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Ribbon Cutting Celebrates Harvest Moon Grille in Downtown Lincolnton

Lincoln County, NC-Today, Lincoln Economic Development Association (LEDA) and the Downtown Development Association of Lincolnton (DDA) hosted a ribbon cutting event celebrating the opening of Harvest Moon Grille, a farm to table restaurant, in downtown Lincolnton.

As a recruitment effort of Lincoln Economic Development Association, conversations began in October 2012 with then Harvest Moon Grille owners, Cassie Parsons and Natalie Veres, to persuade them to consider downtown Lincolnton for their next restaurant venture. With the assistance of the DDA Venture Fund and the securing of investors, the plan to open Harvest Moon Grille in Lincolnton became a reality when the doors opened on August 5th, with much anticipation.

As Chef Cassie Parsons explained in her message to attendees, “LEDA came to me and asked if I would consider opening a restaurant in downtown Lincolnton and then I started to think, it makes so much sense to be here. We have a beautiful farm, I’m about clean foods. I’m a chef who loves to cook and create and wouldn’t it be great to do it in my own backyard.”

Chef Cassie further explained part of the decision making process in deciding to locate in Lincolnton. “We started looking at the community and what it had to offer and hands down it made sense. But, economically, at the same time, we started getting courted by other places and larger communities. Yet, we had to come back to what we were walking and talking about, and do it with integrity. In Lincolnton, people are kind and smart and as I have become more involved in the community, I am blessed by the richness we have here.”

Knowing the time and effort it took to locate HMG to Lincolnton, Mayor John Gilleland spoke words of welcome to Harvest Moon Grille owners, Natalie, Cassie and the newest partner member, Julia Edmonds. “We have a beautiful downtown and now it’s even more beautiful with Harvest Moon Grille. We look forward to making history with this great restaurant.  We realize you could have picked anywhere, but thank you for picking Lincolnton.”

Part of the recruitment process involved the Downtown Development Association who stepped in with locating the restaurant to the downtown area with assistance through grants and incentives. In the case of Harvest Moon Grille, they are the first business recipients in the DDA’s Venture Fund Loan Program; a program that has been in place for many years.  Brooke Sherrill, chairman of the DDA offered “Our first recipient of the DDA’s Venture Fund Loan Program is successfully underway with the opening of Harvest Moon Grille!  This is just the beginning of many entrepreneurial ventures that the Downtown Development Association is looking forward to partnering with to make our downtown a quaint yet catchy place to live, work and play.”

All HMG partners, Natalie, Julia and Cassie made sure everyone understood who the winners of this new restaurant venture really are. Natalie shared her words of appreciation, “We cannot thank you enough, on behalf of our staff and farmers for making this project work. Without the support of the community, this project wouldn’t have happened. This isn’t about just making this restaurant work, but it’s about supporting our farmers who are trying to make a living off the land.”

Chef Cassie reiterated, “I’m a chef and I source food now within 4-5 miles of my restaurant. Every time you patronize our place, you are filling your tummy, but you are keeping your money here and it stays here supporting our farmers. You can’t do this in a big city. This is about thinking on the end result and being a community and supporting each other”

On behalf of LEDA, board chairman, Bo King shared, “The excitement and notoriety that Harvest Moon Grille brings to Main Street is very refreshing. Downtown Lincolnton has a character of its own and we welcome the additional personality that HMG brings.”small