Dec. 01, 2013 @ 09:37 AM

Creativity, craftsmanship on tap at Howard Brewing

Jason Howard is a brewer. He handcrafted his own recipes, continuously honing them in his home for more than a decade before making it a career – and making those beers the backbone of a thriving Lenoir brewery.

Dec. 01, 2013 @ 09:01 AM

Area shoppers hit stores in full force for Black Friday

As they do every year, deal-crazy shoppers lined up early, and this year the first lines formed while some people were still eating their Thanksgiving dinner.

But even as shoppers flooded stores, in interviews the feelings most expressed about the economy weren’t optimistic.

Dec. 02, 2013 @ 10:50 AM

Column: A name is just the beginning

What’s in a name?

It might be true that, as Shakespeare wrote, that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

But we probably wouldn’t smell it much if it were called a horsebutt, or a vomit.

Which is why you can bet the name Heritage Home Group did not just get picked out of a hat or at the last minute, out of nowhere, when KPS Capital Partners chose it for the new name of what until last Monday was known as Furniture Brands International.

Nov. 28, 2013 @ 09:06 AM

Departures from Heritage Home continue

Dan Bradley, the president of Designer Brands Group since 2008, has resigned effective Dec. 6, Bradley confirmed Wednesday to Furniture Today, an industry trade publication.

Nov. 27, 2013 @ 04:00 PM

More Furniture Brands executives let go

More executives have gotten the boot since KPS Capital Partners formed Heritage Home Group from the former parts of Furniture Brands International.

Nov. 26, 2013 @ 08:47 AM

Furniture company gets new name, leadership

The new owner of Furniture Brands Inc. wasted no time getting started on giving the company a fresh start.

On Monday KPS Capital Partners announced the formation of a new company, Heritage Home Group, to take the place of the Furniture Brands name; the resignation of CEO Ralph Scozzafava; and the appointment of a new CEO and board of directors.

Nov. 24, 2013 @ 09:15 AM

Lubrimetal brings global success to Caldwell

Giorgio Corso’s grandfather founded a small, metal-drawing lubricants company called Lubrimetal in Italy in 1959. Today, the company is truly global, with locations in Brazil, India and Caldwell County.

As executive vice president, Corso flies back and forth every few weeks to Italy and Granite Falls, where Lubrimetal’s American manufacturing facility is located.

Nov. 24, 2013 @ 07:53 AM

Furniture Brands' new owner has strong record

KPS Capital Partners, approved Friday by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Sontchi as the new owner of Furniture Brands International, does not buy any business to own it for the long haul.

But it buys to rebuild and grow, and its track record may give hope to workers at Furniture Brands’ properties.

Nov. 22, 2013 @ 11:46 AM

KPS is sole bidder for Furniture Brands

Unless a bankruptcy court judge agrees with an objection that the sale of Furniture Brands International has taken place too quickly, the company's new owner will be KPS Capital Partners, a New York-base private equity firm that focuses on turning around troubled manufacturers.

Nov. 21, 2013 @ 12:19 PM

'School' aims to help the move from office to farm

If you ever had a "Green Acres" urge to chuck city life and an office job to take up farming, you were on your own in learning what farming takes.

But starting in January, you can go to school -- Foothills Farm School, a six-month training program for beginning and transitioning farmers, focusing on how to operate successful, small-scale farms.

Nov. 21, 2013 @ 12:16 PM

Samson backs out of bidding

Samson Holding Ltd. did not place a bid for Furniture Brands International on Wednesday but has not ruled out trying later to buy specific company brands, Samson officials told the publication Furniture Today.

Nov. 20, 2013 @ 08:58 AM

Furniture Brands' sale moving too fast, shareholder Broadbill says

Sticking to the accelerated sale of Furniture Brands International’s assets could destroy “hundreds of millions of dollars” in value, including unnecessary pension termination costs, one of the company’s major shareholders, Broadbill Investment Partners, said in a court filing.

Nov. 20, 2013 @ 08:32 AM

Man accused of fabricating kidnap tale

What sounded like a nightmarish three-day ordeal was an elaborate lie, Lenoir police say, and the man who told the story was charged on Monday for it.

Nov. 19, 2013 @ 10:29 AM

Caldwell County approves $240K for job creation

Caldwell County is willing to offer incentives of $2,000 per job to three companies that may bring a total up to 120 jobs over the next three years.

One of them is a company already operating in the county planning an expansion that could bring up to 50 jobs within the next 14 months, but county officials refer to the company only as Project Prime Time because the company says it is not ready to go public with its plans. The company is working toward a new product line. The incentives approved Monday night by the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners, which would provide $2,000 for each new job, would be the company’s second incentives package, and if the company hires all it proposes it would have more than 200 employees here, said Deborah Murray, executive director of the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission.

Nov. 14, 2013 @ 11:35 AM

Optimism seen for hiring in Caldwell County for 2014

The pace of new economic development announcements has slowed in recent weeks, but 2013 still is expected to finish with more projects announced than in 2012, officials said Wednesday.

More importantly, some companies that came to Caldwell County this year are just about to ramp up hiring, so the job outlook 2014 should get off to a good start.

Nov. 10, 2013 @ 07:50 AM

Family, solidity drive Kincaid

Kincaid Furniture is not a name that’s easily missed in Caldwell County. The company has been a staple here since it was founded by members of the Kincaid family in 1946 and has seen four generations in its employ.

Steve Kincaid has worked at the company since his high school days working in the factories, starting full-time in 1970 and working his way up to president of the company. He is the third generation to run Kincaid, known as La-Z-Boy Case Goods since that company acquired Kincaid Furniture in 1988.

Nov. 08, 2013 @ 08:53 AM

Sale of Furniture Brands speeds up

Furniture Brands International Inc. has accelerated the timetable for the auction of its assets, cutting two weeks from the time for potential new bidders to complete the work needed to put together a bid.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved Furniture Brands’ request to move the auction for its assets to 10 a.m. Nov. 21 from the initial date of Dec. 10. Qualified bids now must be submitted by 9 a.m. Nov. 20, and the sale is scheduled to close on Nov. 22.

Nov. 05, 2013 @ 04:03 PM

Caldwell County hopes to lure green-technology firm

A company that may bring at least 50 full-time jobs to Caldwell County could receive a $2,000-per-job incentive from the county, and three hearings for incentives for other businesses are scheduled for next month.

The Virginia-based green-technology firm, called “Project Dawn” by the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, would invest $12 million to begin operations and will hire up to 50 full-time employees within three years at an average salary of $38,000, EDC executive director Deborah Murray said.

Oct. 29, 2013 @ 08:36 AM

Signs of stronger economy seen at High Point Market

The High Point Market, the largest furniture trade show in the world, was a resounding success last week, local representatives of several manufacturers said Monday, attributing much of the good news to the economy recovery's promise of higher sales.

Kincaid Furniture had its best introductions at the market in years. said Max Dyer, vice president of marketing. The company saw a 6 percent increase in traffic to its showroom compared to last year's October show, slightly more of an increase than the market as a whole saw, he said.

Oct. 26, 2013 @ 08:37 AM

People and persistence key to Kincaid Insurance's 50 years

When Donald Kincaid first decided to get into the insurance business for himself, he had to take out a second mortgage on his home, and his wife, Syretha, “chewed me out pretty good,” he said.

Kincaid started out by himself selling insurance part-time, but today he owns two offices, employing nine full-time employees and one part-time. His company will celebrate its 50th anniversary at the end of this year.

The key to his company’s success? “Persistence, probably. Hard work,” Kincaid said but added that he could not have done it without his staff and family.

Oct. 20, 2013 @ 08:39 AM

Broyhill had lowest margins in Furniture Brands

Broyhill Furniture Industries had the lowest gross margin dollars among the manufacturing divisions of Furniture Brands International the past few years, according to documents the company filed earlier this month in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

But that isn't necessarily an indicator of what will happen to Broyhill plants once the bankruptcy process is completed.

Oct. 20, 2013 @ 06:54 AM

Employees, diverse products drive success at Timber Wolf

In its 15 years of operation, Timber Wolf Forest Products has evolved from selling a handful of furniture components to a small group of large furniture companies in the area, to a company with a vast catalog of products and wide range of customers.

Oct. 13, 2013 @ 05:37 AM

Tender Care Products manufactures comfort, security

Tender Care Products was founded in the early 1980s, when a local nursing home asked a businessman in the furniture industry to design a lap pillow for wheelchairs, and the first wheelchair-specific lap pillow was born, as was Tender Care Products.

More than 30 years later, TCP is still making those lap pillows, though now there are quite a few designs, as well as an entire line of products including mattresses, wheelchair armrests, bedrail pads and more.

Oct. 12, 2013 @ 08:38 AM

Judge: Bonuses for Furniture Brands executives 'justified'

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge brushed aside objections Friday to paying bonuses to seven Furniture Brands International executives but capped the total possible payments at $3.5 million.

Oct. 11, 2013 @ 08:49 AM

Furniture Brands bonus plan based on easy targets, U.S. trustee says

The top executives at Furniture Brands International should not be rewarded with millions of dollars in bonuses after leaving the company’s pension fund significantly short and terminating some retiree benefits just before filing for bankruptcy protection, the U.S. bankruptcy trustee wrote in an objection filed on Wednesday.