17 veteran-owned businesses to support in North Carolina

17 veteran-owned businesses to support in North Carolina

Photo courtesy of Filter Coffee via Instagram.

By Vanessa Infanzon

March 6, 2024

Tanya Jones, the newly elected and first Black woman president of the North Carolina Veterans Business Association (NC VetBiz), encourages the North Carolina community to buy from business owners who served in one of the six branches of the United States military. 

17 Veteran-Owned Businesses To Support In North Carolina

Photo courtesy of Tanya Jones

NC VetBiz provides education and connections veterans need to succeed, Jones says. The nonprofit pairs young veterans with seasoned veterans to form a mentorship relationship. “There’s a huge camaraderie with being in the military,” she explains. “We don’t want to lose that. We want to celebrate it together on our journey to entrepreneurship.”

North Carolina’s 14 military bases, research centers, and training facilities introduce military personnel and their families to the state. Once they retire, many open businesses, using the skills they developed in the military. And that’s no small number. In North Carolina, more than 88,000 companies were started by a veteran, according to Veteran Owned Business.

Show your support for our state’s veterans by becoming a patron of these businesses. 

Note: This list is only a sample of veteran-owned businesses in North Carolina.

Aji Ichiban – Taste of Okinawa

Owners: Clyde Greene (veteran) and Noriko Greene

This husband and wife team brings their collective talents to Jacksonville’s International Food Trail. The small restaurant has been serving noodle and rice dishes, sushi, and dishes from its special Okinawan menu for more than 15 years.

17 Veteran-Owned Businesses To Support In North Carolina

Photo courtesy of Heido Billotto.

Apple Annie’s Bake Shop

Owner: Rob Cooley

Load up on breads, cakes, cookies, pies, and pastries at this beach town staple. The company is committed to hiring military spouses and donating to local food banks and charities.

17 Veteran-Owned Businesses To Support In North Carolina

Photo courtesy of Apple Annie’s Bake Shop via Instagram

Blu Farm to Table

Owner: Vickie DeSourdy

The menu is inspired by Eastern North Carolina’s farm and food traditions and Desourdy’s international travels. DeSourdy also owns Blu Boutique and Lane Blue in Washington.

Brad Halling American Whiskey Ko. (BHAWK)
Southern Pines

Owners: Brad Halling (veteran) and Jessica Halling (veteran)

BHAWK is not just a business to the Hallings: It’s a way to honor and show gratitude to the military men and women who have lost their lives and those who continue to serve every day. Brad was riding in the Black Hawk helicopter that crashed in 1993, the inspiration for the movie, “Black Hawk Down.” The distillery opened at the end of February 2024.

17 Veteran-Owned Businesses To Support In North Carolina

Photo courtesy of Halling Whisky via Instagram

Brightwaters Vacation Rentals

Owners: Michelle Azan and Elisabeth Perez (veteran)

Stay in one of nine renovated vacation cabins, cottages, and homes in the Brightwaters community just outside Hendersonville. The property is near Asheville, Brevard, DuPont State Forest, and Pisgah National Forest.

Buzze’s Creamery and General Store

Owners: Dustin Buzze (veteran) and Jessica Buzze

Banana splits, ice cream, milkshakes — oh my! Find dairy-free, gluten-free, and no-sugar-added options in this downtown shop. The couple honors local veterans who have passed away with a wall of their photos. 

17 Veteran-Owned Businesses To Support In North Carolina

Photo courtesy of Buzze’s Creamery & General Store via Facebook

Castello Barone Vineyards & Winery

Owners: Elizabeth Barone (veteran) and Scott Barone (veteran)

Grab a glass of wine from one of the newest wineries in North Carolina — the tasting room opened in November 2023. Look for events with art, music, and food pairings.


Owners: J’Mihyia Whitset and Paris Whitset (veteran)

Enjoy cold brews, frozen drinks, and a variety of specialty coffees. Add a bagel, croissant, or muffin to your order. The environment is conducive to hookah. The Whitsets also own Marjae’s Wine Bar and The Breakfast Spot in Greensboro.

Interactive Advocacy

Owner: Tanya Jones

Jones facilitates workshops and speaks about domestic violence, mental health, sexual assault, and suicide prevention through immersive theatrical performance-based training. 

Local Patriot Roasting Company

Owners: Kate Falconer, Kyle Lingafelt (veteran), Stefan Perrine (veteran)

Founded in 2021, this coffee shop and roastery prides itself on serving exceptional coffee to the community, veterans, and first responders. 

The Locals Comedy

Owners: Mitchel Fowler (veteran) and Dennis Vee (veteran)

Since 2022, this group of local stand-up comedians, seasoned and up-and-coming, have been performing all over the city in comedy clubs and theaters.

McCoy Minerals
Blowing Rock

Owners: Randy “Doc” McCoy (veteran) and Trina McCoy

After a career in medicine, Randy returned to school to learn about geology. The shop cuts gemstones, appraises jewelry, and creates jewelry. Stop by to see their work and ask about this summer’s rockhound trips.

Metzger’s Burlwood Gallery

Owners: Daniel Metzger and Steve Metzger (veteran)

This father-and-son team designs and builds beds, chairs, desks, mantels, tables, and custom items from salvaged burlwood. Burl is an abnormality that forms in the trunk and branches of a tree. The irregular grain gives the furniture pieces interest.

Phil Morgan Pottery

Owner: Phil Morgan

Although Morgan works from his studio in Seagrove, ‘The Handmade Pottery Capital of the United States,’ his work has been exhibited across the United States. He specializes in salt-glazed and crystalline pottery.

Seagrove Family Restaurant

Owner: Brandon Ellis

Order “a meat and three” at this no-nonsense diner: I can personally recommend the meatloaf. The specials feature home-cooked dishes such as chicken pie, country-fried steak, and pork chops with a variety of sides to choose from. Add a slice of coconut cream pie or Hershey’s bar cake for a piece of heaven.


Owner: Joe Apkarian

Find Mexican-style dishes such as chicken poblano, street corn, and tostadas on the menu. Apkarian also owns The Eagle’s Dare and The Pour House in Wilmington.

Tobacco Wood Brewing Company
Durham and Oxford

Owners: Mara Shelton (veteran) and Paul Shelton

This brewery holds the distinction of being the first female- and veteran-owned brewery in North Carolina. Its original location opened in Oxford in 2018.

17 Veteran-Owned Businesses To Support In North Carolina

Photo courtesy of Tobacco Wood Brewing via Instagram

This article first appeared on Good Info News Wire and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.17 veteran-owned businesses to support in North Carolina17 veteran-owned businesses to support in North Carolina


  • Vanessa Infanzon

    Vanessa Infanzon moved from New York to NC for college and never left. When she’s not writing, she’s paddle boarding at the Whitewater Center.

Related Stories
Share This