Chamber of Commerce Opens Doors on Jefferson Avenue

By Joel Frady, Mountain Times

Little more than two months ago, the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce's board of directors decided to look

for a new location for the Chamber. In late May, executive director Cabot Hamilton announced that the Chamber would be moving to 1 North Jefferson Avenue in downtown West Jefferson, property located at the corner of Main Street and Jefferson Avenue that was previously occupied by Thistlewood Boutique.

Although the Chamber had to install offices and a bathroom, they opened shop at their new location on Thursday, July 9. Cabot Hamilton, executive director of the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce, said that the move was made simple with the help of Greg Testerman of New River Custom Builders, who served as the project's general contractor.

"We walked in here and had four walls and nothing, and he said I can make this happen, and make it happen before July the fourth," said Hamilton. "I questioned that, but he made it happen."

The offices were built with the help of W.J. Office Supply, and Hamilton said that the modular office complex was literally installed in one afternoon. Testerman also installed a bathroom, painted, coordinated electrical installation and even helped the Chamber move when the office was ready.

"It was well organized," said Hamilton, "we couldn't have asked for it to work out smoother."

Now open, Hamilton said that the new home is "great. We're all very excited to be back in the center of town. This is a prime location. Couldn't ask for a better location to help the visitors that are coming to Ashe County find out where everything is.

"We know we're going to have lots of walk-in traffic from people that are just walking the town," he continued.

In addition to the improvement in location, the Chamber has more space to work with than they did in their previous office that was located at 303 East Second Street in West Jefferson.

Kathleen George, administrative assistance for the Chamber, said that the extra space will provide more room "to display all of our members, because we have been growing. We were running out of space to display all the brochures and business cards (at the previous location) and I was putting them in every little nook and cranny. Now we're going to have maximized space for our membership, which is a big plus."

Hamilton said that four new racks for brochures are being built and that the Chamber is "going to be better able to merchandise our members and to take care of the general public that is visiting the county."

The Ashe County Home Builders Association will build "Ashe County's Front Porch" toward the front of the Chamber's office which George described as a place "where one can read or work on the laptop" that will be "very welcoming for visitors."

The Ashe County Chamber of Commerce is open from Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To find out more, call the chamber at (336) 846-9550 or click to

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