Aviation camps planned; farewell to Matthews baker

Here’s what’s happening with Charlotte-area small businesses and entrepreneurs:

• Since holiday camp season is coming, motivational speaker

Brenda Robinson

is putting out the word about hers: one-day Aviation Camps of the Carolinas to be held on three days at Monroe Airport and Concord Airport.

Robinson, 58, is the first black female aviator in the Navy, earning her designation as a naval aviator in 1980. In an announcement about her camp, she recalls as a youngster being interested in airplanes flying overhead, but she didn’t know “I could actually do something about it.”

Robinson says her camp will give middle and high school students the chance to speak to aviation experts. Camp participants are eligible for a drawing; the three winners will fly with local pilots for hands-on orientation flights.

Cost is $75 per student. Camp runs 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Dec. 22 in Monroe and on Dec. 29 or 30 in Concord. For more information or to register, go to or call 704-206-0976.

• Vendors with

Shop Micro Local

say they saw twice the amount of customer traffic on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 29, compared to last year.

Close to 30 merchants participated in the coordinated pop-up store housed inside Triple C Brewery in SouthEnd.

“The vendors had the ability to have one-on-one conversation with current and future customers, which we feel is one of the most important aspects of SML,” said Olive Stewart of Bushelle Seasonings, one of the event’s coordinators, via email. “New vendors were able to showcase their product for the first time, and they received an overwhelming response. Many vendors agreed that the event was worth participating in financially and (they) would participate next year.”

• Observer food editor Kathleen Purvis shared this sad news about a former Matthews bakery owner on her “I’ll Bite” blog:

“As a fan of the former shop Jimmie’s Sweets in Matthews, I was saddened to hear of the passing of Jimmie Williams on Nov. 25. Williams’ shop, in the Matthews Station near the town hall, was known for great pound cakes, but I’ll confess I was also a fan of his caramel crunch cookie, which had the most amazing icing.

“Williams was a basketball player in college, then went into the Army. He started his first bakery in West Virginia, then moved to the Charlotte area to join his wife, Cindy Hudson, and opened his Matthews bakery in 2006. It was a sweet, simple shop, painted in candy colors, with cases filled with cakes, brownies and cookies.

“Thanks for the sweet memories, Jimmie. My condolences to his family.”