September/October 2021

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Change. Adjust. Repeat.

Anna-Rhesa Versola

My husband and I helped move our younger daughter back to campus for her sophomore year at UNC Greensboro in August. Last year, she was there for only two weeks before students were sent home. Our older daughter also moved into a new place in Wilmington, North Carolina, a few months ago. We think we are empty nesters – like Leah Edwards and Todd Edwards, whose custom home in Governors Club looks like a haven for this phase in life (see page 104) – but the twists and turns of the pandemic could change our status once again.

Many people are resistant to change, but those who adapt tend to fare better in the long run. The teachers featured in this issue (on page 88) learned this lesson well, and they shared key moments that inspire them to keep calm and carry on doing their level best for students.

Speaking of best, take a moment to check out our readers’ favorites in Chatham (starting on page 60) in categories for dining, services, retail, home and garden, and arts and entertainment. It’s exciting to both celebrate the longtime businesses like Carolina Brewery and New Horizons as well as enjoy fresh additions, including The Sycamore at Chatham Mills, Pittsboro Gallery of Arts and Thirsty Skull Brewing in Siler City.

One of my favorite stories in this issue is about two young women who discovered their superpower – performance. India Nykamp and Jacqui Anthenien graduated in 2020 and were integral to the drama program at Northwood High School, but it was their experiences through the Pittsboro Youth Theater that transformed their potential into a passion for the performing arts. You can read their story on page 30.

Throughout this issue, you’ll see a theme of change and growth despite adversity. And that brings me to our Chatham 250 article about the “Aunt Rachel” apple on page 22. Though many apple varieties are extinct, the fruit of this particular tree survives thanks to the help of the late Lee Calhoun and others in our community who want to preserve this edible heirloom. I love the symbolism associated with apples – knowledge, temptation and the simple beauty of what is possible. – by Anna-Rhesa Versola


30 All the World’s a Stage
Two young emerging artists discovered the power of performance at Pittsboro Youth Theater

34 Let’s Get Creative
Meet four recipients of Chatham Arts Council’s new JumpstART grant, which helps Chatham County artists and arts workers get back to work and create art for public spaces


46 Let It Breathe
A visit to FireClay Cellars, Chatham’s only commercial vineyard

48 Fetching Cocktails
Drop in to the new ulti-mutt hangout in downtown Pittsboro – The Beagle

52 Brew Man Group
Get ready to raise a glass as Thirsty Skull Brewing nears its opening this fall

54 Bloom Where You’re Planted
A young couple explores their agricultural ambitions at Perry-winkle Farm

60 Just Brew It
Carolina Brewery placed in six categories, including favorite place for a beer

62 The Good Dirt
Chef Kristin Bulpitt, one of readers’ favorite chefs, sources veggies for Copeland Springs Farm & Kitchen from the nearby garden

64 The Sweet Spot
Yeraldyn Martinez and Iliana Escalante keep churning out the baked goods at Carolina Cravings Co.

66 Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting
Seven Star Kung Fu Academy gets a gold star from our readers

70 Setting Up Shop
Checking in with Chatham’s favorite new businesses

72 Retail Therapy
Find uncommonly good things at any or all of these best local gift and home decor stores

74 Artists Unite
One of our readers’ favorite art galleries also happens to be one of Pittsboro’s newest

76 Best of Chatham 2021 Winners 
The full list of our readers’ favorites, from outdoor dining and craft beverages to bed-and-breakfasts and gift stores

88 Lessons Learned
Four longtime teachers share what education means to them

94 Directory of Independent, Regional Boarding and Charter Schools 

104 Empty Nest, Full Heart
The Edwards renovated a Governors Club home for their next phase in life

116 Sowing Success
An agriculture teacher cultivates potential in high school students

124 Here We Grow Again
Updates on commercial and residential real estate developments

4 Letter from the Managing Editor

8 Six Events
Events you won’t want to miss

10 Noted

22 Chatham 250: The Giving Tree
Century Farm Orchards helps preserve a local edible heirloom

26 Gotta Getaway
Find inspirations for your own fall trips as a few of our neighbors share their recent and upcoming travels

122 Pet Project
A guide to vets, animal hospitals, groomers, boarders and sitters

126 Engagement
Forbis & Hammond

128 Wedding
Scott & Stumbo

16 Summer Fest
18 Robin Hood’s Kitchen Fundraiser Dinner
20 Celebrating The Plant’s New Bathrooms

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Anna-Rhesa Versola

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