The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Chamber of Commerce will present a free seminar called Exploring Franchise Business Ownership on Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30pm.
The seminar will address the pros and cons of franchises versus independent businesses, the many different types of franchises, tips on investigating franchises, common pitfalls to avoid and how to find the right franchise.
For information and to register, call 962-0389.
New art gallery opens downtown
A new art gallery has opened in downtown Chapel Hill.
Toots and Magoo exhibits and sells fine art, antiques and paper goods at 142 E. Franklin St., next to the newly opened Sugarlands Bakery. The gallery also will offer services such as fine art and estate appraisals and in-house design for custom letterpress paper goods.
Toots and Magoo is owned by Cheryle Jernigan-Wicker ("Toots") and Margaret Pearson ("Magoo") and Chloe Greene, Jernigan-Wicker's daughter.
Jernigan-Wicker is a native of Chapel Hill. Her parents owned Thell's Bakery on Franklin Street when she was growing up. After living for 35 years in San Francisco and Paris, France, she has returned to Chapel Hill to open a lifestyle store with her best friend and her daughter, less than a block from the old Thell's.
She owned Jernigan-Wicker Fine Arts in San Francisco and served as president of the San Francisco Art Dealers Association from 2000 to 2003.
Pearson is president of Pearson Tribal and Fine Arts. She is a senior member of American Society of Appraisers and will offer estate and fine art insurance appraisal services.
Greene studied design at CalArts in Valencia, Calif., and received a bachelor's degree in fine arts in printmaking at California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. She has worked as a visual merchandiser for paper stores across California and as production manager for a boutique letterpresss company in San Francisco. She will be the in-house graphic designer, providing upscale letterpress-printed event and wedding invitations and specialty stationery.
For information, call 942-3339 or see www.tootsandmagoo.com
Burger restaurant opens downtown
A new gourmet burger restaurant is open downtown. Buns, which offers take-out and eat-in options, is at 107 N. Columbia St.
The menu includes turkey, veggie, beef, salmon and tuna burgers with hand-cut French fries.
Brewery wins in competition
Carolina Brewery won six awards at the Carolinas Championship of Beer competition at the Hickory Hops Beer Festival in Hickory on April 12.
The Chapel Hill-based brewery won gold awards for its Alter Ego Altbier and Flagship IPA, silver awards for Sky Blue Golden Ale and bronze awards to Copperline Amber Ale and To Hell 'n' Bock.
The Alter Ego Albier was also awarded second place in the competition's Best of Show category.
The Carolinas Championship of Beer Awards competition featured 120 entries spanning 85 different beer styles from more than 30 breweries from throughout the Southeast. Entries were judged via blind tasting by a panel of certified judges.
Carolina Brewery won a string of awards in the 2002 World Beer Championship winners and more recently won a gold award for Flagship IPA at the 2006 Great American Beer Festival.
Carolina Brewery brews all of its beers on-site at its two locations on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill and Belmont Station in Pittsboro.
Executive named at Blue Cross
Susan Helm-Murtagh, who began her career at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina 13 years ago, has been named vice president of IS decision support at BCBSNC.
Helm-Murtagh's responsibilities will include the development, maintenance and operation of the storehouse of information that the company uses to analyze claims payment data, develop health programs and new insurance products, maintain its financial stability and conduct other business functions.
Before joining Blue Cross, she was regional vice president of marketing for The Trustmark Companies in Lake Forest, Ill.
Helm-Murtagh has a bachelor's degree from Duke University and a master's degree in management from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. She is pursuing her doctorate at the UNC School of Public Health and serves on the DrPH program advisory committee there.
UNC program will aid business growth
UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School has launched a business accelerator to speed the growth of firms with environmental and social objectives.
The UNC Business Accelerator for Sustainable Entrepreneurship (BASE) will connect entrepreneurs to a range of sustainability resources -- from expertise to capital -- with the aim of accelerating their growth and impact.
The Center for Sustainable Enterprise at UNC Kenan-Flagler created the interdisciplinary program. BASE is believed to be the first business incubator designed to specifically support businesses that address the triple-bottom-line of financial profitability, social equity and environmental sustainability.
BASE hosted a launch event April 16 in partnership with The Change, a Chapel Hill-based brand strategy and design firm. The public event featured a panel discussion called "Branding for Good," focused on branding for sustainable entrepreneurs and was held at the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.
Now in a pilot phase, BASE will work with seven early-stage Triangle-based businesses: CaraGreen, a distributor of environmentally sustainable building materials; Counter Culture Coffee, a fair-trade. micro-roasting coffee company; North Carolina Choices, a provider of sustainably and locally produced meat and poultry; PVee, a provider of large-scale turn-key solar energy solutions; Trinity Design/Build, a provider of sustainable architectural design, building and preservation services; WaterPLUS, a developer of a water-purification device for use in the developing world; and Zebra Crossings, an online fair trade wedding boutique.
The entrepreneurs will receive mentoring by BASE advisory board members; participate in networking events, training and workshops; get access to funding opportunities, service providers and the BASE resource network; and join a network of innovative sustainable entrepreneurs.
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