On March 15th, Simple Twist and Simple Twist Taproom & Bottle Shop owners Colleen and Nate Roby were honored as Smithfield’s 2017 Main Street Champion at the North Carolina Main Street Annual Awards Ceremony in Clayton. The Robys were selected by the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation for this special recognition in appreciation of their investment in Downtown Smithfield. Along with Champions from 38 other communities, they received a certificate and medal commemorating this designation, presented by North Carolina Commerce Deputy Secretary for Rural Economic Development and Workforce Napoleon Wallace and North Carolina Commerce Assistant Secretary of Rural Economic Development Kenny Flowers.
Established in 2000 as part of North Carolina Main Street’s 20th anniversary celebration, the Main Street Champion designation acknowledges the extraordinary efforts of those persons who have played pivotal roles in the revitalization of their downtowns. The dedication and hard work of countless volunteers is required to make a local Main Street program successful. Each of the state’s active Main Street programs is given the opportunity annually to recognize a local Main Street Champion. The addition of this year’s honorees brings the total number of North Carolina Main Street Champions to 678.
“N.C. Main Street Champions go above and beyond to invest their time and talents with the goal of creating vibrant business districts in their communities,” said N.C. Secretary of Commerce Anthony M. Copeland. “We are proud to welcome these committed individuals into the ranks of Main Street Champions.”
“This year’s champions represent Main Street board members and special project volunteers, city employees, developers, business and property owners, artists and residents, all with a passion, drive and commitment to improve downtown,” said Liz Parham, Director of the N.C. Main Street & Rural Planning Center.
In recommending the Robys for this honor, the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation offered the following:
“Brought on by a simple twist of fate” are words that you’ll find on the wall of Simple Twist, a restaurant known for its creative farm to table food. It was a twist of fate when owners Nate and Colleen Roby opened their Downtown Smithfield location, the business’ second, in May 2015. The two quickly became Downtown Smithfield champions, embracing our community, recognizing its potential, eager to participate in promotions and helping establish Smithfield’s reputation as a destination for dining. In May of 2017, the Robys expanded their business when Simple Twist Taproom & Bottle Shop opened across the street. With a passion for fresh and local food and a vision for the future, Nate and Colleen have created a gathering place for the community. The Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation very much appreciates their investment and support, and we are proud to recognized them as our North Carolina Main Street Champions!”
“We are so thankful to have Simple Twist, and the Robys, here in Downtown Smithfield, and are especially appreciative of their active involvement in our community,” stated Sarah Edwards, Executive Director of the Downtown Smithfield Development Corporation.
Main Street is a downtown revitalization program for smaller towns based on economic development within the context of historic preservation. The North Carolina Main Street program, which provides technical assistance to its communities, is part of the Office of Urban Development in the Department of Commerce’s Rural Economic Development Division.
Since 1980, the North Carolina Main Street program has generated $2.5 billion in private and public investment. More than 22,400 cumulative net new full-time and part-time jobs, and 5,500 new businesses have been created in North Carolina Main Street districts since the program’s inception.