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Elizabeth City is Bursting with Entrepreneurship

Posted on 08/18/2021 by Breanna Brower

Elizabeth City is no stranger to thriving entrepreneurship. From its founding in 1793 the residents of this thriving city along the Intracoastal Waterway have been creating new and successful businesses. In fact, our beautiful city is rumored to have been named for one such entrepreneur: Elizabeth Tooley, a famous tavern and landowner. The legacy of William Pailin, one of the city’s first business tycoons, lives on in Pailin’s Alley, the heart of downtown nightlife. If you visit the Harbor of Hospitality today you’ll find that the city is still full of thriving businesses and passionate entrepreneurs of all walks of life. We’ve interviewed just a few of the newest business owners in town to gather a personal insight of why they chose to start a new business in Elizabeth City and here’s what they had to say…


Pine & Porch, Inc.

shopping home good at pine and porch in elizabeth city ncAcross the street from the Pasquotank County Library on Colonial Ave in Downtown Elizabeth City is the adorable new home décor and interior design one-stop-shop, Pine & Porch, Inc. Owner Megan and her husband moved to Elizabeth City to raise their family because of their love for the small-town charm and their excitement in being a part of of our expanding area. Megan’s favorite thing about owning a business in Elizabeth City is her customers and hearing folks’ stories. “Whether they are born and raised here or have lived in 12 different places in the last 12 years, the clientele is dynamic and fun.  We have really enjoyed becoming a part of the downtown community and cannot wait to see what the future holds.“ said Megan. This unique downtown shop offers eclectic décor including rugs, throw pillows, eco-friendly kitchen items, and even hand-built furniture like shelves and Adirondack chairs, made with love by Megan’s husband. Even more exciting, Pine & Porch now offers beer and wine to enjoy while you shop or take home with your new home goods!


Richardson Pool Glover House Bed & Breakfast

richardson pool glover house historic bed and breakfast in downtown elizabeth city ncThis must-see home in Downtown Elizabeth City, built in 1856, is the largest antebellum-style home in the region and 3rd largest in all of North Carolina! Its decorated past includes serving as part of the Underground Railroad, being called the home of the town’s mayor and being a National Historic Preservation Property. Taylor, the owner of this charming B&B, grew up in the nearby big cities of Hampton Roads and fell in love not only with the historic home but with Elizabeth City as a “happy medium of what a good southern town should be and escape from the hustle and bustle of a big town.” Since purchasing the home in 2019, Taylor’s favorite thing about owning a business in Elizabeth City continues to be the supportive community, which includes other Bed & Breakfasts in the area who have reached out saying, “if you need anything I’m happy to help!” which has made opening a new lodging accommodation that much more exciting. 


Electric Garden

fruit smoothie with granola and edible flowers at unique restaurant in elizabeth city nc, electric gardenElectric Garden’s owners, Marsharel and Samuel, have brought their passions for fresh foods and wellness to Elizabeth City! Marsharel and Samuel show their love and “give forward” attitude to the community through sharing healthy, natural fruit juices and smoothies. Marsharel expresses that his passion for wellness is rooted in personal experiences and seeing the first-hand effects of eating well when he was helping take care of his grandmother. His business partner, Samuel, shares the same sentiments and the two have created a wonderful new place to make treating your body well easy, fun and cool. The concept for their business was originally to only offer vending for events, but the COVID pandemic caused the pair to be creative and look for a new vehicle to deliver fruit juices and smoothies to Elizabeth City. They decided to open their storefront inside of a garden center, Kenyon Bailey, with an official opening in March 2021 and have been offering a fresh, fun dining alternative to E-City ever since with no signs of slowing down. “It’s been a beautiful journey” said Marsharel. “The community has been amazing; they’re the real winners!”


Kinderdance by Zaribel

students in ballerina outfits at kinderdance by zaribel in downtown elizabeth city ncFor owner Zaribel Clay, the inspiration to start a Kinderdance program started when her daughter was two and she was looking for a recreational, non-competitive and educational program to get her started in. When she couldn’t find one…she created one instead! “I chose downtown Elizabeth City because I wanted to be part of the vision many other business owners and investors had downtown. I saw and believed in what they saw and believe - that our little town had so much potential and just waiting to come alive! I wanted to be part of that excitement, vision and dream!” says Zaribel. Kinderdance is an awesome addition to activities for little ones in downtown Elizabeth City joining Port Discover, exploring the educational boardwalk at Charles Creek, and painting at Studio 511.

One thing we hear from residents and visitors time and time again is that the people of Elizabeth City are what makes it so special…we tend to agree! We invite you to come experience what we mean at any of these unique businesses or one of the many locally-owned restaurants, shops and more in Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County.

For more ideas of things to do and experience in Elizabeth City, check out our Insider’s Guide blog!


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