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Hickory recognizes 2021 Business. Well Crafted. Award winners

Hickory recognizes 2021 Business. Well Crafted. Award winners

Nov 03, 2021 | Economic Development , Boards and Commissions

The City of Hickory's 2021 Business. Well Crafted. Award winners were announced during the Hickory City Council meeting on Tuesday, November 2.

Presented by the City’s Business Development Committee (BDC), the Business. Well Crafted. Awards annually honor businesses, organizations, and entrepreneurs that support and affirm the City of Hickory's vision for economic vitality.

Congratulations to the following 2021 Business. Well Crafted. Awards winners:

Individual (Entrepreneur of the Year)

Zack Cranford of Cranford Hospitality: Cranford Hospitality is a family-owned organization that operates several restaurants in the metro area, including three Granny’s Country Kitchens, Standard Oyster Company, and the Charolais Steakhouse. Cranford Hospitality is committed to its vision of continuing to cultivate sustainable hospitality ventures that add value to the community, generate sales and tax revenue, and offer job opportunities. Cranford Hospitality is also actively engaged in the community through strategic local partnerships and continuous donations to nonprofit organizations like the March of Dimes, Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry, Family Guidance Center, Catawba Valley Leadership Foundation, Hickory Public Schools, Burke County Public Schools, and many others. Zack serves on the Executive Board for The Chamber of Catawba County and the Advisory Board for the brand-new Hospitality Academy at Catawba Valley Community College.

Business and/or Organization (10 or fewer employees)

Foot Solutions: JS Garmon Enterprises Inc. dba Foot Solutions is a business that specializes in foot wellness and provides expert service to address foot health, including specially selected shoes and custom orthotics. Foot Solutions is an international franchise with a presence in seven countries. The Foot Solutions store in Hickory is located downtown on Union Square and is locally owned and operated by members of the community. The specialized, professional service of Foot Solutions brings customers from across the region to Hickory. Foot Solutions also supports many local events and charities through donations and sponsorships, including Hickory Community Theatre, Hickory Ballet and Performing Arts, Highland Recreation Center, and Cooperative Christian Ministry.

Oz’s Jewelers: Oz’s Jewelers is a locally, family-owned business specializing in fine jewelry and jewelry repair, as well as offering custom design services and selling a wide variety of jewelry. Oz’s knows the worth of supporting and shopping local, and chooses local vendors for business purchases and routinely partners with other small businesses to create local synergy. During the pandemic, Oz’s Jewelers adapted its marketing to emerging trends by focusing on the engagement ring market and implemented weekly online auctions on Facebook to reach customers online instead of in the store. The business owners, Oz and Brenda Hefner, have a heart for giving back to the community as well. They are supporters of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics, and Brenda serves on the Executive Board of Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry.

Business and/or Organization (11 to 50 employees)

Davidson, Holland, Whitesell & Co. PLLC (DHW): A full-service accounting and strategic advisory firm, DHW offers accounting and assurance services, tax compliance and planning, employee benefit plan audits, and business advisory services. Its mission is to provide proactive accounting, tax, and strategic advisory services; to maintain the highest standards of professional competence, independence, and integrity; to strengthen the public’s confidence in financial data; and to provide a workplace that will enable its employees to work to fulfill their greatest potential while granting them the flexibility to balance work with other priorities. DHW helped numerous local businesses in obtaining PPP loans during the pandemic and assisted healthcare clients across the state with obtaining grants available for the long-term care industry. DHW also worked with businesses to take full advantage of the CARES Act’s Employer Retention Credits and Provider Relief Funds. Additionally, DHW assists start-ups in organizing their systems and acquiring capital, as well as helping mature companies with acquiring capital for growth and expansion. The firm designs and implements technology systems to streamline reporting and improve access to information critical to companies’ operations. All these services contribute to the sustainability of local businesses and employee retention, which supports the City’s vision for economic vitality.

Business and/or Organization (51 or more employees)

Imagine One Hospitality: Imagine One Hospitality division is a relatively new group of restaurants and events businesses to Imagine One’s 40-year history of over 90 companies in numerous consumer and commercial segments. The Hospitality company began officially in late 2017 when it purchased control of a local restaurant and later remodeled, rebranded, and relaunched under the new identity of Café Rule and Wine Bar. The objectives of the partners include acquiring several existing companies and starting up others in the region. Imagine One Hospitality’s local businesses include Café Rule and Wine Bar, Mas Amor Cantina, Vintage House, and Peppervine Restaurant (Charlotte), with several future ventures in the works for Hickory. Imagine One Hospitality is also actively engaged in the community and supports numerous local nonprofits as well as cultural and educational events.

Shurtape: Headquartered in Hickory, Shurtape Technologies LLC is a leading manufacturer and marketer of adhesive tape and consumer home and office products, with facilities in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Denmark, Australasia, United Arab Emirates, and China. Together, its subsidiaries serve numerous markets, including DIY, home products, industrial/MRO, building and construction, packaging, HVAC, professional paint, automotive, marine, aerospace, arts and entertainment, graphic arts, sound control, medical, and retail. In addition to specialty adhesive solutions, Shurtape offer products under recognizable brand names such as Duck®, FrogTape®, Painter’s Mate®, Shurtape®, T-Rex®, and Kip®. Shurtape Technologies remains a strong supporter of the City of Hickory’s Economic Development Vision through a focus on people, infrastructure, and community. The company continues to cultivate its operations in Hickory through ongoing and planned future investments in physical infrastructure, as well as continued growth and nurturing of its Hickory-based workforce who work in the company’s various manufacturing plants and corporate and administrative offices. Shurtape also supports the local arts community and the K-64 educational initiative to enhance the quality of life in the Hickory area.

“The Business Development Committee is proud to honor these six award winners for their commitment and support of the City’s vision for economic vitality,” said Karen Tonks, chair of the BDC.

Each of the 2021 Business. Well Crafted. Award winners will be featured in a series of videos and articles shared over the next few months.

For more information about the Business Development Committee and its Business. Well Crafted. Awards, please contact City of Hickory Business Services Manager David Leonetti at 828-261-2227 or via email at

City of Hickory

76 North Center Street
Hickory, North Carolina 28601
Phone: (828) 323-7400
Fax: (828) 323-7550

Life. Well Crafted.

Hickory is for doers and makers seeking a well-rounded community, located between Charlotte and Asheville at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, along I-40, where a collective spirit of craftsmanship strengthens any endeavor with detail, artistry, and quality.

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