Daphne’s Bakery moves to new home

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The new home of Daphne’s Simply Southern Bakery on Matthews-Mint Hill Road is ready to serve treats to the Mint Hill com- munity. PHOTOS BY DEREK LACEY

Daphne’s Simply Southern Bakery, which has been serving confections from their location in the McEwen shopping Center at 11211 Lawyers Road since 2008, will be starting a new tradition at 7609 Matthews-Mint Hill Road.

Equipment and supplies were moved to the new location and set up Monday and Tuesday, and Daphne’s was serving treats from their new home by Wednesday, October 10.

Since buying the building in April of this year, Daphne’s has been gearing up to move the operation to the new building, originally constructed as a bank.

Adding a wall here, removing a wall there, installing pink floors and turning a vault into a pantry, the building eventually began to look more like a bakery than a bank.

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Pizza Spiga, under new, old ownership

Owner Phil Randazzo, outside his restaurant Pizza Spiga, at 3509 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, is ready to revamp Pizza Spiga to its former glory. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

Pizza Spiga opened in 1998, at 800 square feet, serving authentic Italian food and pizza. Within two years, owner Phil Randazzo had to double the size of the restaurant to accommodate the crowds that were consistently waiting in line.

In 2000, Pizza Spiga’s menu progressed, in full Italian style, to include fine dishes as well as the regular pizza and calzones, adding appetizers and desserts, chicken broccoli alfredo, and eggplant rollatini.

The restaurant’s early success was due in no small part to the personal role that Randazzo played in the day-to-day operations. “I do cooking, I can do everything in the kitchen, I can do it all,” Randazzo said.

This do-it-all approach stems from his 45 years experience in the restaurant business.

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It’s Your Business: Mint Hill Dance Center

Since 2010, Mint Hill Dance Center has offered the youth of Mint Hill instruction in a wide variety of dance styles.

Owner and director Whitleigh Cook has been dancing in the Charlotte area since she was six years old, going on to receive a B.F.A. in dance from the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

The Center is in its third year, and Cook says they’ve nearly doubled their students each and every year, starting with 10, and having nearly 60 this year. Teaching ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop, tumbling, modern, and cultural dance, Mint Hill Dance Center offers classes every night of the week except Sunday, to students ages 3-18.

One of their more memorable performances is this year’s flash mob at Mint Hill Madness. The center is involved in many charities, giving to Relay for Life, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the American Heart Society, among others.

 

MHDC also has a competition team, which began in 2011-2012, has already won a number of awards, and has already begun auditions for the 2012-2013 team. Cook said the studio is currently looking to move from their current location at 4614 Wilgrove-Mint Hill Road to a larger, more central location in the McEwen shopping center on Lawyers Road.

For more info on what MHDC offers or how to register for classes, visit minthilldancecenter.com.

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Barnes acts as ‘home wrecker’ during Homecoming game

Isiah Robinson returns the opening kickoff.

Friday nights’ game between Independence and the host South Meck Sabres took a while to get action going on either side of the ball. Both teams went scoreless in the first quarter. It was not seconds into the second quarter when, Patriots QB Jason Connella connected with his favorite wide out, Dequan Barnes for an 18 yard touchdown catch. Indy went up first, seven to zero at 11:09 left in the second quarter. About three minutes later, Connella kept the ball and ran it 16 yards for the second score of the night for Indy. The extra point was good, and the Patriots were up 14-0 with 8:08 minutes left in the first half.

Defense makes big plays

Senior Jack Tocho made some big plays in the next possession of the ball by South. Tocho made an open field tackle that prevented the Sabres from scoring and also intercepted a pass in the end zone to stop South as they marched down the field into Indy territory.

Getting looks

Barnes would get one more look from Conella before the end of the half. This time, he caught a five yard TD pass with 19 seconds to go before the half. The extra point was no good but Indy led 20-0 at halftime. It would take Independence almost five minutes before they were able to score in the third quarter. Connella looked Barnes’ way again and threw him a 65-yard TD pass. The score is: Indy 27, South Meck 0. Almost four minutes later the Connella-Barnes duo connected again, this time with 29-yard TD pass in the third quarter. The Patriot defense had two more big plays during the next two possessions of the ball by South. Defensive back Deion Washington saved an open field TD run by bringing down the Sabre ball carrier, stopping him on the Independence 14 yard line. Senior LB Chris Turpin put an end to the Sabre drive when he intercepted a pass.

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Daphne’s Grand Opening postponed

Daphne’s Bakery in Mint Hill is postponing the grand opening of their new location at 7609 Matthews-Mint Hill Road until Fri. October 19.  

The grand opening was previously scheduled for Fri. October 12, 3-9 pm, with a ribbon-cutting and light refreshments.

For more info, see the Daphne’s Bakery Facebook page at (www.facebook.com/daphnesbakery)

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Independence DREAM Team to restore neglected trophies

The bomb shelter at Independence High School, now home to hundreds of Big “I” trophies. PHOTOS BY DEREK LACEY

Each year, Noel Hamrick takes her US History class to see the old bomb shelter at Independence High School, leading them out a side door, through a chain link fence, down concrete stairs, and through a hot boiler room.

But the thing most students take away from the trip is not the impact of Cold War tensions, it’s the hundreds of Big “I” trophies stored on rusted shelves in the dank, flood-prone room.

Dating from 1967, the trophies include academic and athletic achievements, everything from small wooden plaques and certificates to huge three-tiered trophies.

“Wow. That’s probably the best word I could use to describe it,” said Ivan Blair, senior at Independence. “It was devastating, I guess you could say…I didn’t know that we had that many trophies, and I definitely didn’t know that they were all down there.” Continue reading

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