For Joe and Judy Rose, an unexpected downsizing from a job meant opportunity for the two to fulfill a longtime dream.
Joe, 51, is a veteran of 30 years in the airline industry, first as a pilot and then as director of flight operations for U.S. Airways Express.
His wife of 23 years, Judy, also 51, had earned a degree in business management from Henderson State University in Arkansas but chose to be a stay at home mom for their two children, Joe III, now 21, and Jessica, 18.
The family had moved from Texas to Virginia and then to North Carolina, as Joe was transferred by his employer. They settled in Dooley, off N.C. 150, near Big Daddy's restaurant in Mooresville. Five years later, Joe was unexpectedly downsized, a victim of the economy.
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With only 12 weeks of severance pay to tide them over, Joe and Judy decided to pursue their idea of running a small antique store. Judy's longtime interest had intensified when her dad passed away in 2006, leaving a house full of collectibles.
After adding to her collection with purchases from estate sales and private auctions, she rented a consignment space from the proprietor, Amantha Gilreath, in the Terrell Country Store on Sherrills Ford Road and N.C. 150. She and Joe had been watching the store because they thought it might become available.
When Amantha became ill, Judy offered to manage the antiques store for a few weeks until she could return. One year later, in the fall of 2010, a few months after Joe had lost his job, Amantha offered to sell the business to the Roses.
Because Sherrills Ford Road led to Charlotte before the creation of Lake Norman, the building's location made it a prime site for locals and other folks passing by. Although the Roses had looked at store locations in Troutman, Mooresville and Denver, they kept coming back to the Terrell Country Store because of its location and ambiance.
"We thought about her offer to sell for about two minutes," said Joe, "before we decided to jump in with both feet and take the plunge."
The building itself, owned by the local Connor family since 1891, had variously served as a general grocery and hardware store, as well as a realty office. For many years it also housed the Sherrills Ford/Terrell post office until the new facility was built across the road.
After taking over the store, they assumed the challenge of turning it into a combination grocery store on the first floor and antiques and crafts shop second floor. Two weeks later, on Oct. 1, 2010, they opened for business.
"Our goal is to support local suppliers and crafts folk as much as possible," said Judy.
Besides offering a generous selection of groceries, the specialty offerings provide a fascinating window into many local businesses.
At the new Terrell Country Store, you can buy a variety of all-natural pies from the Carolina Pie Co., owned by three generations of a Mooresville family. Pies available at any given time are a reflection of whatever fruits are in season, ranging from bumbleberry and apple to lemon cheese and chocolate pecan.
If your sweet tooth runs to candy, you will find Mrs. W's Old Time Toffee, made from a recipe given to a Terrell woman by her grandmother. Yet another Terrell resident provides fudge and other sweets under the Short and Sweet label.
From Atkinson's Milling Co., in business in Selma since 1757, you can buy biscuit mix, while stone ground pancake and waffle mix is offered from Linney Water Mill in Union Grove.
Jams and jellies made by the Amish come from The Dutch Kettle in Hamptonville. If you're thirsty, you can buy Uncle Scott's All Natural Root Beer, made by Carolina Country Provisions, a business owned by a husband and wife team in Mooresville.
If your tastes run to beef jerky, you can buy that, too, made by a father and son team in Statesville.
Besides specialty food items, you will find locally made crafts, such as the scented Sweet Creation Candles, quilted checkerboards and placemats from Top Stitch Designs by Ellen Dewey, and Bearfoot Chainsaw Carvings by Roger Sharpe of Terrell.
The Roses are particularly proud of the rocking chairs they offer for sale. Made with oak and ash by the Troutman Chair Co. since 1924, Joe points out that they are locally made, not imported from China, like other rockers on the market.
Running the store has been both an adventure and a source of pleasure and pride for the new proprietors.
"We have found the local folks from Sherrills Ford and Terrell to be the friendliest of any town we've ever lived in," said Judy.