• 36°

Southern Grace Distilleries searching for stories from former prison

By Amanda Raymond
amanda.raymond@salisburypost.com

CONCORD — Southern Grace Distilleries is moving their operations into a former prison and they are looking for photographs and stories from former inmates and employees.

Southern Grace Distilleries, currently at 20 Cabarrus Ave. W., will be moving to Cabarrus Correctional Center in Mount Pleasant, making it the first distiller to operate in a former prison.

Cabarrus Correctional Center closed in 2011.

Leanne Powell, president of the distillery that is the maker of the award-winning Sun Dog 130 white whiskey, said their current building is 2,200 square feet. They wanted to find a location that would give them more space to increase production.

Powell said the prison is a great place to brew. The same things about the building that kept prisoners from escaping will keep their product safe.

“It’s built like a vault, so it’s a great place to make liquor,” she said.

The distillery offers tours and walk-throughs of the liquor-making process, and Powell knew that people would also want to hear about the prison while on those tours.

“We really wanted to honor the history,” she said.

She is looking for photographs and stories from former employees and inmates about their time at the prison.

Powell has already been learning about the history of the prison. One thing she learned was that there used to be a program that allowed prisoners to care for and train dogs to make them more adoptable.

That sort of thing meshes well with a Southern Grace Distilleries’ program that makes a contribution to animal shelters for every bottle sold.

She has also heard that there was a horticulture program that was done in conjunction with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.

Powell particularly wants to hear the stories from those programs, but, being that it was a prison, she is willing to hear the good and the bad.

“We’re ready to hear whatever folks want to tell us,” she said.

She wants to hang the shared photographs around the building so that visitors will be able to see what the property used to be like.

“Hopefully we can show that something that had a negative connotation can turn into a positive,” she said.

The stories and photographs will also be included in a video for visitors to watch. The video will also feature the history of the property and surrounding area and the distilling process.

Powell will be collecting stories and photographs until the end of August. The distillery will be open for tours at the new location on Oct. 1.

“The main thing is that I think this distillery can give what had been an abandoned property new life,” Powell said.

To share stories or photographs, contact Leanne Powell at leannepowell@gmail.com, 704-622-6413 or visit Southern Grace Distilleries’ website at www.southerngracedistilleries.com.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.

Comments

News

Nesting no more: Eagles appear to have moved on from Duke’s Buck Station

Business

The Smoke Pit leaving downtown Salisbury for standalone building on Faith Road

Education

Shoutouts

High School

High school football: Hornets’ Gaither set the tone against West

Local

Salisbury to show off new fire station

Education

Livingstone College to host virtual Big Read events this month

Local

City makes some appointments to local boards, holds off on others to seek women, appointees of color

Education

Education briefs: RCCC instructor honored by Occupational Therapy Association

Local

Second quarter financial update shows promising outlook for city’s budget

Columnists

Genia Woods: Let’s talk about good news in Salisbury

Local

City attorney will gather more information for Salisbury nondiscrimination ordinance

Education

North Hills planning to hold May fundraiser in person

East Spencer

Developers aim to transform former Dunbar School site into multi-purpose community development

Education

Knox student organizing event to get community cycling

Education

Decision on Essie Mae charter appeal expected Thursday

Nation/World

House passes sweeping voting rights bill over GOP opposition

Nation/World

Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol

Nation/World

States rapidly expanding vaccine access as supplies surge

News

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper receives COVID-19 vaccine

News

North Carolina health officials urge schools to reopen

Crime

In letter, PETA criticizes Salisbury Police for K-9 video

Coronavirus

Three deaths, 29 new COVID-19 positives reported

Crime

Blotter: Bullet holes found in woman’s Park Avenue apartment

Crime

Man faces assault charges for domestic incident