Tag Archives: Lexington


Cooper Road Collection – Business Spotlight

Upon seeing the quaint Uptown Lexington district after relocating to be closer to her fiancé’s family, Krista Miller knew she wanted to open a plus size women’s boutique there. “I was exploring uptown and saw a storefront that was going to be available for rent. I barely had time to think about it before jumping right in and signing the lease,” said Miller.

She signed the lease on September 1, 2017 and by the last day of the month, she was opening her doors. On the day of Cooper Ridge Collection’s grand opening, there were women lining up to get inside hours before the doors were scheduled to open. Miller recalled, “The day we opened was the scariest and greatest day of my life! There were women shopping wall to wall in the store and I knew I was meeting a need for women’s apparel.”

KristaMillerKrista is no stranger to plus size clothing stores. “When I was in college, I was so frustrated with plus sized clothing offerings I decided to open by own consignment boutique,” she said. She recalled the frustrations of having only limited stores with high priced clothes that were priced out of her college budget as well as the aggravations of shopping in thrift stores with little to no clothes to offer. With the help of her parents, she became not only a college student majoring in entrepreneurship, but started her first store offering quality and affordable consignment clothing options for plus size women.

“I was always a larger kid, and shopping for my size and body type was always a struggle for my parents and me when I was growing up,” said Miller. “I believe that every woman should have access to clothing that fits and flatters her body, no matter her size.”

With her fashion inspiration coming from her mother and a childhood friend, Krista was enthralled with classic and simple elegance and became interested in fashion. “My Mom dressed up for corporate America every day for 20 years and her outfits were always perfectly put together down to the classic statement jewelry she wore,” said Miller. She recalled the effortlessness in her mother’s elegance and wanted the same for herself and other plus sized women.

CooperRoad2In addition to her mother’s inspiration, she says her best friend from kindergarten was also a huge influence in helping her to develop her fashion sense. “She had this elegant and simple style with every outfit she wore. Her hair was perfectly curled or straightened for each outfit,” Miller recalled.

Inside the doors of Cooper Road Collection you will find plus sized women’s fashions ranging from sizes 12 – 28 and XL – 6X. The clothes will suit women of all ages and, most importantly, the Cooper Collection is local to Davidson County.

“There are limited options when shopping for plus sized clothing locally. Cooper Road Collection helps to fill that void,” according to Miller. “I’ve heard women express their disappointment when shopping some of the big box stores’ plus size sections. They feel the clothing isn’t catered to their age or the items aren’t trendy. At Cooper Road Collection, we have something for all ages, trendy and affordable!”

Cooper Road Collection
16 West Second Avenue
On Facebook and Instagram: CooperRoadCollection

Teams are sizing up their competition trays.   Image By LMM Photography

Barbecue Capital Cook Off

From Barbecue to BBQ: The BBQ Capital Cook-Off Brings Thousands and Invites You to Be the Judge

By Melissa Sheets and Rebekah Cansler McGee

Each year during the fourth weekend of April, the smell of barbecue wafts through the streets and alleyways of Uptown Lexington. Doors throughout the town are ajar, inviting in both out-of-town guests and the sweet and spicy aromas of Southern barbecue. Locals are reminded of a long gone era when these scents tempted the taste buds of the Uptown lunch crowd during a time when many barbecue restaurants crowded the streets of the then furniture industry-driven community.

Today Lexington has a proud heritage of barbecue which continues with the BBQ Capital Cook-Off. It’s not just the typical chopped pork that is offered in local restaurants. Instead the Cook-Off calls for teams to challenge each other in chicken, ribs, pulled pork and brisket categories.

It all begins on a Friday night. Trucks, campers, and vans pull in by the dozens, all eager to begin their setup. Once teams register with the Uptown Lexington office, they are given their own piece of grass in an expansive lot just behind the Edward C. Smith Civic Center between East Second and Third Avenues. The teams will call this home for the next two days.

There is camaraderie on the lawns; tents and lawn chairs dot the aisles. As the sun sets just behind Main Street, excitement builds. Chefs begin to prime their grills. Chunks of wood are piled high next to open pits. Smoke rises from some of the larger grills. Men stand in groups talking and laughing, while others quietly mix spices and sauces into secret recipe rubs and marinades. The Cook-Off is large, stretching a city block. However, with the mix of tents and families, it is very quaint.

Spending the evening meandering through this gypsy-like hamlet is an experience one will never forget. Music not only beats rhythmically from the stage, but also from banjo players and guitar pickers sitting with circles of friends. For now, friends who travel from state to state chasing the title of grand champion share stories and tips, but by Saturday morning it’s all about game faces and determination.

Teams are sizing up their competition trays.   Image By LMM Photography
Teams are sizing up their competition trays. Image By LMM Photography

With prize pots swelling every year, this competition is fueled by a desire to win big money and bragging rights. Competitors come from far and wide. The playing field here is a level one. Teams from New York, Australia, Texas, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee — all over the Southeast and Midwest — join North Carolina in the competition. This isn’t just for the out-of-towners though. Lexington natives join in the fun, too. The only prerequisite for this competition is a love to cook and pounds of meat that is ready to grill. Teams bring their own pork, ribs and brisket to be inspected by the Uptown staff.

This Kansas City BBQ sanctioned event gained Lexington a spot on in the Old North State Series. This was huge step for the event that began in 2013 and is now in its third year. The 5th Anniversary Cook-Off also welcomes back the Great American BBQ Tour, where guests can sample barbecue and enjoy cooking demonstrations.

But in a twist to welcome more spectators and introduce something new to the fifth anniversary event, the BBQ Capital Cook-Off invites you to be the judge! Uptown Lexington is excited to partner with Tourism Recreation Investment Partnership to bring the People’s Choice Award. This area will invite spectators to taste competition barbecue and vote for their favorite. On Friday night, spectators will judge chicken wings and on Saturday they will judge pulled pork. Tickets will be sold the day of the event.

Just one of the many things you are likely to see at the BBQ Capital Cook-off. Photo by LMM Photography
Just one of the many things you are likely to see at the BBQ Capital Cook-off. Photo by LMM Photography

Live music will begin Friday and continue through Saturday with a mixture of genres and sounds. Visitors can enjoy great eats with tastes of barbecue, snacks, Italian ice, funnel cakes, and much more along with craft beers and Yadkin Valley wines. Families are encouraged to attend with an area set aside just for children. In addition to enjoying the atmosphere of the cook-off area, just a block away is historic uptown Lexington with unique shopping and dining venues.

Come dig in to the 5th Anniversary BBQ Capital Cook-Off Friday and Saturday, April 24-25, 2015, where for the first time ever, you can be the judge.