News and Updates

Growth throughout Montcross area major theme

Thursday, May 30, 2019

From left, Cramerton Mayor Pro Tem Demetrios Koutsoupias, McAdenville Mayor Pro Tem Jay McCosh, Mount Holly Mayor Bryan Hough, Lowell Mayor Sandy Railey, Stanley Mayor Steven Denton, Gastonia Mayor Walker E. Reid, III, Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin and Chamber Board Chair-Elect Heath Jenkins of the Town of Stanley.  

Growth cited in population, jobs, infrastructure and more areas

Growth once again was the prevailing theme when seven mayors representing the cities and towns of the Montcross area in eastern Gaston County met for a Mayors Forum program at the Chamber’s Business Buzz breakfast on May 30, 2019. 

The event, sponsored by CaroMont Health, was hosted by Gaston Christian School in the new M.O. Owens Worship & Fine Arts Center. Stanton Enterprise/McDonalds provided breakfast. CaroMont Health CEO Chris Peek presented the sponsor's greeting, and Gaston Christian Head of School Dr. Marc Stout welcomed the Chamber group to the Fine Arts Center. 

Speaking were: Stanley Mayor Steven Denton, Mount Holly Mayor Bryan Hough, McAdenville Mayor Pro Tem Jay McCosh, Lowell Mayor Sandy Railey, Gastonia Mayor Walker Reid, Cramerton Mayor Pro Tem Demetrios Koutsoupias, and Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin. 

This list highlights just one of the many points presented from each municipality: 

Belmont: CaroMont Health’s recent announcement it will build a $173 million new hospital on Belmont Abbey land along I-85 near exit 27. 

Cramerton: The town is projected to grow in population from residential projects already planned by 1,700 in the next two to three years. 

Gastonia: CaroMont Health also announced a $70 million addition to CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia.   

Lowell: Sonic Automotive’s new customer service center near I-85 at exit 22 is projected to result in 500 new white-collar jobs, representing the largest office project ever in Gaston County. 

McAdenville: Several new shops, restaurants and other businesses recently opened downtown and plans are progressing for redevelopment for commercial use of a large Pharr building on Main Street. 

Mount Holly:  The south gateway is burgeoning with growth including a new hotel under construction, highway widening under way, CaroMont Health’s hospital coming and a $4.7 million sewer extension planned. 

Stanley:  Plans are being developed for expansion of Stanley’s Town Hall building.  

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Cinnaholic opens in Belmont Town Center

Thursday, May 23, 2019


Cinnaholic owners Carrie Tanner and Floyd Bailey, Jr. prepared to cut the ribbon with Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin, members of the Cinnaholic team and lots of Chamber members and friends. Holding the ribbon are Chamber Board members Robert Aldrich (left) of Aldrich CFO Services and Belmont City Manager Adrian Miller. In the photo below, Cinnaholic team members with the cinnacake they've just made and are about to serve to Chamber guests. 

NC's 2nd location open daily near Belmont Harris Teeter 

Long lines of hungry cinnamon roll lovers formed on Friday, May 24, 2019, when Cinnaholic opened in the Belmont Town Center near Harris Teeter. 

Chamber members and friends knew the business would be popular, because they got a preview and delicious samples during a ribbon cutting on Thursday afternoon. 

Owners Carrie Tanner and Floyd Bailey, Jr. brought Cinnaholic to Belmont, just the second location in North Carolina (Indian Trail opened first) for the fast-growing franchise made famous by an appearance on the “Shark Tank” TV show. 

Cinnaholic features gourmet cinnamon rolls baked fresh daily. Customers craft their own rolls, choosing from more than 20 frostings and 25 toppings. The rolls are 100% vegan, dairy and lactose free, egg free and cholesterol free. In addition to cinnamon rolls, Cinnaholic also serves bite-sized baby buns, cookies, brownies, edible cookie dough and locally sourced coffee. Catering also is provided. 

Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin welcomed the new business, and Belmont Town Center developer Larry Raley of Raley Miller Properties also attended the preview. 

For more on Cinnaholic, call 704.461.8085, or visit 

(More photos on Facebook)

Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin (left) beside Larry Raley of Raley Miller Properties, developer of the Belmont Town Center, and Cinnaholic owners Carrie Tanner and Floyd Bailey, Jr. 


Laurel Walk opens for public sales June 1

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Eastwood Homes new homes specialists Matt Downing and Amanda Hayzlett and sales manager David Nelson (holding sign) cut the ribbon, with Belmont Mayor Charlie Martin. Holding the ribbon are Chamber Board members Natasha Gilbert of Chick-fil-A of Belmont and Wil Neumann of Gaston Capital Partners. Others (from left) are Mary Lima of the Stowe Family YMCA, Kenny Livesay of KWL Properties, Scot Hughes of Brightway Insurance, and Chamber Board members Dick Cromlish of School Resources and Tony Marder of ASM Ventures.

Laurel Walk is in Belmont Town Center near Harris Teeter 

Chamber members and friends previewed the new Laurel Walk community of 76 town homes and 23 single-family homes in the Belmont Town Center, near Harris Teeter and across from South Point High School. Several dozen guests were treated to lunch and tours.

Eastwood Homes is the developer. Prices in Laurel Walk range from the $200s for town homes to the $300s for single-family homes. Public sales will begin with a grand opening celebration on June 1. Presales with VIP pricing continue through May 31.

The sales office and model is open at 109 Stowe Road, Belmont, NC 28012. For more on Laurel Walk, call new homes specialists Matt Downing or Amanda Hayzlett at 704.594.1759, or visit

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Sport Clips opens in Belmont South Fork Station

Tuesday, May 14, 2019


Sport Clips of Belmont owner Ashley Jordan has just cut the ribbon on the first day of business. 

Neck and shoulder massages optional at Sport Clips of Belmont

TVs with sports on every flat screen line the walls and a hair cut can come with a hot towel, shampoo and neck and shoulder massage at Belmont's newest hair care center. Sport Clips opened this week in the South Fork Station retail center next door to Famous Toastery.

The hot towel, shampoo and massage service is optional and comes with a small additional charge. Walk-ins are always welcome, and convenient on-line check in is available. 

Sport Clips is the largest franchise specializing in hair care for men and boys. They also do some women's cuts, but no perms or color. 

Ashley Jordan of Rock Hill (cutting ribbon on right) is the owner, and Mandee Goodson (to Ashley's right) is the Belmont manager.

Sport Clips has more than 1,800 locations across the country and about 70 in North Carolina. (See more photos on Facebook) 




Chronicle Millworks barbecue, brews and networking drew

Thursday, May 9, 2019


John Church (center) and Jennifer Church (right) were the hosts with Brian Hackett when Chronicle Millworks sponsored Network After Work on Thursday, May 9, 2019. A massive crowd of Chamber members and friends enjoyed barbecue and brews, seeing the beautiful furniture being created from wood salvaged from old textile mills and making business connections. Part of the event featured a raffle of a $1500 set of tables, which raised more than $500 for the Gaston County Public Library System. Library Director Laurel Morris (with mic) is thanking the group for the contribution. Others in the photo are Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events and Chamber President Ted Hall. 

Raffle raised more than $500 for Gaston County Library System

Barbecue and brews and the smell of centuries old wood will welcomed Chamber members and friends to the Network After Work at Chronicle Millworks Thursday evening. Chronicle Millworks is where owner John Church and Brian Hackett are reclaiming and bringing back to life beautiful wood that for the past century formed the floors and beams of the textile mills which drove the economy of our region. They’re designing and building tables, chairs and other furniture from old mill wood.

This was a unique Network After Work. An open house began at 4 p.m., and the Chamber event kicked off at 5:30 and continuing until 7. 
Participants were invited to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win a coffee and end table set valued at $1,500, with proceeds going to the Gaston County Public Libraries. Each raffle ticket purchase also got the buyer a set of wooden Chronicle Mill coasters. Coasters also were given as door prizes. 

For more information on Chronicle Millworks, call 704.281.9713,,   

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MACC Fiesta "fun-raiser" was a real blast

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Representing MACC Fiesta sponsors are Brad and Shannon Thomas and Lauren Taylor of Creative Solutions Special Events; Raquel Cruz of Tex-Mex Back Road Grill; Sarah Duckworth of Sarah Duckworth Events; Troy Knight of the Gaston Jaycees; Claudina Ghianni-Toole; Brilliant Wilson of BB&T, Carly Caldwell of Riverside Marina, William Howe of Wilcox Real Estate Group, Maria Kolba, Paige Mixson and Mike Ray of BB&T, Brandon Kauffman of Wilcox Real Estate Group and MACC President Ted Hall. (Photo by John Jacob)

Chamber members and friends enjoyed food, fun and music  

Montcross Area Chamber members and friends warmed up for Cinco de Mayo with tacos, music, beverages and a cornhole contest at the Riverside Marina in Belmont on May 2, 2019. 

Major sponsors were Creative Solutions Special Events, Tex-Mex Back Road Grill and Riverside Marina. Also sponsoring were Wilcox Real Estate Group, sponsor of the music performed by Kevin Yeargin; BB&T, sponsor of the taco toss cornhole contest; beverage sponsors Standard Distributors and Choice USA; and table sponsors the Ghianni-Toole family and Sarah Duckworth Events. Volunteers from the Gaston Jaycees provided the beverage service and School Resources, the sound system. 

Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special events conceived the fiesta as a “fun-raiser” to show members a good time and provide opportunities for fellowship and networking. “The Fiesta exceeded all of my dreams,” she said at the end of a spectacular spring evening by the river. 

BB&T Mortgage Loan Officer Maria Kolba presents Jeff Davenport of Davenport Design & Print his prize as the top performer in the Taco-Toss cornhole competition. Beside Maria is Chamber Board Chair Shannon Thomas of Creative Solutions Special Events. Also representing BB&T are, from left Mike Ray, Brilliant Wilson and Paige Mixson. (Photo by John Jacob)

Taco-Toss cornhole winner Jeff Davenport 

A 34-way tie for last place with a score of zero didn’t keep everyone who participated in the Taco-Toss cornhole contest sponsored by BB&T from having a great time at the Montcross Area Chamber Fiesta celebrating Cinco de Mayo. 

Many contestants did score by landing one or more of their allotted four tosses in the hole, and a winner was declared after an hour of friendly competition. Jeff Davenport of Davenport Design & Print walked away with the cash prize. 

Others attending the fiesta took home piñata door prizes and some won paddle board rentals and sessions ranging from $50 to $250 donated by Riverside Marina.



Sakes Express in Belmont celebrates renovations

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Sake Express owners Linda Park (left) and Lisa Nguyen cut the ribbon during a celebration of major renovations at their Japanese Steakhouse in Belmont. With them are managers Kelvin Vasquez (left) and Hau Nguyen. Holding the ribbon are MACC Board members Melia Lyerly of Lyerly Agency and Tony Marder of ASM Ventures. 

Chamber ribbon-cutting marks the occasion

Sake Express Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi at 675 Park Street in Belmont invites customers to see the new dining room and luxury restrooms added during a major interior renovation. A Chamber ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the occasion on May 1, 2019. The dining room reopened on April 16 after being closed a week to complete the renovations. The drive thru was open to serve customers throughout the remodel. 

Sisters Linda Nguyen Park and Lisa Nguyen own Sake Express Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi in Belmont and in Gastonia. The first Sake Express was started by their father Phat Nguyen in 1998 on North New Hope Road in Gastonia. Linda and Lisa took over the business after their father became ill. They expanded to Belmont in 2010 and later built a new home for the Gastonia restaurant at 1327 E. Franklin Boulevard. 

For more on Sake Express Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi, go to


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