Museum Mondays: Bank of Fuquay

Museum Mondays: Bank of Fuquay

Join us in honoring Downtown’s history and explore the past with our new series Museum Mondays!

Thank you to our friends at the Fuquay-Varina Museums for the historical image and information.
Head on over to their website or Facebook page to follow or arrange a tour to learn more!

Bank of Fuquay
Circa 1910

The Bank of Fuquay is the oldest continuous business in Fuquay-Varina. The business was incorporated on June 10, 1909 and opened in one room while the Bank of Fuquay building was constructed. The bank was responsible for several firsts including: Maude Van Hook becoming the first woman cashier in North Carolina and then the first woman bank vice-president in the state, as well as Robert Prince becoming the youngest cashier in the state.

In 1946 the building was damaged by fire, remodeled and expanded. In 1979 the bank merged with Fidelity Bank and moved across Main Street.

The Bank of Fuquay building now houses The Abshure Realty Group.




Museum Mondays: The Second Bank of Varina

Museum Mondays: The Second Bank of Varina

Join us in honoring Downtown’s history and explore the past with our new series Museum Mondays!

Thank you to our friends at the Fuquay-Varina Museums for the historical image and information.
Head on over to their website or Facebook page to follow or arrange a tour to learn more!


Second Bank of Varina
Circa 1925

In 1925 the second Bank of Varina was constructed by A. Y. Hairr. It is a two-story yellow brick building located at the corner of Broad Street. Ransdell Road. J. Herbert Akins was President and Chairman of the Board from 1947 until his death in 1965. Herbert’s son-in-law D. Watson Adcock joined the firm in 1962 and his son Sherrill served briefly as Chairman of the Board.

The Bank of Varina merged with Southern National on May 27, 1969 but remained in the same location until moving to Main Street in 1972. Upstairs in this building were offices and a room where the Varina Woman’s Club first met.


Tsuru Sweets & Coffee
Circa August 2019

What’s there Today Tsuru is a gourmet confectionery that takes pride in crafting unique, indulgent treats using only the highest-quality cacao and ingredients from around the world. They take the power of beautiful confection seriously, using sweets as a means of empowering, inspiring and respecting the world around them. Tsuru honors the building’s history with photographs and showcasing the bank’s vault!

Behind the Name Tsuru means “cacao” in Bribri, a Costa Rican indigenous group known for its cultivation of the unique plant. In their mythology, there were once three sisters that caught the attention of the gods. Among them was Sibu, the creator of all things and most powerful. He claimed them as his own. Two of the sisters were blessed with unearthly beauty, while the third possessed a beautiful, bright and humble spirit. Her name was Tsuru and she loved all things great and small. Sibu tested the sisters taking an ugly human form. He approached the women, only to be rejected by the two beautiful sisters because of his appearance. Tsuru saw his inner beauty and accepted him. Sibu took Tsuru as his wife, turning her into the most beautiful of the three sisters and filling her life with riches and beauty.


Fuquay-Varina Museums Facebook Page
Museum Mondays: Mitchell Chevrolet

Museum Mondays: Mitchell Chevrolet

Join us in honoring Downtown’s history and explore the past with our new series Museum Mondays!


Mitchell Chevrolet
Circa 1948

Mitchell Chevrolet, founded in 1934 by J.M. Mitchell, moved to this new location in 1946, featuring a modern showroom and garage. Sons Buford and Wallace Mitchell continued to operate the family business until it was sold in 1993. Mitchell Chevrolet employees sit for a group photo in the picture above. Joseph ‘Mac’ Mitchell’s sons Buford and Wallace worked here for their father as boys and later after returning from the Korean Conflict. They recall some of the subjects of this photo to be (L to R), (unknown), Joseph ‘Mac’ Mitchell, Ethelene Stewart, Ray Hare, Paul Smith, Robert Tingen, Robert and Ray Steed and ‘Red’ Everette Smith. No doubt, mainstays Romy Burt Sr. and Clay Wilson are two of the subjects in this photo.

(Photo provided courtesy of the Mitchell Family: Buford Mitchell, Wallace Mitchell and Portia Newman)

Revelry Barber & Shave Shop
August 2019

Revelry Barber & Shave Shop’s customers line up outside for a haircut in the same fashion Mitchell Chevrolet employees did in the photograph above! Revelry, Original Strength Institute, Greater Than, and Jebb Graff occupy the building today. Some of the Mitchell Building’s history is showcased in the side entrance. We invite you to explore this building’s history and visit these businesses Downtown! Head to the Fuquay-Varina Museums to learn more about the history of Downtown!

Fuquay-Varina Museums Facebook Page





Build Community.  Support Local.

Build Community. Support Local.

Photo by Jebb Graff |
Production stills and some food photography from the filming of a Flavor, NC episode featuring Chef Joseph Fasy of Hook and Cleaver Market on Broad. Location: Fuquay Mineral Spring Inn and Garden

Build community. Support local. That’s our mission as a non-profit in downtown. We have the pleasure of working with hundreds of talented professionals. Thankfully, they share their talents with us and other groups they are called to help. We couldn’t do what we do without their help and support.

Most importantly, they share those talents with each other to help one another grow and support each other’s goals. After all, that’s a big part of what support local means. When you support them as well, it means even more. Build community. Support local. You never know how far your simple act or contribution will reach.

A Day with Dani

A Day with Dani

Dani Almeyda and Tim Anderson – Owners, Original Strength Institute

For seven years Original Strength Institute (previously known as OPT) has been thriving in Fuquay-Varina. Owners, Dani Almeyda and Tim Anderson, have been taking growth in strides- moving locations, rebranding, and building up a huge following within our community along the way. Today I sat down with Dani to learn more about Original Strength Institute.

Dani always knew she was going to be in the health and fitness industry, attending school for Sports Management and Exercise Science. It was natural for Dani to move into an entrepreneurial role, she grew up in a family full of entrepreneurs. Dani shares with me some of her favorite parts of being a small business owner and beams when she shares of her passion for “forming relationships” with her clients and watching them reach their goals. Dani also enjoys working hard, but having the flexibility to spend time with her two young children.

Trainers hear everyone’s deep dark confessions! Dani’s laughs when I asked her some of the funny confession stories she has heard over the years, “A client came in the other day and broke down to me “I had birthday cake for breakfast”! Dani laughs and tells me there is no need to apologize to your trainer if you eat cake, or skipped a workout, but says she could “write a book about the funny things” people have told her.

It may come to a surprise to you that our community’s prized gym is also the sister company and headquarter location for an internationally known company, Original Strength.  Original Strength educates other gyms, coaches, healthcare professionals, and physical therapists how to teach their clients/patients press reset and live their lives better! These programs are distributed and taught worldwide, Original Strength is a big deal! Tim has written several books and teaches movement to be able to live lives to the fullest extent – even into our 90’s! “Much like resetting an electronic device after its not working well, we can press reset on our bodies to help us feel better and move better” Dani tells me. Being able to spread the message that movement can heal and to help people lead healthy lives is important to Dani and Tim.

OSI has been operating out of Downtown for years now, being a part of the Downtown family means the world to Dani and OSI “we love being a part of the community and getting others involved” she explains. Working with many Downtown businesses and supporting other businesses in Downtown is something OSI is energized about. When Original Strength hosts conferences in town you will often see Dani and Tim leading groups of people in and out of our Downtown businesses, showing off what makes our Downtown unique and charming.

It is clear when you walk inside that Original Strength Institute is not your average gym. OSI hosts specialized ninja classes for kids, training classes for our towns 5k, self-defense classes, mommy and me classes, and much more- there is something for everyone! Dani tells me the plan is to expand their educational programing even more and expand the gym into other towns. We will be on the watch to see this great Downtown business and what they have in store for us next!

Dani let me ask her some rapid fire questions as we finished our lunch! She ate WHAT?!

First job?
Cleaning golf balls!

Favorite sport? Favorite team?
Volleyball. The Bears (NFL)

Best 90’s song?
Meat Loaf “I Would Do Anything for Love”

4 Sisters!

Best place to escape in Downtown?
The Mill

Grossest food you’ve ever eaten?
I ate a worm, I thought it was fake.

Favorite workout?
I like to rock out in the mornings, check out my daily flow on Facebook or Instagram

Favorite subject in school?

Best day of the week?

Favorite place to vacation?
Bermuda or Beech Mountain

I loved hanging with Dani!

-Chelsea Konowski

Interested in learning more? Check out Original Strength Institute online and on Facebook!

Coffee with Katie

Coffee with Katie

If you live in Fuquay-Varina, or have ever visited our charming town, you have probably heard the whispers about a delightful little bakery called “Stick Boy Bread Company”. This cult classic took Downtown by storm in 2008 and hasn’t looked back since. Today I spoke with Katie Dies, Owner of Stick Boy Bread Company, to learn more about this sweet treat that has been serving Downtown for years.

With 28 smiling staff members, Stick Boy currently offers over 30 breads on a rotational schedule. If bread isn’t your favorite item on their menu, sticky buns, cheesecake, or smoothies might be- Stick Boy really has it all! Katie talks excitedly about what makes Stick Boy work, and reveals that she felt the biggest moment of success came on the stores first anniversary, about the same time wholesale accounts started contacting her to feature Stick Boy products in their stores. Katie tells me about some of the challenges Stick Boy has faced as well. “We opened in 2008, right when the economy tanked. The cost of flour tripled- we really weren’t anticipating that”. They had to figure it out- they use a lot of flour! The Dies worked through that challenging time with help from their loyal customers, of which they have many today.

Josh, a former Engineering Draftsman, and Katie, a former Real Estate Agent, knew they wanted to open a space in their community where friends could gather, enjoy a cup of coffee and a pastry. Katie had worked for Stick Boy Bread Company in Boone, North Carolina during her college years and loved “everything about it”. Josh and Katie studied the business and decided to open their doors in 2008 after 7 long months of construction, much of which they did themselves. They process was “scary and long”, Katie even served at the projects General Contractor!

Katie and Josh Dies have become fast friends of mine. Their love for their community, friends, and family, while owning two businesses, serving on many committees, volunteering, and caring for two small (and very sweet) young boys is an inspiration to me. “We love what we do, we love our customers, we are very thankful” Katie remarks. I asked Katie how they make time, not surprisingly Katie laughs, and tells me “lots of coffee”! Katie and Josh have an entrepreneurial spirit, Katie has “a tough time passing by an old building without daydreaming” but reveals they have “no plans to open another business anytime soon”.

Katie and I finished our chat with a brief Q&A

Favorite Cookie?
“Magic…no, Chocolate Chip…no…yes… okay definitely Chocolate Chip”

Where were you born?
“Chicago, IL”

Dies Family Pets?
“Boone, our 12 year old sweet Hound dog”

Favorite Flower?
“Yellow Tulips”

Current TV show you’re watching?
“Homeland, I love Claire Danes”

Favorite type of Pizza:?
“How specific can I be? Okay- Giordano’s Deep Dish Sausage and Mushroom pizza, from Chicago. FYI, they’ll ship a pizza in the mail”.

How do you take your coffee?
“Black, iced coffee only…Iced Black Americano”

Favorite type of beer?
“IPA’s- Booneshine IPA to be specific”

Least favorite animal?
“I’m going to make some enemies here…cat’s. But only because I’m super allergic”!

What is your dream vacation?
“Venice, Italy. Although I would like to go on a European Tour and do some ‘market research’”.

That was a fun cup of coffee with Katie Dies! Be sure to stop by Stick Boy Bread Company on Main Street in Downtown and say Hello!

Chelsea Konowski