A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

The companies below were featured in the "Made in NC" section of the April 2016 issue. Visit their sites to learn more and shop local. Bruce Julian Heritage Foods "Bruce

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

The companies below were featured in the "Made in NC" section of the April 2016 issue. Visit their sites to learn more and shop local. Bruce Julian Heritage Foods "Bruce

Made in NC Shopping Guide: Spring 2016

The companies below were featured in the “Made in NC” section of the April 2016 issue. Visit their sites to learn more and shop local.

Bruce Julian Heritage Foods

“Bruce Julian Bloody Mary Mix is an all-natural, North Carolina-handcrafted, Southern classic. Finally, here’s a truly sophisticated mixer that starts out sweet and finishes savory, with just enough heat, and tastes like homemade every time. Try it on its own or slosh in a little vodka; prime your glass with Bruce’s own rimmer; garnish with a piece or two of our Sassy Okra; and kick back: Our delicious blend instantly conjures a lazy Sunday morning on the porch, no matter where you happen to be doing your sipping.”

– via Bruce Julian Heritage Foods website

Boss Bell’s

After a lifetime of traveling the world, Mike Bell settled in Eastern NC, where he fell in love with the state’s barbecue culture. He began experimenting with barbecue sauce recipes to find the perfect balance between sweet and tangy, along with a little spice. With some prodding and encouragement from his wife and sons, he started the process of bottling the sauce and sharing it with family and friends at family reunions, cookouts, and church socials. It’s been a hit ever since.

Visit Boss Bell’s website to learn more and buy a bottle (or two).


“Around the turn of the century, in our family’s tiny cottage kitchen in the heart of North Carolina, we set out on a mission to create an extraordinary spiced condiment that is made with naturally delicious sweet potatoes – the uniquely Southern root that has the ability to “make bland and ordinary food taste better.” And, well, that’s exactly what we did. We called our original spiced creation, “Cackalacky®.” (Pronounced “kak-uh-lak-ee”)”

Today, Cackalacky has expanded to offer clothing and sporting goods, as well as collaborations with Cheerwine®, Biscuitville®, Fullsteam Brewery, and The North Carolina Transportation Museum. Visit cackalacky.com to learn more and shop.

The Cargo Hold

“Beautiful wrought ironwork in gates, grilles, and balconies can be seen in historic cities across the country and around the globe. These scroll designs inspired the Southern Gates® and the infinte combinations of patterns continue to influence the newest pieces in the Collection. With over 250 styles in pendants, earrings, bracelets and rings, the Southern Gates® are forever growing and evolving within the jewelry market. The styles are as timeless as the physical gates after which they are modeled.”

– via Southern Gates Jewelry website

Confection Connection

Tim and Clarissa Woolard started Confection Connection in 2009 out of home. After selling countless baked goods to people and businesses around Greeville, they decided to open a retail location in 2012. Since then, they’ve been delighting customers with breakfast treats, cupcakes, grab-and-go lunches, old-school cobbler, and much more. Visit confectionconnection.com to learn more and shop their treats online.

The Fudge Factory

Give your loves ones delicious, homemade fudge from Beafort, which is proudly made in North Carolina every day. Visit thefudgefactory.com to order online today.

Hickory Metro

“The Hickory Metro has a long tradition of making something of itself and the world around it. Attention to details, pride in precision, doing a thing well – it is all a part of the past that serves and shapes our future. From our heritage to your home, communities in the Hickory Metro are proud of the products made in our backyard.”

– via Hickory Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau

Jackson County Green Energy Park

The Jackson County Green Energy Park (JCGEP) utilizes clean, renewable energy resources to encourage economic development, provide environmental protection, and offer educational opportunities that together will help lead towards a more sustainable future for Western North Carolina. Located in Dillsboro, NC, JCGEP captures methane gas from the old town landfill, then uses the gas as fuel for a series of artisan studios.

Visit jcgep.org to learn more about the organization and the studios you can visit.

Heath’s Cheese Straws

Ritchie Hill Bakery was founded in 2010 by brother and sister team Heath Ritchie and Beth Alm. Their secret family recipe has passed from generation to generation for over 100 years. The bakery resides at the historic Old Creamery building in Concord, where nephew and chef Charles Ritchie helps bake Heath’s Cheese Straws every day.

Visit ritchiehillbakery.com to learn more and shop their cheese straws online.

Want to be featured in our Summer 2016 edition? Email sales@ourstate.com for more information.

This story was published on Apr 26, 2016

Our State Staff

Since 1933, Our State has shared stories about North Carolina with readers both in state and around the world. We celebrate the people and places that make this state great. From the mountains to the coast, we feature North Carolina travel, history, food, and beautiful scenic photography.