You may be surprised to find out that many products that you use on a regular basis are made right here in Cabarrus County! Below, we have spotlighted some of the businesses in our community who are producing well-known items that are then distributed to consumers across the nation — and globe!
When you walk past J.King Guitar on the way to the West Ave District retail shops or to a Cannon Ballers game, you can’t help but notice his wall of beautiful guitars. Whether you are looking to add a vintage guitar to your collection or buy your first one, you are sure to be impressed by his selection on consignment in his retail store.
King said there was a surge in guitar sales during the pandemic as people looked to start new hobbies. Combined with artists who are always looking for a new sound, the guitar consignment business has heated up and King is happy to be a part of it, especially in the growing downtown Kannapolis district. You can also find an assortment of guitar straps, amplifiers and other accessories at his shop.
Bunk and Arlene Whitley founded Whitley Manufacturing in 1960 in Midland, NC. Not only is L.W. “Bunk” Whitley credited with incorporating Midland in 1999, but he was also the town’s first mayor. He was an integral part of efforts to prevent annexation of the town by fast-growing neighboring municipalities before he passed away in 2005. The company name changed to Whitley Handle, Inc. and again to Whitley Monahan Handles after a merger with Illinois-based Monahan Company. But locally, they are still referred to as Whitley Handle.
Arlene vividly remembers getting the company off the ground. “We received our first several invoices, and I asked myself…how are we going to pay these? But I asked the Lord and He said we would be ok,” she said. If you have never put all of your hopes and dreams into opening a business, you may not realize what a strong role faith plays in that decision, but Arlene certainly did, and it has worked out well for her family.
Today, Whitley Handle employs approximately 40 people, many of whom have been with the company long-term including several with over 30 years of experience. Patrick himself started on the production line when he was just a kid.
Cabarrus County is home to 190 manufacturers with 5,500 manufacturing employees and more on the way with several major announcements of new projects coming to our area. One local manufacturer has been operating as a family-owned business in Cabarrus County for almost 100 years and you have probably never heard of them.
When Production Coordinator Matthew Griffin, grandson of President David Snyder, took us on a tour of their facility, he stopped to introduce us to almost every employee. He shared their name, which high school in Cabarrus County they attended and often something significant about their families. He did the same for his international employees, sharing what country they are from and a tidbit about their lives. It was evident that he was familiar with more than just the work lives of the employees, so when he also shared that some of their employees have worked at Snyder Packaging for decades, we weren’t surprised.
“We have between 80-100 employees, and we produce customized packaging to fit our client’s needs. Our family-owned company has strong Christian ideals with five family members that work full-time and several others who work when needed, said Griffin. “We are a truly successful company, one that is able to stand the test of time and turn our endurance into products of tangible value.”
57 Union Street South
Concord, NC 28025