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North Carolina NC Local Businesses - BUY LOCAL!

Support Local / North Carolina Businesses

We love to promote our local North Carolina businesses who are making some of the neatest, coolest, wowie things to make our lives easier, more fun, yummier (and yummier and healthier for our pets thanks to The Pet Pantry), and (in the case of Charlie's Soap), cleaner!  Here are just a few local businesses that we can recommend personally (based on our own experience/use of their products).

The Pet Pantry, Apex,, NC

We "discovered" The Pet Pantry 100% natural and holistic pet nutrition, made locally in Apex, North Carolina thanks to featured discussions about healthy pet food on The Allan Handelman show (talk radio).  (Allan Handelman is great; we love that he features local businesses AND focuses on HEALTHY LIVING for people - by featuring Dr. Joel Fuhrman on his talk radio show, and healthy nutrition for pets by featuring The Pet Pantry and discussions about pet nutrition regularly.)  We had been buying expensive, holistic natural pet food for our British Golden Retriever pup, but she just didn't seem to like it that much.  So we tried The Pet Pantry dog food after hearing about it on the Allan Handelman talk radio show.  We ordered three different kinds/flavors from  We were so glad to be supporting a LOCAL North Carolina business.  They also offer FREE SHIPPING to the Triad/Triangle areas of North Carolina, making it very convenient and fast to order healthy & nutritious pet food online.  Our dog LOVES The Pet Pantry food; she eats it eagerly and is thriving.

Charlie's Soap, Mayodan, NC

Charlie's Soap cleaning products are made in Mayodan, NC, and we only wish we had discovered Charlie's Soap much, much, much sooner!  We were looking for a good, clean laundry soap, without all of the chemicals and perfume-y scents and irritating detergent stuff.  My husband kept telling me that the towels did not smell fresh, even after they had just been washed.  Laundry is pretty much the ONE thing that I do manage to accomplish (numerous times) on a daily basis - a requirement with a bunch of children ages 3 to 10.  So hearing that the laundry didn't smell fresh despite my diligent work to keep everything washed and folded daily was disappointing.  Then he found Charlie's Soap while grocery shopping at the Whole Foods in Chapel Hill.  He was intrigued by the logo and interested to find that it is MADE IN NORTH CAROLINA.

We tried it.  Very shortly after switching to Charlie's Soap for our laundry, we noticed that everything smelled fresh - not perfumed or like anything in particular - just CLEAN.  And the fabrics feel so much softer to the touch.  The front-loader laundry machine seems to stay cleaner and fresher.  This was several years ago and we haven't used anything but Charlie's Soap since and wouldn't use anything else for our laundry.  We are looking forward to trying out all of the other Charlie's Soaps products!

Charlie's Soap is available locally at Whole Foods (Elliott Rd., Chapel Hill), all of the Weaver Street Market locations, Harry's Market at Whitecross, and others.  Visit to find the most up-to-date list of local retailers, and to buy Charlie's Soap products online.

pHd Flying Pocket Discs (crocheted frisbees), Hillsborough, NC
Local friends of ours invented the coolest frisbee-type soft crocheted flying discs, and we are among their biggest fans.  My friend said she must have crocheted about 100 different prototypes until she came up with just the right formula.  (Can you picture it? Here's a beautiful, witty, young mother of three who also happens to be a formerly-highly-paid-DC-area lawyer, crocheting hundreds of frisbee discs.)   She got it JUST right!  Now this family-owned business (run by two best friends/local dads) has the discs crocheted by mothers in Guatemala, giving them the opportunity to earn money for their families while their children play next to them as they crochet.  Adults, college students and kids of all ages have a great time throwing and catching the pHd crocheted frisbees. 

My little ones were so thrilled that they could catch them and throw them with ease.  (Hard frisbees are not so easy for little ones to throw and catch, but the pHd's are perfect.)  You can buy the pHd crocheted frisbee discs at locally-owned, neat-o online toy store,, and of course at pHd's own website (for best selection of colors/styles).  We have also seen the pHd crocheted frisbee discs at Play It Again Sports at New Hope Commons (next door to McAlister's Deli - across from the Starbucks/FedEx-Kinko's that face 15-501 and Mt. Moriah).  Quite often the pHd crew can be found at our local annual festivals (we have seen them at the Eno River Festival in prior years, and at the Shakori Hills Music Festival.)

Cackalacky Sauce, Chapel Hill, NC
What's "Cackalacky," you ask?  Well, we didn't know what it meant (we're originally from Virginia - not in the too distant past) but we were intrigued by a bold, large sign emblazoned with the word "Cackalacky" near Cliff's Meat market in Carrboro.  Thus began the debate while we drove out to Fearrington to let the kids hang out with the beltie cows and the goats.  Doesn't "cackalacky" mean from North Carolina?  Is it a nice term, or a not-nice-term if someone refers to you, or to something about you, as "cackalacky"? We looked it up when we got home. (Jury's out as to whether the term was originally a compliment or not when used as an adjective for something/someone from the Carolinas... or used to describe Carolina itself: "yes, she's originally from Cackalacky.")  We quickly found the website and discovered the sauce that bore the logo we had seen on the large sign in Carrboro.

Turns out the sauce is made right here in Chapel Hill, NC, and it's made from all sorts of good healthy things including SWEET POTATOES.  Most of all we were tickled by the Cackalacky theme song on the website, and none of us (including my sister who was visiting, and all of our kids) have ever forgotten the theme song even though we only heard it that one evening.  The words and tune were so catchy I can sit here and sing it in its entirety right now.  We like the part where the dog joins in the chorus.  "Cackalacky, cackalacky, cackalacky all day long.  Cackalacky, cackalacky, cackalacky's where I belong ...woof ... woof."  Accompanied by some nifty guitar playing.  Advertising Execs on Madison Ave. NYC need to hire whomever wrote this catchy jingle ... it's amazing how it has stuck with us.  Next day we went out and bought the sauce at Weaver Street Market in Carroboro.  And it is really good; very different from the same old ketchup or hot sauce; probably healthier too; a nice kick to it.  And we like the logo.  And the theme song.  And the fact that it's MADE IN CHAPEL HILL, NC.  (Bon Apetit magazine called Cackalacky "Chapel Hill's Answer to Tabasco.")  What's not to like?  By the way, here's a link to the (Library-of-Congress-registered) Cackalacky theme song (you know you wanted to hear it!) 

Correction:  I just listened to the Cackalacky song after not having heard it since several years ago.  The dog does not just join in for the chorus; no!  The dog barks in the background for the entire song. : )  This reminds me of my friend's dog who, at her gold rush-salon-bordello-era theme wedding outdoors on her ranch in Volcano, California howled soulfully only during one particular country-love-song.  That song just got him every time - but not any of the other songs.  (We tested the song on him the next day ... sure enough, it struck a deep chord.)  But that's another story.

Check out the Cackalacky website for recipes, ingredients, where to buy, the latest Cackalacky news and all things CACKALACKY.  (I'm going to make the Marvelous Mushroom Chili Con Cackalacky!)

Ride the Canter - Pony Hats / Horse Costume Hats, Hillsborough, NC
RidetheCanter is a local business in Hillsborough, NC that makes the most adorable pony hats/horse costume hats.  They are made with a soft cotton baseball hat, with a beautiful "mane" sewn on and coordinating horse ears (my daughters' RidetheCanter caps have ears that are made of soft satin inside, and durable corduroy outside).  Little girls LOVE to wear them, which is great because the hats keep them nicely shaded from the sun too!

My daughters (right and lower left) with their friend/fellow camper and Ginger
at Blue Skies of Mapleview Summer Camp

You can purchase the hat at their website (they are located in Hillsborough, NC), and the website also features links to horse-related websites as well as free horse sketches to print out and color.

(1) Make a fairy like this one using the
instructions in the Wee Felt Folk book
(book available at Blueberry Forest);
(2) Go Blueberry Picking and bring your hand-made fairy along for the ride! 
(See our Local Berry Picking Guide)

Locally owned online toy store Blueberry Forest carries among the largest selections of European toys and handmade US toys in the world, along with reproduction cookie molds, shortbread pans and lots of lovely, wonderful gifts, games and treasures.

Shoo-Fly Audio Magazines for Children, Carrboro, NC (and everybody who loves great stories and great music!)

Piedmont Farm Tour

The ultimate in buying local: our wonderful local Farmer's Markets in Carrboro, Hillsborough, Fearrington, Raleigh, and beyond.  You can also find a wide selection of locally-grown fruits and vegetables at the Weaver Street Market, and local produce often is used in local restaurants.  The Carrboro Farmer' Market features an abundance of delicious, locally grown fruits and vegetables fresh from the local farms.  Every year local farms in Carrboro/Chapel Hill/Orange County/Hillsborough and surrounding areas participate in the annual Piedmont Farm Tour (the largest farm tour in the nation!)  Visit local farms, meet the farmers, and sample the local fare at this wonderful annual event celebrating  local farms.

Orange County Artists Guild Annual Open Studio Tour

Every year the Orange County Artists Guild Open Studio Tour offers the unique opportunity to visit local artists in their studios (you can follow the map published by the Orange County Artists Guild; signs are also posted pointing the way all around town and Orange County directing the way to the artists' studios).  Marvel at their amazing work and meet your local resident artists!  (Carrboro has been referred to as "Paris of the Piedmont" for good reason!)  

On a related note: Are you inspired to awaken the artist within yourself?  The Carrboro ArtCenter offers an amazing selection of art courses, from painting to photography, sewing to jewelry making, sculpting and pottery making, among many others (weekday and weekend classes available; also classes available in day and evening).  We have met some of our favorite artists at the Carrboro ArtCenter (and on the Open Studio Tour); we highly recommend trying an art class there and taking some time for yourself!  The ArtCenter is a very COOL place to visit just to visit.  They usually have amazing local artwork featured on the walls, and the ArtCenter features a beautiful theater where musical luminaries visit and theatrical performances keep the arts very much alive in Carrboro!

More great local products MADE LOCALLY in our neck of the woods in the Chapel Hill, NORTH CAROLINA area:  LOCOPOPS, MAPLEVIEW ICE CREAM ... more coming soon ...


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Sponsor Messages:

Carolina Renaissance Festival 2021
Saturdays & Sundays
Oct. 2 - Nov. 21, 2021


Morehead Planetarium
Morehead Planetarium
Afterschool, Birthday Parties,
Summer Science Camps,
Planetarium Shows and Events

The Animal Hospital
112 W Main St, Carrboro

1870 Farm
1870 Farm Chapel Hill logo
* Summer Camps
* Farm Preschool & Kindergarten
* Birthday Parties * Gemstone Mining
* Meet the Farm Animals
1870 Farm

Spence's Farm
Spence's Farm
After School, Summer Camps,
Birthday Parties, lots more!

Immersion Island Summer Camp
Foreign Language Resources
and Summer Camps
Immersion Island

Chill Kids Family Magazine
ChillKids Monthly Print Magazine

LOST Chapel Hill Dog BUTTONS Bernese Mountain Dog

Lost in Chapel Hill;
sighted numerous times
in Durham; Near Hwy 70
Please Call or Text Owner
If you see her please try to snap a photo!
BUTTONS Lost Dog - Please Look Out for Her & Call!
LOST DOG: Buttons of Chapel Hill
* 70 lb Bernese Mountain Dog "Buttons"
Black with white & brown markings
* Wearing Pink/Black collar with tags
*Friendly but nervous - please don't chase
*Info available on
*Seen in Chapel Hill AND Durham


DoorDash Chapel Hill Durham Restaurant Delivery
Chapel Hill / Durham / NC Triangle
Restaurants DELIVERY to Your Door
(No Delivery Fee on First Order)


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