Ben Webb of Mount Airy’s Fish Hippie and Old North State Winery is featured in the September edition of Business North Carolina magazine as one of that publication’s inaugural Trailblazers.
The feature, which the magazine said is to recognize “young, thriving business owners and professionals who operate in North Carolina’s smaller cities and towns,” included Webb in its first-ever such listing, which focuses on 22 individuals around North Carolina.
“We sought nominations for the best and brightest under 40 who are showing significant business success and are striving to make a positive impact on communities that have fewer than 100,000 residents,” the magazine said.
“The Mount Airy native started growing grapes in 2002 after studying viticulture and enology at Surry Community College,” Business North Carolina said. “Purchasing a grape-growing and wine-making cooperative in 2007, he started Old North State Winery in a former hardware store in downtown Mount Airy, adding a restaurant in 2011. Webb also co-founded men’s apparel company Fish Hippie in 2010; the coastal-themed clothing is sold at more than 450 U.S. retailers.
“Mount Airy is a great community, and I am thankful to live and [have] planted roots in such an amazing small town,” the magazine quotes Webb as saying.