Carolina their home.


Featured Listing in Quail Hollow: 7430 Baltusrol Lane

This elaborate Quail Hollow estate at 7430 Baltusrol Lane is not to be missed!

Located on the 14th fairway of Quail Hollow golf course, one of Charlotte’s premier country club courses, this stunning home offers expansive views from both the main level covered porch and large upper balcony.

The welcoming foyer features 10-foot double doors, an exquisite marble floor and curved custom iron staircase leading to an open walkway above. The home also features a custom wine room, formal living spaces, and a large kitchen that flows into the casual dining and open family room. A luxurious master bedroom on the main floor offers dual closets, bathroom areas & dressing space. Enjoy more than 8,000 square feet of living space in this immaculate estate!

To arrange a private showing, contact Vicky Mitchener (cell: 704-517-0177) or Ducie Stark (cell: 704-641-5398). For more information about this listing, view the full listing page here.


Charlotte’s Growth Rate Tops U.S. Charts from 2004-2014

Charlotte’s total population has seen one of the largest growth rates in the U.S. among large cities over the past year. Between July 2014 and July 2015, a whopping 17,695 individuals moved to the Queen City! More impressive still, a total of 888,000 people have moved to the Charlotte metro over the past decade.

With Charlotte’s quality of living, attractions, job market, international airport and infrastructure, it’s easy to see why so many people are moving to our area. For help with your move within or to Charlotte, contact Relocation Director Catharine Pappas at 704.661.2402.