8 things you can thank Charlotte, NC for
Do you even live in Charlotte if you haven’t eaten a Bojangles biscuit or grabbed a case of Cheerwine off the shelf in Harris Teeter?
Each city has their own unique contributions but the rest of the country has a lot to thank Charlotte for.
The Hunger Games Movie
The early story of Katniss Everdeen takes place in the rural District 12 and later in the luscious forests of the Games. The first film was shot entirely in North Carolina, in towns like Asheville, Barnardsville, Black Mountain, Cedar Mountain, Concord, Hildebran, Shelby, and Charlotte!
Knight Theater on Tryon Street is where the tributes’ interview scenes were filmed and scenes at the ‘Capitol’, the largest city in Panem where the wealthy and powerful people live, were filmed at Old Philip Morris USA Plant in Concord. Have a movie night and see if you notice any familiar places!
If you live in the south and are in the mood for a biscuit or some fried chicken, Bojangles is most likely your first and only stop.
In 1977, Restaurant owners Jack Fulk and Richard Thomas founded the first Bojangles’ restaurant in Charlotte. They based their concept on three attributes: “distinctive flavor, high-quality products made from scratch and a festive restaurant design with friendly service.”
Today there are over 600 Bojangles’ locations. And in case you thought you couldn’t love Bojangles any more, they just released a pimento cheese cajun filet biscuit on July 29. It’s Bo time.
The grocery store that many southerners know and love began back in 1939, when brothers W.T. Harris and Willis Teeter took out a loan for $1,700 and opened a grocery store in Mooresville, North Carolina.
The store was the first grocer in North Carolina that let customers pick their own groceries off the shelves! Before this time, customers would give their list to a clerk, who would select the groceries for the customers.
While Harris Teeter now operates over 230 stores and has 30,000 associates, they still pride themselves on being “Your Neighborhood Food Market” and are known for their community connections that bring each store organic and locally grown produce.
You know those orange peanut butter crackers always stocked in your office vending machine?
Phillip Lance began selling single-serve snack crackers in Charlotte in 1913. Two years later, they opened the doors of the Lance Packaging Company in Charlotte, North Carolina where their headquarters still remains today.
The company later went on to become Snyder’s-Lance in 2010 when they partnered with the pretzel brand.
Cheerwine got its start in Salisbury, NC when L.D. Peeler bought a local bottling company franchise and renamed it the Carolina Beverage Corporation. At the time, sugar was rationed due to World War I, so Peeler used cherry flavoring as sweetner.
He coined the new soda Cheerwine, getting the ‘cheer’ from it being a “pleasure” to drink, and the ‘wine’ from it’s dark burgundy color. He mixed the first batch in his basement, and just a few years later, the glass-bottled soda became a bubbling hit and is still a Tar-Heel state favorite!
Orange Traffic Cones
Isador Blumenthal (of the famous Charlotte Blumenthal family) was President of Charlotte’s Radiator Specialty company when he noticed the metal cones that were used on the west coast.
He had an idea to use plastic cones instead and patented the “Safe-T-Cone.” By 1985, the safety cones had gone international and they spread to the UK and were used by Pacific Gas and Electric Company to create work zone boundaries.
The first piece of gold ever discovered in North America was found right here in Charlotte.
In 1799, a boy named Conrad Reed found a 17-pound glittery rock in Cabarrus County. His parents used the “rock” as a doorstop for three years before they finally brought it to a jeweler who offered them $3.50 for it.
Visit Reed Gold Mine and find some of this gold for yourself! It is no longer a functioning mine, but they are open to the public for tours and panning.
SignUpGenius was started when Dan Rutledge of Charlotte experienced the “most disgusting party meal ever.” He says , “we were having a party for our church small group one time and told people with last names starting with A-M to bring drinks and those with N-Z to bring snacks.
We all showed up and were shocked to find that every snack family brought chips and salsa and every drinks family brought Diet Coke!” Dan and his wife Angel came up with the genius concept, and now SignUpGenius helps people around the country to eliminate the hassle of large scale organization and manage events and volunteers.