North Carolina Economic Development Guide

2015

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79 N o rt h C a r o l i N a E Co N o m i C D E v E lo p m E N t G u i D E loves to play bluegrass with Asheville-based Steep Canyon Rangers. No matter your taste, there is a lot to sing about here, including the North Carolina Symphony, which played its frst note in 1932, when it became the nation's frst state-supported symphony. Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh is home, but it plays across the state in its annual 175-concert schedule. Other cities with professional symphonies include Charlotte and Asheville. Moravian cookies The Moravians settled North Carolina in the 1700s, bringing the thin, crispy cookies that are still made here today. Clemmons-based Mrs. Hanes' Hand- Made Moravian Cookies makes more than 10 million each year, shipping them to all 50 states and 30 countries. More than 6,000 people tour the bakery each year. Fairs Most counties have fairs, but the grand- daddy of them is the 11-day state fair, which attracted 929,748 people in 2014. Held in mid-October, it has exhibits, amusements and lots of food. It's the place to see much of what North Carolina offers agriculturally. The state fairgrounds in Raleigh hosts events year-round, which fund its budget. In 2012, the fair generated $11.5 million. State zoo The largest baboon troop in the U.S. lives at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. More than 750,000 people visit annually, which creates a $150 million economic impact. The zoo opened an $8.5 million renovation of its polar bear exhibit in 2014, its 40th year. Krispy Kreme Winston-Salem-based Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. had revenue of $460.3 million in its fscal year 2014, a 7.9% improvement from the previous year. When founder Vernon Rudolph made his frst yeast-raised doughnuts in 1937, he was only concerned with supplying stores. But the aroma that wafted from his Winston- Salem space stopped pedestrians. Krispy Kreme now has 875 stores in 20 countries. Pepsi-Cola Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc., the global drink- and snack-maker whose brands include Frito-Lay, Quaker Oats and Gatorade, reported revenue of $66.4 billion in 2013. Ranked 43rd on the 2014 Fortune 500 list, its start was inauspicious. Caleb Bradham concocted Pepsi-Cola in his New Bern pharmacy in 1898. Today, it's made by bottlers worldwide, including Ayden-based Minges Bottling Group LLC, which operates a Pepsi museum in what was Bradham's pharmacy. Mt. Olive Pickles They're found in stores across the country, and shoppers in the Southeast buy enough to give Mount Olive-based Mount Olive Pickle Co. a 50% or larger market share in many places. Started in 1926, the company's 500 employees (there are more than 800 during summer harvest) use 1,200 brine vats to process more than 160 million pounds of cucum- bers and peppers each year, about a third grown in the state. Sweet potatoes In 2012, North Carolina farmers planted 62,000 acres, about half the acreage nationwide. Trinity Frozen Foods LLC built a $15 million processing plant in Pembroke. Eventually 150 people will work there, turning up to 50 million pounds of sweet potatoes into french fries.

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