The Key Note - A Town Blog

Our Local Business Spotlight 

What does a local retailer, a cyber security firm, and a sporting goods shop all have in common? They are all small businesses who are persevering in the face of the pandemic. Their stories are inspiring examples of how small businesses are using creativity, connection, and community to navigate their survival in the face of adversity. 

COVID-19 has impacted small businesses in North Wilkesboro in many ways. As the country slowly starts to reopen, we want to highlight small businesses in North Wilkesboro, and how they’ve coped with the unprecedented changes COVID-19 has brought. How have they modified their businesses since the pandemic began? Have they had to come up with creative ways to serve their clientele? 

This week we are highlighting A Baby Celebration, a local children’s boutique located at 819 Main Street.

A Baby Celebration was established in 2009 by Jo Ann Church and her sister Carolyn Wilkes. What began as a small business to make and sell baby gift baskets, soon developed into the largest children’s boutique in the area. 

As residents and business owners in North Wilkesboro, Otis and Jo Ann Church say they chose their Main Street location because they “believe in and support the Downtown Historical District and its businesses and activities. We want to see North Wilkesboro grow and develop into a prosperous area and we wanted to be a part of that development.  We saw a need for our children’s boutique and wanted A Baby Celebration to be a part of growing North Wilkesboro.”

When asked what makes their store unique, Otis and Jo Ann stated, “We specialize in the best selection of fine children‘s clothing from newborn to teens for girls and newborn to size 7 for boys. Our clothing lines include a combination of casual to fancy pieces for special occasions.  We have a great selection of accessories (including shoes) and unique gift items for birthdays (including toys) and baby showers.” 

As recipients of Wilkes County’s Small Business Recovery Grant Program, Otis and Jo Ann have used their funding “to endure the financial setbacks of the COVID-19 shut down. We appreciate the assistance from the grant program,  North Wilkesboro, and surrounding areas residents that have supported our business and have shopped locally. Thanks to the customers and assistance from the Recovery Program, most downtown businesses are slowly recovering after the long shut down.”

Summer sales at A Baby Celebration are in full swing! All summer clothing is now 20% off, so you can begin to shop for all your upcoming summer activities as the world begins to reopen! For more information on what’s new at A Baby Celebration, visit and follow their Facebook page or grab a copy of our local magazine, Yadkin Valley Magazine! 

During these uncertain times, it’s crucial that we all support each other however we can. Be a good neighbor, share your resources, and assist your local businesses where you can.

To our local businesses, we appreciate you!  Stay tuned for more local business spotlights and remember to check out A Baby Celebration off 819 Main Street! 

June 30, 2020

How to Celebrate Fourth of July during a Pandemic.

Fourth of July festivities are on their way this weekend and most of us have looked forward to celebrating with our friends and families for backyard barbecues, beach side fun, and Main Street parades. Unfortunately, traditions look a little different this year.

Luckily, North Wilkesboro has a day of celebrating our independence planned for you. You heard it, you do not have to be on the beach to feel like you’re celebrating the Fourth of July accordingly.

Since the Holiday falls on a Saturday, the Wilkes County Farmers Market will be open for business from 7:30am-12:00pm . Local vendors are social distancing and following extra safety measures to keep their customers safe.

Enjoy some fresh air as you are shopping locally downtown. A number of downtown businesses will be open to welcome you back, and admire their holiday-themed decor along their storefronts. American flags will be proudly displayed on light posts, with patriotic music filling the streets on 9th and C Streets .

Drive-by the Wilkesboro Avenue Bridge and witness the Town of North Wilkesboro and Wilkesboro celebrate patriotism and public servants by flying the American flag from our aerial fire trucks! We are inviting all residents to cruise-by in your cars and salute the flag 9 between the hours of 5-8:00pm . We are calling this experience a ‘miniature reverse parade’ where our trucks are stationary as viewers drive-by.

Conclude your evening with our first VIRTUAL Fourth of July CONCERT at 8:00pm! We are excited to showcase local artists Will Easter and Alex Key via the Downtown North Wilkesboro YouTube page (search: Downtown North Wilkesboro). 

Remember it may look a little different, but we hope you find joy in these innovative social-distancing events (or even a little relaxation of getting your kids out of the house). If you are attending the farmers market or shopping downtown, please kindly continue to social distance and wear a mask .

There’s still always a way to celebrate and keep special traditions alive. We have had to adjust our expectations and get creative, because when life gives you lemons—well, you know what to do with them.

Of course, this particular lemon is big (like, life-altering big)—but that only makes it more important to find happiness and comfort in small things, like celebrating what you’d normally be celebrating right now.

Happy Fourth of July!

June 26, 2020

Are you rocking this summer trend?

We’re living in a time when the latest “must-have” (legally!) accessory is a face mask. Many people are adapting to this new norm and making face masks a fashion statement, while others are opting for functionality. So, I decided to highlight this new accessory to ensure you are reppin’ the hottest summer trend around North Wilkesboro. 

  1. The Surgical Mask

The surgical mask is the most common and easiest mask to find these days. Though it is not the best mask for catching nasty air particles, it rates high on my comfortability scale. When paired with the proper scrub uniform, you can pretend you’re the new head surgeon in town.  

    2. The N95 Mask

N95-MaskThe N95 mask is the Mercedes Benz of today’s mask market. If you’re one of the lucky ones who had one of these bad-boys stored far away under your kitchen cabinet pre-corona, I bet you could sell it now for three times the original price. You’re definitely no fashionista if you’re wearing the N95, but its utmost protection should provide a fool-proof barrier against the virus. It is also comfortable and easy to wear. You might want to check it out for yourself if these features sound cool for you.

   3. The Beauty Mask

Beauty MaskWe have now arrived at my favorite mask of the bunch, the beauty mask. This mask is neither fashionable nor functional, but your skin will glow after a day with one of these slapped on your face. It is good for your skin, but it is not equipped to protect you from the virus.

   4. The Homemade Mask

These versatile masks are putting grandmas to work across the world. All jokes aside, local businesses across North Wilkesboro are working tirelessly to pump out a fashionable and functional accessory to match your personal style. Who says you can’t look great while protecting yourself and others?

Check out Under His Wings on 10th Street for custom-made masks! Men and women’s designs are available in a pattern of your choice! These 3-layer washable masks can be ordered in-person, over the phone, or through their Facebook page. Masks for Kids $6 & Adults $8. 

Fruit of the Vine on Main Street is also selling masks! These double-layered t-shirt masks are super soft! Great for those who have to wear for long hours. While you’re there, grab one of these COVID-KEYS! It is a hands free door opener and button pusher tool to prevent contact with shared surfaces, such as doors and debt keypads. Visit their Facebook page for more information.

If you’re okay with a "Plane Jane" mask, the Town of North Wilkesboro is handing out free masks at its walk-up window on Main St.

Because North Carolinians are now required to  wear a face mask in public, it sure helps to pair it with a smile underneath! I hope you and your families are staying safe, washing your hands, and have plenty of TP.

Wear, Wait, Wash,


Face Face Cover

June 26, 2020

Pause the Netflix, it’s time to plan a day in Downtown North Wilkesboro.  

1. Visit Wilkes County Farmers’ Market on a Saturday morning and Tuesday afternoon

The Wilkes County Farmers’ Market is located in the heart of downtown at the Yadkin Valley Marketplace, just across the street from the Old Train Depot on Saturdays 7:30am-noon and Tuesdays 3:30-5:30pm. Visit Wilkes County Farmers’ Market and support local vendors. Vendors in the region provide locally made and produced food, art, music, and crafts. It is truly a community gathering place and source of pride for the county. Visit Wilkes County’s oldest farmers market at 842 CBD Loop. Find them on Facebook for up to the minute details. 

2. Grab lunch at Talia’s on Main

Talia Espresso is a bistro-style coffee house featuring gourmet lattes, espresso, cappuccinos, smoothies and more delicious hot and cold beverages along with fresh homemade lunch options such as chicken salad croissants, spanikopita, quiche, fresh homemade bread, and salad dressings, as well as, seasonal options including gazpacho,strawberry summer salads and, when available,farm-to-table options from local growers. Jim and Kathy Kozak are owners and operators of Talia Espresso Main St. and Talia Espresso Drive-thru. Since 2005, the Kozaks have been pushing toward excellence in the coffee service industry as well as fresh sustainable foods. Taila’s Main Street location hours are 7am-4:30pm.

Talia’s is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of their customers. Under Phase Two, restaurant dining rooms can open at 50% capacity, which allows for greater physical distancing within the restaurant. If you’re ready to finally leave the couch for some fresh air, Talia’s offers outside patio-dining!

3. Take an afternoon stroll or family bike ride on the Yadkin River Greenway

The Yadkin River Greenway is a linear pedestrian park and biking trail running along the river from Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir, through the towns of Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro, NC to Smoot Park, a distance of 10 miles. Much of the greenway is included in the Overmountain Victory Historic Trail, a U.S. National Park.The Yadkin River Greenway Council’s mission statement is to “ enhance the quality of life by ensuring the creation of riverside greenway that connects the major institutions and neighborhoods of our community. ” For more information about upcoming projects, visit here

We would love to know what your #dayindowntownNW looks like! Use the hashtag #dayindowntownNW to share your photos with us! Follow our Facebook

Walk on the Yadkin River Greenway

June 19, 2020

Bringing you the good news during hard times.

Hello North Wilkesboro! 

First, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Sierra Watson, and I am the Town of North Wilkesboro’s intern for the summer. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2018 with an undergraduate degree in Business Marketing and Innovation and a minor in American Studies. Upon completing undergrad, I applied to Appalachian State University to learn more about the public sector through pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Not-For-Profit Management. I quickly realized I had a passion for serving others, and I went on to receive my Master’s in Public Administration in May. 

As a native of Alexander County, I empathize with the hardships Western North Carolina communities are facing. Amid COVID-19, my goal is to provide the Town of North Wilkesboro with timely general information of interest, where we round up the good, surprising, and inspiring things that have happened around North Wilkesboro’s community. I’ll share these in a weekly blog to lift spirits! 

Kindness and uplifting moments are coming to light, and if you wish to hear more, please stick around. I will provide up-to-date stories about our local businesses and safe activities to engage in (other than hours of binging Netflix). I hope this blog can help us stay positive and optimistic during the challenges fate can throw our way.

No matter what you’re feeling or experiencing, I hope this blog will bring you some joy!



Sierra Watson, Intern

Sierra Watson