High Cotton Ties comes home to Raleigh

February 21, 2013 

Judy Hill made her first bow tie for her son Cameron when he was in medical school and needed washable ties to wear on his hospital rounds.

Three years later, her ties are in 160 stores from Maine to Texas, sold online at and – for the first time ever – at their very own High Cotton store.

Hill, and her business partner and middle son, James, have opened High Cotton at 19 W. Hargett St. in downtown Raleigh.

On Thursday, the store had a “soft opening” with Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane cutting the ribbon and a party for Hill’s suppliers: the farmers from Whitakers (on the Nash-Edgecombe County line) and the textile makers from the Pilot Mountain/Mount Airy area who make the bow ties. Hill used to sew them all herself until she couldn’t keep up with demand.

Gov. Pat McCrory has said he’ll stop by next week, Hill said. “He’s all about manufacturing in North Carolina, and so are we,” she explained.

High Cotton’s bow ties, cummerbunds and polo shirts are all made in North Carolina.

“It’s 500 miles from dirt to shirt,” Hill said.

The Hills chose Raleigh for the store because it’s where Judy Hill grew up – she went to Broughton High School – and where her parents still live. Her father is a professor in N.C. State’s agriculture department.

“I love downtown Raleigh, and I just wanted to invest in Raleigh,” Hill said.

Menchie’s, a yogurt shop, has opened at 5613 Creedmoor Road in Raleigh. Menchie’s will celebrate its grand opening from March 2 to 8, with giveaways including T-shirts and Menchie’s merchandise and free servings of frozen yogurt. Catherine Meynardie owns the store with her husband, Bob. ... Ace Hardware at 509 N. Main St. in Holly Springs opens on March 1. The store will sell Benjamin Moore and Clark & Kensington paint as well as BBQ grills and accessories. Many of the garden products are locally sourced from Johnston, Wake, and Franklin counties.

The stores continue to open at Seaboard Station near downtown Raleigh. The latest is Kimbap, a restaurant owned by Kim Hunter. The menu features Korean-inspired comfort food, including dumplings, rolls and soups. Hunter is the former owner of Sarah Cecilia’s Good Food Co. at the downtown Raleigh Farmer’s Market and also LoMo Market. The majority of her ingredients are sustainably grown in North Carolina. Kimbap will celebrate with a grand opening March 1at 111 Seaboard Ave., Suite 118.

ACC fans will be able to grab an officially licensed Atlantic Coast Conference meal as soon as they get off the plane at Raleigh Durham International Airport next year.

The ACC American Cafe – the first restaurant licensed by the ACC – will have a bar and a menu with “locally-sourced” food, including steaks and seafood. No word on whether entrees will have names like the UNC lamb chop or the Blue Devil martini.

The restaurant will join a host of others in Terminal 1 when it opens next year.

Also planned: Char-Grill, Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina, La Tapenade Mediterranean Cafe and Starbucks.

Staff writers Mary Cornatzer and Amy Rue

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