Special to Iredell Free News

Gatherings Catering & Event Center, a new family business that offers event space, catering, and grab-and-go meals has opened its doors in Statesville.

Norris Allison and his family began working with Iredell Economic Development Corporation’s Small Business Ombudsmen (SBO) program when deciding on a location in May of 2019.

“The SBO program walked along the way with Gatherings,” said Matthew Pierce, director of Business Retention & Expansion.

The program was started in 2018 at the recommendation of the Iredell County Board of Commissioners. The EDC team helped with the site location process, suggested architects for the project, and guided Allison through interactions with several city and county departments, including backflow, environmental health, zoning, and building standards.

Gatherings is one of more than 60 small businesses that have worked with Iredell County Economic Development’s Small Business Ombudsman Program.

When asked about his experience of working with Iredell EDC’s SBO Program, Allison noted how helpful it was to have someone who had knowledge of the development process and whom they could call with questions.

“I felt like Iredell County Economic Development Corporation was on our side. There was somebody that we could go to who would give us good information,” said Allison.

The idea for this catering and events center began with family gatherings. What began as small holiday get-togethers eventually became annual events that brought together over 100 family and friends, an event catered by Allison and his mother, Margaret Allison. 

Allison and Lisa Stainbrook wanted to combine their love of hosting these events with what they had learned during more than a dozen years managing local restaurants.

Though Allison and Stainbrook are the two you are most likely to encounter when visiting Gatherings, the business is a family affair.

“My whole family is involved,” said Allison. “Our daughter Megan does our online marketing. My sister Shelia Adams has been out knocking on the doors of doctors’ offices and other businesses in the neighborhood. My other sister, Lechay Allison, lives in Atlanta and makes phone calls to drum up business. My mother helps me in the kitchen. She’s back there now making a sweet potato pie.”

About Gatherings Catering & Event Center

Located at 232 Signal Hill Drive in Statesville, Gatherings Catering & Event Center provides a beautiful and intimate space for all types of events. To schedule an event at Gatherings Catering & Event Center or to have them cater an event, call 704-380-3202 or visit https://www.gatheringscateringandeventcenter.com/.

About Iredell County Economic Development Corporation

Iredell County Economic Development Corporation is a 501(c)6 private-public partnership dedicated to the growth and success of Iredell County. We work with partners at the local, county, region, and state levels to address business opportunities and challenges to ensure a vibrant business community. For more information about the Small Business Ombudsman program, call 704-799-5863 or email Matthew@IredellEDC.com.

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