Blackwell Chapel Store is Open for Business!

by Monica Hoel

Mike Hoback (E&H ’81) is bringing back the heart of the Blackwell Chapel community.

Blackwell Chapel Store re-opened in December of 2022 to a crowd so large that some people couldn’t even get in the door to the party. There was popcorn, live music, BBQ sandwiches, a fire in the wood stove, and rows of candy jars. “Re-opened” is the right term because the store had its start around the turn of the 20th century; and it was open and serving the community until 1988.

The store has been in Mike’s family for years, and bringing the store back to life and back to the community has been his dream for a long time. When he retired, the dream jumped to life.

The store is offering handy grocery items, like milk and eggs. And they’re selling some specialty food items like jams and hams and hoop cheese. But the most popular part is the deli. Mike’s wife Judy and daughter-in-law Tracy are serving sandwiches and daily specials that keep the front door swinging.

They will soon be offering monthly music events, and fresh cheese from Ashe County (be on the lookout for squeaky cheese!). And in addition to great food, the store is also going to be an outlet for great wifi that will be available in the parking lot as well as inside the store. Internet connectivity in Blackwell Chapel is a challenge, so this is another way Mike feels they can help be of service to their neighbors.

Being of service and bringing joy: those are the main goals Mike and his family are aiming for through this venture. He says they’ve been surprised and thrilled by how busy they are, and he says people actually thank him for what he’s doing.

Enjoy a conversation with Mike on the Duck Pond Wall podcast that includes some fascinating history of the Blackwell Chapel Community.

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/726-eamph-alumnistudent-win-award-for-service"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/492,192,2432,2133/6074_DSC_5445_2.rev.1553176670.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/492,192,2432,2133/6074_DSC_5445_2.rev.1553176670.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/492,192,2432,2133/6074_DSC_5445_2.rev.1553176670.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/492,192,2432,2133/6074_DSC_5445_2.rev.1553176670.JPG 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/492,192,2432,2133/6074_DSC_5445_2.rev.1553176670.JPG" alt="Walker Long, Jake Caudill, Sam Caudill with their service award certificate from the USDA." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/492,192,2432,2133/6074_DSC_5445_2.rev.1553176670.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/492,192,2432,2133/6074_DSC_5445_2.rev.1553176670.JPG 3x" data-max-w="1940" data-max-h="1941" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/726-eamph-alumnistudent-win-award-for-service">E&H Alumni/Student Win Award for Service</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Congrats to Jacob Caudill (Class of ’18), Walker Long (Class of ’18) and Sam Caudill (current E&H student). <a href="/live/news/726-eamph-alumnistudent-win-award-for-service" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/406-kim-cressell-has-the-greatest-shop-on-earth"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/560,0,2016,1455/4145_IMG_0071.rev.1525982477.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/560,0,2016,1455/4145_IMG_0071.rev.1525982477.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/560,0,2016,1455/4145_IMG_0071.rev.1525982477.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/560,0,2016,1455/4145_IMG_0071.rev.1525982477.jpg 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/560,0,2016,1455/4145_IMG_0071.rev.1525982477.jpg" alt="Kim Cressell (E&H '93) at The Reserve in Sarasota, Florida." width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/560,0,2016,1455/4145_IMG_0071.rev.1525982477.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/560,0,2016,1455/4145_IMG_0071.rev.1525982477.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1456" data-max-h="1455" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/406-kim-cressell-has-the-greatest-shop-on-earth">Kim Cressell has the Greatest Shop on Earth</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> It’s a shop that is far more exciting than retail; but what ARE those red buildings? <a href="/live/news/406-kim-cressell-has-the-greatest-shop-on-earth" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>