Myrtle Grove Plantation owner Joe White said he never expected the historic home he bought in Macclesfield in 1999 to live in would become the site of a flourishing catering and special events business.
Today, people from a 70-mile radius travel there for catered events.
The business operated out of the home built in 1842 has become full-time for he and his partner Dan Roberson.
“I had done catering and events and was planning for that as a side business for several years,” White said. “When we looked at buying the property, it was not livable. We spent 21⁄2 years restoring the house. We decided if we were going to do this, then the property needed to make some type of income to somewhat support itself. We looked into different things. We decided we’d branch out into catering. We really planned this to be part time.”
He said they try to make sure the plantation does not have an institutional feel.
“We do live here. It’s our home as well,” he said.
Q: What services or products do you provide?
A: Myrtle Grove is available for breakfasts, brunches, luncheons, teas, dinners, cocktail parties, receptions, weddings, group tours, family reunions, meetings and workshops. We cater to everyone. We’ve done events serving two people to 600 people. We do a lot of weddings.
It’s an historic plantation house, built in 1842, so groups come here to dine and tour the historical house.
It was built in 1842 for man named Charles Vines, who was a cotton planter. In July of 1863, there was small skirmish here during the Civil War. It’s a fairly large house — 7,000 square feet. We have a banquet hall with separate catering kitchen and main house, which is open for tour. We’ve just completed a new outdoor open-air chapel for weddings. We offer dinners by reservation only. We do everything from pig pickings to formal dinners with lamb, champagne poached salmon and prime rib.
Q: Who are your key leaders?
A: Owners Joe White and Dan Roberson.
Q: How many people do you employ?
A: At times I employ up to 10, depending on size of event.
Q: When were you established?
A: Two years ago.
Q: What’s your business philosophy?
A: We believe in service. We believe that people every once in while need to be pampered and treated well. We try our best to make their experience here special, which makes them want to come back. We do lot of family events.
Q: What makes your business unique?
A: Probably the facility itself. Our food is good, and we get high praise for our food. But our ability to offer a unique menu that is unlike anything else around is what really makes us unique.
Q: Why did you pick Rocky Mount as a place to do business?
A: The house is what brought us here. The house dictated where we were going to live and what we were going to do.
Q: What changes do you expect for your company in coming years?
A: We are considering branching out into a couple different areas. We’ve had several people ask us about the possibly of bed and breakfast services. There is another house that is not too far from here. We’ve considered moving that onto the property to serve as an overnight cottage. When we have weddings here, some families have wondered if we have accommodations available.
AT A GLANCE
> Address: 4226 N.C. 43 S., Macclesfield
> Telephone: 827-5876
> Website: myrtlegroveplantation.com
> Email: myrtlegrovenc @aol.com
> Hours: Varies with event schedule